USA Dept of Transport unveils new protections for disabled airline passengers.

The US administration has proposed new measures for airlines to improve customer service delivery for wheelchair-bound disabled

The US administration has proposed new measures for airlines to improve customer service delivery for wheelchair-bound disabled travellers.

THE mishandling – damaging or losing – of wheelchairs would be deemed a violation of the Air Carrier Access Act.

Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg said this would make it easier to hold airlines accountable.

“Transportation is still inaccessible for far too many people, and that’s certainly true for aviation. This is about making sure that all Americans can travel safely and with dignity.”

Violations of the Act regarding the carriage of wheelchairs or assistance of disabled passengers could lead to hefty fines of over $120,000 per violation.

The rule would require airlines to conduct annual training for employees and service contractors who provide passenger assistance for travellers with disabilities and those who require mobility devices.

It would also require airlines to provide quick assistance to passengers with disabilities without delay when boarding and deplaning.

When a wheelchair is damaged in transit or mishandled, a loan wheelchair must be provided.

The new proposals have been applauded by disabled travel advocates.

The US Transportation Department calls this the ‘largest expansion of rights for airline passengers who use wheelchairs since 2008.’

Source Travelmole