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Knowing Your Rights with the Air Carrier Access Act

Post by : Admin on Sep 15,2022

Important Information for Travelers with Disabilities


Traveling for most people can be nerve-racking to say the least. But traveling with a disability can be far more overwhelming when it comes to boarding an aircraft. Did you know that there’s a Bill of Rights for air travelers with disabilities under the Air Carrier Access Act? Here is what the Bill of Rights consists of:

  1. The Right to be Treated with Dignity and Respect: Disabled passengers cannot be discriminated by airline employees or contractors with a disability.

  2. The Right to Receive Information About Services and Aircraft Capabilities and Limitations: Airlines are required to provide accessibility information about their aircraft to disabled travelers. This includes the availability of storage on the aircraft, the location of seats with movable aisle armrests, whether the aircraft has an accessible lavatory, and services that are not available on the flight.

  3. The Right to Assistance at Airports: Airlines are mandated to provide disabled travelers with boarding and deplaning assistance as well as getting to and from the boarding gate. Passengers who request assistance in advance of arriving at the airport will need to contact airline personnel once they arrive at the airport to receive assistance.

  4. The Right to Receive Information in an Accessible Format: Airline websites must be accessible and accommodations made in the airport for hearing and visually impaired travelers. Airlines must train personnel to recognize requests for communication accommodation. Personnel must be trained to use methods for communicating with individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or communicating thought an interpreter.

  5. The Right to Accessible Airport Facilities: - Airports and airplanes must be physically navigable for disabled travelers. Airlines with older aircraft with thirty or more seats that replace the aisle seats, must ensure half of the seats have removable armrests. The aircraft must have at least one accessible lavatory if the aircraft has more than on aisle. If the aircraft has an accessible lavatory, an on-board wheelchair must be available. 

  6. The Right to Travel with an Assistive Device or Service Animal: This includes medical devices and/or a personal amount of medication needed. Assistive devices must not count against the passenger’s carry-on limit. Airlines must accept a battery powered wheelchair. If it cannot be transported in the cabin, it must be transported in the cargo compartment consistent with safety and security requirements. Airlines must also provide for the checking and timely return of assistive devices at the gate for use in the terminal. 

Airlines must permit a service dog to accompany a passenger with a disability in the cabin. A decision by airline personnel to refuse transportation of a service dog with the passenger must be based on an individualized and objective assessment of the dog. This includes: The dog posing a direct threat to the health or safety of others, the dog causing a significant disruption or misbehaves in the cabin or at an airport gate area.

  1. The Right to Receive Seating Accommodations: Airlines must provide specific seats to disabled passengers who identify to airline personnel as needing the seat if the seat exists on the same class of service on the aircraft.
  • A movable aisle armrest that is readily available to the passenger who cannot transfer to a fixed aisle armrest.

  • Greater leg room when the passenger has a fused or immobilized leg.

  • Seating that best accommodates the passenger traveling with a service animal.

  • An adjoined seat for a companion providing assistance for the passenger. This includes a interpreter for a passenger who is deaf or hard of hearing, A reader for a passenger who is blind or with low vision.
  1. The Right to Assistance on the Aircraft: Passengers with disabilities must be provided prompt and timely boarding and deplaning assistance, upon request, from properly trained airline personnel. Airlines must allow passengers with disabilities who self identifies as needing additional time or assistance to board, be seated, stow accessibility equipment before all other passengers. This also includes assistance with moving to and from seats. Airlines must also provide assistance to the passenger moving to and from the lavatory. 

  2. The Right to Accessible Aircraft Features: If the aircraft has more than one aisle, the aircraft must have one accessible lavatory. An on-board wheelchair must be available on the aircraft and priority stowage space for wheelchairs in the cabin for any aircraft with 100 or more seats and have movable aisle armrests on half of the aisle seats if the aircraft has thirty or more seats. Some airlines have been approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to meet the purpose of this requirement by alternative means providing the same or greater accessibility to passengers with disabilities. 

  3. . The Right to Resolution of a Disability Related Issue: Passengers with disabilities may file a complaint with the airline or DOT if they are not satisfied with air travel services. Airlines must make available a Complaint Resolution Official (CRO) in a timely manner. The CRO should be a trained expert in resolving disability related issues and be able to resolve related issues on the spot.


Airlines must respond in writing to any disability related issues within we days of making such a report. Airlines are not required to address complaints sent more than 45 days after an alleged incident unless the complaint is referred to the airline by DOT who will investigate all disability related complaints to determine whether a violation has occurred. 

Here at Ecko Worldwide Transportation, we provide the most up-to-date information for all your traveling needs. We offer a variety of vehicles to fit your airport transportation needs. We look forward to serving you. 

For more information on the Bill of Rights we encourage our travelers to visit the U.S. Department of Transportation HERE. We also recommend that if you have any questions about your right that you contact the airline CRO or the DOT Disability Hotline at 1-800-778-4838.