January 21, 2005

Proposed Rule to Restructure and Update Non-discrimination Rules Pertaining to Air Travel

For those interested in the proposed changes to the US regulations concerning air travel and people with disabilities, here is an important addition to Subpart K:

Subpart K—Complaints and Enforcement Procedures
Section 382.151 What Are the Requirements for Providing Complaints Resolution Officials?

This section is based on current § 382.65 (a)(1)–(4). We propose an important addition to the current language.

In any situation in which a person raises a disability-related issue, and a carrier’s personnel do not resolve the issue immediately to the customer’s satisfaction, the carrier’s personnel must immediately inform the customer of the right to contact a Complaints Resolution Official (CRO). Frequently, passengers do not know that CROs exist and that they can be a resource to solve discrimination or accessibility problems.

We believe it should be the airline’s responsibility to make passengers aware of this resource when a passenger’s disability-related concern has not been addressed to the customer’s satisfaction by the carrier’s staff. A web site, phone reservation system, or contractor must also provide this same information when such a problem arises. To ensure that passengers have the necessary tools at their disposal to resolve issues, the airlines in this situation would also have to provide the Department’s tollfree airline accessibility hot line number. This number is available only for calls made from the U.S.

The current and proposed regulations require carriers to make CRO service available at all times when the carrier is operating at the airport. In some cases, a carrier may have only a few flights a week to a given airport. The carrier may staff its station at that airport only around the times that these flights are arriving or departing. In such a case, CRO service would only be required during those periods.


64375 Federal Register / Vol. 69, No. 213 / Thursday, November 4, 2004 / Proposed Rules

Posted by rollingrains at January 21, 2005 09:45 PM | TrackBack