Disabled Passengers Complaints Down 10.8 Percent Year On Year
- Written by Roberto Castiglioni
The US DOT received 10.8 percent fewer disability discrimination complaints in the first nine months of 2013 than in the same period in 2012.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report released on Wednesday shows a significant improvement of services airlines give passengers with disabilities.
The DOT’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division received a total of 49 disability-related complaints in September, down from both the total of 75 complaints filed in September 2012 and the 87 complaints received in August 2013.
For the first nine months of this year, the Department received 529 disability-related complaints, down 10.8 percent from the total of 593 filed during the first nine months of 2012.
The five top offenders among U.S. carriers in the first nine months of 2013 are United Airlines with 85 disability related complaints, American Airlines with 75, US Airways with 82, Delta Air Lines with 49, and Southwest Airlines with 33.
At the beginning of November, the DOT fined US Airways $ 1.2 Million for not providing wheelchair assistance to passengers with disabilities. In February 2011, the US Department of Transportation fined Atlanta based Delta Air Lines $2,000,000 for violating rules protecting passengers with disabilities. This fine was the largest penalty the U.S. Department of Transportation ever assessed against an airline.
The five top offenders among non US airlines are Air Canada with 13 disabled passengers' complaints, British Airways with 12, Air France with 9, Emirates Airlines with 6, and Lufthansa with 5 disability related complaints.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report also includes data on tarmac delays, on-time performance, cancellations, chronically delayed flights, and the causes of flight delays filed with the Department’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) by the reporting carriers.
In addition, the consumer report contains information on airline bumping, mishandled baggage reports filed by consumers with the carriers, and reports of incidents involving the loss, death, or injury of pets traveling by air, as required to be filed by U.S. carriers. From January to September 2013, the Department received 10,439 consumer complaints, down 14.1 percent from the total of 12,153 filed during the first nine months of 2012.