The US DOT fined three European airlines for not adequately responding to complaints filed by passengers with disabilities.
French flag carrier Air France and German flag carrier Lufthansa were each fined $200.000 while UK flag carrier British Airways was fined $150.000.
The three airlines were also ordered to cease and desist from future similar violations.
“When air travelers file complaints with airlines, they deserve prompt and complete responses that appropriately answer their specific concerns,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We will continue to take enforcement action when airlines violate our rules protecting the rights of passengers.”
The Air Carrier Access Act, also known as Part 382, prohibits airlines from discriminating against individuals with disabilities.
Under US law, airlines are required to provide a written dispositive response to a written complaint alleging a violation of the ACAA within 30 days of receipt of the complaint.
These hefty fines were handed out following inspections carried out by Aviation Consumer Protection officers.
Reviewing a number of disability-related complaint files, inspectors found that, on many occasions, Air France, Lufthansa, and British Airways failed to provide dispositive responses to passenger complaints.