If you use assistive technology, can you book a flight on line? Check-in before you travel? As of December 12, 2015, the core functions of airline websites must be accessible to and usable by everyone, including people with disabilities.
Core travel services required to be accessible include booking and check-in functions, personal flight itinerary, flight status, frequent flyer account, flight schedules, and carrier contact information on an air carrier’s primary Web site. These functions must satisfy the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA. The rules apply to U.S. and foreign air carriers that operate at least one aircraft having a seating capacity of more than 60 passengers. All remaining pages on a carrier’s web site must be accessible by December 12, 2016. Read the federal airline website rule.
What if an airline website is not accessible after December 12?
Toll-Free Number and Web Address for More Information and to File Complaints
Complaints about airline website accessibility should be made directly to the airlines. Complaints can also be filed with the United States Department of Transportation, the agency that adopted the accessibility regulations. There are two ways to contact the DOT about web accessibility issues:
- Call the Department of Transportation’s toll-free hotline for air travelers with disabilities at: 800-778-4838. The phone is answered from 9:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. Eastern and messages can be left after hours. The hotline will provide general information to consumers about the rights of air travelers with disabilities. Visit the DOT disability hotline webpage.
- Submit a complaint through the DOT website. Complaints can be filed using the DOT online air travel complaint and comment form. An Overview of the Complaint Process is available on the DOT website.
Let’s hope complaints are not necessary. Airlines have known about the December, 2015 deadline for more than two years. Hopefully they will meet their obligations to serve all air travelers by providing accessible websites that work for everyone.