The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has established a toll-free hotline to assist travelers with disabilities.
“The hotline will provide general information to consumers about the rights of air travelers with disabilities, respond to requests for printed consumer information, and assist air travelers with time-sensitive disability-related issues that need to be addressed in “real time.” Effective October 1, 2006, the hours for the hotline are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday except federal holidays. Air travelers who experience disability-related air travel service problems may call the hotline at 1-800-778-4838 (voice) or 1-800-455-9880 (TTY) to obtain assistance.”
As in the past, air travelers who would like DOT to investigate a complaint about a disability issue must submit their complaint in writing or via e-mail. Click here for details.
“I believe today as I believed over a decade ago, as a co-author of the Americans with Disabilities Act, that accessibility in transportation is a civil right,” said Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta. “The U.S. Department of Transportation is committed to increasing mobility for all Americans, particularly those with disabilities. The establishment of the toll-free hotline is a major step in facilitating accessible air travel for all individuals with disabilities.”
In assisting individuals with disabilities who may have air travel complaints that require immediate intervention, the role of the DOT employees would be one of facilitating compliance with DOT’s rules and suggesting possible customer-service solutions to the airline involved. Since compliance with the Air Carrier Access Act and DOT’s implementing regulations remains the obligation of the carrier, airline employees would continue to decide what action will be taken in any given situation.