The Department of Transportation recently released updated regulations about on-board wheelchair stowage, accessible websites and accessible airport kiosks.
As written, the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) requires that aircraft with 100 or more seats must have priority wheelchair stowage space in the closet for one folding manual wheelchair. Under the revision, airlines are still required to provide one on-board wheelchair stowage space in the closet; however if they opt to strap the wheelchair across the seat instead, they are now required to accommodate two manual wheelchairs. It should be noted that it’s up to the airline which securement method they will use, so in many cases the available wheelchair-storage space will not be increased.
The new regulation also requires covered airlines to make the portions of their website that contain information about core travel and accessible services accessible within two years; and and their entire website accessible within three years. Additionally, 25 percent of automated airport kiosks must be made accessible by 2024, and all newly purchased equipment must be accessible to people with disabilities.
These regulations will take effect in January 2014.
Additionally, ticket agents will be required to offer web-only fares to customers who are unable to access airline websites because of a disability, even if the website meets WCAG guidelines. This regulation takes effect in July 2014.