Southwest ADA Center

Air Carrier Access Act

The Air Carrier Access Act prohibits discrimination in air transportation by domestic and foreign air carriers against qualified individuals with physical or mental impairments. It applies only to air carriers that provide regularly scheduled services for hire to the public. Requirements address a wide range of issues including boarding assistance and certain accessibility features in newly built aircraft and new or altered airport facilities

49 U.S.C. § 41705 - Text of statute forbidding discrimination on the basis of disability.

14 C.F.R. Part 382 - Department of Transportation Regulations implementing the disability non-discrimination provisions of the ACAA.

People may enforce rights under the Air Carrier Access Act by filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation, or by bringing a lawsuit in Federal court.

To file a complaint, click here for a form (pdf format) and send it to:

Aviation Consumer Protection Division
U.S. Department of Transportation
400 Seventh Street, S.W. Room 4107, C-75
Washington, D.C. 20590

The toll-free numbers for the aviation consumer disability hotline are 1-800-778-4838 (voice) or 1-800-455-9880 (TTY).

Resources:

An Overview of the Air Carrier Access Act
May 2009 e-bulletin on the Air Carrier Access Act after the updated regulations

Air Carrier Access Act Update and Impending Changes
webcast presented by Bill Burnell, Continental Airlines on April 1, 2009.

The Air Carrier Access Act: Protecting the Civil Rights of Airline Passengers with Disabilities
webcast presented by presented by Mike Spollen, U.S. Department of Transportation on September 13, 2006.

Air Carrier Access Act Webcast
presented by Mike Spollen, U.S. Department of Transportation on November 19, 2003.

TSA: Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions
Travel Security Agency (TSA) has established a program for screening of persons with disabilities and their associated equipment, mobility aids, and devices. Our program covers all categories of disabilities (mobility, hearing, visual, and hidden).

New Horizons: Information for the Air Traveler with a Disability
A Department of Transportation guide to the Air Carrier Access Act and the DOT regulations that accompany it. This guide is designed to offer travelers with disabilities a brief but authoritative source of information about the Air Carrier Access rules: the accommodations, facilities, and services that are now required to be available. It also describes features required by other regulations designed to make air travel more accessible.

For more information of specific airlines' accommodations for air travelers with disabilities:

Domestic Carriers:

International Carriers: