AirTran Airways is facing a $500,000 federal fine for failing to accommodate fliers with disabilities.
The Department of Transportation says AirTran did not properly follow rules requiring airlines to assist passengers with disabilities in boarding and exiting an aircraft. What’s more, federal officials say that AirTran often did not properly respond to passenger complaints on the issue.
The violations occurred between 2007 and mid-2009, according to the Department of Transportation.
In its defense, AirTran told investigators that the complaints uncovered occurred in fewer than one-half of one percent of all cases where passengers with disabilities flew the airline during the years in question. Further, the airline says it has taken steps to improve service and respond to complaints.
AirTran does have an opportunity to make some good come from the fine imposed. Up to $200,000 of the penalty can be used by the airline to improve services to passengers with disabilities.