Airlines Face Soaring Disability Complaints
The number of disability-related complaints against airlines shot up more than twofold in a decade, a new government report finds.
Travelers with disabilities filed more than 30,000 complaints with airlines in 2015, up from fewer than 14,000 in 2005.
That’s according to a report out from the Government Accountability Office.
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The vast majority of complaints — 58 percent — blamed airlines for failing to provide assistance, generally with wheelchairs, GAO found.
Seating accommodations, damage to assistive devices and problems related to service animals were also frequently cited issues.
The complaints included those submitted by consumers to both U.S. and foreign air carriers, GAO said.
Separately, the report indicated that the U.S. Department of Transportation received 944 disability-rated complaints in 2015, compared to 511 a decade prior. The agency investigated 51 of the complaints over the 10-year period, resulting in more than $9.54 million in fines to air carriers.
Even amid the spike in complaints, GAO examined disability training efforts at a dozen airlines and found that, while varied, all met federal requirements.