2.1. Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA)
Air Carrier Access Act of 1986
The Air Carrier Access Act of 1986, also known as the ACAA, was enacted to prohibit commercial airlines from discriminating against travelers with disabilities. Governed by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT), the ACAA mandates rules and regulations for airlines operating in the United States to follow. A few rules under the ACAA specify airlines:
- Cannot require travelers with disabilities to accept special services that the travelers do not request unless there are concerns for safety.
- Cannot take adverse action against someone asserting the rights on their own or on behalf of a traveler with a disability.
- Cannot limit number of passengers with disabilities on a flight.
- Cannot charge for accommodations.
Link to the entire Air Carrier Access Act legislation: https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-14/chapter-II/subchapter-D/part-382
There is still a long way to go ensure that air travel is equitable and fair to all. There are many working groups, that serve to advocate for actions to enhance accessibility in air travel. Some of these continuing efforts have led to the passing of the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act of 2017, which led to incorporate accountability measures regarding accessible air travel including the formation of the Air Carrier Access Act Advisory Committee and increasing civil penalties for damages to mobility aids or injuries to travelers with disabilities.