More Complaints Filed Against Airlines From Travelers With Disabilities – NBC4 Washington

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More Complaints Filed Against Airlines From Travelers With Disabilities

By Scott MacFarlane, Rick Yarborough and Jeff Piper •

Published November 26, 2019 •
Updated on March 5, 2020 at 10:43 pm

NBC Universal, Inc.

Passengers with disabilities have filed approximately 900 formal complaints against U.S. airlines in the past year, according to a News4 I-Team review of federal transportation records.

The complaints were an increase from prior years and were filed during a time period in which the federal government reviewed several new requirements for airlines to better serve passengers with disabilities.

The U.S. Transportation Department tracks the number of complaints filed against U.S. air carriers, including those referencing access issues for the disabled. An I-Team review of 2019 and 2018 federal data shows an approximately 10 percent increase in those complaints between October 2017 and September 2019.

The agency also recently began publicly reporting the number of complaints it receives about mishandled or damaged wheelchairs and mobility devices. The I-Team review found approximately 1,000 complaints each month, impacting between 1 and 2 percent of all wheelchairs and devices transported on flights by U.S. operating airlines.

“There has to be more training about various disabilities and the various needs,” said Deepa Goraya, an advocate with Disability Rights [...]

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