[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 129 (Thursday, July 5, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 39799-39855]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-15233]



[[Page 39799]]

Vol. 77

Thursday,

No. 129

July 5, 2012

Part II





Department of Transportation





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Office of the Secretary





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14 CFR Part 382





Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel: Draft 
Technical Assistance Manual; Proposed Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 77 , No. 129 / Thursday, July 5, 2012 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 39800]]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Office of the Secretary

14 CFR Part 382

[Docket No. DOT-OST-2012--0098]


Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel: Draft 
Technical Assistance Manual

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation 
(DOT).

ACTION: Request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Transportation is updating its technical 
assistance manual (TAM) for airlines and passengers with disabilities 
concerning their rights and responsibilities under the Air Carrier 
Access Act (ACAA) and its implementing regulation. This draft updated 
TAM is being published in the Federal Register to insure a full 
opportunity for public comment before the document is published in 
final form.

DATES: Comments must be received October 3, 2012. The Department will 
consider late-filed comments only to the extent practicable.

ADDRESSES: You may file comments identified by the docket number DOT-
OST-2012-0098 by any of the following methods:
    [cir] Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov 
and follow the online instructions for submitting written comments.
    [cir] Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Room W12-140, Washington, DC 
20590-0001.
    [cir] Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building Ground Floor, Room 
W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday 
through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
    [cir] Fax: (202) 493-2251.
    Instructions: You must include the agency name and docket number 
DOT- OST-2012-0098 at the beginning of your comment. All comments 
received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, 
including any personal information provided.
    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all 
comments received in any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment if submitted on behalf 
of an association, a business, a labor union, etc.). You may review 
DOT's complete Privacy Act statement in the Federal Register published 
on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477-78), or you may visit http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov or to the street 
address listed above. Follow the online instructions for accessing the 
docket.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lisa Swafford-Brooks, Chief of the 
Civil Rights Compliance Branch, Office of the Assistant General Counsel 
for Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, Department of Transportation, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W96-464, Washington, DC 20590. 
Lisa.Swaffordbrooks@dot.gov. You may also contact Blane A. Workie, 
Deputy Assistant General Counsel, Office of the Assistant General 
Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W96-464, Washington, 
DC 20590. Blane.Workie@dot.gov. Arrangements to receive this notice in 
an alternative format may be made by contacting the above named 
individuals.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:On April 5, 2000, the Wendell H. Ford 
Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR-21) 
required DOT to provide a technical assistance manual to air carriers 
and individuals with disabilities concerning their rights and 
responsibilities under the Air Carrier Access Act and DOT regulations. 
In response to the legislative mandate, on April 20, 2005, the 
Department published a draft TAM in the Federal Register and requested 
public comment. See 70 FR 20640. After reviewing the comments received 
and making changes to the TAM where appropriate, the Department issued 
a final TAM on July 19, 2005. See 70 FR 41482.
    Since that time, DOT has made significant changes to Part 382, the 
rule implementing the Air Carrier Access Act. On May 13, 2008, DOT 
issued an amendment to 14 CFR part 382, which among other things, 
extended its applicability to foreign air carriers and added new 
provisions concerning the onboard use of respiratory assistive devices 
and accommodations for passengers who are deaf, hard of hearing, and 
deaf-blind. See 73 FR 27614. The final rule became effective on May 13, 
2009. The Department has also issued guidance that interprets or 
explains further the text of the rule. See e.g., Use of passenger-
supplied electronic respiratory assistive devices on aircraft, October 
28, 2009; Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Air Travel 
of People with Disabilities Under the Amended Air Carrier Access Act 
Regulation, May 13, 2009. http://airconsumer.dot.gov/rules/guidance.htm. We believe these guidance documents as well as the rule 
itself would be more readily understandable and useful if reflected in 
the TAM. As a result, DOT is now updating the 2005 TAM to provide 
guidance that covers the changes that have been made to Part 382. The 
Department recognizes that there are a number of ongoing rulemakings 
regarding Part 382 and that these rulemakings may necessitate future 
revisions to the TAM.

Purpose

    Similar to the 2005 TAM, this updated draft manual does not expand 
U.S. or foreign air carriers' legal obligations or establish new 
requirements under the law. The primary purpose of the manual is to 
help employees and contractors of airlines to assist passengers with 
disabilities in accordance with the law. Another purpose is to provide 
air travelers with disabilities information about their rights under 
the ACAA and the provisions of Part 382.

Organization

    The updated TAM, like its predecessor, follows the chronological 
path of an air traveler with a disability from making a reservation 
through the completion of the trip. Each section of the TAM is 
discussed in the context of the particular stage of a trip and is 
designed to be a separate stand-alone product. For example, the TAM 
includes separate chapters on assisting air travelers with disabilities 
planning a trip, assisting air travelers with disabilities at the 
airport, assisting air travelers with disabilities boarding, deplaning 
and during the flight, and assisting air travelers with disabilities 
with their complaints. In addition, the TAM contains a chapter on 
sensitivity and awareness issues when interacting with people with 
disabilities as well as a chapter on tips for communicating and 
interacting with individuals with specific types of disabilities.\1\ 
The TAM also has four appendices providing additional information and, 
in some cases, resources for specific audiences. We believe organizing 
the information in this sequential manner will make it easier for 
employees and contractors of airlines, as well as air travelers with

[[Page 39801]]

disabilities, to find the information most relevant and useful to them.
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    \1\ When the TAM is published in its final form, it will contain 
an Alphabetical Index and a Part 382 Index as well as specific page 
numbers for the various subject areas listed in the Table of 
Contents. However, because the pagination of the TAM is not yet 
final, the Table of Contents simply lists the topics covered in the 
TAM and the indices are not included in this publication of the 
document.

    Issued this 15th day of June 2012, in Washington, DC.
Samuel Podberesky,
Assistant General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, 
U.S. Department of Transportation.

What Airline Employees, Airline Contractors, and Air Travelers With 
Disabilities Need To Know About Access to Air Travel for Persons With 
Disabilities

A Guide to Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) and Its Implementing 
Regulation, 14 CFR Part 382 (Part 382)

Contents
Chapter 1: Understanding How to Use This Manual
    A. Introduction
    B. Background
    C. Scope of This Manual
    D. Keyword Definitions
    E. Acronyms
Chapter 2: Learning the Basics About the Law Protecting Air 
Travelers With Disabilities
    A. The Statute and the Regulation
    B. Applying Part 382 Requirements
    C. Questions on Foreign Carrier Flights
    D. Conflicts of Law Waivers
    E. Equivalent Alternative Determinations
    F. Assisting Passengers With Disabilities
    G. Part 382 Highlights
Chapter 3: Assisting Air Travelers With Disabilities Planning a Trip
    A. Advance Notice
    B. Information About the Aircraft
    C. Mobility Aids and Assistive Devices
    D. Service Animals
    E. Accommodations for Air Travelers With Hearing Impairments
    F. Communicable Disease
    G. Medical Certificates
    H. Your Obligation To Provide Services and Equipment
    I. Safety Assistants
Chapter 4: Assisting Air Travelers With Disabilities at the Airport
    A. Accessibility of Terminal Facilities and Services
    B. Security Screening for Air Travelers With a Disability
    C. Air Travelers With a Disability Moving Through the Terminal 
and Changing Airplanes
    D. Accommodations for Air Travelers With Vision or Hearing 
Impairments
    E. Safety Assistants
Chapter 5: Assisting Air Travelers With Disabilities Boarding, 
Deplaning, and During the Flight
    A. Aircraft Accessibility
    B. Seating Assignments and Accommodations
    C. Boarding and Deplaning Assistance
    D. Stowing and Treatment of Assistive Devices
    E. Services and Information Provided in the Cabin
    F. Safety Briefings
Chapter 6: Assisting Air Travelers With Disabilities With Their 
Complaints
    A. Complaints Resolution Officials (CROs)
    B. Handling Passenger Complaints
    C. ACCESS: An Approach for Resolving Complaints
    D. General Complaint Resolution Tips
    E. Categorizing, Recording, and Reporting Written Disability-
Related Complaints
Chapter 7: Interacting with Individuals With Disabilities
    A. Terminology
    B. Physical, Mental, and Psychological Impairments
    C. Tips for Interacting With Individuals With Disabilities
Chapter 8: Personnel Training
    A. U.S. and Foreign Carriers That Operate Aircraft With 19 or 
More Passenger Seats
    B. U.S. and Foreign Carriers That Operate Aircraft With Fewer 
Than 19 Passenger Seats
    C. Training Records
Alphabetical Index
Part 382 Index
Appendix I Table of Effective Dates
Appendix II Tips for Air Travelers with Disabilities
Appendix III Airline Management-Related Issues
Appendix IV FSAT 04-01A Location and Placement of Service Animals on 
Aircraft Engaged in Public Air Transportation

Chapter 1: Understanding How To Use This Manual

A. Introduction
B. Background
C. Scope of This Manual
D. Keyword Definitions
E. Acronyms

A. Introduction

Purpose of the Manual
    This manual is a guide to the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), 49 
U.S.C. 41705, and its implementing regulation, Title 14, Code of 
Federal Regulations (14 CFR) Part 382, Nondiscrimination on the Basis 
of Disability in Air Travel. It is designed to serve as an 
authoritative source of information about the services, facilities, and 
accommodations required by the ACAA and Part 382. Note, however, that 
this manual does not expand carriers' legal obligations or establish 
new requirements under the law.
    The primary purpose of the manual is to help carriers and indirect 
carriers and their employees/contractors that provide services or 
facilities to passengers with disabilities, assist those passengers in 
accordance with Part 382. Knowing your legal responsibilities will help 
ensure consistent compliance with Part 382 and protect the civil rights 
of air travelers with disabilities when you provide services, 
facilities, and accommodations to them.
    The second purpose of this manual is to offer air travelers with 
disabilities information about their rights under the ACAA and Part 
382.
Styles
1. Use of the Word ``You''
    Unless otherwise noted, throughout the manual the word ``you'' 
refers to carriers, indirect carriers, or the employees/contractors of 
both carriers and indirect carriers. In most cases, the word ``you'' 
refers to personnel who deal directly with the traveling public. In 
addition, the obligations and responsibilities under Part 382 as 
discussed in the manual must be read within the context of each 
specific employee's duties on the job.
2. Italics and Bold Text
    Italics and boldfaced type are used throughout the manual to draw 
attention to a subtle requirement or for emphasis.

B. Background

U.S. Air Carriers
    In 1986, Congress passed the ACAA, which prohibits discrimination 
by U.S. air carriers against qualified individuals with 
disabilities.\2\ In 1990, the Department of Transportation (DOT) 
published Part 382, the regulations defining the rights of passengers 
with disabilities and the obligations of U.S. air carriers under the 
ACAA (55 FR 8008; March 6, 1990). Since then, these regulations have 
been amended many times.\3\ In addition, the DOT has provided guidance 
to air carriers to further explain the ACAA and Part 382 in the 
following ways:
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    \2\ See Section D of this chapter for keyword definitions 
including a definition of ``qualified individuals with 
disabilities.''
    \3\ The dates and citations for these amendments are the 
following: April 3, 1990, 55 FR 12341; June 11, 1990, 55 FR 23544; 
November 1, 1996, 61 FR 56422; January 2, 1997, 62 FR 17; March 4, 
1998, 63 FR 10535; March 11, 1998, 63 FR 11954; August 2, 1999, 64 
FR 41703; January 5, 2000, 65 FR 352; May 3, 2001, 66 FR 22115; July 
3, 2003, 68 FR 4088.
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     Preambles to regulatory amendments;
     Industry letters;
     Correspondence with individual carriers or complainants;
     DOT enforcement actions;
     Web site postings,
     Conducting public forums on Part 382, and
     Informal conversations between DOT staff and interested 
members of the public.
Foreign Air Carriers
    On April 5, 2000, the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and 
Reform Act for the 21st Century (``AIR-21''), Public Law 106-181, 
amended the ACAA

[[Page 39802]]

specifically to cover foreign air carriers. On November 4, 2004, the 
DOT published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to 
extend the provisions of Part 382 to foreign carriers (69 FR 64364). On 
May 13, 2008, the DOT published a final rule (73 FR 27614) amending 
Part 382 to cover foreign air carriers. That revised final rule became 
effective on May 13, 2009.
Other Part 382 Changes
    The DOT also published NPRMs addressing medical oxygen and portable 
respiratory assistive devices (70 FR 53108; September 7, 2005) and 
accommodations for passengers who are deaf or hard-of-hearing (71 FR 
9285; February 23, 2006). As a result of those NPRMs, the final rule 
revising Part 382 to cover foreign carriers, also included new 
provisions concerning passengers who use medical oxygen and passengers 
who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The final rule also reorganized and 
updated the entire ACAA rule (Part 382).
Development and Update of Technical Assistance Manual
    In 2000, Congress required DOT to create a technical assistance 
manual to provide guidance to individuals and entities with rights or 
responsibilities under the ACAA. See 49 U.S.C. 41705(c). Responding to 
that mandate, the DOT published a manual in the Federal Register on 
July 19, 2005 (70 FR 41482). This manual is the second version of DOT's 
Technical Assistance Manual and incorporates material from the most 
recent amendments to Part 382 and the DOT policy guidance discussed 
above. The DOT published the draft manual in the Federal Register to 
provide an opportunity for public comment before it published the 
manual in its final form. This manual supersedes the first Technical 
Assistance Manual dated July 19, 2005, and is available for download, 
in PDF format, from http://airconsumer.dot.gov.

C. Scope of This Manual

Organization
    This manual is organized chronologically to reflect the steps in a 
passenger's trip and the associated requirements of Part 382, as 
follows:
     Planning a flight,
     At the airport,
     Boarding, deplaning, and making connections,
     Assistance services during a flight, and
     Responding to disability-related complaints.
    This manual also contains the following tools to assist you in 
quickly and easily finding the answer to your questions:
     A Table of Contents at the front of the manual;
     An Alphabetical Index at the back of the manual; and
     A Part 382 Index listing the citations to Part 382 at the 
back of the manual.
    In addition, the following appendixes appear at the end of the 
manual:
     Appendix I: Table of Effective Dates
     Appendix II: Tips for Air Travelers with Disabilities as 
they relate to the most commonly-used accommodations, facilities, and 
services that carriers are required to make available to such 
passengers;
     Appendix III: Airline Management-Related Issues addressing 
topics applicable mainly to carrier management, as opposed to frontline 
customer service personnel;
Applicability
    As with Part 382, the topics discussed in this manual apply to both 
U.S. and foreign carriers unless otherwise specified. (Sec.  382.7(e))
Web Links
    The following web links are provided for you to review and download 
information related to Part 382 and/or the ACAA:

     A list of frequently asked questions and answers (http://airconsumer.dot.gov/SA_Disability.htm)
     A list of recent DOT enforcement orders related to the 
ACAA (http://airconsumer.dot.gov/SA_Disability.htm)
     The full text of Part 382 (http://airconsumer.dot.gov/SA_Disability.htm)
     A listing of conflict of law waiver determinations (http://www.regulations.gov under Docket Number DOT-OST-2008-0272)
     A listing of equivalent alternative determinations (http://www.regulations.gov under Docket Number DOT-OST-2008-0273)
     Guidance concerning service animals (http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/rules/20030509.pdf)
     Guidance on transporting service animals to the United 
Kingdom (http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/rules/UK-ServiceAnimalGuidance.pdf)
Legal Requirements and Customer Service
    This manual highlights the difference between actions you must take 
to comply with Part 382 and actions that you may choose to take to 
provide superior customer service to passengers with disabilities. 
Legal requirements are generally designated by the word ``must'' in the 
manual. Words such as ``should'' or ``may,'' indicate accommodations 
that Part 382 does not require but that DOT recommends and that you may 
decide to provide as a matter of good customer service.
Safety
    Where applicable, this manual discusses how to properly and 
lawfully consider aircraft and passenger safety when providing 
transportation to passengers with disabilities. Part 382 does not 
require or authorize you to disregard Federal Aviation Administration 
(FAA), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), 
or foreign government safety regulations. Where an FAA, PHMSA, or 
foreign government safety regulation requires different treatment of 
passengers with disabilities or other restrictions, Part 382 states you 
must comply with the FAA, PHMSA, or foreign government safety 
regulation. For example, if an FAA safety rule provides that only 
persons who can perform certain functions can sit in an exit row, then 
you must request that an individual unable to perform those functions 
(regardless of whether that individual has a disability) sit in another 
row. If the passenger refuses, you may properly deny transportation to 
such passengers. (Sec.  382.7(g))
    However, where an optional carrier action that is not required by 
FAA, PHMSA, or foreign government safety rules would result in 
different treatment of passengers with disabilities, or in other 
restrictions, then the ACAA and the provisions of Part 382 prohibit you 
from implementing the optional carrier action.

    Example: Suppose ABC Airways required only passengers with 
disabilities--not all passengers--to provide correct answers to a 
quiz about the content of a safety briefing and a passenger with a 
disability either refused to respond or failed such a quiz. It would 
not be appropriate to deny transportation to a passenger with a 
disability on such grounds unless the carrier's policies and 
procedures consistently treated all passengers in a similar manner.

    In short, Part 382 is consistent with FAA, PHMSA, and foreign 
government safety requirements, as it requires you to comply with those 
regulations and ensure that the safe completion of the flight or the 
health and safety of other passengers are not jeopardized. 
Determinations about whether an FAA, PHMSA, or foreign government 
regulation requires different treatment of a passenger with a 
disability for safety reasons often depend on the circumstances you 
encounter. Therefore, it is important that you seek information from 
passengers with

[[Page 39803]]

disabilities and their traveling companions and make a reasonable 
judgment considering all available information.
    The FAA safety regulations can be found in 14 CFR parts 1 through 
199, and in FAA guidance materials that provide additional information 
about these regulations (see http://www.faa.gov, click on Federal 
Aviation Regulations (FAR) under Regulations and Guidelines). The 
applicable PHMSA regulations can be found in 49 CFR parts 171 through 
185 and PHMSA guidance materials that provide additional information 
about these regulations (see http://www.phmsa.dot.gov, click on 
Regulations under Promoting Safety and Security). For foreign 
government safety requirements consult the applicable government's 
civil aviation authority.
Security
    This manual addresses security procedures which affect or may 
affect the types of accommodations and services provided to passengers 
with disabilities. You must comply with Transportation Security 
Administration (TSA) regulations and foreign government security 
regulations having a legally mandatory effect applicable to you. (Sec.  
382.7(g)) \4\
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    \4\ The Transportation Security Administration has developed a 
Web site and a hotline for travelers with disabilities and medical 
conditions. The Web site is http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/disabilityandmedicalneeds/tsa_cares.shtm and the hotline phone 
number is 1-855-787-2227.
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    Part 382 is consistent with security requirements mandated by the 
TSA. For example, TSA has strict rules as to who can go beyond the 
airport screening checkpoints, but these TSA rules are consistent with 
Part 382 and do not invalidate your obligation to provide boarding and 
deplaning assistance requested by passengers with disabilities, 
including assistance beyond airport screening checkpoints. You have 
discretion in how that assistance is provided. You can provide (1) A 
``pass'' allowing an individual who needs to assist a passenger with a 
disability to go through the airport screening checkpoint without a 
ticket; (2) assistance directly to the passenger; or (3) both. For 
foreign government security requirements, refer to screening procedures 
established by the law of the country in which the airport is located.
Contractors
    This manual recognizes the important role that contractors play in 
providing services, equipment, and other accommodations to passengers 
with disabilities. A contractor is an entity that has a business 
arrangement with a carrier to perform functions that the ACAA and Part 
382 would otherwise require the carrier to perform with its own 
employees. Contractors provide a variety of services on behalf of 
carriers in furnishing assistance to persons with disabilities. For 
example, contractors often provide--
     Wheelchair service;
     Assistance to passengers with disabilities in getting on 
and off aircraft;
     Transportation to passengers with disabilities between 
departure gates; and
     Ground handling of passengers' wheelchairs and other 
assistive devices.
    Contractors must provide the same services, equipment, and other 
accommodations as those required of a carrier and its employees under 
the ACAA and Part 382. As an employee of a contractor, you are required 
to follow the ACAA and Part 382 when providing services, equipment, and 
other accommodations to passengers with disabilities. If you do not 
follow the ACAA and Part 382, the carrier is subject to DOT enforcement 
action for your failure to comply with those mandates. In essence, 
although a carrier may contract out various services and accommodations 
required by Part 382, a carrier may not contract away its 
responsibilities to ensure compliance with the rule.
ACCESS
     ACCESS \5\ is a step-by-step process for resolving issues 
involving passengers with disabilities. A detailed discussion of ACCESS 
appears in Chapter 6: Assisting Air Travelers with Disabilities with 
their Complaints. Whether the issue involves the requirements of the 
ACAA and Part 382, customer service, or both, the ACCESS checklist will 
be useful in identifying the needs of passengers with disabilities and 
determining what accommodations carriers are required to provide. See 
Chapter 6, Section C, Access, An Approach for Resolving Complaints.
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    \5\ ACCESS is a memory aid to Ask, Call, Check, Evaluate, Solve, 
and Satisfy, for use when resolving complaints.
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Training
     DOT regards thorough training of carrier personnel who 
interact with passengers with disabilities as vital for good service to 
those passengers and compliance with the ACAA and Part 382. A detailed 
discussion of employee/contractor training requirements can be found in 
Chapter 8: Personnel Training and Appendix II, Airline Management-
Related Issues. In addition, the DOT has developed an interactive model 
training program (MTP) on the ACAA and Part 382. You can view this 
module at http://airconsumer.dot.gov.

D. Keyword Definitions

    Following is a list of keyword definitions to help you fully 
understand the information in this manual.
    Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA): The Air Carrier Access Act of 1986, 
as amended, is the statute that provides the principal authority for 14 
CFR part 382. The ACAA prohibits discrimination by U.S. and foreign 
carriers against qualified individuals with disabilities.
    Air Transportation: Interstate or foreign air transportation, or 
the transportation of mail by aircraft, as defined in 49 U.S.C. 40102. 
(Sec.  382.3).
    Assistive Device: Any piece of equipment that assists a passenger 
with a disability to cope with the effects of his or her disability. 
Such devices are intended to assist a passenger with a disability to 
hear, see, communicate, maneuver, or perform other functions of daily 
life, and may include medical devices and medications. (Sec.  382.3).
    Battery-powered mobility aid: An assistive device that is used by 
individuals with mobility impairments, such as a wheelchair, a scooter, 
or a Segway when it is used as a mobility device by a person with a 
mobility-related disability. (Sec.  382.3).
    Carrier: A U.S. citizen (``U.S. carrier'') or foreign citizen 
(``foreign carrier'') that undertakes, directly or indirectly, or by a 
lease or any other arrangement, to engage in air transportation. (Sec.  
382.3).
    Commuter carrier: An air taxi operator as defined in 14 CFR Part 
298 that carries passengers on at least five round trips per week on at 
least one route between two or more points according to its published 
flight schedules that specify the times, days of the week and places 
between which those flights are performed. (Sec.  382.3).
    Complaints Resolution Official (CRO): An individual designated by a 
carrier who has the authority to resolve disability-related complaints 
on behalf of the carrier. The CRO must be thoroughly familiar with--
    (1) The requirements of Part 382;
    (2) The carrier's policies and procedures addressing Part 382; and
    (3) The provision of services, facilities, and accommodations to 
passengers with disabilities.
    A CRO must be available (1) in person at the airport; or (2) via 
telephone and Text Telephones (TTY), or a similarly effective 
technology, at all times the carrier is operating. As a foreign 
carrier, you must make a CRO available as noted above at each airport 
serving flights you

[[Page 39804]]

operate that begin and end at a U.S. airport. (Sec.  382.151).
    Conflict of Law Waiver: Upon the request of a carrier, DOT may 
determine there is a contradiction between a Part 382 requirement and 
an applicable foreign legal mandate that precludes the carrier from 
compliance with both legal requirements. If DOT makes such a 
determination, the carrier would continue to follow the binding foreign 
legal mandate rather than the conflicting Part 382 provision. (Sec.  
382.9).
    Contractor: A contractor is an entity that has a business 
arrangement with a carrier to perform functions that the carrier would 
otherwise be required to perform with its own employees under the ACAA 
and Part 382. For example, carriers often have business arrangements 
with companies to provide wheelchair service to passengers with 
disabilities or to handle baggage and assistive devices. (Sec.  
382.11).
    Contractor Employee: An individual that works for an organization 
that has a business arrangement with one or more carriers to provide 
services, facilities, and other accommodations to passengers with 
disabilities. (Sec.  382.11).
    CPAP machine: A continuous positive airway pressure machine. (Sec.  
382.3).
    Department or DOT: The United States Department of Transportation. 
(Sec.  382.3).
    Direct Threat: A significant risk to the health or safety of others 
that cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices, or 
procedures, or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services. (Sec.  
382.3).
    DOT Disability Hotline or Hotline: DOT's toll-free telephone 
hotline system that provides general information to consumers about the 
rights of air travelers with disabilities, responds to requests for 
printed consumer information, and assists air travelers with time-
sensitive disability-related issues. The hours for the hotline are 9 
a.m. to 5 p.m. eastern time, Monday through Friday except Federal 
holidays. Air travelers who experience disability-related air travel 
service concerns or issues may call the hotline at 1-800-778-4838 
(voice) or 1-800-455-9880 (TTY) to receive assistance. Air travelers 
who would like the DOT to investigate complaints about a disability 
issue must submit their complaints in writing or via email. (see http://airconsumer.dot.gov/hotline.htm).
    Equivalent alternative: A policy, practice, or other accommodation 
that provides substantially equivalent accessibility to passengers with 
disabilities, compared to compliance with a provision of Part 382. 
(Sec.  382.3).
    Expected maximum flight duration: The carrier's best estimate of 
the total duration of the flight from departure gate to arrival gate, 
including taxi time to and from the terminals, based on the scheduled 
flight time and factors such as (1) Wind and other weather conditions 
forecast; (2) anticipated traffic delays; (3) one instrument approach 
and possible missed approach at destination; and (4) any other 
conditions that may delay arrival of the aircraft at the destination 
gate. (Sec.  382.3).
    FAA: The Federal Aviation Administration, an operating 
administration of the DOT. The FAA's mission is to provide the safest, 
most efficient aerospace system in the world. (http://www.faa.gov and 
Sec.  382.3).
    Facility: A carrier's aircraft and any portion of an airport that a 
carrier owns, leases, or controls (for example, structures, roads, 
walks, parking lots, ticketing areas, baggage drop-off and retrieval 
sites, gates, other boarding locations, jet bridge) normally used by 
passengers or other members of the public. (Sec.  382.3).
    High-Contrast Captioning: Captioning that is at least as easy to 
read as white letters on a consistent black background. (Sec.  382.3).
    Indirect Carrier: A person not directly involved in the operation 
of an aircraft who sells air transportation services to the general 
public other than as an authorized agent of a carrier. (Sec.  382.3).
    Individual with a Disability: Any individual who--
     Has a physical or mental impairment that, on a permanent 
or temporary basis, substantially limits one or more major life 
activities;
     Has a record of a physical or mental impairment that, on a 
permanent or temporary basis, substantially limits one or more major 
life activities; or
     Is regarded as having a physical or mental impairment 
that, on a permanent or temporary basis, substantially limits one or 
more major life activities. (Sec.  382.3).
    On-Demand Air Taxi: An air taxi operator that carries passengers or 
property and is not a ``commuter carrier'' as defined above. (Sec.  
382.3).
    PHMSA: The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, 
an operating administration of the Department of Transportation. 
(http://www.phmsa.dot.gov and Sec.  382.3).
    POC: A portable oxygen concentrator. (Sec.  382.3).
    Qualified Individual With a Disability: An individual with a 
disability--
    (1) Who, as a passenger--
     Purchases, offers to purchase, or otherwise validly 
obtains a ticket for air transportation;
     Presents himself or herself at the airport for the purpose 
of traveling on the flight; and
     Meets reasonable, nondiscriminatory contract of carriage 
requirements applicable to all passengers.
    (2) Who accompanies or meets a traveler, using ground 
transportation or terminal facilities, or seeks to obtain information 
about schedules, fares, reservations, or policies and takes those 
actions necessary to use facilities or services offered by a carrier to 
the general public, with reasonable accommodations, as needed, provided 
by the carrier. (Sec.  382.3).
    Scheduled Service: Any flight scheduled in the current edition of 
the Official Airline Guide, the carrier's published schedule, or the 
computer reservation system used by the carrier. (Sec.  382.3).
    Service Animal: Any animal that is individually trained or able to 
provide assistance to a qualified person with a disability or any 
animal shown by documentation to be necessary to support a passenger 
with an emotional or mental disability.
    Dogs, cats, and monkeys are among the types of animals that have 
been trained to act as service animals. Service animals may assist 
people with disabilities by, for example--
     Guiding persons with vision impairments;
     Alerting persons with hearing impairments to specific 
sounds;
     Alerting persons with epilepsy of imminent seizure onset;
     Pulling a wheelchair;
     Carrying items a passenger cannot readily carry while 
using his or her wheelchair;
     Assisting persons with mobility impairments to open and 
close doors, retrieve objects, transfer from one seat to another, and 
maintain balance; and
     Providing support for persons with emotional or mental 
disabilities. (Sec.  382.117 and Appendix III, Guidance Concerning 
Service Animals, and Chapter 3, Section D, Service Animals.).
    Text Telephones (TTY): TTYs are devices that allow individuals who 
are unable to use a regular telephone to make or receive telephone 
calls by enabling them to type their conversations. (Chapter 4, Section 
D, Accommodations for Air Travelers with Vision or Hearing 
Impairments).
    Transportation Security Administration (TSA): An administration 
within the Department of Homeland Security that is charged with 
protecting the Nation's transportation systems to ensure freedom of 
movement

[[Page 39805]]

for people and commerce. (http://www.tsa.gov and Sec.  382.3).
    United States or U.S.: The United States of America, including its 
territories and possessions.

E. Acronyms

    Following is a list of acronyms used in this manual.

ACAA Air Carrier Access Act
ACCESS Ask, Call, Check, Evaluate, Solve, and Satisfy
ADAAG Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines
AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
AIR[dash]21 Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for 
the 21st Century
ATP Advanced Turboprop
CBP U.S. Customs and Border Protection
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
CPAP Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
CRO Complaints Resolution Official
DEFRA U.K. Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs
DOJ Department of Justice
DOT Department of Transportation
DSM-IV Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
FAA Federal Aviation Administration
FAQ Frequently Asked Questions
FAR Federal Aviation Regulations
HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus
IATA International Air Transport Association
MTP Model Training Program
NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
OST Office of the Secretary of Transportation
PHMSA Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
PNR Passenger Name Record
POC Portable Oxygen Concentrator
RMOP Required Method of Operation
RTCA Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics
SARS Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
SFAR Special Federal Aviation Regulation
SMS Short Message Service
SSR Special Service Request
TSA Transportation Security Administration
TTY Text Telephones

Chapter 2: Learning the Basics About the Law Protecting Air Travelers 
With Disabilities

A. The Statute and the Regulation
B. Applying Part 382 Requirements
C. Questions on Foreign Carrier Flights
D. Conflicts of Law Waivers
E. Equivalent Alternative Determinations
F. Assisting Passengers With Disabilities
G. Part 382 Highlights

A. The Statute and the Regulation

     What does the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) say? The ACAA 
prohibits U.S. and foreign air carriers from discriminating against a 
qualified individual with a disability based on such disability in 
providing air transportation. See Chapter 1, Section C of this manual 
for a definition of a qualified individual with a disability. (49 
U.S.C. 41705).
     What is Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 
Part 382 (Part 382)? Part 382 is a detailed set of rules that define 
U.S. and foreign air carriers' responsibilities under the ACAA, as 
amended. Part 382 ensures that individuals with disabilities will be 
treated without discrimination, and requires U.S. and foreign air 
carriers (under certain conditions) to make aircraft, other facilities, 
and services accessible and take steps to accommodate a passenger with 
a disability. (Sec.  382.1).

 B. Applying Part 382 Requirements

     Who is protected by Part 382? Part 382 protects three 
groups of individuals with disabilities:
    (1) Individuals with a physical or mental impairment that, on a 
permanent or temporary basis, substantially limits one or more major 
life activities;
    (2) Individuals with a record of such impairment; and
    (3) Individuals who are regarded as having such impairments, 
whether they have the impairment or not.

(Sec.  382.3 and 49 U.S.C. 41705).

     Who must comply with Part 382? The following organizations 
and individuals must comply with Part 382:
    (1) A U.S. air carrier and its employees (for example, ticket 
agents, gate agents, flight attendants, pilots, baggage handlers) with 
respect to all operations and aircraft, regardless of where those 
operations take place (unless otherwise noted in Part 382).
    (2) A foreign air carrier, its employees (such as ticket agents, 
gate agents, flight attendants, pilots, and baggage handlers), and its 
aircraft for flights that begin or end at a U.S. airport. Part 382 does 
not apply to a foreign carrier for flights operating between two 
foreign points. However, a U.S. air carrier that participates in a 
codesharing arrangement with a foreign air carrier with respect to 
flights between two foreign points is responsible for ensuring 
compliance with Part 382, Subparts A through C, F through H, and K with 
respect to passengers traveling under its code on such a flight.
    (3) An authorized agent of a carrier (such as travel agents).
    (4) An organization and its employees that have business 
arrangements with a carrier to provide disability-related services (for 
example, wheelchair service, baggage handling).
    (5) An indirect air carrier and its employees (such as public 
charter operators) that provide facilities or services for other 
carriers that are covered by Sec. Sec.  382.17 through 157. (Sec. Sec.  
382.3, 382.7(a), (c), and (f), 382.11(b) and 382.15).
     When does Part 382 apply to U.S. carriers and foreign 
carriers? U.S. carriers and foreign carriers were required to comply 
with the requirements of current Part 382 on May 13, 2009, except as 
otherwise noted in individual sections of Part 382. (Sec.  382.5) See 
Appendix I for a table of exceptions to the May 13, 2009, effective 
date.
     What is the difference between an indirect air carrier and 
an agent? An indirect air carrier indirectly engages in air 
transportation by selling the services of a direct air carrier. (Sec.  
382.3) An agent is an entity that has lawful authority to act on behalf 
of the operating carrier, indirect air carrier, or on behalf of the 
prospective passenger. An agent typically sells the product of a 
disclosed principal (e.g., a seat on a scheduled airline or on a 
charter flight), offering it at the price and terms set by the 
principal.

    Example: A tour operator or an air freight forwarder contracts 
for space on a wholesale level with an airline and the tour operator 
or air freight forwarder then re-sells space on that flight on a 
retail basis, setting their own price and terms, bearing the 
entrepreneurial risk of profit or loss rather than acting as an 
agent, and controlling the inventory and schedule.

    On the other hand, an agent, such as a retail travel agent, sells a 
product such as a seat on a scheduled airline or a charter flight, at a 
price and terms set by the airline. The travel agent is acting as an 
agent of the airline and is not an indirect air carrier. 
Concessionaires, suppliers, and other participants in the air travel 
system also are not indirect air carriers.
     Do carriers have to make contractors comply with Part 382 
requirements? Yes, as a carrier, you must ensure that your contractors 
providing services to the public meet Part 382 requirements just as if 
you were performing those functions yourself. While you may contract 
out services, you may not contract away responsibilities. You must 
include an assurance of compliance with Part 382 in your contracts with 
any contractors who provide services to the public that are subject to 
Part 382 requirements. For a U.S. carrier, an assurance of compliance 
must be included in your contracts with U.S. travel agents but not 
foreign travel agents. The Department of Transportation expects you to 
monitor the performance of your contractors to ensure that the 
contractors' performance complies with Part 382. (Sec.  382.15).

[[Page 39806]]

C. Questions on Foreign Carrier Flights

     For a passenger with a disability traveling on a foreign 
carrier, what is considered a ``flight'' covered under Part 382? Flight 
means a continuous journey in the same aircraft or with one flight 
number that begins or ends at a U.S. airport. (Sec.  382.7(b)).
    The following are examples of flight scenarios involving foreign 
carriers.

    Example 1: A passenger books a nonstop flight on a foreign 
carrier from New York to Frankfurt, or Frankfurt to New York. Each 
of these is a ``flight'' covered by Part 382.
    Example 2: A passenger books a trip on a foreign carrier from 
New York to Prague. The foreign carrier flies nonstop to Frankfurt. 
The passenger deplanes in Frankfurt and boards a connecting flight 
(with a different flight number), on the same foreign carrier or a 
different carrier, which flies to Prague. The New York-Frankfurt leg 
of the trip is a ``flight'' covered by Part 382; the Frankfurt-
Prague leg is not a covered flight. On the reverse routing, the 
Prague-Frankfurt leg is not a covered flight for purposes of Part 
382, while the Frankfurt-New York leg is a covered flight.
    Example 3: A passenger books a trip on a foreign carrier from 
New York to Prague. The aircraft stops for refueling and a crew 
change in Frankfurt. If, after deplaning in Frankfurt, the 
passengers originating in New York reboard the aircraft (or a 
different aircraft, assuming the flight number remains the same) and 
continue to Prague, they remain on a covered flight for purposes of 
Part 382. This is because their transportation takes place on a 
direct flight between New York and Prague, even though it had an 
interim stop in Frankfurt. This example also would apply in the 
opposite direction (Prague to New York via Frankfurt).
    Example 4: In Example 3 directly above, the foreign carrier is 
not subject to coverage under Part 382 with respect to a Frankfurt 
originating passenger who boards the aircraft and flies to Prague, 
or a Prague-originating passenger who deplanes in Frankfurt and does 
not continue to New York.

     Does Part 382 apply to foreign carriers operating between 
two foreign points under a codeshare arrangement with a U.S. carrier? 
No, Part 382 does not generally apply to foreign carriers operating 
between two foreign points and transporting passengers flying under the 
U.S. carrier's code. However, Part 382 applies to the U.S. carrier with 
respect to passengers traveling under its code. A U.S. carrier, not the 
foreign carrier, would be responsible for any violation of the service 
provisions of Subparts A through C, F through H, and K of Part 382 for 
a passenger traveling under the U.S. carrier's code. (Sec.  382.7(c)).
     Does Part 382 apply to foreign carrier charter flights? A 
charter flight on a foreign carrier originating from a foreign airport 
to a U.S. airport and returning to a foreign airport would not be 
covered if the carrier does not board any new passengers in the United 
States for the return flight. (Sec.  382.7(d)).

D. Conflicts of Law Waivers

     What may a carrier do if a provision of a foreign nation's 
law conflicts with Part 382 requirements? Part 382 contains a conflict 
of laws waiver provision to address conflicts with legally binding 
foreign legal mandates. For example, as a carrier, you may request a 
waiver from a Part 382 requirement if a foreign law--(1) Requires you 
to do something prohibited by Part 382 or (2) prohibits you from doing 
something required by Part 382. Your U.S. carrier code share partner 
may file a waiver request on your behalf when a foreign law conflicts 
with a service-related provision of Part 382. Note that a foreign 
carrier's or foreign government's policy, authorized practice, 
recommendation, or preference is not an appropriate basis for a 
conflict of laws waiver request. In addition, if you have discretion in 
complying with Part 382 under the foreign law then you must exercise 
that discretion by complying with Part 382. (Sec.  382.9).
     What must a conflicts of law waiver request include? A 
conflicts of law waiver request must include: (1) A copy of the 
conflicting foreign law (in English); (2) a description of how the law 
applies and how it precludes you from complying with Part 382; and (3) 
your proposal for an alternative means of meeting the objective of the 
requirement or a justification of why it would be impossible to meet 
the requirement in any way. (Sec.  382.9(c)).
     Is there a deadline for a carrier to file a conflict of 
law waiver request? DOT sought to encourage carriers to conduct a due 
diligence review of foreign legal requirements that may conflict with 
Part 382. Accordingly, foreign carriers that filed waiver requests by 
September 10, 2008 (within 120 days of the publication date of the rule 
(May 13, 2008)), had a commitment from DOT that it would not take any 
enforcement action related to implementing the foreign law in question 
pending DOT's response to the waiver request. (Sec.  382.9(e)).
     Is a carrier subject to enforcement action while a 
conflict of law waiver request submitted after September 10, 2008, is 
under DOT review? If the conflicting foreign law did not exist on 
September 10, 2008, you may continue to implement the policy or 
practice that is the subject of your request until the DOT responds to 
your request. The DOT will not take enforcement action with respect to 
your policy or practice while the waiver request is under its review. 
However, the DOT may begin an enforcement action if it finds that a 
carrier's waiver request: (1) is frivolous or dilatory, (2) has not 
been submitted with respect to a certain policy or practice, or (3) has 
been previously denied and the carrier continues to follow the denied 
policy or practice. (Sec.  382.9(e) through (g)).
     What must DOT determine to grant a conflicts of law waiver 
request? The DOT may grant the waiver request, or grant the request 
subject to conditions, if DOT determines: (1) The foreign law applies; 
(2) the foreign law does preclude compliance with a provision of Part 
382; and (3) the carrier has provided an effective alternative means of 
achieving the Part 382 objective or has demonstrated by clear and 
convincing evidence that it would be impossible to achieve that 
objective in any way. (Sec.  382.9(d)).

E. Equivalent Alternative Determinations

     What is an equivalent alternative determination and when 
does a carrier have to file one? If, with respect to a specific 
accommodation, a carrier can demonstrate that what it wants to do will 
provide substantially equivalent accessibility to passengers with 
disabilities as compared with literal compliance with a particular 
provision of Part 382, it can file for an equivalent alternative 
determination. If the DOT agrees, it will determine that the carrier 
can comply with the rule using its alternative accommodation. Carriers 
must comply with Part 382 and cannot use their proposed equivalent 
alternative until and unless DOT approves it. (Sec.  382.10).
     How does a carrier apply for an equivalent alternative 
determination? As a U.S. carrier or foreign carrier, you may apply to 
the DOT for a determination that you are providing an alternative to 
passengers with disabilities. Your application must be in English and 
include: (1) A citation of the specific provision to which you are 
proposing an equivalent alternative; (2) a detailed description of the 
alternative policy, practice, or other accommodation you are proposing 
to use in place of the Part 382 requirement cited above; and (3) an 
explanation of how it provides substantially equivalent accessibility 
to passengers with disabilities.
    If the DOT grants your application, you may comply with Part 382 
through implementing your equivalent alternative. If the DOT denies 
your application, you must comply with Part 382 as written. (Sec.  
382.10).

[[Page 39807]]

F. Assisting Passengers With Disabilities

     What is a physical or mental impairment? Physical 
impairment includes--(1) Any physiological disorder or condition; (2) 
cosmetic disfigurement; or (3) anatomical loss affecting one or more of 
the following body systems:
    [cir] Neurological;
    [cir] Musculoskeletal;
    [cir] Special sense organs;
    [cir] Respiratory, including speech organs;
    [cir] Cardiovascular;
    [cir] Reproductive;
    [cir] Digestive;
    [cir] Genitourinary;
    [cir] Hemic and lymphatic;
    [cir] Skin; and
    [cir] Endocrine.
    Examples of physical impairments include--
    [cir] Orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairments;
    [cir] Cerebral palsy;
    [cir] Epilepsy;
    [cir] Muscular dystrophy;
    [cir] Multiple sclerosis;
    [cir] Cancer;
    [cir] Heart disease;
    [cir] Diabetes; and
    [cir] Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
    Mental impairments include any mental or psychological disorder, 
such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental 
illness, and specific learning disabilities. (Sec.  382.3).
     What is not considered a physical or mental impairment? 
Physical characteristics such as the color of one's eyes, hair, or 
skin; baldness; and left-handedness do not constitute physical 
impairments. Similarly, neither age nor obesity alone constitutes a 
physical impairment. Disadvantages due to cultural or economic factors 
are not covered by Part 382. Moreover, the definition of ``physical or 
mental impairment'' does not include personality traits such as poor 
judgment or a quick temper, where these are not symptoms of a mental or 
psychological disorder.
     What is a substantial limitation on one or more major life 
activities? To qualify as a ``disability'' under Part 382 a condition 
or disease must substantially limit a major life activity. Major life 
activities include, activities such as--
    [cir] Caring for oneself,
    [cir] Performing manual tasks,
    [cir] Walking,
    [cir] Seeing,
    [cir] Hearing,
    [cir] Speaking,
    [cir] Breathing,
    [cir] Learning, and
    [cir] Working. (Sec.  382.3).
     When does an impairment ``substantially limit'' a major 
life activity? There is no absolute standard for determining when an 
impairment is a substantial limitation. Some impairments obviously 
limit the ability of an individual to engage in a major life activity 
as noted in the following examples.

    Example 1: A person who is deaf is substantially limited in the 
major life activity of hearing.
    Example 2: A person with traumatic brain injury may be 
substantially limited in the major life activities of: (a) Caring 
for himself or herself; and (b) working, because of memory 
deficiency, confusion, contextual difficulties, and the inability to 
reason appropriately.
    Example 3: An individual who is paraplegic may be substantially 
limited in the major life activity of walking.

     Are temporary mental or physical impairments covered by 
Part 382? Yes. The definition of individual with a disability addresses 
any individual who has a temporary physical or mental impairment. 
(Sec.  382.3) See the following example:

    Example: While on a skiing trip, Jane breaks her leg and is 
placed in a cast that keeps her from bending her leg and walking 
without using crutches. Jane will eventually recover the full use of 
her leg, but in the meantime, she is substantially limited in the 
major life activity of walking. Because Jane's broken leg will 
substantially limit a major life activity for a period of time, Jane 
would be considered to have a disability covered by Part 382 during 
that period. As a carrier, you would be required to provide her 
certain services and equipment under Part 382 if requested (for 
example, boarding and deplaning assistance, connecting wheelchair 
assistance, seating with additional leg room to the extent required 
by Part 382, and safe stowage of her crutches in the aircraft cabin 
in close proximity to her seat).

     Who is a person with a ``record of'' a disability under 
Part 382? Part 382 protects from discrimination an individual (1) who 
has a ``record of'' (a history of) a physical or mental impairment that 
substantially limits one or more major life activities or (2) who has 
been classified, or misclassified, as having such an impairment. 
Therefore, an individual who does not have a current actual impairment 
that substantially limits a major life activity would still be 
protected under Part 382 based upon a past diagnosis (or a 
misdiagnosis) of an impairment that substantially limits a major life 
activity. Individuals with a history of cancer or epilepsy are examples 
of people with a record of impairment. (Sec.  382.3) The following 
example illustrates such a situation:

    Example: Adam, a passenger who has had severe epileptic seizures 
in the past that rendered him unable to work, is denied 
transportation by carrier personnel because of their concern that he 
may have a seizure on board the aircraft. This denial of 
transportation would be unlawful if based solely on the fact that 
Adam has had past seizures, because epilepsy may be controlled by 
medication. Carrier personnel can lawfully deny transport to Adam 
only if they reasonably believe, based on the information available, 
that his seizure disorder poses a real safety risk to him, or is a 
direct threat to other passengers.

     When is a person ``regarded as'' having a disability? Part 
382 protects an individual who is ``regarded as'' having a physical or 
mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, 
whether or not that person actually has an impairment. A person can be 
``regarded as'' disabled if--
    (1) His or her non-limiting or slightly limiting impairments are 
treated by an air carrier as substantially limiting;
    (2) He or she has no impairments but is treated by an air carrier 
as having a substantially limiting impairment; or
    (3) His or her impairments become substantially limiting because of 
the attitudes of others toward such impairments. (Sec.  382.3).
    See the following two examples.

    Example 1: Carrier personnel deny John, an individual with a 
mild heart condition controlled by medication, transportation 
because they believe that flying will cause him to have heart 
problems requiring the pilot to divert the aircraft during the 
flight. John's condition does not substantially limit any major life 
activity. John has informed the air carrier personnel that his heart 
condition is controlled by medication and that for the past five 
years he has flown on a near weekly basis without incident. Even 
though John does not actually have an impairment that substantially 
limits a major life activity, he is protected by the provisions of 
Part 382 because he is treated as though he does. The air carrier 
personnel's refusal to provide transportation to John must be 
reasonable under the facts and circumstances presented. Arguably, 
excluding John from the flight was unreasonable because he had 
informed the air carrier employee that he was taking medication and 
that he had flown frequently in the recent past without incident. 
The reasonableness of the decision depends on John's credibility and 
any additional information provided. Regardless of the 
reasonableness of the decision, the air carrier employee is legally 
required under Sec.  382.19(d) to provide a written explanation to 
John within 10 calendar days of the refusal of transportation 
detailing the specific safety or other reason(s) for excluding John 
from the flight.
    Example 2: Karen, an individual born with a prominent facial 
disfigurement, has been refused transportation on the grounds that

[[Page 39808]]

her presence has upset several passengers who have complained to 
gate agents about her appearance. Karen's physical disfigurement 
becomes substantially limiting only because of the attitudes of 
others and she is protected by the provisions of Part 382. Refusing 
to provide transportation to Karen would violate Sec.  382.19(b) 
because you must not refuse to provide transportation to a qualified 
individual with a disability, such as Karen, solely because her 
appearance may offend or annoy other passengers. As in example 1 
above, and regardless whether the decision to refuse transportation 
was correct, a carrier must provide Karen with a written explanation 
of the specific basis for the refusal within 10 calendar days of the 
incident.

     When am I required to provide disability-related 
accommodations to an individual? You are required to provide such an 
accommodation when--
    (1) An individual with a disability or someone acting on his or her 
behalf, such as a travel companion, family member, or friend, requests 
an accommodation required by Part 382 or
    (2) You offer such a required accommodation to a passenger with a 
disability and he or she accepts such accommodation.
     How do I determine whether a person is an individual with 
a disability? Provide an opportunity for the passenger to self-identify 
by asking how you can best assist him or her. (See for example, 
Sec. Sec.  382.81, 382.85, 382.87, 382.91, 382.93, 382.111).
     May I ask an individual what his or her disability is? 
Generally, no. However, clarifying the nature of a disability may be 
required to determine if a passenger is entitled to a particular 
seating accommodation under sections 382.81 through 382.87. You may not 
make inquiries about an individual's disability or the nature or 
severity of the disability. However, you may ask questions about an 
individual's ability to perform specific air travel-related functions, 
such as boarding, deplaning, and walking through the airport. For 
example--

 
 
 
You may not ask a person      What is your disability?
                              Are you deaf?
You may ask                   Can you walk from the gate area to your
                               aircraft seat?
                              Are you able to transfer from the aisle
                               chair over a fixed aisle seat armrest?
                              Can you walk from this gate to your
                               connecting gate?
                              Do you need me to notify you if I make any
                               announcements over the public address
                               speaker?'' (write a note if necessary)
 

    Example: Susan asks for a bulkhead seat because the condition of 
her leg requires additional legroom. You may ask, ``Are you unable 
to bend your leg or is your leg fused or immobilized?'' For a 
passenger with a fused or immobilized leg, the carrier is required 
to provide a bulkhead seat or other seat that provides more legroom 
than other seats on the side of an aisle that better accommodates 
the individual's disability. (Sec.  382.81(d))

     How do I assist a passenger with a disability? Ask the 
passenger how you can best assist him or her. A passenger with a 
disability has the most information about his or her abilities, 
limitations, level of familiarity with the airport and air carrier, and 
needs in connection with air travel.

G. Part 382 Highlights

     What are some of the requirements of Part 382 that I 
should be aware of? Following are some of the principle requirements of 
Part 382. It is important to note that the list of Part 382 
requirements below is not meant to be exhaustive. Rather, it is a list 
of requirements governing situations that you are likely to encounter 
regularly. In addition, these requirements may not be applicable in 
instances where a legally binding conflicts of law waiver exists. You 
should refer to the specific sections cited below for exceptions to 
these requirements.
    [cir] You must not discriminate against passengers with a 
disability. (Sec.  382.11(a)(1)) .
    [cir] You must not require a passenger with a disability to accept 
special services (including preboarding) they do not request. (Sec.  
382.11(a)(2)). Instead, you may ask a person if he or she would like a 
particular service, facility, or other accommodation. However, you may 
require preboarding as a condition to receive certain seating or cabin 
stowage accommodations. (Sec. Sec.  382.83(c), 382.85(b), and 
382.123(a)).
    [cir] You must not exclude a passenger with a disability from or 
deny the individual the benefit of any air transportation or related 
services that are available to other persons. (Sec.  382.11(a)(3)). For 
example, if you choose to provide ground transportation and overnight 
accommodations to passengers because of a flight cancellation, you must 
ensure that the ground transportation to the hotel, and the hotel 
itself, are accessible to a passenger with a disability.
    [cir] You must not take any adverse action against an individual, 
such as refusing transportation, because an individual asserts, on his 
or her own behalf, or on behalf of another individual, rights protected 
under Part 382 or the ACAA. (Sec.  382.11(a)(4)).
    [cir] You must not limit the number of passengers with disabilities 
on a particular flight.\6\ (Sec.  382.17).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ The DOT has received Conflict of Laws waiver requests from 
some foreign carriers asserting that Sec.  382.17 conflicts with the 
European Aviation Safety Agency's Joint Aviation Regulation-OPS 
1.260. Visit http://www.regulations.gov, select ``Agency 
Documents,'' and enter ``DOT-OST-2008-0272'' to view Conflict of 
Laws waiver requests.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [cir] You must not refuse transportation to a passenger solely 
based on a disability. (Sec.  382.19).
    [cir] You must provide transportation to a passenger with a 
disability who has an impairment that affects his or her appearance or 
results in involuntary behavior except under limited circumstances 
specified below. You must provide transportation to such passengers 
with disabilities even if the disability may offend, annoy, or 
inconvenience crewmembers or other passengers. (Sec.  382.19(b)). 
However, if the person's disability results in involuntary behavior 
that would or might adversely affect the safety of the flight, then the 
person may be refused transportation. (Sec.  382.19(c)).
    [cir] You may refuse transportation to a passenger with a 
disability if transportation of that passenger would--
    (1) Endanger the safety of the aircraft or the health or safety of 
its passengers or
    (2) Violate a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or 
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulation or applicable 
requirement of a foreign government. (Sec.  382.19(c)).
    [cir] You must not require a passenger with a disability to travel 
with a safety assistant or to present a medical certificate, except in 
very limited circumstances. (Sec. Sec.  382.23(a) and 382.29).
    [cir] You must not require a passenger with a disability to sign a 
release or waiver of liability to receive transportation or services or 
accommodations for a disability. (Sec.  382.35(a)).
    [cir] You must not exclude a passenger with a disability from any 
seat in an exit or other row solely based on his or her disability 
except to comply with FAA regulations or applicable foreign

[[Page 39809]]

government safety requirements. (Sec.  382.87(a)).
    FAA regulations establish criteria that must be met for a passenger 
to occupy a seat in the emergency exit rows. (14 CFR 121.585). There 
also may be foreign government safety requirements for exit row 
seating. If a passenger with a disability meets these FAA criteria and 
applicable foreign government safety requirements, he or she should not 
necessarily be excluded from sitting in an emergency exit row. As with 
any other passenger, you must look at the individual passenger with a 
disability and reasonably assess whether he or she meets the applicable 
criteria for exit-row seating. (Sec.  382.87(b)).
    [cir] You must provide prompt boarding, deplaning, and connecting 
assistance to passengers with disabilities requesting such assistance. 
As part of this assistance, you must provide, as needed--
    (1) Equipment (for example, wheelchairs, electric carts, and aisle 
chairs);
    (2) Personnel (for example, individuals to push wheelchairs and 
aisle chairs and individuals to assist passengers with disabilities in 
carrying and stowing their baggage); and
    (3) Ramps or mechanical lifts (only required at any U.S. commercial 
service airport with 10,000 or more annual enplanements where level-
entry boarding and deplaning is not available.) (Sec. Sec.  382.91 and 
382.95). See Appendix II for a discussion of the agreements carriers 
must have with airports for the provision of lifts where level-entry 
loading bridges are not available. (Sec.  382.99).
    You must allow passengers with disabilities to bring their 
assistive devices including canes, crutches, walkers; or other 
assistive devices inside the cabin of the aircraft. Other assistive 
devices include items such as--
    [ssquf] Prescription medications and any medical devices needed to 
administer them such as syringes or auto-injectors;
    [ssquf] Vision enhancing devices;
    [ssquf] Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, 
portable oxygen concentrators (POC), respirators, and ventilators, 
using nonspillable batteries, and
    [ssquf] A folding or collapsible wheelchair (see below).
    These assistive devices may be stowed in designated priority 
stowage areas, in overhead compartments, or under seats consistent with 
FAA, PHMSA, TSA, or foreign government requirements concerning safety, 
hazardous materials, and security with respect to stowage of carry-on 
items. You must not count the number of assistive devices described 
above toward the carry-on baggage limit. (Sec.  382.121).
    [cir] On certain aircraft, the carrier must designate a priority 
stowage space (required dimensions 13'' x 36'' x 42'') for at least one 
passenger's typical adult-sized folding, collapsible, or break-down 
manual wheelchair. You must not require removal of the wheels or any 
other disassembly to fit the manual wheelchair in this priority space. 
(Sec.  382.67) This space must be in addition to the overhead 
compartments and under-seat spaces routinely used for passenger carry-
on items. You are not required to stow any kind of electric wheelchair 
in the aircraft cabin.
    This requirement applies if the aircraft--(1) has a designed 
seating capacity of 100 or more seats and (2) for a U.S carrier, was 
ordered after April 5, 1990, or delivered after April 5, 1992; for a 
foreign carrier, was ordered after May 13, 2009, or delivered after May 
13, 2010. (Sec.  382.67)).
    With regard to the priority stowage space, you, as a carrier, must 
comply with the following:
    [ssquf] A passenger with a disability who takes advantage of the 
opportunity to preboard may stow his or her wheelchair in this area 
with priority over other carry-on items brought onto the aircraft by 
other passengers and crewmembers consistent with FAA, PHMSA, TSA, or 
foreign government requirements concerning safety, hazardous materials, 
and security with respect to the stowage of carry-on items. (Sec.  
382.123).
    [ssquf] You must move any item that you or your personnel have 
placed in the closet or other area designated for priority stowage of 
carry-on items such as crewmember luggage or a required on-board 
wheelchair to make room for the passenger's wheelchair even if the 
items were placed there before the passenger boarded the flight. This 
includes any items that were placed in the priority stowage area on an 
earlier originating or connecting flight. (Sec.  382.123).
    [ssquf] A passenger with a disability who does not preboard may use 
the priority space to stow his or her wheelchair or other assistive 
device on a first-come, first-served basis along with other passengers 
stowing their carry-on items. (Sec.  382.123).
    [cir] On new aircraft ordered after May 13, 2009, or delivered to 
carriers after May 13, 2011, carriers are not permitted to use seat-
strapping (tying down a wheelchair across a row of seats in an aircraft 
that does not have the required space for stowing a folding wheelchair 
in the cabin) as an alternative to designated stowage spaces. Subject 
to the outcome of the pending rulemaking, you may use seat strapping 
for manual wheelchairs on existing aircraft that do not have the 
required space for stowing a folding wheelchair in the aircraft cabin. 
\7\ (Sec.  382.123).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ On June 3, 2011, the Department published a Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking regarding the use of seat-strapping as a method 
for in-cabin stowage of manual wheelchairs. See 76 FR 32107. The 
Department expects to publish a final rule concerning seat-strapping 
in 2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [cir] A passenger with a disability who takes advantage of the 
opportunity to preboard may stow assistive devices other than folding 
wheelchairs in the priority stowage area over other carry-on items 
(except folding wheelchairs) brought onto the aircraft by other 
passengers and crewmembers enplaning at the same airport. Stowing these 
devices in the priority space must be consistent with FAA, PHMSA, TSA, 
or foreign government requirements concerning safety, hazardous 
materials, and security with respect to the stowage of carry-on items. 
(Sec.  382.123(a)(2)).
    [cir] You must have a copy of Part 382 available at every airport 
you serve. For foreign carriers, you must keep a copy of Part 382 and 
make it available at each airport serving a flight you operate that 
begins or ends at a U.S. airport. You must make a copy available for 
review upon request by any member of the public. (Sec.  382.45(a)). If 
you have a Web site, it must also provide a notice that consumers may 
obtain a copy of Part 382 from the DOT--
    [ssquf] By telephone (including the appropriate voice and Text 
Telephones (TTY) numbers) via a toll-free hotline for air travelers 
with disabilities or to the Aviation Consumer Protection Division;
    [ssquf] By mail to the Aviation Consumer Protection Division, or
    [ssquf] On the Aviation Consumer Protection Division's Web site 
(http://airconsumer.dot.gov). (Sec.  382.45(b)).
    [cir] As a U.S. carrier, you must provide passengers with vision or 
hearing impairments who identify themselves as needing assistance 
prompt access to the same information given to other passengers at the 
airport. This information includes--
    [ssquf] Flight safety,
    [ssquf] Ticketing,
    [ssquf] Flight check-in,
    [ssquf] Gate assignments,
    [ssquf] Delayed flights,
    [ssquf] Cancellations,
    [ssquf] Schedule changes,
    [ssquf] Boarding information,
    [ssquf] Connections,
    [ssquf] Checking baggage,

[[Page 39810]]

    [ssquf] Volunteer solicitation on oversold flights (offers of 
compensations for giving up a reservation),
    [ssquf] Individuals being paged by airlines,
    [ssquf] Aircraft changes, and
    [ssquf] Emergencies such as fire or bomb threats.
    You must provide this information at each gate, ticketing area, and 
customer service desk that you own, lease, or control at any U.S. or 
foreign airport to the extent that this does not interfere with 
employees' safety and security duties under FAA, TSA, and foreign 
regulations. (Sec.  382.53(a)(1)).
    As a foreign carrier, you must make the information listed above 
available at each gate, ticketing area, and customer service desk that 
you own, lease, or control at any U.S. airport. At foreign airports, 
you must make the information available only: (1) At gates, ticketing 
areas, or customer service desks that you own, lease, or control and 
(2) for flights that begin or end in the United States. (Sec.  
382.53(a)(2)).
    As a U.S. or foreign carrier, you and any U.S. airport you use are 
jointly responsible for providing the required passenger information to 
passengers with vision or hearing impairments when that airport has 
control over the gates, ticketing areas, and customer service desks, 
(Sec.  382.53(a)(3)).
    [cir] You also must provide passengers with vision or hearing 
impairments prompt access to the same information given to other 
passengers on the aircraft. This means information that a reasonable 
consumer would deem important, such as information on--
    [ssquf] Flight safety,
    [ssquf] Procedures for takeoff and landing,
    [ssquf] Flight delays,
    [ssquf] Schedule or aircraft changes,
    [ssquf] Diversion to a different airport,
    [ssquf] Scheduled departure and arrival time,
    [ssquf] Boarding information,
    [ssquf] Weather conditions at the destination airport,
    [ssquf] Beverage and menu information,
    [ssquf] Connecting gate assignments,
    [ssquf] Claiming baggage,
    [ssquf] Individuals being paged by airlines, and
    [ssquf] Emergencies such as fire or bomb threats.
    Crewmembers are not required to provide such information if it 
would interfere with the crewmember's safety duties required under FAA 
and applicable foreign regulations. (Sec.  382.119).
    [cir] You must allow a service animal to accompany a passenger with 
a disability in the aircraft cabin consistent with FAA regulations or 
applicable foreign government requirements. As a foreign carrier, you 
are not required to carry service animals other than dogs (except as 
noted in Sec.  382.7(c) for codeshare flights with U.S. carriers).
    You must allow the service animal to sit in close proximity to its 
user if the service animal does not block the aisle or other emergency 
evacuation route in violation of FAA regulations or applicable foreign 
government requirements. Often this will mean that the service animal 
will sit under the seat in front of the passenger with a disability to 
avoid obstructing an aisle or other space. Some service animals are 
held by their users in their arms as an adult would hold a human infant 
(limited to infants under 2 years of age) of roughly the same size. 
(Sec.  382.117).
    [cir] You must designate one or more Complaints Resolution Official 
(CRO) if you provide service using aircraft with 19 or more passenger 
seats. The CRO must be available (in person, by telephone, or TTY 
service) to address disability-related complaints. You must provide a 
CRO to a passenger even if the passenger does not use the term 
``Complaints Resolution Official'' or ``CRO.'' When a passenger with a 
disability uses words such as ``supervisor,'' ``manager,'' ``boss,'' or 
``disability expert'' in connection with resolving a disability-related 
issue, you must provide a CRO.
    As a U.S. carrier, you must make the CRO available at each airport 
you serve during all times that you operate at that airport.
    As a foreign carrier, you must make a CRO available at each airport 
serving flights you operate that begin or end at a U.S. airport. For 
carriers that operate flights infrequently, for example, flying from 
Dulles Airport to a foreign airport at 5 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays, 
you do not have to make a CRO available to persons at Dulles Airport on 
those days you do not operate flights or in the mornings on days when 
you operate flights. (Sec.  382.151).
    [cir] You must not charge for services that are required by Part 
382. This means, for example, you and your employees and contractors 
may not ask for a tip when providing wheelchair service to a passenger. 
You may, however, impose a reasonable charge for services not required 
by Part 382, that is, optional services. Examples of such optional 
services include carrier-supplied medical oxygen for use onboard an 
aircraft or stretcher service. (Sec.  382.31(a)).
    [cir] You may charge a passenger for the use of more than one seat 
if the passenger's size or condition, such as use of a stretcher, 
causes the passenger to occupy more than one seat. (Sec.  382.31(b)).
    [cir] If you have a Web site that persons use to make reservations 
or purchase tickets that is inaccessible to a passenger with a 
disability, you must not charge a fee to the passenger with a 
disability who is unable to make a reservation or purchase a ticket 
from your Web site when using another reservation booking method such 
as by telephone. In addition, if you provide discounts or other 
benefits to individuals who book a flight online, then that discount or 
benefit must be given to a passenger with a disability who cannot use 
the Web site due to his or her disability when he or she buys a ticket 
using another method. (Sec.  382.31(c)).

Chapter 3: Assisting Air Travelers With Disabilities Planning a Trip

A. Advance Notice
B. Information About the Aircraft
C. Mobility Aids and Assistive Devices
D. Service Animals
E. Accommodations for Air Travelers With Hearing Impairments
F. Communicable Diseases
G. Medical Certificates
H. Your Obligation To Provide Services and Equipment
I. Safety Assistants

A. Advance Notice

    You cannot require a passenger with a disability to provide advance 
notice of his or her intention to travel except as noted below.
Advance Notice Only for Particular Services and Equipment
    You may require up to 48 hours' advance notice (that is, 48 hours 
before the scheduled departure time of the flight) and 1 hours' advance 
check-in (that is, 1 hour before the check-in time for the general 
public) from a passenger with a disability who wishes to receive the 
following services:
     Transportation of an electric wheelchair on an aircraft 
with fewer than 60 passenger seats;
     Provision by the carrier of hazardous materials packaging 
for the battery of a wheelchair or other assistive device;
     Accommodations for 10 or more passengers with disabilities 
who make reservations and travel as a group;
     Provision of an on-board wheelchair on an aircraft with 
more than 60 passenger seats that does not have an accessible lavatory 
for passengers with disabilities who can use an inaccessible lavatory 
but need an on-board chair to do so;
     Transportation of an emotional support or psychiatric 
service animal in the cabin;

[[Page 39811]]

     Transportation of any service animal on a flight segment 
scheduled to take 8 hours or more; and
     Accommodation of a passenger with both severe vision and 
hearing impairments. (Sec.  382.27(c)(4) through (c)(10)).

    Example 1:  If you advise passengers to check-in 1 hour before 
the scheduled departure time of the flight, you may advise a 
passenger with a disability who seeks one of the accommodations 
listed above to check-in 2 hours before the scheduled departure time 
for the flight.
    Example 2: While making his reservation, a passenger with a 
disability gave the reservation agent 48 hours' advance notice that 
he would need an aisle chair to access the lavatory on his upcoming 
flight. The flight is on an aircraft with more than 60 passenger 
seats and it does not have an accessible lavatory. During the 
telephone call, the reservation agent makes the passenger aware of 
the fact that the lavatory is inaccessible, but the passenger 
explains that he can use an inaccessible lavatory if he has access 
to an aisle chair provided by the carrier. The passenger has 
complied with the advance notice requirement. Normally this 
information would have been entered into the passenger's reservation 
record (also known as the passenger name record (PNR)) by the 
carrier and the request for an aisle chair would have been handled 
through that notification process. You are a new gate agent for your 
carrier and when this passenger approaches you at the gate of the 
flight and asks about the requested aisle chair, you are not sure 
how to reply. What should you do?
    To begin, as a matter of good customer service, you should tell 
the passenger that you are not sure but you will find out. You 
should ask a colleague and, if necessary, contact a Complaints 
Resolution Official (CRO). When you ask your colleague, you are told 
that all aircraft with more than 60 passenger seats in your air 
carrier's fleet are equipped with an in-cabin aisle chair. Once you 
receive this information, you should assure the passenger that an 
aisle chair is available so he can use the inaccessible lavatory on 
the aircraft.

Advance Notice for POC or Carrier-Supplied Inflight Medical Oxygen
    With respect to onboard use of supplemental oxygen during a flight, 
you can require advance notice of a passenger whether you, the carrier, 
provides the oxygen or the passenger supplies the POC.
    International flights. You may require up to 72 hours' advance 
notice and 1-hour advance check-in (that is, 1 hour before the check-in 
time for the general public) from a passenger with a disability who 
wishes to receive carrier-supplied medical oxygen for use onboard the 
aircraft. You may require 48 hours' advance notice and check-in one 
hour before the check-in time for the general public to use his/her 
ventilator, respirator, CPAP machine or POC.
    Domestic flights. You may require up to 48 hours' advance notice 
and 1-hour advance check-in (that is, 1 hour before the check-in time 
for the general public) from a passenger with a disability who wishes 
to use his or her own POC or wishes to receive carrier-supplied medical 
oxygen for use onboard the aircraft. (Sec.  382.27(b)).
Advance Notice for Other Electronic Respiratory Assistive Devices
    With respect to onboard use of a ventilator, respirator, or 
continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine during a flight, you 
may require up to 48 hours' advance notice and 1-hour advance check-in 
(that is, 1 hour before the check-in time for the general public) from 
a passenger with a disability when the passenger supplies the 
ventilator, respirator, or CPAP machine. (Sec.  382.27(b)).
Advance Notice for Optional Services and Equipment
    Although carriers are not required to provide the following 
services or equipment, if you choose to provide them, you may require 
up to 48 hours' advance notice (that is, up to 48 hours before the 
scheduled departure time of the flight) and 1 hour's advance check-in 
(that is, 1 hour before the check-in time for the general public) for--
     Carriage of an incubator;
     Hook-up for a CPAP machine, POC, respirator, or ventilator 
to the aircraft's electrical power supply; and
     Accommodation for a passenger who must travel on a 
stretcher. (Sec.  382.27(c)(1)-(3)).
    If a passenger with a disability provides the appropriate advance 
notice for a service you are required to provide or choose to provide, 
you must provide that the service or accommodation. (Sec.  382.27(d)).

    Note: Since the issuance of the revised Part 382 on May 13, 
2008, some carriers have denied passengers the use of POCs onboard 
the aircraft because the devices did not have a manufacturer's label 
indicating that the device complies with the standards of RTCA/DO-
160 or other applicable Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or 
foreign requirements for portable medical electronic devices, even 
though the POC has been approved by the FAA for onboard use. As 
stated in its Notice published on October 29, 2009, the Department 
of Transportation (DOT) strongly encourages carriers to allow 
passengers to use any FAA-approved POC if the conditions in Special 
Federal Aviation Regulation No. 106 (SFAR 106) for use of portable 
oxygen concentrator systems onboard aircraft are followed even if 
the device has not been labeled \8\. Under SFAR 106, the FAA reviews 
the tests of POCs and determines whether the POCs meet safety 
requirements for medical portable electronic devices and are safe 
for use in-flight subject to certain conditions. The FAA 
specifically lists any POC brands and models that it deems 
acceptable for use onboard aircraft in SFAR 106. (14 CFR part 121, 
SFAR 106) (A list of FAA-approved POCs can be found on the FAA's Web 
site at http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/cabin_safety/portable_oxygen/).

    \8\ The Use of Passenger-Supplied Electronic Respiratory 
Assistive Device on Aircraft, October 28, 2009. See http://airconsumer.dot.gov/rules/notice_10_28_09.pdf. The notice also 
covers other electronic respiratory assistive devices.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Make a Reasonable Effort To Accommodate, Even Without Advance Notice
    If a passenger with a disability does not meet the advance notice 
or check-in requirement described above, you must make a reasonable 
effort to furnish the requested service or equipment, if making such 
accommodation would not delay the flight. (Sec.  382.27(g)).

    Example 1: Mr. Thomas uses a battery-powered wheelchair. He 
travels frequently between Washington, DC, and New York for 
business. One day, he finds out that he has an important business 
meeting in New York and must travel to New York that afternoon. He 
has no time to provide advance notice regarding the transportation 
of his battery-powered wheelchair and arrives at the gate 45 minutes 
before his flight is scheduled to depart. The aircraft for the 
flight has fewer than 60 passenger seats. What should you do?
    As a carrier, you may require 48 hours' advance notice and 1-
hour advance check-in for transportation of a battery-powered 
wheelchair on a flight scheduled to be made on an aircraft with 
fewer than 60 passenger seats. You may require the same advance 
notice to provide hazardous materials packaging for a battery. 
However, carrier personnel are required to make reasonable efforts 
to accommodate a passenger who fails to provide the requisite notice 
to the extent it would not delay the flight. Therefore, you must 
make a reasonable effort to accommodate Mr. Thomas.
    Mr. Thomas is a frequent traveler on this particular route and 
he knows that usually it is feasible to load, store, secure, and 
unload his battery-powered wheelchair and spillable battery in an 
upright position (Sec.  382.127(c)) or detach, ``box'', and store 
the spillable battery (Sec.  382.127(d)) within about 20 to 25 
minutes. If this is possible under the existing circumstances, you 
must accommodate Mr. Thomas, his battery-powered wheelchair, and the 
spillable battery even though Mr. Thomas did not provide advance 
notice, because doing so would not delay the flight.
    Example 2: Ms. Webster must travel with medical oxygen and 
arrives at the airport without providing advance notice of her need 
for medical oxygen. As a policy, your carrier does not provide 
medical oxygen on any flights. What should you do?
    To begin, you should confirm that your carrier does not provide 
the optional service

[[Page 39812]]

of medical oxygen for use onboard a flight. If no medical oxygen 
service is available on your carrier, you should explain this to Ms. 
Webster and tell her that the carrier cannot accommodate her.
    As a matter of customer service, you may direct Ms. Webster to 
another carrier that provides medical oxygen service in that market. 
The passenger should be aware, however, that providing medical 
oxygen involves coordination with the passenger's physician to 
determine the flow rate and the amount of oxygen needed and 
arranging for the delivery of the oxygen by the carrier to the point 
of origin of the passenger's trip. Therefore, normally, it is not 
possible to accommodate a passenger who needs medical oxygen on a 
flight unless the advance notice is provided because the 
accommodation cannot be made without delaying the flight. If the 
customer cannot be accommodated, you should provide the customer 
with a written statement stating the specific basis for the refusal 
to provide transportation within 10 calendar days of the refusal in 
accordance with section 382.19(d).

If the Aircraft Is Substituted or Changed to Another Carrier, Make an 
Effort To Accommodate
    Even if a passenger with a disability provides advance notice, 
sometimes weather or mechanical problems require cancellation of the 
flight or the substitution of another aircraft. Under these 
circumstances, you must, to the maximum extent feasible, assist in 
providing the accommodation originally requested by the passenger with 
a disability even if the new flight is on another carrier. (Sec.  
382.27(f)).

B. Information About the Aircraft

    You should be able to provide information about aircraft 
accessibility to passengers with a disability when they or persons on 
their behalf request this information. When feasible, you should 
provide information pertaining to a specific aircraft to be used for a 
specific flight. In general, you must take into account safety and 
feasibility when seating passengers with disabilities. (Sec.  382.41 
and Subpart F--Seating Accommodations).
If Requested, You Should Be Able To Provide Information on the 
Following
     Any limitations concerning the ability of the aircraft to 
accommodate an individual with a disability. This includes limitations 
on the availability of level-entry boarding to the aircraft at any 
airport involved in the flight;
     The location of seats in a row with a movable aisle 
armrest, if any, by row and seat number and any seats which the carrier 
may not make available to individuals with a disability (for example, 
exit rows);
     Any limitation on the availability of storage facilities 
in the cabin or in the cargo compartment for mobility aids or other 
assistive devices commonly used by an individual with a disability, 
including storage in the cabin of a passenger's wheelchair;
     Whether the aircraft has a lavatory accessible to 
passengers with a disability; and
     The type of services available and unavailable to 
passengers with a disability. (Sec.  382.41).
You Are Required To Provide the Following Information
    For a passenger with a disability who communicates that he or she 
uses a wheelchair for boarding, you must provide information on any 
aircraft-related, service-related, or other accommodation limitation 
such as a limitation on the availability of level-entry boarding to the 
aircraft at any airport involved in the flight. The passenger does not 
have to request this information explicitly. (Sec.  382.41(c)).
Accuracy of Information
    When an agent acting on your behalf provides inaccurate information 
to a passenger with a disability concerning a disability-related 
accommodation, you, the carrier, are responsible for any resulting 
information-related violation of Part 382.
    In addition, if you agree to provide a service not specifically 
required under Part 382 to accommodate a particular passenger's 
disability, you are obligated to provide that service or risk being in 
violation of Sec.  382.41. For example, if you inform a passenger that 
you will not serve peanuts on the passenger's flights to accommodate 
his or her peanut allergy then you must ensure peanuts are not served 
on those flights or be in violation of Sec.  382.41.
Passenger-Supplied Electronic Respiratory Assistive Devices
    U.S. carriers (except for on-demand air taxi operators).
    You must permit passengers with a disability travelling on aircraft 
originally designed to have a maximum passenger seating capacity of 
more than 19 seats to use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) 
machine, respirator, ventilator, or an FAA-approved POC in the aircraft 
cabin if the device--
    (1) Meets FAA or applicable foreign government requirements and 
displays a manufacturer's label indicating that the device meets those 
requirements; and
    (2) Can be stowed and used in the aircraft cabin under applicable 
FAA, PHMSA, and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) 
regulations. (Sec.  382.133(a)).
    When during the reservation process a passenger with a disability 
asks you about bringing his or her electronic respiratory assistive 
device onboard the aircraft, you must tell the passenger about the 
requirements for carrying the device onboard the aircraft 
specifically--
    (1) Labeling (see Note on labeling in Section A),
    (2) Maximum weight and dimension limitations,
    (3) Bringing an adequate number of fully charged batteries 
(packaged and protected from short circuit and physical damage),
    (4) Any advance notice and check-in requirements (See Section A),
    (5) Medical certificate requirements (POCs), and
    (6) The maximum expected duration of the flight. (Sec.  
382.133(c)(1) through (c)(6) and (f)(1)).
    You may insist that passengers bring an adequate number of fully 
charged batteries onboard to power the device for not less than 150 
percent of the expected maximum flight duration. (Sec.  382.133(f)(2)). 
If the passenger does not comply with the conditions for acceptance of 
a medical portable electronic device outlined in the regulation, you 
may deny the passenger boarding. (Sec.  382.133(f)(3)) If you deny the 
passenger boarding, you must provide the passenger with a written 
explanation within 10 calendar days of the refusal of transport as 
required under Sec.  382.19(d).
Foreign Carriers (Except for Foreign Carriers Conducting Operations 
Equivalent to U.S. On-Demand Air Taxi Operators)
    You must permit passengers with a disability traveling on aircraft 
originally designed to have a maximum passenger seating capacity of 
more than 19 seats to use a CPAP machine, respirator, ventilator, or a 
POC of a kind equivalent to an FAA-approved POC for U.S. carriers in 
the aircraft cabin during flights to, from, or within the United States 
if the device--
    (1) Meets requirements for medical portable electronic devices set 
by the foreign carrier's government and displays a manufacturer's label 
indicating that the device meets those requirements or, if there is no 
applicable foreign government provision, the device meets requirements 
for medical portable electronic devices set by the FAA for U.S. 
carriers and displays a manufacturer's label that the device meets FAA 
requirements and
    (2) Can be stowed and used in the aircraft cabin under applicable 
FAA, PHMSA, and TSA regulations, and the

[[Page 39813]]

safety or security regulations of the foreign carrier's government. 
(Sec.  382.133(b)).
    When during the reservation process a passenger with a disability 
asks you about bringing his or her CPAP machine, respirator, 
ventilator, or a POC of a kind equivalent to an FAA-approved POC for 
U.S. carriers onboard the aircraft, you must tell the passenger about 
the foreign carrier's government requirements or FAA requirements, if 
applicable, for carrying the device onboard the aircraft specifically--
    (1) Labeling (see Note on labeling in Section A),
    (2) Maximum weight and dimension limitations,
    (3) Bringing an adequate number of fully charged batteries 
(packaged in accordance with applicable government safety regulations),
    (4) Any advance notice and check-in requirements (See Section A),
    (5) Medical certificate requirements (POCs), and
    (6) The maximum expected duration of the flight. (Sec.  
382.133(d)(1) through (d)(7) and (f)(1)).
    You may insist that passengers bring an adequate number of fully 
charged batteries onboard to power the device for not less than 150 
percent of the expected maximum flight duration. (Sec.  382.133(f)(2)). 
If the passenger does not comply with the conditions for acceptance of 
a medical portable electronic device outlined in the regulation, you 
may deny the passenger boarding. (Sec.  382.133(f)(3)). If you deny the 
passenger boarding, you must provide the passenger with a written 
explanation within 10 calendar days of the refusal of transport as 
required under Sec.  382.19(d).
Medical Certificate Requirements
    While you may require a medical certificate from an individual who 
wishes to use a POC or carrier supplied oxygen during flight, it 
normally would not be appropriate for you to ask for such a certificate 
from someone wishing to use a CPAP machine, respirator, or ventilator 
aboard a flight. Consistent with Sec.  382.23, a medical certificate 
should be required of an individual who uses a CPAP machine, 
respirator, or ventilator only if the individual's medical condition is 
such that there is reasonable doubt that the individual can complete 
the flight safely, without requiring extraordinary medical assistance 
during the flight. See Section G., Medical Certificates.
Batteries
    The appropriate number of batteries should be calculated using the 
manufacturer's estimate of the hours of battery life while the device 
is in use and as specified in the passenger's medical certificate (for 
example, flow rate for POCs). The expected maximum flight duration is 
defined as the carrier's best estimate of the total duration of the 
flight from departure gate to arrival gate, including taxi time to and 
from the terminals, based on the scheduled flight time and factors such 
as wind and other weather conditions forecast; anticipated air traffic 
delays; one instrument approach and possible missed approach at the 
destination airport; and any other conditions that may delay arrival of 
the aircraft at the destination. (Sec. Sec.  382.3 and 382.133(f)).
    You may deny boarding, on the basis of safety, to a passenger with 
a disability who does not carry the number of fully charged batteries 
prescribed in the rule or to a passenger with a disability who does not 
properly package the extra batteries needed to power his/her device. 
Information for passengers on how to travel safely with batteries is 
available at http://safetravel.dot.gov. However, you may not deny 
boarding due to an inadequate number of batteries unless you can 
provide information from a reliable source demonstrating that the 
number of batteries that the passenger has supplied will not provide 
adequate power for 150 percent of the expected maximum flight duration 
based on the battery life indicated in the manufacturer's specification 
when the device is operating at the flow rate specified in the medical 
certificate. In instances where you deny boarding to an individual, you 
must provide the individual a written statement of the reason for the 
refusal to provide transportation within 10 days of the incident. 
(Sec.  382.133(f)(3)).

    Note: The requirement to bring an adequate number of batteries 
to operate the device continuously for up to 150 percent of the 
expected maximum flight duration does not apply in circumstances 
where the passenger will be using an FAA-approved POC while boarding 
or deplaning from the aircraft but will be using a carrier-supplied 
POC or carrier-supplied oxygen during the flight itself.

Codeshare Flights
    As the carrier whose code is used on a flight itinerary, you must 
either inform the passenger with a disability who inquires about using 
an electronic respiratory device (CPAP, POC, respirator, or ventilator) 
onboard the aircraft to--
    (1) Contact the carrier operating the flight for information about 
its requirements for use of electronic respiratory devices onboard the 
aircraft or
    (2) Provide information on the use of electronic respiratory 
devices on behalf of the codeshare carrier operating the flight. (Sec.  
382.133(e)).

    Example: A passenger buys a codeshare ticket from carrier A for 
a connecting itinerary from New York to Cairo through London, where 
carrier A operates the New York to London flight segment and carrier 
B operates the London to Cairo flight segment under carrier A's 
designator code. Carrier A must upon inquiry from the passenger 
inform the passenger about--
    (1) Carrier A's requirements for the use in the cabin of a CPAP 
machine, POC, respirator, or ventilator and
    (2) Carrier B's requirements for the use in the cabin of a CPAP 
machine, POC, respirator, or ventilator, or tell the passenger to 
contact carrier B directly to obtain this information.

C. Mobility Aids and Assistive Devices

    If, in assisting a passenger with a disability, a carrier employee 
or contractor disassembles the passenger's wheelchair, mobility aid, or 
other assistive device, another carrier employee or contractor must 
reassemble it and ensure its prompt return to the passenger with a 
disability in the same condition in which the carrier received it. 
(Sec.  382.129(b)). You must permit passengers with a disability to 
provide written instructions concerning the disassembly and reassembly 
of their wheelchairs, other mobility aids, and other assistive devices. 
You must carry out these instructions to the greatest extent feasible 
consistent with FAA, PHMSA, TSA, or foreign government requirements 
concerning safety, hazardous materials, and security with respect to 
the stowage of carry-on items. (Sec.  382.129(a)). You cannot require 
passengers with disabilities to sign a waiver of liability for damage 
to or loss of wheelchairs or other assistive devices. However, you may 
note preexisting damage to wheelchairs or other assistive devices. 
(Sec.  382.35(b)).

D. Service Animals \9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ Guidance Concerning Service Animals at http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/rules/20030509.pdf. This document describes 
how the DOT understands Sec.  382.117 and provides suggestions and 
recommendations on how carriers can best accommodate service animals 
and their users.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A service animal is an--
    (1) Animal individually trained to perform functions to assist a 
person with a disability;
    (2) Animal that has been shown to have the innate ability to assist 
a person

[[Page 39814]]

with a disability, for example, a seizure alert animal; or
    (3) Emotional support or psychiatric service animal.
    You should be aware that there are many different types of service 
animals that perform a range of tasks for individuals with a 
disability. However, as a foreign carrier you are only required to 
accommodate dogs as service animals except on codesharing flights with 
U.S. carriers. For more information regarding service animals on such 
flights, see the Note under the heading Unusual Service Animals in this 
section.
Service Animal Permitted To Accompany Passenger on Flight and at Seat 
Assignment
    You must permit a service animal used by a passenger with a 
disability to accompany the passenger on his or her flight. (Sec.  
382.117(a)). In addition, you must permit a service animal to accompany 
a passenger with a disability to the passenger's assigned seat and 
remain there if the animal does not obstruct the aisle or other areas 
that must remain unobstructed to facilitate an emergency evacuation. 
(Sec.  382.117(b)). The service animal must be allowed to accompany the 
passenger unless it poses a direct threat to the health or safety of 
others or presents a significant threat of disruption to the cabin 
service.
    If a service animal does not fit in the space immediately in front 
of the accompanying passenger with a disability and there is no other 
seat with sufficient space to safely accommodate the animal and the 
accompanying passenger, there are several options to consider for 
accommodating the service animal in the cabin in the same class of 
service. You should speak with other passengers to find a passenger--
    (1) Seated in an adjacent seat who is willing to share foot space 
with the animal, or
    (2) Who is willing to exchange seats with the passenger 
accompanying the service animal and is seated in a seat adjacent to--
    (a) A location where the service animal can be accommodated (for 
example, in the space behind the last row of seats) or
    (b) An empty seat.
    You must not deny a passenger with a disability transportation on 
the basis that the service animal may offend or annoy persons traveling 
on the aircraft. (Sec.  382.117(a)(1)). See also Guidance Concerning 
Service Animals at http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/rules/20030509.pdf. 
The FAA issued a Flight Standards Information Bulletin for Air 
Transportation (FSAT) that deals with the ``Location and Placement of 
Service Animals on Aircraft Engaged in Public Air Transportation.'' 
That FSAT can be found in Appendix IV.
If Service Animal Cannot Be Accommodated at Assigned Seat
    If a service animal cannot be accommodated at the seat of the 
passenger with a disability and if there is another seat in the same 
class of service where the passenger and the animal can be 
accommodated, you must offer the passenger the opportunity to move to 
the other seat with the service animal. (Sec.  382.117(c)).
Verification of Service Animals
    Under particular circumstances (see Example 1 below), you may wish 
to verify whether an animal accompanying a passenger with a disability 
qualifies as a service animal under Part 382. Other than service 
animals used as emotional support or psychiatric service animals, you 
must accept the following as evidence that the animal is a service 
animal:
     The credible verbal assurances of a qualified individual 
with a disability using the animal,
     The presence of harnesses,
     Tags, or
     Identification cards or other written documentation. 
(Sec.  382.117(d)).

    Note: Passengers accompanied by service animals may not have 
identification or written documentation regarding their service 
animals. Some service animals wear harnesses, vests, capes, or 
backpacks. Markings on these items or on the animal's tags may 
identify it as a service animal, however, the absence of such 
equipment does not necessarily mean the animal is not a service 
animal. Similarly, the presence of a harness or vest on a pet for 
which the passenger cannot provide a credible verbal assurance may 
not be sufficient evidence that the animal is a legitimate service 
animal. See also Appendix III of this manual titled DOT Guidance 
Concerning Service Animals in Air Transportation.

Required Documentation
    If a flight is scheduled for 8 hours or more, you may require 
documentation that the service animal will not need to relieve itself 
on the flight or can do so in a way that will not create a health or 
sanitation issue on the flight. (Sec.  382.117(a)(2)).
    Carriers also may require that passengers traveling with emotional 
support or psychiatric service animals present current documentation 
(that is, no older than 1 year from the date of the passenger's 
scheduled initial flight)\10\ on the letterhead of a licensed mental 
health professional, including a medical doctor, specifically treating 
the passenger's mental or emotional disability stating--
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ Your carrier may, at its discretion, accept from the 
passenger with a disability documentation from his or her licensed 
mental health professional that is more than 1 year old. The DOT 
encourages carriers to consider accepting ``outdated'' documentation 
in situations where such passenger provides a letter or notice of 
cancellation or other written communication indicating the 
termination of health insurance coverage, and his/her inability to 
afford treatment for his or her mental or emotional disability.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     The passenger has a recognized mental or emotional 
disability;\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ Referenced in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of 
Mental Disorders--Fourth Edition (DSM IV).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     The passenger needs the service animal as an accommodation 
for air travel and/or activity at the passenger's destination;
     The provider of the letter is a licensed mental health 
professional, or a licensed medical professional treating the 
individual for the recognized mental or emotional disability, and the 
passenger is under the individual's professional care; and
     The date and type of mental health professional's license 
and the state or other jurisdiction in which the license was issued. 
(Sec.  382.117(e)(1) through (e)(4)).
    Even if you receive sufficient verification that an animal 
accompanying a passenger is a service animal, if the service animal's 
behavior in a public setting is inappropriate or disruptive to other 
passengers or carrier personnel, you may refuse to permit the animal on 
the flight and offer the passenger alternative accommodations in 
accordance with Part 382 and your carrier's policy (for example, carry 
the animal in the cargo compartment). Note that carriers are required 
to carry service animals even if the animal may offend or annoy carrier 
personnel or persons traveling on the aircraft. Pursuant to section 
382.117(g), if you refuse to accept an animal as a service animal, you 
must explain the reason for your decision to the passenger and document 
it in writing. A copy of the explanation must be provided to the 
passenger within 10 calendar days of the incident.

    Example 1: A passenger arrives at the gate accompanied by a pot-
bellied pig. She claims that the pot-bellied pig is her service 
animal. What should you do?
    Generally, you must permit a passenger with a disability to be 
accompanied by a service animal. However if you have a reasonable 
basis for questioning whether the animal is a service animal, you 
may ask for some verification. Usually written verification is not 
required.
    You may begin by asking questions about the service animal, for 
example, ``What tasks or functions does your animal perform for

[[Page 39815]]

you?'' or ``What has its training been?'' If you are not satisfied 
with the credibility of the answers to these questions or if the 
service animal is an emotional support or psychiatric service 
animal, you may request further verification. You should also call a 
CRO if there is any further doubt as to whether the pot-bellied pig 
is the passenger's service animal.
    Finally, if you determine that the pot-bellied pig is a service 
animal, you must permit the service animal to accompany the 
passenger to her seat provided the animal does not obstruct the 
aisle or present any safety issues and the animal is behaving 
appropriately in a public setting. However, note that as a foreign 
carrier, you are not required to carry service animals other than 
dogs (except as noted in Sec.  382.7(c) for codeshare flights with a 
U.S carrier.).
    Example 2: A passenger with a hearing impairment is planning to 
board the plane with his service animal. The service animal is a 
hearing-assistance dog and is small enough to sit on the passenger's 
lap. While waiting to board the flight, the hearing-assistance dog 
jumps off the passenger's lap and begins barking and nipping at 
other passengers in the waiting area. What should you do?
    Although you have initially made the determination that the 
hearing-assistance dog is a service animal and may accompany the 
passenger with the hearing impairment on the flight, you may 
reconsider the decision if the dog is behaving in a manner that 
seems disruptive and infringes on the safety of other passengers. 
You should carefully observe the hearing-assistance dog's behavior 
and explain it in detail to a CRO (if the CRO is on the telephone). 
If, after careful consideration of all the facts presented, the CRO 
decides not to treat the dog as a service animal, you should explain 
your carrier's policy regarding traveling with animals that are not 
being allowed in the passenger cabin as service animals. As 
discussed later, you also must document your decision in writing and 
provide the passenger with a copy of your explanation at the airport 
or within 10 calendar days. (Sec.  382.117(g)).

Requests for Seat Assignments by a Passenger Accompanied by a Service 
Animal
    For a passenger with a disability traveling with a service animal, 
you must provide, as the passenger requests, either a bulkhead seat or 
a seat other than a bulkhead seat. (Sec.  382.81(c)). Note that on some 
aircraft the bulkhead seat is also the emergency exit row. If this is 
the case, the passenger cannot sit in the bulkhead seat with the 
service animal.
Relief Areas for Service Animals
    With respect to terminal facilities you own, lease, or control at a 
U.S. airport, you must, in cooperation with the airport operator, 
provide relief areas for service animals that accompany passengers with 
a disability who are departing, arriving, or connecting at an airport 
on your flights.
    When establishing relief areas you should consider the size and 
surface material of the area, maintenance, and distance to relief area, 
which could vary, based on the size and configuration of the airport. 
In planning the relief area, it is critical to involve airline, 
airport, service animal training organization, TSA, and U.S. Customs 
and Border Protection.
    In addition, you should advise passengers who request you provide 
them with assistance to an animal relief area, the location of the 
animal relief area. Additionally, if requested, it would be your 
responsibility to accompany a passenger traveling with a service animal 
to and from the animal relief area.
    The DOT requirement to provide animal relief areas was effective on 
May 13, 2009, for U.S. carriers and May 13, 2010, for foreign carriers. 
See Chapter 4, Section A, Animal Relief Areas, for additional guidance 
on establishing and maintaining relief areas for service animals. 
(Sec.  382.51(a)(5)).
Unusual Service Animals
    As a U.S. carrier, you are not required to carry certain unusual 
service animals in the aircraft cabin such as ferrets, rodents, 
spiders, snakes and other reptiles. Other commonly used service 
animals, such as miniature horses and monkeys, can travel as service 
animals on U.S. carriers. However, the carrier can decide to exclude a 
particular animal on a case-by-case basis if it--
     Is too large or heavy to be accommodated in the aircraft 
cabin;
     Would pose a direct threat to the health and safety of 
others;
     Would cause a significant disruption in cabin service; or
     Would be prohibited from entering a foreign country at the 
aircraft's destination.
    For U.S. carriers, if none of the factors listed directly above 
preclude a service animal from traveling in the aircraft cabin, you 
must permit it to travel onboard the aircraft.

    Note: As a foreign carrier, you are normally only required to 
accommodate dogs as service animals. However, if you are a foreign 
carrier that participates in a codesharing arrangement with a U.S. 
carrier on flights between two foreign points, the service 
provisions of Subparts A through C, F through H, and K with respect 
to passengers traveling under the U.S. carriers code would be in 
effect on the codeshare flight. Therefore, in such instances as a 
foreign carrier you would have to accommodate service animals other 
than dogs.

Exceptions to Requirement for Foreign Carriers To Accommodate Unusual 
Service Animals
    A U.S. carrier advises the passenger that the foreign carrier does 
not accept service animals other than dogs and then assists the 
passenger in making alternate flight arrangements using alternate 
carriers and/or alternate routings.
    Alternatively, the U.S. carrier could market and sell the flight 
segment between two foreign points as an interline connection \12\ as 
opposed to a code-share flight, and fully disclose to the passenger 
that the foreign carrier will likely not provide the same service that 
is to accept service animals other than dogs as is required of a U.S. 
carrier.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ Interline connection means change of aircraft and airlines.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nonacceptance of a Service Animal
    If you decide not to accept an animal as a service animal, you must 
explain the reason to the passenger and document your decision in 
writing. A copy of the explanation must be provided to the passenger at 
the airport or within 10 calendar days of the event. (Sec.  
382.117(g)).
Destinations Outside the United States
    You must promptly take all steps necessary to comply with foreign 
regulations such as animal health regulations, to permit the 
transportation of a passenger's service animal from the United States 
to a foreign destination. (Sec.  382.117(h)). See Appendix IV for DOT 
Guidance on transportation of service animals into the United Kingdom 
and into countries other than the United Kingdom. (Sec.  382.117(i)). 
This guidance also can be found on the DOT's Aviation Consumer 
Protection Division Web site at http://airconsumer.dot.gov.

E. Accommodations for Air Travelers With Hearing Impairments

    If, as a carrier, you provide a telephone reservation and 
information service to the public, you must make this service available 
to individuals who use a text telephone (TTY), whether through your own 
TTY, voice relay, or other available technology to permit individuals 
with hearing impairments to make reservations and obtain information. 
You no longer are required to have a TTY; only your reservation service 
must be available to those who use a TTY. The TTY, voice relay, or 
other available technology must be available during the same hours as 
the telephone service for the general public and the same response time 
for answering calls and the same surcharges

[[Page 39816]]

must apply to the TTY, voice relay, or other available technology as 
the telephone service for the general public (non-TTY users). You must 
also list your TTY number if you have one when in any medium in which 
you list the telephone number of your information and reservation 
service. If you do not have a TTY number, you must state how TTY users 
can reach your information and reservation service such as via voice 
relay or other technology. (Sec.  382.43(a)(1) through (4)).
Foreign Carriers
    As a foreign carrier, information and reservation services must be 
accessible to individuals with hearing impairments for flights covered 
by this rule by May 13, 2010. (Sec.  382.43(a)(5)).
Exceptions to TTY Requirements
    You do not have to meet the TTY, voice relay, or other available 
technology requirements in any country in which the telecommunications 
infrastructure does not readily permit compliance. (Sec.  382.43(b)).

F. Communicable Diseases

Passengers With a Communicable Disease or Other Medical Condition Are 
Permitted on a Flight
    Except as described below in this section, you must not-- (1) 
Refuse transportation to; (2) require a medical certificate from; (3) 
delay the passenger's transportation (for example, require the 
passenger to take a later flight); or (4) impose any condition, 
restriction, or requirement not imposed on other passengers on a 
passenger with a communicable disease or infection. (Sec.  382.21)
If Direct Threat to Health or Safety of Others, Limitations May Be 
Imposed
    Only if a passenger with a communicable disease or infection poses 
a direct threat to the health or safety of others, can you take any of 
the actions listed below. (Sec.  382.21(a)). A direct threat means a 
significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be 
eliminated by modifying policies, practices, or procedures, or by 
providing auxiliary aids or services. (Sec.  382.3) .
    To be a direct threat--
    A condition must be (1) readily transmittable by casual contact 
during a flight; and (2) have severe health consequences.
Direct Threat Determination
    If you are faced with particular circumstances where you are 
required to make a determination as to whether a passenger with a 
communicable disease or infection poses a direct threat to the health 
or safety of others, you must make an individualized assessment based 
on a reasonable judgment, relying on current medical knowledge or the 
best available objective evidence, to determine--
    (1) The nature, duration, and severity of the risk;
    (2) The probability that the potential harm to the health and 
safety of others will actually occur; and
    (3) Whether reasonably modifying policies, practices, or procedures 
will mitigate the risk. (Sec. Sec.  382.19(c)(1)(i-iii) and 
382.21(b)(1)(2)).
    In making this assessment, you may rely on directives issued by 
public health authorities such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control 
or Public Health Service, comparable agencies in other countries, and 
the World Health Organization. You must consider the significance of 
the consequences of a communicable disease and the degree to which it 
can be readily transmitted by casual contact in an aircraft cabin. 
(Sec.  382.21(b)(1)).
    You should also confer with appropriate medical personnel and a CRO 
when making this assessment. The following table presents examples of 
communicable diseases and the degree to which they can be readily 
transmitted in an aircraft cabin, whether they involve severe health 
consequences and whether they pose a ``direct threat'' to other 
passengers:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Readily transmissible in       Severe health
        Communicable disease             the aircraft cabin           consequences            Direct threat
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Common Cold.........................  Yes.....................  No.....................  No.
AIDS................................  No......................  Yes....................  No.
SARS................................  Yes.....................  Yes....................  Yes.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(Sec.  382.21(b)(2)).
If the Passenger Poses a Direct Threat to the Health and Safety of 
Others
    If, in your estimation, a passenger with a communicable disease or 
infection poses a direct threat to the health or safety of other 
passengers, you may--
    (1) Impose on that passenger a special condition or restriction 
(for example, wearing a mask);
    (2) Require that person to provide a medical certificate stating 
that the disease at its current stage would not be transmittable during 
the normal course of a flight or, if applicable, describing measures 
that would prevent transmission during the flight (Sec.  382.21(c));
    (3) Delay the passenger's transportation (for example, require the 
passenger to take a later flight); or
    (4) Refuse to provide transportation to that person.
    You must choose the least restrictive of the four options described 
above that would accomplish the objective. (Sec.  382.19(c)(2)).
    Medical Certificate Requirements--Direct Threat Determined
    See Section G, Medical Certificates, Medical Certificate and a 
Passenger with a Communicable Disease or Infection.
Postponed Travel
    If you deem a passenger as presenting a direct threat and determine 
he or she cannot travel as scheduled, you must allow the passenger to 
travel at a time up to 90 days from the date of the postponed travel at 
the same price or, at the passenger's discretion, provide a refund for 
any unused flights, including return flights. You may not apply 
cancellation or rebooking fees or penalties to this situation or 
subject the passenger to any fare increases that may occur in the 
meantime. In addition, you may not apply cancellation or rebooking fees 
or penalties to any increase in that passenger's fare because a seat 
was unavailable in the fare class on his or her original ticket. (Sec.  
382.21(d)). If you restrict a passenger's travel on the basis that the 
passenger has a communicable disease or other medical condition, you 
must, on the passenger's request, provide a written explanation within 
10 days of the passenger's request. (Sec.  382.21(e)).

    Example: A passenger purchases a one-way economy/coach class 
ticket for a flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo on March 15 for $750. 
When the passenger arrives at the airport it is determined he has 
contracted Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The carrier 
determines that because SARS is both able to be readily transmitted 
by casual contact during a flight and has severe health consequences 
the passenger presents a direct threat. Accordingly, the carrier 
forces the passenger to postpone his travel. On April 15, the 
passenger is completely healthy and

[[Page 39817]]

free of SARS and wishes to rebook a ticket from Los Angeles to 
Tokyo. Even though the current price of an economy/coach class 
ticket from Los Angeles to Tokyo is $900 on April 15, the carrier 
may not charge this passenger more than $750 for the economy/coach 
class ticket. Additionally, if there are no economy/coach class 
seats available when the passenger wants to travel and the passenger 
chooses to purchase a business or first class ticket to be on that 
particular flight, the carrier may not apply cancellation or 
rebooking fees or penalties to any increase in that passenger's fare 
because no seats were available for purchase at the economy/coach 
class fare. However, you may charge the passenger the difference 
between the price of the $750 economy/coach class ticket and the 
price of a business class seat or a first class seat.
    At all times, as a matter of good customer service, you should 
treat the passenger with courtesy and respect.

G. Medical Certificates

Medical Certificates for Passengers With a Disability (Other Than 
Passengers With a Communicable Disease)
    A medical certificate is a written statement from the passenger's 
physician saying that the passenger is capable of completing the flight 
safely without requiring extraordinary medical assistance during the 
flight. Except under the circumstances described below, you must not 
require medical certification of a passenger with a disability as a 
condition for providing transportation. (Sec.  382.23(a) and (b)(2)).
    You may require a medical certificate only if the passenger with a 
disability:
     Is traveling on a stretcher or in an incubator (where such 
service is offered);
     Will be using a passenger-supplied POC in-flight or needs 
carrier-supplied medical oxygen (where such service is offered);
     Has a medical condition that causes the carrier to have 
reasonable doubt that the passenger can complete the flight safely 
without requiring extraordinary medical assistance during the flight. 
(Sec.  382.23(b)); or
     Has a communicable disease that poses a direct threat to 
the health and safety of others on the flight. (Sec.  382.23(c)).
    To be valid, the required medical certificate must be dated within 
10 days of the scheduled date of the passenger's initial departing 
flight. (Sec.  382.23(b)(3)).


    Note: The DOT's intent regarding the medical certificate 
provision was to allow carriers to impose the 10-day time limit to 
medical certificates only for passengers with communicable diseases, 
not to other individuals such as passengers who need supplemental 
oxygen (for example, to assist those individuals with asthma or 
emphysema.) The DOT encourages carriers not to require the 
documentation to be dated within 10 days of the scheduled date of 
the passenger's flight for passengers who wish to use an FAA-
approved POC as supplemental oxygen.


    Example: A passenger schedules a flight from New York to London 
on January 15 with a return flight on April 15 and would like to use 
a POC onboard the aircraft. The carrier could require the passenger 
to show a medical certificate dated January 5 or later. For the 
passenger's return flight on April 15, the passenger would not have 
to show a second medical certificate dated April 5 or later.

Significant Adverse Change in Medical Condition
    You may subject a passenger with a medical certificate to 
additional medical review if you believe that--
    (1) There has been a significant adverse change in the passenger's 
medical condition since the issuance of the medical certificate or
    (2) The certificate significantly understates the passenger's risk 
to the health or safety of others on the flight.
    If this additional medical review shows that the passenger is 
unlikely to complete the flight without extraordinary medical 
assistance you may, notwithstanding the medical certificate, deny or 
restrict the passenger's transportation. (Sec.  382.23(d)).


    Note:  If you deny or restrict a passenger's travel, you must 
provide a written explanation upon the passenger's request within 10 
days of the request explaining why you considered the restriction 
necessary. (Sec.  382.21(e)).

Medical Certificate and a Passenger With a Communicable Disease or 
Infection
    If you determine that a passenger with a communicable disease or 
infection poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others on 
the flight, you may require a medical certificate from the passenger. 
(Sec.  382.23(c)(1)) The medical certificate is a written statement 
from the passenger's physician stating that the disease or infection 
would not under current conditions be communicable to other persons 
during the normal course of the flight and must include any conditions 
or precautions that would have to be observed to prevent the 
transmission of the disease or infection during the normal course of 
the flight. The medical certificate must be dated within 10 days of the 
flight date, not within 10 days of the initial flight. (Sec.  
382.23(c)(2)).
    In the event that you determine the need for a medical certificate 
for a passenger with a communicable disease or infection, you should 
provide the passenger with the disability the reason for the request. 
You should base your request on the reasons provided in Part 382 and 
outlined above.
    At all times, you should treat the passenger from whom you are 
requesting a medical certificate with courtesy and respect.

    Example: A passenger arrives at the gate with her 6-year-old 
daughter. The girl's face and arms are covered with red lesions, 
resembling chicken pox. What should you do?
    Generally, you must not refuse travel to, require a medical 
certificate from, or impose special conditions on a passenger with a 
communicable disease or infection. However, if a passenger appears 
to have a communicable disease or infection that poses a direct 
threat to the health or safety of other passengers, you may be 
required to make a determination about the best course of action 
based on the seriousness of the health risk and the ease of disease 
transmittal. As previously discussed, for a communicable disease or 
infection to pose a direct threat, the condition must both be 
readily transmitted under conditions of flight and have serious 
health consequences. An example of such a communicable disease is 
SARs. Medical conditions that do not pose a direct threat to the 
health or safety of passengers (1) are easily transmitted in 
aircraft cabins but have limited health consequences such as the 
common cold or (2) are difficult to transmit in aircraft cabins but 
have serious health consequences such as acquired immune deficiency 
syndrome (AIDS).
    The first thing you should do is interview the passenger and her 
mother to obtain basic information about the girl's condition. This 
exchange should be done discreetly and in a courteous and respectful 
manner. If you still have a question about the nature of the child's 
condition that will affect decisions about transportation, you 
should contact a CRO and explain the situation.
    Here, the mother tells you and the CRO that the child has 
chicken pox but is no longer contagious. The CRO would likely 
consult with appropriate medical personnel to verify whether the 
child could be contagious based on the mother's statement and the 
CRO's observations and confirm that contagious chicken pox would 
pose a direct threat to passengers.
    If there is a reasonable basis for believing that the passenger 
poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, you must 
choose the least restrictive alternative among the following 
options:
    (1) Refusing transportation to the individual;
    (2) Delaying the passenger's transportation (for example, 
requiring the individual to take a later flight);
    (3) Requiring a medical certificate; or
    (4) Imposing a special condition or limitation on the 
individual.
    If the medical support people indicate there is a chance that 
the child is no longer contagious but only if a certain number of 
days have passed since the outbreak of the

[[Page 39818]]

lesions, you could request a medical certificate before you permit 
the child to travel.
    Having discussed the situation with the passenger and her mother 
and consulted the CRO and the medical support personnel, the request 
for a medical certificate appears to be reasonable under the 
circumstances and the least restrictive of the four options.
    As a reminder, Sec.  382.23(c)(2) specifies that the medical 
certificate be from the child's physician and state that the child's 
chicken pox would not be communicable to other passengers during the 
normal course of a flight. The medical certificate must also include 
any conditions or precautions that would have to be observed to 
prevent the transmission of the chicken pox to other passengers 
during the normal course of a flight and be dated within 10 days of 
the date of the flight. If the medical certificate is incomplete, 
you cannot carry out the prescribed measures on the medical 
certificate. If you cannot carry out the prescribed measures on the 
medical certificate or if the passenger is attempting to travel 
before the date specified in the medical certificate or without 
implementing the conditions outlined to prevent transmission, the 
child would not be permitted to fly.

    Note: If you restrict a passenger's travel, you must provide a 
written explanation upon the passenger's request within 10 days of 
the request explaining why you considered the restriction necessary. 
(Sec.  382.21(e)).

Significant Adverse Change in Medical Condition
    You may subject a passenger with a medical certificate to 
additional medical review if you believe that--
    (1) There has been a significant adverse change in the passenger's 
medical condition since the issuance of the medical certificate or
    (2) The certificate significantly understates the passenger's risk 
to the health or safety of others on the flight.
    If this additional medical review shows that the passenger is 
unlikely to complete the flight without extraordinary medical 
assistance or would pose a direct threat to other passengers, you may, 
notwithstanding the medical certificate, deny or restrict the 
passenger's transportation. (Sec.  382.23(d)).

H. Your Obligation To Provide Services and Equipment

Moving Through the Terminal Assistance
Terminal Entrance to Gate and Gate to Terminal Entrance
    As a carrier, you must provide, or ensure the provision of, 
assistance to a passenger with a disability in moving from the terminal 
entrance through the airport to the gate for a departing flight or from 
the gate to the terminal entrance if the passenger or someone on behalf 
of the passenger requests such assistance or you offer and the 
passenger with a disability accepts the assistance. This obligation 
extends to a vehicle drop-off or pick-up point adjacent to the terminal 
entrance and key functional areas of the terminal such as ticket 
counters and baggage claim. This does not include satellite parking or 
car rental drop-off areas that are not adjacent to the terminal 
entrance.
Rest Room Stops
    While providing assistance to a disabled passenger in going to, 
from and between gates, a carrier must, upon request, make a brief stop 
at the entrance to a rest room, including an accessible rest room when 
requested, if such a stop is available on the route and the stop can be 
made without unreasonable delay. (Sec.  382.91(b), (b)(1), and (b)(2)).
Luggage Assistance
    As a carrier, you also must assist passengers who are unable to 
carry their luggage because of their disability with transporting their 
luggage for check-in at the ticket counter or gate, or as carry-on 
aboard the aircraft. This obligation exists only if the passenger 
requests such assistance and can make credible verbal assurances of his 
or her inability to carry the item because of his or her disability. If 
the passenger's verbal assurances are not credible, you may require the 
passenger to produce documentation as a condition of providing the 
service. (Sec.  382.91(d)).
Animal Relief Area Escort
    At airports located in the United States, you must in cooperation 
with the airport operator, provide for escorting a passenger with a 
service animal to an animal relief area if the passenger requests. 
(Sec.  382.91(c)). See Section D above.
Connecting Assistance
    The arriving carrier (the one that operates the first of the two 
flights that are connecting) is responsible for connecting assistance 
for passengers with a disability moving within the terminal. As an 
employee/contractor of the arriving carrier, on request, you must 
provide assistance to a passenger with a disability in making flight 
connections and providing transportation between gates. The arriving 
carrier may mutually agree with the carrier operating the departing 
connecting flight (the second flight of the two flights) that the 
departing carrier will provide the connecting assistance. However, the 
carrier operating the arriving flight is ultimately responsible for 
ensuring that connecting assistance is provided to the passenger with a 
disability. (Sec.  382.91(a)). This service must be provided regardless 
of whether the passenger has a single ticket showing a connection or 
has two separate tickets for the journey.
Boarding and Deplaning Assistance
    If assistance with boarding or deplaning, making flight 
connections, or transportation between gates is requested by or on 
behalf of a passenger with a disability, or offered by carrier 
personnel and accepted by the passenger, you must provide it.
    More specifically, you must promptly provide, when needed and to 
the extent required by law, the following:
     Services personnel,
     Ground wheelchairs,
     Accessible motorized carts,
     On-board wheelchairs,
     Boarding wheelchairs, and/or
     Ramps or mechanical lifts. (Sec.  382.95(a)).
    At U.S. commercial service airports with 10,000 or more annual 
enplanements, as a carrier, you must provide boarding assistance using 
lifts or ramps where level-entry boarding and deplaning or accessible 
passenger lounges are not otherwise available. (Sec.  382.95(b)). This 
requirement applies to aircraft with a passenger seating capacity of 19 
or more, with limited exceptions (float planes; Fairchild Metro; 
Jetstream 31 and 32; Beech 1900C and 1900D; Embraer EMB-120; and any 
other aircraft model the DOT determines unsuitable for boarding 
assistance by lift, ramp, or other suitable device). (Sec.  382.97).
On-Board Wheelchair Requirements
    Aircraft with more than 60 passenger seats having an accessible 
lavatory must be equipped with an operable on-board wheelchair. The 
Aerospatiale/Aeritalia ATR-72 and the British Aerospace Advanced 
Turboprop (ATP) that have seating configurations between 60 and 70 
passenger seats are exempt from this requirement. (Sec.  382.65(a)).
    On-board wheelchairs must be equipped with--
     Footrests,
     Armrests which are movable or removable,
     Adequate occupant restraint systems,
     A backrest height that permits assistance to passengers in 
transferring,
     Structurally sound handles for maneuvering the occupied 
chair, and
     Wheel locks or another adequate means to prevent chair 
movement during transfer or turbulence. (Sec.  382.65(c)(1)).

[[Page 39819]]

    The on-board wheelchair must be designed to be compatible with the 
maneuvering space, aisle width, and seat height of the aircraft on 
which it is to be used, and to easily be pushed, pulled, and turned in 
the cabin environment by carrier personnel. (Sec.  382.65(c)(2)).
    If the aircraft being used for the flight has more than 60 
passenger seats but does not have an accessible lavatory, you must 
provide an on-board wheelchair upon request for a passenger who can use 
the inaccessible lavatory but cannot reach it from his or her seat 
without the use of an on-board wheelchair. You may require the 
passenger to provide up to 48 hours' advance notice and check in 1 hour 
before the check-in time for the general public when requesting the on-
board wheelchair under these circumstances. (Sec.  382.65(b)) and 
382.27(c)(7)).
Compliance Dates for On-Board Wheelchairs
    Foreign carriers were required to meet the requirements for an on-
board wheelchair by May 13, 2010. U.S. carriers were required to meet 
these requirements by May 13, 2009.
Assembly and Disassembly of Passenger's Wheelchairs
    You must permit a passenger with a disability to provide written 
instructions and should accept oral advice from the passenger 
concerning the disassembly and reassembly of the passenger's 
wheelchair. (Sec.  382.129(a)).
    In addition, consistent with good customer service, you should 
treat the passenger with a disability with courtesy and respect at all 
times by keeping the passenger informed about any problems or delays in 
providing personnel or equipment in connection with an accommodation.

I. Safety Assistants

    Except under limited circumstances, you cannot require a passenger 
with a disability to be accompanied by a safety assistant. (Sec.  
382.29(a)). See Chapter 4, Section E, Safety Assistants, for a 
discussion of the Part 382 requirements for a safety assistant.

Chapter 4: Assisting Air Travelers With Disabilities at the Airport

A. Accessibility of Terminal Facilities and Services
B. Security Screening for Air Travelers With a Disability
C. Air Travelers With a Disability Moving Through the Terminal and 
Changing Airplanes
D. Accommodations for Air Travelers With Vision or Hearing 
Impairments
E. Safety Assistants

A. Accessibility of Terminal Facilities and Services

Airports Located in the United States
Accessibility
    All terminal facilities owned, leased, or controlled by carriers at 
U.S. airports, must be readily accessible to and usable by individuals 
with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs. (Sec.  
382.51(a)(1)). For example, terminals must provide accessible intra- 
and inter-terminal transportation systems, such as moving sidewalks, 
shuttle vehicles, and people movers. (Sec.  382.51(a)(3)).
    As a carrier, you must ensure that there is an accessible route 
(one meeting the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act 
Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG)) between the gate and boarding area 
when an accessible passenger lounge or other level entry boarding and 
deplaning is not available to and from an aircraft. For example, there 
must be an accessible path on the tarmac between the gate and the 
aircraft when level-entry boarding is not available. (Sec.  
382.51(a)(2)).
Animal Relief Areas
    In cooperation with the airport operator and in consultation with 
local service animal training organizations, you must provide animal 
relief areas for service animals that accompany passengers departing, 
connecting, or arriving at an airport on your flights. (Sec.  
382.51(a)(5)).
    The national and international service animal organizations below 
have directories of training organizations on their Web sites that you 
and the airport operator can use to find the nearest service animal 
training organization. Such groups are often able to put airlines and 
airports in touch with sources of the necessary technical expertise on 
establishing relief areas.
     American Dog Trainers Network. Web site address: http://
www.inch.com/~dogs/service.html.
     Assistance Dogs International. Web site address: http://www.assistancedogsinternational.org/membersstatecountry.php.
    If the Department's Aviation Enforcement Office received a 
complaint alleging that an animal relief area was not available or not 
being properly maintained, the carrier involved would ultimately be 
responsible for ensuring these areas are available and maintained, with 
respect to terminal facilities the carrier owns, leases or controls. 
However, the actual establishment of the animal relief area, as well as 
its maintenance, could be handled contractually with the airport 
operator since several carriers could be using the same designated 
animal relief area.
    Relief Area Location. Although not specifically required by Part 
382, you and the airport operator may wish to consider the benefits of 
establishing animal relief areas both inside and outside the secure 
area (for example, to accommodate passengers with short connection 
times, to minimize time needed for escort service or passenger 
convenience). In establishing animal relief areas inside the secure 
area, you and the airport operator should coordinate closely with the 
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Customs and Border 
Protection (CBP) offices serving the airport to ensure that the animal 
relief area can be used consistent with TSA and CBP procedures.
    Establishing a Relief Area. Factors to consider in establishing 
relief areas include the size and surface material of the area, 
maintenance, and distance to the relief area, which could vary based on 
the size and configuration of the airport. The best solution based on 
these factors could vary from airport to airport and therefore 
involvement of all the stakeholder groups in the planning is critical 
(for example, airline, airport, service animal training organization, 
TSA, and CBP).
    Considerations for designating and constructing areas safe for 
humans and animals include:
    (1) Designate relief areas solely for that purpose. This helps keep 
the area free of hazards and distractions, and helps prevent the spread 
of waste contamination.
    (2) Establish relief areas that are:
    (a) Accessible to passengers with all types of disabilities;
    (b) Of a size adequate for larger dogs to use;
    (c) Minimal travel distance to and from the gate for passengers 
making connecting flights; and
    (d) Equipped with adequate lighting to enhance usability and 
security.
    (3) Keep the area clean (for example, free of broken glass, bottle 
caps, and trash). When feasible, the area should also be free of loud 
noises and strong odors.
    (4) Use a gravel or sand surface for relief areas. Gravel can be 
disinfected adequately to reduce the chance of germs being spread 
between animals or carried outside of the relief area.
    (5) Install adequate drainage to allow cleaning by regularly hosing 
down the relief area.
    (6) Provide trash cans for waste disposal that are emptied 
frequently.


[[Page 39820]]


    Note: There is a requirement for carriers to consult with 
service animal training organizations in establishing animal relief 
areas. Where there is no local service animal training organization, 
the Department of Transportation (DOT) would consider consultation 
with a national or international service animal training 
organization to satisfy the requirement.
    You should advise passengers who request you provide them with 
assistance to an animal relief area of the location of the animal 
relief area. Additionally, if requested, it would be your 
responsibility to accompany a passenger traveling with a service 
animal to and from the animal relief area. The requirement to 
provide animal relief areas was effective on May 13, 2009, for U.S. 
carriers and May 13, 2010, for foreign carriers.

High-Contrast Captioning on Televisions and Other Audio-Visual Displays
    You must enable captioning at all times on all televisions and 
other audio-visual displays that are capable of displaying captions and 
that are located in any portion of the terminal where passengers have 
access. The captioning must be high contrast if feasible. (Sec.  
382.51(a)(6)).
    You must replace any televisions and other audio-visual displays 
providing passengers with safety briefings, information, or 
entertainment that do not have high-contrast captioning capability with 
equipment that has such capability when you replace such equipment in 
the normal course of operations and/or whenever areas of the terminal 
in which such equipment is located are undergoing substantial 
renovation or expansion. (Sec.  382.51(a)(7)). If you newly acquire 
televisions and other audio-visual displays for passenger safety 
briefings (for example, safety briefings on the location of airport 
terminal emergency exists), information, or entertainment, on or after 
May 13, 2009, this equipment must have high-contrast captioning 
capability. (Sec.  382.51(a)(8)).
Compliance Dates

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. Carriers.........................  You must meet the facility
                                         accessibility requirements
                                         described above at airports
                                         located in the United States on
                                         or after May 13, 2009, as
                                         specified in this section.
Foreign Carriers......................  You must meet the facility
                                         accessibility requirements
                                         described above at airports
                                         located in the United States by
                                         May 13, 2010.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (Sec.  382.51(c)).
Airports Located in a Foreign Country
    The ADAAG requirements do not apply to foreign airports. However, 
Part 382 contains a performance requirement to ensure that passengers 
with a disability can readily use the facilities the carrier owns, 
leases, or controls at the airport. (Sec.  382.51(b)). As a foreign 
carrier, this requirement applies only at terminal facilities for 
flights covered by the rule.
Moving Through the Terminal
    You must ensure that a passenger with a disability is able to move 
readily through the terminal facilities, to get to or from the gate and 
any other area from which passengers board your carrier's aircraft. 
This includes moving on the tarmac between the gate and the aircraft 
when an accessible passenger lounge is not available, and moving to and 
from an aircraft when level-entry boarding is not available. (Sec.  
382.51(b)(1)). You may meet this obligation through any combination of 
accessible facilities, auxiliary aids, equipment, the assistance of 
personnel, or other means consistent with ensuring the safety and 
dignity of the passenger (for example, lifting a passenger in a 
boarding chair). (Sec.  382.51(b)(2)).
Compliance Dates
    Foreign and U.S. carriers must have met the facility accessibility 
requirements described above at foreign airports by May 13, 2010. 
(Sec.  382.51(c)).
Restrictions
    As a carrier, you must not subject passengers with disabilities to 
restrictions that do not apply to other passengers unless otherwise 
permitted for certain services such as the advance notice requirements 
under Sec.  382.27. You must not--
    (1) Restrict the movements of individuals with disabilities within 
terminals;
    (2) Require them to remain in a holding area or other location to 
receive assistance, such as transportation, services, or 
accommodations;
    (3) Mandate separate treatment for individuals with disabilities 
except as required or permitted under Part 382 or other applicable 
Federal requirements; or
    (4) Make passengers with disabilities wear badges or other special 
identification (unless the passenger gives consent). (Sec.  382.33).
Automated Kiosks
    If existing automated kiosks are inaccessible (for example, to 
wheelchair users because of height or reach issues or to passengers 
with vision impairments because of issues related to visual displays or 
touch screens), as a carrier, you must provide equivalent service for 
persons with disabilities who cannot use the kiosks for ticketing and 
obtaining boarding passes. For example, you could allow a passenger who 
cannot use the kiosk to come to the front of the line at the check-in 
counter, or carrier personnel could meet the passenger at the kiosk and 
help the passenger use the kiosk. (Sec.  382.57).

B. Security Screening for Air Travelers With a Disability

Security Screening for Passengers With a Disability Same as for Other 
Passengers
    All passengers including those with disabilities are subject to TSA 
security screening requirements at U.S. airports. Passengers at foreign 
airports, including those with disabilities, may be subject to security 
screening measures required by the law of the country where the airport 
is located. (Sec.  382.55(a)).
    If, as a carrier, you want to go beyond mandated security screening 
procedures, you must conduct the security screening of a passenger with 
a disability in the same manner as any other passenger. You must not 
subject a passenger with a disability who possesses a mobility aid or 
other assistive device used for independent travel to a special 
screening procedure if the passenger and the aid or assistive device 
clears security without activating the security system. (Sec.  
382.55(b)(2)).
Screening Mobility Aid or Assistive Device
    Your security personnel may examine a mobility aid or assistive 
device if, in their judgment, it may conceal a weapon or other 
prohibited item even if the mobility aid or assistive device does not 
activate the security system.
    In the event a passenger's mobility aid or assistive device 
activates the security system, you may conduct the security search of 
the passenger with a disability in the same manner as you would for 
other passengers who activate the system. (Sec.  382.55(b)(2)(ii)).

[[Page 39821]]

Passenger With a Disability Requests Private Screening
    You must not require a private security screening for a passenger 
with a disability for any reason different from the reasons other 
passengers would be subject to a private security screening. (Sec.  
382.55(b)(3)). However, if a passenger with a disability requests a 
private security screening in a timely manner, you must provide it in 
time for the passenger to board the flight. (Sec.  382.55(c)). If you 
use technology to conduct a security screening of a passenger with a 
disability without the need for a physical search of the person, you 
are not required to provide a private screening. (Sec.  382.55(d)).
    Finally, under certain circumstances, safety considerations may 
require you to exercise discretion in making the above decisions. You 
must always seek assistance from the appropriate designated personnel, 
including your carrier's Complaints Resolution Official (CRO), in 
making such a decision.

C. Air Travelers With a Disability Moving Through the Terminal and 
Changing Airplanes

Moving Through the Terminal (Terminal Entrance to Gate and Gate to 
Terminal Entrance)
    As a carrier, you must provide, or ensure the provision of, 
assistance to a passenger with a disability in moving from the terminal 
entrance through the airport to the gate for a departing flight or from 
the gate to the terminal entrance if the passenger or someone on behalf 
of the passenger requests such assistance or you offer and the 
passenger with a disability accepts the assistance. This obligation 
extends to a vehicle drop-off or pick up point adjacent to the terminal 
entrance and key functional areas of the terminal such as ticket 
counters and baggage claim. This does not include satellite parking or 
car rental drop-off areas that are not adjacent to the terminal 
entrance.
    While providing assistance to a disabled passenger in going to, 
from and between gates, a carriers must, upon request, make a brief 
stop at the entrance to a rest room, including an accessible rest room 
when requested, if such a stop is available on the route and the stop 
can be made without unreasonable delay. (Sec.  382.91(b), (b)(1), and 
(b)(2)).
    As a carrier, you also must assist passengers who are unable to 
carry their luggage because of their disability with transporting their 
luggage for check-in at the ticket counter or gate, or as carry-on 
aboard the aircraft. This obligation exists only if the passenger 
requests such assistance and can make credible verbal assurances of his 
or her inability to carry the item because of his or her disability. If 
the passenger's verbal assurances are not credible, you may require the 
passenger to produce documentation as a condition of providing the 
service. (Sec.  382.91(d)).
    At airports located in the United States, you must in cooperation 
with the airport operator, provide for escorting a passenger with a 
service animal to an animal relief area if the passenger requests. 
(Sec.  382.91(c)).
Connecting Assistance
    The arriving carrier (the one that operates the first of the two 
flights that are connecting) is responsible for connecting assistance 
for passengers with a disability moving within the terminal. As an 
employee/contractor of the arriving carrier, on request, you must 
provide assistance to a passenger with a disability in making flight 
connections and providing transportation between gates. The arriving 
carrier may mutually agree with the carrier operating the departing 
connecting flight (the second flight of the two flights) that the 
departing carrier will provide the connecting assistance. However, the 
carrier operating the arriving flight is ultimately responsible for 
ensuring that connecting assistance is provided to the passenger with a 
disability. (Sec.  382.91(a)). This service must be provided regardless 
of whether the passenger has a single ticket showing a connection or 
has two separate tickets for the journey.
    When needed and to the extent required by law, you must provide the 
services of personnel, and the use of ground wheelchairs, accessible 
motorized carts, boarding wheelchairs, and/or onboard wheelchairs, and 
ramps or mechanical lifts. This requirement is discussed in more detail 
in Chapters 3 and 5. (Sec.  382.95(a)).

    Note: A carrier and its contractors must not leave a passenger 
with a disability who has requested assistance unattended in a 
wheelchair or other device in which the passenger is not 
independently mobile for more than 30 minutes. This requirement 
applies even if another person such as a family member or personal 
care attendant accompanies the passenger unless the passenger with a 
disability clearly waives this obligation. (Sec.  382.103)).

    Example 1: A passenger who developed a progressive onset of 
weakness in his legs during his flight requests a wheelchair when he 
deplanes to assist him in making his connecting flight. What should 
you do?
    Because the arriving carrier is responsible for providing 
transportation to a passenger with a disability to the gate of his 
connecting flight, you must provide timely assistance so he makes it 
to his connecting flight. In addition, you should keep in mind that 
you cannot leave the passenger unattended for more than 30 minutes 
in a wheelchair or other device if the passenger is not 
independently mobile. For purposes of section 382.103, a person who 
is not independently mobile is a person who would not be able to get 
up from the wheelchair and maneuver to areas of the terminal such as 
the restroom or a food service provider without mobility assistance. 
As a matter of good customer service, you should treat the passenger 
with courtesy and respect throughout this process.
    Example 2: As an arriving air carrier, you provide connecting 
assistance to a passenger with a disability to the departing 
carrier's gate. Upon arrival at the departing carrier's gate, you 
and the passenger find there is no staff at any of the gates yet. 
What should you do?
    If the departing carrier has no staff at any of its gates in 
that terminal at the time the passenger is brought there (for 
example, if the passenger missed the second flight because the first 
flight was delayed), you should advise the passenger of this fact 
and offer to take the passenger to a staffed location such as the 
departing carrier's ticket counter, or office location. You should 
not leave the passenger at an unstaffed gate unless he or she has 
agreed.
    If no departing carrier staff can be located, you should advise 
the passenger of this fact. If the passenger asks to be taken to the 
terminal entrance or motor vehicle pickup point (for example, to go 
to a hotel) you must take the passenger to the terminal entrance or 
pickup point. If the passenger wishes to remain at the airport, your 
obligation to an ambulatory passenger ends. For a nonambulatory 
passenger, you are subject to Sec.  382.103, which states that a 
carrier must not leave a passenger who has requested connecting 
assistance unattended in a wheelchair or comparable device, in which 
the passenger is not independently mobile, for more than 30 minutes. 
In that situation, you must take the passenger to one of your 
staffed locations, or at a minimum, you must check on the passenger 
at least every 30 minutes. Your obligation to provide connecting 
assistance ends 12 hours after you began the connecting assistance 
for that passenger, or when the airport closes, or when your 
carrier's operations at that airport end, whichever comes first.

D. Accommodations for Air Travelers With Vision or Hearing Impairments

U.S. Carriers
    As a U.S. carrier, you must ensure that passengers with a 
disability, including those who identify themselves as persons needing 
visual or hearing assistance, receive prompt access to the same 
information that you provide to other passengers at each gate, 
ticketing area, and customer service desk that you own, lease, or 
control at any U.S. or foreign airport. In this context, ``prompt'' 
means that you must provide this information to passengers

[[Page 39822]]

with vision or hearing impairments as close as possible to the time 
that the information is transmitted to the general public. However, you 
are not required to provide information if it would interfere with 
employee safety and security duties under applicable Federal Aviation 
Administration (FAA) and foreign government regulations. (Sec.  
382.53(a)(1)).
    This requirement applies to a wide variety of areas such as--
     Flight safety,
     Ticketing,
     Flight check-in,
     Flight delays or cancellations,
     Schedule changes,
     Boarding information,
     Connections,
     Gate assignments,
     Claiming baggage,
     Volunteer solicitation on oversold flights (for example, 
offers of compensation for surrendering a reservation),
     Individuals being paged by airlines,
     Aircraft changes that affect the travel of persons with 
disabilities, and
     Emergencies (for example, fire, bomb threat) in the 
terminal. (Sec.  382.53(b)).
Foreign Carriers
    As a foreign carrier, you must make the same information listed in 
the section above available to passengers with a disability, including 
those who identify themselves as needing visual or hearing assistance, 
at each gate, ticketing area, and customer service desk that you own, 
lease, or control at any U.S. airport.
    At foreign airports, you must make this information available only 
at gates, ticketing areas, or customer service desks that you own, 
lease, or control and only for flights that begin or end in the United 
States. (Sec.  382.53(a)(2)).
Claiming Baggage
    As a carrier, you must provide information on claiming baggage to 
passengers who identify themselves as persons needing visual or hearing 
assistance no later than you provide this information to other 
passengers. (Sec.  382.53(c)). For example, if you provide information 
on baggage collection to arriving passengers at the baggage claim area, 
you can comply with this requirement by giving the information to self-
identifying passengers onboard the aircraft or at the gate.
TTY (Text Telephone)
U.S. Carriers
    As a U.S. carrier, if you provide a telephone reservation and 
information service to the public, you must make that service available 
to individuals who use a TTY (by your own TTY, voice relay (real time 
text streaming to an Internet connected computer), or other available 
technology) to permit individuals with hearing impairments to obtain 
this information. See also Chapter 3, Section E, Accommodations for Air 
Travelers with Hearing Impairments.
    You must make access to the telephone reservation and information 
service available to TTY users during the same hours as the telephone 
service is available for the general public. The same wait time and 
surcharges must apply to TTY users as for non-TTY users of the 
telephone information and reservation service. In addition, you must 
ensure that the response time for answering calls and the level of 
service provided to TTY users is substantially equivalent to the 
response time and level of service provided to non-TTY users. These 
requirements ensure that passengers with hearing impairments are on a 
substantially equivalent footing with the rest of the public in their 
ability to communicate with carriers about information and reservations 
by telephone. (Sec.  382.43(a)(1)-(3)).
    If you list the telephone number of your information and 
reservation service for the general public, you must list your TTY 
number if you have one. If you do not have a TTY number, you must state 
how TTY users can reach your information and reservation service for 
example using a voice relay service. The media used to state these 
information and reservation services may include Web sites, ticket 
jackets, telephone books, and print advertisements. (Sec.  
382.43(a)(4)).
    The TTY or similar technology also must be available if the 
passenger with a hearing impairment wishes to contact a CRO. (Sec.  
382.151(b)). You should be familiar with the use of the TTY or similar 
technology and its locations within the terminal.
    In addition, you should be aware of the option of using a relay 
operator to connect one party who is using a TTY and one party who is 
using a voice-operated telephone. By dialing 711 on any telephone in 
the United States (TTY or voice operated) you can contact a relay 
operator who serves as a ``go between'' between a person using a TTY 
and a person using a voice-operated telephone. (http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/711.html).

    Example: A passenger with a hearing impairment complains to you 
about another employee whom she believes has been rude and 
humiliated her when she asked for an alternate means of 
communication because she was unable to hear what was being said to 
passengers waiting to board the flight. What should you do?
    As a matter of good customer service, you should apologize to 
the passenger for any insensitive behavior on the part of carrier 
personnel. In general, you should carefully observe and gauge the 
manner in which this passenger with a hearing impairment 
communicates. When communicating, try to use the same method, for 
example, speaking slowly, communicating in writing or with the 
assistance of an aid or device. Try to find out what happened and 
what information she missed by communicating in an accessible 
manner.
    You may also consult with a CRO about sign language or other 
assistive services that might be available for this passenger. If 
the CRO is made available by telephone and the passenger requests, 
TTY service must be available for the passenger to communicate 
directly with the CRO. You should also notify the appropriate 
crewmembers to ensure that the transmittal of information onboard 
the aircraft is accessible to this passenger.
Foreign Carriers
    As a foreign carrier, you must have met the TTY requirements that 
apply to U.S. carriers and described above in this section by May 13, 
2010. (Sec.  382.43(a)(5)). However, these requirements apply only with 
respect to information and reservation services for flights that begin 
or end at a U.S. airport. TTY services apply only with respect to 
flights for which reservation telephone call from the United States are 
accepted.
Exception
    The TTY requirements do not apply to carriers in any country in 
which the telecommunications infrastructure does not readily permit 
compliance. (Sec.  382.43(b)).

E. Safety Assistants

    You should know that you must not require a passenger with a 
disability to be accompanied by another person in order to travel 
unless you determine that a safety assistant is essential for safety. 
(Sec.  382.29(a) and (b)). Similarly, even if you have concerns about a 
passenger's ability to access the lavatory or the passenger's need for 
extensive special assistance which airline personnel are not obligated 
to provide (for example, assistance in eating, assistance within the 
lavatory, or provision of medical services (Sec.  382.113), you must 
not require the passenger with a disability to travel with a safety 
assistant or personal care attendant except in the circumstances 
described below. (Sec.  382.29(f)).

[[Page 39823]]

Safety Considerations May Necessitate a Safety Assistant
    In the interest of safety, you may require that a passenger with a 
disability travel with a safety assistant if the passenger is--
     Traveling on a stretcher or in an incubator (where such 
service is offered);
     Because of a mental disability is unable to comprehend or 
respond appropriately to safety instructions including the safety 
briefing;
     Severely mobility impaired and would be unable to assist 
in the passenger's own evacuation from the aircraft; or
     Severely hearing and vision impaired such that the 
passenger could not adequately communicate with airline employees with 
regard to the safety briefing and assist in his or her evacuation in 
the event of an emergency. (Sec.  382.29(b)(1) through (b)(4)).
Carrier Contends That Attendant Is Required for Safety Reasons and 
Passenger Disagrees
    If after careful consultation with a CRO and any other personnel 
you are required to consult, you determine that a passenger with a 
disability must travel with a safety assistant for one of the reasons 
described in Sec.  382.29(b) (see list above), then you may require 
that the passenger be accompanied by a safety assistant. If your 
decision differs from the self-assessment of the passenger with a 
disability, then you must not charge for the transportation of the 
safety assistant. (Sec.  382.29(c))(1)). In addition, if a seat is not 
available on the flight for the safety assistant whom you have 
determined to be necessary and, as a result, the passenger with a 
disability with a confirmed reservation is unable to travel on the 
flight, the passenger with a disability is eligible for denied boarding 
compensation. (Sec.  382.29(d)). For purposes of determining whether a 
seat is available for a safety assistant, you must consider the 
assistant to have checked in at the same time as the passenger with a 
disability. (Sec.  382.29(e)).
    In the event you choose to recruit a safety assistant to accompany 
the passenger with a disability, even though carriers are not obligated 
to do so (Sec.  382.29(c)(1)), you may ask--
    (1) An off-duty airline employee traveling on the same flight to 
function as the safety assistant;
    (2) A volunteer from among the other customers traveling on the 
flight and offer compensation, such as a free ticket, for their 
assistance; or
    (3) The passenger with a disability to provide his or her own 
safety assistant and you must offer a free ticket to that assistant.
    If the safety assistant is accompanying a passenger traveling on a 
stretcher or in an incubator, the assistant must be capable of 
attending to the passenger's in-flight medical needs. (Sec.  
382.29(b)(1)). Otherwise, the purpose of the assistant is to assist the 
passenger with a disability in an emergency evacuation. Other than the 
situation described above when a safety assistant is accompanying a 
passenger who is on a stretcher or in an incubator, the assistant is 
not obligated to provide personal services to the passenger with a 
disability such as assistance with eating or accessing the lavatory.

    Example:  A passenger with quadriplegia \13\ traveling alone 
approaches the check-in counter. You have concerns as to whether the 
passenger's mobility impairment is so severe that he would be unable 
to assist in his own evacuation from the aircraft. What should you 
do?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ Quadriplegia means the inability to move all four limbs or 
the entire body below the neck.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    You should begin by communicating with the passenger to 
determine the extent of his mobility impairment. As a matter of good 
customer service, you should treat the passenger with courtesy and 
respect at all times. Under the circumstances, you should contact a 
CRO to discuss the situation and determine whether a safety 
assistant must accompany the passenger. You and the CRO could begin 
by asking the passenger about his mobility impairment and whether he 
would be able to assist with his own evacuation in the event of an 
emergency. More specifically, you should determine whether the 
passenger has the functional ability to make any progress toward an 
exit during an evacuation. If the passenger tells you that his 
ability to assist in his evacuation is limited to shouting, 
``Help!'' you and the CRO should explain to him that the issue is 
whether he can physically assist in his own evacuation. If not, he 
must travel with a safety assistant.
    If, after speaking with the passenger, you and the CRO determine 
that a safety assistant must accompany him because of his severe 
mobility impairment, you should explain this requirement to the 
passenger. Next, at the carrier's option you can explain that he can 
choose someone to serve as his safety assistant or you can assist 
him by recruiting an off-duty employee or another passenger on the 
flight to serve as his safety assistant. You must not charge for the 
transportation of the safety assistant if selected by the passenger 
who is disabled. You also should explain that the purpose of the 
safety assistant is to assist in the case of an emergency 
evacuation.

Passenger With a Disability Voluntarily Chooses To Travel With a 
Personal Care Attendant or Safety Assistant
    If a passenger with a disability chooses to travel with a personal 
care attendant or safety assistant that you, the carrier, do not 
require, or you feel that the passenger requires a safety assistant and 
the passenger agrees, then you may charge for the transportation of 
that attendant or assistant. (Sec.  382.29(c)(3)).
Advance Notice Requirements for Individuals With Both Severe Hearing 
and Vision Impairment
    As a carrier, you may require a passenger with both a severe 
hearing and vision impairment who wishes to travel without a safety 
assistant to notify you at least 48 hours in advance. However, you 
still must accommodate the passenger to the extent practicable even if 
the passenger fails to meet the 48-hour advance notice requirement. 
(Sec.  382.29(b)(4)).
    You may require an individual with a severe hearing and vision 
impairment to travel with a safety assistant if you determine that the 
means of communication that the individual plans to use with you does 
not (1) satisfy the communication objectives for a safety briefing 
contained in Part 382 or (2) enable the individual to assist in his or 
her own evacuation. You also may require the individual with a severe 
hearing and vision impairment to travel with a safety assistant if the 
individual proposes to communicate by finger spelling and you cannot 
within the time following the individual's notification arrange for the 
availability on the passenger's flight of a flight crewmember who can 
communicate using this method. (Sec.  382.29(c)(2)).

Chapter 5: Assisting Air Travelers With Disabilities Boarding, 
Deplaning, and During the Flight

A. Aircraft Accessibility
B. Seating Assignments and Accommodations
C. Boarding and Deplaning Assistance
D. Stowing and Treatment of Assistive Devices
E. Services and Information Provided in the Cabin
F. Safety Briefings

A. Aircraft Accessibility

Aircraft Accessibility Features
    To assist passengers with a disability, it is important for you to 
understand how aircraft have been made accessible to accommodate those 
passengers. You should be aware that Part 382 addresses the following 
features depending on the size of the aircraft:
     Movable aisle armrests,
     Priority stowage space for passenger wheelchairs,
     Accessible lavatories,

[[Page 39824]]

     On-board wheelchairs, and
     New in-flight audio-visual services.
    Each of these features is discussed separately in detail below.
Movable Aisle Armrests
    Aircraft with 30 or more passenger seats must be equipped with 
movable aisle armrests on at least one-half of the aisle seats in rows 
in which passengers with mobility impairments are permitted to sit 
under Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or applicable foreign 
safety regulations (Sec.  382.61(a)), and you are not required to 
provide movable armrests on aisle seats of rows in which a passenger 
with a mobility impairment is not allowed to use by an FAA safety 
regulation. (Sec.  382.61(b)).
    You must configure aircraft cabins or establish an administrative 
system to ensure that passengers with a disability can readily identify 
and obtain seating in rows with movable aisle armrests. You must 
provide this information to passengers by specific seat and row number. 
(Sec.  382.61(d))

    Note: The revised rule removes the infeasibility provision 
prescribed in old Sec.  382.21(a)(1)(ii). Therefore, carriers can no 
longer claim it is not feasible to install movable armrests on aisle 
seats in which the carrier has chosen to install, for example, 
integrated food trays, controls for in-flight video systems, etc.

(1) Seat Ratio
    Movable aisle armrests must be provided proportionately in all 
classes of service in the aircraft cabin. (Sec.  382.61(c)).

    Example: If 80 percent of the aisle seats in which passengers 
with mobility impairments may sit are in economy/coach class, and 20 
percent are in first class, then 80 percent of the movable aisle 
armrests must be in economy/coach class, with 20 percent in first 
class.
    However, if the seats without a movable aisle armrest in a given 
class of service can be accessed by a passenger using a wheelchair 
by horizontally transferring the passenger from a boarding 
wheelchair to the aircraft seat without lifting the passenger over 
the aisle armrest or other obstacle, a carrier may request an 
equivalent alternative determination.

(2) Replacement Seats
    As a carrier, you are not required to retrofit cabin interiors of 
existing aircraft to include movable aisle armrests. However, when you 
remove aisle seats on existing aircraft and replace them with newly 
manufactured seats, one-half of the replacements seats must have 
movable armrests. (Sec.  382.61(e)).

    Example: As a carrier, if you replace four aisle seats with 
newly manufactured seats, then two of these seats must have movable 
armrests. If you are replacing an odd number of seats, a majority of 
the newly manufactured aisle seats installed must have movable 
armrests. If you replace five aisle seats with newly manufactured 
seats, at least three of the newly manufactured aisle seats must 
have movable armrests. However, you are not required to have more 
than 50 percent of the aisle armrests in the cabin be moveable. 
Suppose your aircraft has 40 aisle seats, 20 of which have movable 
armrests, and you decide to replace 5 aisle seats that do not have 
movable armrests with newly manufactured seats. These new seats do 
not have to include movable armrests.

3. Compliance Dates

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. Carrier..................  Movable aisle      You must meet the
                                 armrests.          requirements for
                                                    movable aisle
                                                    armrests, except for
                                                    the seat ratio
                                                    requirement, for all
                                                    new aircraft you
                                                    operate that were
                                                    initially ordered
                                                    after April 5, 1990,
                                                    or delivered after
                                                    April 5, 1992.
                               -----------------------------------------
                                Replacement aisle  You must meet this
                                 seats.             requirement for all
                                                    new aircraft you
                                                    operate that were
                                                    initially ordered
                                                    after April 5, 1990,
                                                    or delivered after
                                                    April 5, 1992.
                               -----------------------------------------
                                Seat ratio.......  You must meet these
                                                    requirements for new
                                                    aircraft you operate
                                                    that were initially
                                                    ordered after May
                                                    13, 2009, or are
                                                    delivered after May
                                                    13, 2010. (Sec.
                                                    382.61(f)).
                               -----------------------------------------
Foreign Carrier...............  Movable aisle      You must meet these
                                 armrests.          requirements, except
                                                    with respect to
                                                    replacement aisle
                                                    seats discussed
                                                    above, for new
                                                    aircraft you operate
                                                    that were initially
                                                    ordered after May
                                                    13, 2009, or are
                                                    delivered after May
                                                    13, 2010. (Sec.
                                                    382.61(f)).
                                Seat ratio.......
                               -----------------------------------------
                                Replacement aisle  You must meet the
                                 seats.             requirement
                                                    regarding
                                                    replacement aisle
                                                    seats for seats
                                                    ordered after May
                                                    13, 2009. (Sec.
                                                    382.61(g)).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Priority Storage Space for Passenger Wheelchairs
(1) Aircraft With 100 or More Passenger Seats
    You must have a priority storage space in the cabin to stow at 
least one typical adult-sized folding, collapsible, or break-down 
manual wheelchair. This priority storage space must be at least 13 
inches by 36 inches by 42 inches (13 x 36 x 42) to allow storage of the 
wheelchair without removing its wheels or disassembling the wheelchair. 
(Sec.  382.67(a)). Priority storage space for a passenger's wheelchair 
in the cabin is important for two reasons. It is often more convenient 
for a passenger to have a wheelchair close by when he or she leaves the 
aircraft and to be able to get as close as possible to the aircraft 
door for boarding. In addition, passengers with disabilities have the 
same concerns as other passengers about the loss of or damage to their 
property when it is checked.
    The priority storage space for a passenger's wheelchair must be in 
addition to the normal under seat and overhead compartment storage 
available for carry-on items. (Sec.  382.67(b)). In addition, if you 
use a closet or other storage area for stowing the passenger's 
wheelchair, the wheelchair has priority over other possible uses 
including passenger bags and crewmember luggage.
    You should be aware that this requirement for priority space to 
stow a passenger's manual wheelchair is in addition to requirements you 
may have to carry an onboard wheelchair as discussed below. (Sec.  
382.65).

    Note: Carriers are not required to carry electric wheelchairs in 
the cabin.

(2) Compliance Dates

[[Page 39825]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. Carrier......................  You must meet the priority stowage
                                     space requirement for new aircraft
                                     you operate ordered after April 5,
                                     1990, or delivered after April 5,
                                     1992.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Foreign Carrier...................  You must meet the priority stowage
                                     space requirement for new aircraft
                                     ordered after May 13, 2009, or
                                     delivered after May 13, 2010.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Accessible Lavatories
    (1) Aircraft With More Than One Aisle
    Aircraft with more than one aisle that are equipped with lavatories 
must have at least one lavatory accessible to passengers with a 
disability. This accessible lavatory must allow the passenger to enter 
the lavatory, maneuver within it and use all of its facilities, and 
leave the lavatory using the aircraft's on-board wheelchair. The 
accessible lavatory must afford privacy to persons using the on-board 
wheelchair equivalent to that afforded ambulatory persons. The lavatory 
must include door locks, accessible call buttons, grab bars, faucets 
and other controls and dispensers usable by passengers with a 
disability including wheelchair users and persons with manual 
impairments. (Sec.  382.63(a)).
    You are not required to retrofit aircraft with accessible 
lavatories. However, if you replace an inaccessible lavatory on an 
existing twin-aisle aircraft, you must install an accessible lavatory. 
(Sec.  382.63(c)).
(2) Aircraft With One Aisle
    You are not required, but may provide, an accessible lavatory on 
aircraft with only one aisle. (Sec.  382.63(b)).
    You are not required to retrofit aircraft with one aisle with 
accessible lavatories. (Sec.  382.63(c)).
(3) Compliance Dates

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. Carrier......................  You must meet all of the accessible
                                     lavatory requirements for new
                                     aircraft you operate that were
                                     initially ordered after April 5,
                                     1990 or delivered after April 5,
                                     1992. (Sec.   382.63(d) and (e)).
Foreign Carrier...................  You must meet the requirement for an
                                     accessible lavatory for new
                                     aircraft you operate that were
                                     initially ordered after May 13,
                                     2009 or delivered after May 13,
                                     2010. (Sec.   382.63(d)).
                                    However, beginning May 13, 2009, if
                                     you replace an inaccessible
                                     lavatory on an existing
                                     twin[dash]aisle aircraft you must
                                     install an accessible lavatory.
                                     (Sec.   382.63(e)).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

On-Board Wheelchairs
(1) Aircraft With More Than 60 Passenger Seats With an Accessible 
Lavatory
    You must provide an on-board wheelchair if the aircraft has an 
accessible lavatory. You must meet this requirement whether or not an 
accessible lavatory is required as discussed above. However, the 
Aerospatiale/Aeritalia ATR-72 and the British Aerospace Advanced 
Turboprop (ATP) configured with between 60 and 70 passenger seats are 
exempt from this requirement. (Sec.  382.65(a)).
(2) Aircraft With More Than 60 Passenger Seats With an Inaccessible 
Lavatory
    Some passengers with limited mobility may be able to use an 
inaccessible lavatory on their own but may need assistance to the 
lavatory in an on-board wheelchair. Therefore, in an aircraft with more 
than 60 passenger seats and an inaccessible lavatory, you must provide 
an on-board wheelchair if a passenger with a disability informs you 
that he or she is able to use an inaccessible lavatory but cannot reach 
the lavatory from a seat without the use of an on-board wheelchair. You 
may require the passenger to provide up to 48 hours' advance notice and 
check-in 1 hour before the check-in time for the general public to 
receive this service. (Sec. Sec.  382.65(b) and 382.27(c)(7)).
    In summary, with respect to all aircraft with more than 60 
passenger seats, regardless of the age of the aircraft, you must 
provide an on-board wheelchair if--
    (1) The aircraft has an accessible lavatory, or
    (2) A passenger with a disability gives up to 48 hours' notice that 
the passenger can use an inaccessible lavatory. (Sec.  382.65)(b).
    You should be aware that if a particular aircraft is required to 
have an on-board wheelchair and a storage space within the cabin for at 
least one passenger's manual folding wheelchair, that aircraft must 
have storage spaces for both of these wheelchairs and must accommodate 
both of these wheelchairs.
(3) Compliance Dates

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. Carrier......................  You must have met the on[dash]board
                                     wheelchair requirements by May 13,
                                     2009.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Foreign Carrier...................  You must have met the on[dash]board
                                     wheelchair requirements by May 13,
                                     2010.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

New In-Flight Audio-Visual Services
(1) High-Contrast Captioning
    As a carrier, you must ensure that all new videos, DVDs, and other 
audio-visual displays used on the aircraft for safety and informational 
purposes are high-contrast captioned. This requirement, however, does 
not apply to informational audio-visual displays that were not created 
under your control. (Sec.  382.69(a)). The Department of Transportation 
(DOT) considers audio-visual displays as being created under your 
control even if a contractor or other third party produces the display 
as long as you have significant editorial control or approval of the 
video's content. The use of the word ``new'' means that you are not 
required to replace or retrofit existing audio-visual displays.
    ``High-contrast captioning'' means captioning that is at least as 
easy to read as white letters on a consistent black background. (Sec.  
382.3). The captioning must be in the predominant language or languages 
that you use to communicate with passengers on the flight. If you 
communicate in more than one language on the flight (for example, 
French and English on a Canadian carrier), the captioning must be in 
all of these languages. (Sec.  382.69(a)).

[[Page 39826]]

(2) Compliance Dates
    As a U.S. or foreign carrier, you must have met the high-contrast 
captioning requirement with respect to audio-visual displays used for 
safety purposes by November 10, 2009. (Sec.  382.69(b)). The captioning 
requirement with respect to informational displays was effective 
January 8, 2010. (Sec.  382.69(d)).
Maintaining Accessibility and Replacing or Refurbishing the Aircraft 
Cabin
    You must maintain aircraft accessibility features in proper working 
order. (Sec.  382.71(a)). In addition, any replacement or refurbishing 
of the aircraft cabin must not reduce existing accessibility to a level 
below that required under Part 382 for new aircraft. (Sec.  382.71(b)) 
. As discussed above, if you replace an inaccessible lavatory on an 
existing twin-aisle aircraft, you would have to install an accessible 
lavatory, unless the aircraft is already equipped with another 
accessible lavatory. (Sec.  382.63(c)). If you remove aisle seats on 
existing aircraft and replace them with newly manufactured seats, one-
half of the replacements aisle seats must have movable armrests. (Sec.  
382.61(e)).

B. Seating Assignments and Accommodations

Only Safety Affects Seat Assignments
    You must not exclude a passenger with a disability from any seat or 
require a passenger with a disability to sit in a particular seat based 
on the passenger's disability, except to comply with FAA or foreign 
government safety requirements. (Sec.  382.87(a)). If a passenger's 
disability results in an involuntary active behavior that would result 
in you properly refusing to provide the passenger transportation under 
Sec.  382.19 and the passenger could be transported safely if seated in 
another location, you must offer the passenger that particular seat 
location as an alternative to refusing to provide the passenger 
transportation. (Sec.  382.87(c)).

    Example:  A passenger with Tourette's syndrome (a neurological 
disability that manifests itself by episodes of shaking, muscle 
tics, and/or spasms and uncontrolled shouting, barking, screaming, 
cursing, and/or abusive language) approaches the check-in desk, 
self-identifies himself as a passenger with a disability, and 
presents brochures explaining the disability to the agent. What 
should you do?
    If safety is not an issue, you cannot restrict this passenger 
from any particular seat, including an exit row. If this passenger's 
disability causes him to physically touch other passengers or 
crewmembers involuntarily, safety considerations could require that 
he be seated in his own row, if available, as an alternative to you 
refusing to provide the passenger transportation. However, if the 
physical and/or verbal manifestations of this passenger's Tourette's 
syndrome jeopardize the safety of others it might create a safety 
concern. For example, if the passenger with Tourette's syndrome 
involuntarily touches or strikes other passengers or crewmembers, or 
the passenger is yelling ``fire'' or yelling continuously. 
Continuous yelling could hinder other passengers from hearing 
important crewmember announcements. Therefore, refusing to provide 
the passenger with transportation could be appropriate.
    Although the passenger's conduct may create an uncomfortable 
experience for other passengers, if the involuntary behavior is only 
an annoyance and not a safety concern, you must not restrict the 
passenger with Tourette's syndrome from any seating assignment.

Required Seating Accommodations for Passengers With Disabilities--Four 
Specific Situations
    If a passenger self-identifies as a passenger with a disability, 
there are four specific situations where you must provide a particular 
seating accommodation. You must meet this requirement for passengers 
who self-identify as having certain qualifying disabilities if the 
passenger requests the accommodation and the type of seating 
accommodation requested exists on the particular aircraft. (Sec.  
382.81). The four situations are as follows:
    (1) Moveable armrests. If the passenger uses an aisle chair to 
access the aircraft and cannot readily transfer over a fixed aisle 
armrest, you must provide a seat in a row with a movable armrest. You 
must train your personnel in the location and proper use of the movable 
aisle armrests, including appropriate transfer techniques. In addition, 
you must ensure that aisle seats with movable armrests are clearly 
identifiable. (Sec.  382.81(a)).

    Note: Some carriers that have requested and been granted 
equivalent alternative determination approvals for the movable 
armrest requirement have training requirements stated in the grant 
of approval that exceed those required under Part 382.

    (2) Adjoining seats. You must provide an adjoining seat for a 
person assisting a passenger with a disability if the passenger is--
     Traveling with a personal care attendant who will be 
performing functions during the flight that airline personnel are not 
required to perform (for example, assistance with eating); (Sec.  
382.81(b)(1))
     Visually impaired and traveling with a reader/assistant 
who will be performing functions for the passenger during the flight; 
(Sec.  382.81(b)(2))
     Hearing impaired and traveling with an interpreter who 
will be performing functions for the passenger during the flight; 
(Sec.  382.81(b)(3)) and
     Traveling with a safety assistant that you have required 
under Sec.  382.29. (Sec.  382.81(b)(4)).
    (3) Service animal. If the passenger with a disability is traveling 
with a service animal, you must provide either a bulkhead seat or a 
seat other than a bulkhead seat, depending on the passenger's request. 
(Sec.  382.81(c)).

    Note: A passenger traveling with a service animal would not be 
permitted to sit in the bulkhead seat if that seat is located in an 
emergency exit row. (14 CFR 121.585).

    (4) Fused or immobilized leg. If the passenger has a fused or 
immobilized leg (that is, an inability to bend the leg as opposed to a 
passenger whose legs are paralyzed but which can bend at the knees), 
you must provide a bulkhead seat or other seat with more legroom than 
other seats on the side of the aisle that best accommodates the 
passenger's disability. (Sec.  382.81(d)).
Seat Assignment Methods
    The type of seat assignment method your carrier uses will determine 
how you are to provide appropriate seating accommodations. You should 
be aware of your carrier's method for managing seat assignments and be 
able to explain it to passengers with disabilities and the general 
passenger population depending on the circumstances.
Advance Seat Assignments
    Carriers providing advance seat assignments may use either the 
block seating method or the priority seating method to provide the 
seating accommodations discussed above. (Sec.  382.83(a)).
Block Seating Method
    Carriers may block an adequate number of seats to be used by 
passengers who meet the requirements of Sec.  382.81. (Sec.  
382.83(a)(1)). If your carrier employs the block method, you must not 
assign these ``blocked seats'' to passengers other than the types of 
passengers entitled to the accommodation until 24 hours before the 
scheduled departure of the flight. (Sec.  382.83(a)(1)(i)). At any time 
up until 24 hours before the scheduled departure of the flight, you 
must assign a blocked seat to any passenger who qualifies for such a 
seating accommodation. (Sec.  382.83(a)(1)(ii)).
    If a passenger with a disability who is entitled to a seating 
accommodation listed above does not make a request for the 
accommodation at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure of the 
flight, you must provide the requested seating accommodation to the 
extent

[[Page 39827]]

practicable, but you are not required to reassign a seat already 
assigned to another passenger to do so. (Sec.  382.83(a)(1)(iii)).

    Example: A passenger with a service animal calls and speaks to 
you, a reservation agent, several days before the scheduled 
departure of her flight and requests a bulkhead seat. What should 
you do?
    The aircraft has four bulkhead seats, two of which are blocked 
under your carrier's reservation system for passengers traveling 
with a service animal or passengers with an immobilized leg. Because 
the passenger has requested the seating accommodation more than 24 
hours in advance of the scheduled departure of the flight, you must 
assign one of the blocked bulkhead seats to this passenger with the 
service animal.
    If, on the other hand, the passenger with the service animal 
requests the bulkhead seat within 24 hours of the scheduled 
departure of the flight, you must provide the bulkhead seat to the 
passenger and the service animal if available, but you are not 
required to reassign a bulkhead seat already assigned to another 
passenger.


    Note: Part 382 requires carriers to block an adequate number of 
bulkhead seats for passengers with a fused or immobilized leg or a 
passenger traveling with a service animal. DOT's Office of Aviation 
Enforcement and Proceedings has interpreted ``adequate'' to mean, 
for example, (in the context of bulkhead seating) that if an 
aircraft has six total bulkhead seats, three on each side separated 
by the main aisle, an ``adequate'' number of bulkhead seats that 
must be blocked would be at least two of the six bulkhead seats.

Priority Seating Method
    Carriers may designate an adequate number of priority seats for 
passengers with a disability who meet the requirements of Sec.  382.81. 
(Sec.  382.83(a)(2)). Carriers that have chosen to use this seating 
method must provide notice to any passenger assigned to a priority seat 
(other than a passenger with a disability listed in Sec.  382.81) that 
he or she may be reassigned to another seat if necessary to provide a 
seating accommodation required under Part 382. (Sec.  382.83(a)(2)(i)). 
A carrier may provide this potential reassignment notice through--
     Its computer reservation system,
     Verbal information provided by reservations personnel,
     Ticket notices,
     Gate announcements,
     Counter signs,
     Seat cards or notices,
     Frequent-flyer literature, or
     Other appropriate means. (Sec.  382.83(a)(2)(ii)).
    You must assign a ``priority seat'' to a passenger with a 
disability entitled to such accommodation at the time the passenger 
requests the accommodation. A carrier may require that the passenger 
check in and request the seating accommodation at least 1 hour before 
the standard check-in time for the flight. (The purpose for this 
advance check-in is to allow carriers sufficient time to conduct any 
seat reassignment that this method sometimes requires.) If all of the 
designated priority seats have been assigned to other passengers who do 
not have qualifying disabilities, you must reassign the seats of the 
other passengers to accommodate the passenger with a disability 
entitled to the seating accommodation. (Sec.  382.83(a)(2)(iii)).
    If a passenger with a disability who is entitled to a seating 
accommodation does not check in at least 1 hour before the standard 
check in time for the general public, you must provide the requested 
seating accommodation, to the extent practicable, but you are not 
required to reassign a seat assigned to another passenger to do so. 
(Sec.  382.83(a)(2)(iv)).

    Example: A passenger with an immobilized leg requests a bulkhead 
seat and checks in 2 hours before the standard check-in time for the 
general public. Your carrier employs the ``priority'' seating method 
and has designated two of the six bulkhead seats on the aircraft as 
priority seating. The four non-priority bulkhead seats have been 
previously assigned to passengers without any disabilities. One of 
the two priority bulkhead seats has already been assigned to a 
passenger traveling with a small service animal who requested the 
seating accommodation and checked in at least 1 hour before the 
standard check-in time for the general public. The second priority 
bulkhead seat has been assigned to a passenger who also checked in 2 
hours before the flight and who uses an aisle chair to board but 
prefers the bulkhead seat to a seat in a row with a movable armrest. 
What should you do?
    The passenger who uses the aisle chair to board should have 
received notice that he has been assigned a ``priority'' seat. 
Because that passenger does not have a fused or immobilized leg or 
is not traveling with a service animal, the passenger is not 
automatically entitled to a ``priority'' bulkhead seat. (However, 
that passenger would be entitled to a ``priority'' seat in a row 
with a movable armrest if he or she requested such a seat and 
checked in at least 1 hour before the standard check-in time for the 
flight.) The passenger using the aisle chair to board should have 
been notified that you might have to reassign his seat if a 
passenger with a service animal or a passenger with an immobilized 
leg requests a ``priority'' bulkhead seating accommodation and 
checks in at least 1 hour before the standard check-in time for the 
flight. Therefore, the passenger using the aisle chair should be 
reassigned to a seat in a row with a movable armrest and the 
passenger with the immobilized leg should be assigned to the second 
``priority'' bulkhead seat.

Seat Assignment Only on the Day of Flight
    If a carrier does not provide seat assignments until the day of the 
flight, the carrier must use the priority seating method for passengers 
with a disability who meet one of the four criteria described in Sec.  
382.81. (Sec.  382.83(b)).
No Advance Seat Assignments (Use the Preboarding Method)
    If your carrier does not provide advance seat assignments including 
the ability to pay for a seat in advance,\14\ you must allow passengers 
who identify themselves as passengers with a disability in need of a 
seating accommodation to preboard before all other passengers, 
including other passengers entitled to preboard, and select the seats 
that best meet their needs. (Sec.  382.83(c)).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ If a carrier allows passengers to pay for advance seating, 
the carrier must use either the block or priority seating method.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Other Possible Seating Methods
    If your carrier wishes to use a method of assigning seats to 
passengers with disabilities other than one of the methods provided for 
in Subpart F of Part 382, it must receive written approval from DOT. 
(Sec.  382.83(d)).
Seating Accommodations for Passengers With a Disability--Other Than One 
of Those Specifically Discussed Above
    Carriers are also required to provide seating accommodations for 
passengers who self-identify as having a disability other than one 
involving any of the four criteria discussed above, and who need a 
particular seat to ``readily access and use'' the carrier's services. 
(Sec.  382.85). (This is referred to as the catchall category). 
Carriers should evaluate a passenger's request for a seating 
accommodation covered by the catchall category based on a case-by-case 
analysis of the nature of the passenger's specific disability and the 
extent to which that disability necessitates the requested seating 
accommodation for the passenger to readily access the aircraft.
    For example, if a passenger self-identified as being deaf or 
diabetic and requested a bulkhead seat assignment, a carrier would not 
be required to assign such a passenger to a bulkhead seat because the 
passenger is able to readily able to use a seat other than in a 
bulkhead row. On the other hand, a very large non-ambulatory passenger 
boarding with an aisle wheelchair whose size makes it very difficult 
for

[[Page 39828]]

him to fit down the main aisle would probably be entitled to an 
available bulkhead seat (provided that the bulkhead row is not an 
emergency exit row) because he could not otherwise readily access the 
aircraft.
Advance Seat Assignments
Block Seating Method (For the ``Catchall'' Category)
    When a passenger with a disability, which does not meet one of the 
four specific criteria described in Sec.  382.81 makes a reservation 
more than 24 hours before the scheduled departure time of a flight and 
the carrier uses the block seating method, the carrier is not required 
to offer one of the seats blocked for the passengers with disabilities 
who are specifically entitled to the seating accommodations described 
above in Sec.  382.81. However, you must assign the passenger with a 
disability any seat not already assigned to another passenger that 
accommodates the passenger's needs, even if that seat is not available 
for assignment to the general passenger population at the time of the 
request. (Sec.  382.85(a)(1)(i).

    Example: A passenger with arthritis in his spine, making his 
back extremely stiff, calls a week before his flight and asks you, 
the reservation agent, for a bulkhead seat. He explains that it is 
much easier and less painful for him to access a bulkhead seat 
because he has to be lowered into the seat with assistance from 
another person, and that this process is much more difficult, if not 
impossible, in any row other than a bulkhead row. The aircraft has 
six bulkhead seats, two of which are ``blocked'' under your 
carrier's reservation system for passengers traveling with service 
animals or passengers with a fused or immobilized leg. One of the 
four remaining bulkhead seats is unassigned when he calls. What 
should you do?
    Although your carrier normally reserves such seats for its 
frequent flier passengers, you must assign the remaining bulkhead 
seat to the passenger with arthritis in his spine because the seat 
was unassigned at the time of his request and he has a reasonable 
argument that he needs the bulkhead seat to readily access the 
aircraft.

Priority Seating Method (For the ``Catchall'' Category)
    If your carrier uses the priority seating method, you must assign a 
passenger with a disability (which does not meet one of the four 
specific criteria described in Sec.  382.81) any seat not already 
assigned to another passenger that accommodates the passenger's needs, 
even if that seat is not available for assignment to the general 
passenger population at the time of the request. Your carrier may 
require the passenger to check in 1 hour before the standard check-in 
time for the flight. If this passenger with a disability is assigned to 
a designated priority bulkhead seat, the passenger is subject to being 
reassigned to another seat if necessary to provide a seating 
accommodation to a passenger with a disability entitled to and who 
requests a required seating accommodation described above. (Sec.  
382.85(a)(2)).

    Example: The same passenger, with arthritis in his spine, from 
the previous example, calls your carrier, asking for a bulkhead 
seat, but your carrier uses the ``priority'' seating method. The 
aircraft has six bulkhead seats, two of which are ``priority'' seats 
for passengers traveling with service animals or passengers with 
immobilized legs. At the time of the call, all four of the other 
``non-priority'' bulkhead seats have been assigned to other 
passengers, but the two priority seats are unassigned. What should 
you, as a reservation agent, do?
    You should assign the passenger with arthritis in his spine one 
of the two unassigned ``priority'' seats, but you must notify him 
that he may have his'' priority'' seat reassigned if another 
passenger who is specifically entitled to a ``priority'' seat 
requests one. On the day of the flight, a passenger with a service 
animal and a passenger with a fused leg arrive more than 1 hour 
before the standard check-in time for the same flight and request 
bulkhead seats. In this instance, you would inform the passenger 
with arthritis in his spine that his ``priority'' seat must be 
assigned to one of those passengers and that he must be moved to 
another seat. As a matter of good customer service, he may be 
assigned an aisle seat because it would be easier for him to access, 
or you could ask a passenger with a bulkhead seat who does not have 
a disability if he or she would mind trading seats with the 
passenger.

No Advance Seat Assignments (Use the Preboarding Method)
    If your carrier does not provide advance seat assignments including 
the ability to pay for an advance seating assignment,\15\ you must 
allow passengers who identify themselves as passengers with a 
disability in need of a seating accommodation to preboard before all 
other passengers, including other passengers entitled to preboard, and 
select the seats that best meet their needs. (Sec.  382.85(b))
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ As previously noted, if a carrier allows passengers to pay 
for advance seating, the carrier must use either the block or 
priority seating method.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Seat Assignments Only on the Day of Flight (For the ``Catchall'' 
Category)
    If your carrier does not assign seats to passengers until the day 
of the flight, it must use the priority seating method for passengers 
with a disability. (Sec.  382.85(c)).
Other Issues Relating to Seat Assignments
    As a carrier, you--
     Must comply with all FAA and applicable foreign government 
safety requirements, including exit row seating requirements in 14 CFR 
121.585, when responding to requests from passengers with a disability 
for seating accommodations. (Sec.  382.87(b)).
     Must not deny transportation to any passenger on a flight 
in order to provide a seat accommodation required by Subpart F to a 
passenger with a disability. (Sec.  382.87(e)).
     Cannot reassign the seat of a passenger with a disability 
who has received a seat assignment as required by Subpart F even if 
another passenger with a disability requests the same seat unless the 
first passenger agrees to the reassignment. (Sec.  382.87(d)) The only 
exception is when you assign a designated ``priority'' seat to a 
passenger with a disability who is not required to receive a seating 
accommodation specified in Sec.  382.81. (Sec.  382.85(a)(2)(ii)).
     Are not required to provide more than one seat per ticket 
or a seat in a class of service other than the one the passenger has 
purchased to accommodate a passenger with a disability who requests a 
seating accommodation. (Sec.  382.87(f)).

    Example: A passenger with an economy/coach class ticket and an 
immobilized leg (with a full-leg cast) arrives more than 1 hour 
before the standard check-in time for his flight. He arrives at the 
check-in counter, explains his disability, and insists that he is 
entitled to a seat in first class to accommodate his extended leg. 
Your carrier uses the priority seating method for advance seat 
assignments. What should you do?
    Because the passenger has identified himself as a passenger with 
a disability and requested a seat assignment to accommodate his 
disability, you must provide a bulkhead seat or other seat with more 
legroom than other seats on the side of the aisle that best 
accommodates him. While first class seats generally have more 
legroom than economy/coach class seats, you are not required to 
provide a seat in a class of service other than the one the 
passenger has purchased to accommodate the passenger. You should 
explain politely and respectfully that under the law, you must seat 
him in either a bulkhead seat or an aisle seat in economy/coach 
class on the side of the aircraft that would best accommodate his 
leg. At his subsequent request for a bulkhead seat in economy/coach 
class, you must arrange to move another passenger from the bulkhead 
seat in economy/coach class and give it to the passenger with the 
immobilized leg unless the seats have already been assigned to 
passengers entitled to retain those seats under the rules discussed 
above. Although you are not required to do so, you may choose to 
seat him in a first class seat that would accommodate his 
immobilized leg.

[[Page 39829]]

    As previously noted, some carriers now offer passengers the 
option of paying an extra fee for obtaining advance seat assignments 
for preferred seats that provide, for example, greater legroom than 
other seats in the same class of service. Such policies are 
permitted, provided that carriers also reserve (that is, block or 
prioritize) an adequate number of seats to comply with DOT rules 
providing seating accommodations for qualified individuals with 
disabilities at no extra cost to such passengers, as discussed 
above.

C. Boarding and Deplaning Assistance

Preboarding Passengers With a Disability
    As a carrier, you must offer preboarding to passengers with a 
disability who self-identify at the gate as needing additional time or 
assistance to board, stow accessibility equipment, or be seated. (Sec.  
382.93) This obligation exists regardless of your preboarding policies 
for other passengers (for example, families traveling with small 
children). You are not obligated to make a general announcement about 
preboarding in the gate area for passengers with disabilities if you do 
not make preboarding announcements for other passengers. However, as a 
matter of general nondiscrimination principles, if a passenger self-
identifies as needing preboarding and if you make a preboarding 
announcement in the gate area for other passengers you would have to 
make such an announcement for passengers with a disability.
General Obligations for Boarding and Deplaning Assistance
    If a passenger with a disability requests assistance getting on or 
off an aircraft, or you or the airport operator offer assistance, and 
the passenger consents to the type of boarding or deplaning assistance 
offered, you must promptly provide such assistance. (Sec.  382.95(a)) 
In the case of deplaning a non-ambulatory passenger, if the passenger 
has provided advance notice that he or she will need wheelchair 
deplaning assistance to exit the aircraft and the carrier has 
documented the passenger's reservation record with a Special Service 
Request (SSR) notation to that effect, ``promptly'' means that 
personnel and an appropriate deplaning aisle wheelchair should be 
available to assist the passenger with a disability in exiting the 
aircraft as soon as the last ambulatory passengers has deplaned. If the 
passenger with a disability is able to walk off the aircraft along with 
the other passengers but needs a wheelchair to travel from the aircraft 
into the terminal, carrier personnel and a wheelchair should be waiting 
at the door of the aircraft when the deplaning process begins.
    The type of assistance you must offer includes the services of 
personnel and the use of wheelchairs, accessible motorized carts, 
ramps, or mechanical lifts as required under Part 382. (Sec.  
382.95(a)). Be mindful that a wheelchair is not required or desired in 
all cases. A wheelchair may not be an appropriate assistive device in a 
particular situation. For example, a passenger with a vision impairment 
may request a sighted guide rather than a wheelchair, and requiring 
such a passenger to accept wheelchair service that is neither requested 
nor required to accommodate the passenger's disability would violate 
DOT's rule. (Sec.  382.11(a)(2)).
    You must train employees to proficiency in the use of the boarding 
assistance equipment and procedures regarding the safety and dignity of 
passengers receiving boarding assistance. (Sec.  382.141(a)(1)(iii) and 
(b)) See Chapter 8: Personnel Training, for additional information on 
employee/contractor training requirements.
Boarding and Deplaning Assistance Where Level-Entry Boarding Is 
Unavailable
    As a carrier operating aircraft with 19 or more passenger seats at 
U.S. commercial service airports with 10,000 or more annual 
enplanements, you must provide boarding and deplaning assistance to 
passengers with a disability using lifts or ramps if level-entry 
loading bridges or accessible passenger lounges are not available. 
(Sec.  382.95(b)). U.S. carriers have been required to provide level-
entry boarding at such U.S. airports for many years, and foreign 
carriers have been required to provide it no later than May 13, 2011. 
See Appendix II for a discussion of the agreements carriers must have 
with airports for the provision of lifts where level-entry loading 
bridges are not available. (Sec.  382.99).
    However, boarding assistance using a lift is not required on:
     Aircraft with fewer than 19 passenger seats;
     Float planes;
     The following 19-seat capacity aircraft models that are 
unsuitable for boarding assistance using a lift: the Fairchild Metro, 
the Jetstream 31 and 32, the Beech 1900 (C and D Models), and the 
Embraer EMB-120; or
     Any other aircraft model the DOT determines to be 
unsuitable for boarding and deplaning assistance by lift, ramp, or 
other suitable device. (Sec.  382.97(a) through (c)).
    As a carrier at a U.S. airport that you own, lease, or control, you 
must ensure that there is an accessible route (one meeting the 
requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility 
Guidelines (ADAAG)) between the gate and boarding area whenever an 
accessible passenger lounge to and from an aircraft or other means of 
level-entry boarding and deplaning is not available. An ``accessible 
route'' essentially means that a passenger should be able to travel 
from the gate area to the tarmac level while remaining in a wheelchair, 
and does not include stairs, steps, or escalators. (Sec.  
382.51(a)(2)).
    As a carrier, you may require that a passenger seeking boarding and 
deplaning assistance using a lift or ramp check in for the flight 1 
hour before the standard check-in time for the flight. However, if the 
passenger checks in after this time you must make a reasonable effort 
to accommodate the passenger and provide the boarding assistance using 
a lift or ramp if it would not delay the flight. (Sec.  382.99(d)).
When Level-Entry Boarding and Deplaning Is Not Required
    When level-entry boarding and deplaning assistance is not required, 
you must still provide assistance to passengers with a disability in 
boarding and deplaning aircraft. (Sec.  382.101). For example, boarding 
and deplaning assistance using lifts is not required at smaller U.S. 
airports (that is, airports with less than 10,000 annual enplanements) 
or at any foreign airports; when severe weather or unexpected 
mechanical breakdowns prevent the use of a lift; or when you are using 
one of the unsuitable aircraft listed in the previous discussion. 
(Sec.  382.101(a), (b), (c), and (e)).
    Boarding assistance must be provided by any available means to 
which the passenger consents. In such situations, you should present 
the various options available to the passenger. However, as discussed 
below, you must never physically hand-carry the passenger even if the 
passenger consents unless this is the only way to evacuate the 
passenger in the event of an emergency. (Sec.  382.101). If the 
passenger does not consent to the available means of boarding 
assistance, you should contact a Complaints Resolution Official (CRO).
Attending to Passengers in a Wheelchair
    You may not leave a passenger unattended in a ground wheelchair, 
boarding wheelchair or other device in which the passenger is not 
independently mobile for more than 30 minutes. This requirement applies 
even

[[Page 39830]]

if another person, including a family member or personal care 
attendant, is accompanying the passenger unless the passenger 
explicitly consents. A person who is not independently mobile is a 
person who would not be able to get up from the wheelchair and maneuver 
to areas of the terminal such as the restroom or a food service 
provider without mobility assistance. (Sec.  382.103).
Except in an Emergency Evacuation, No Hand-Carrying of Passengers
    Under no circumstance, except for emergency evacuations, should you 
hand-carry a passenger with a disability to provide boarding or 
deplaning assistance. Hand-carrying is defined as directly picking up 
the passenger's body in the arms of one or more carrier personnel to 
move the passenger from the tarmac level to the aircraft door for 
boarding or, vice versa, for deplaning. (Sec.  382.101).

    Note: Transferring a passenger from a wheelchair to a boarding 
chair or a boarding chair to an aircraft seat is not considered 
hand-carrying a passenger, and is often required for passengers who 
are unable to conduct such transfers without assistance.


    Example: A woman asks for assistance in boarding a flight with 
30 passenger seats. General boarding for passengers is by a set of 
stairs on the tarmac. When she arrives at the gate and asks for 
boarding assistance, she is provided a boarding wheelchair, but you 
inform her that the mechanical lift is not working. The passenger 
tells you to physically pick her up and carry her up the stairs and 
onto the aircraft because she really needs to make the flight. What 
should you do?
    Under the law, you must never physically hand-carry the 
passenger onto the aircraft. Hand-carrying is only appropriate in 
the case of an emergency evacuation. Even though the law states that 
a passenger with a disability must consent to the type of boarding 
assistance and she has requested to be hand carried, you must not 
hand-carry her onto the aircraft. Instead, you should contact a CRO 
for advice about options for alternative means of boarding the 
passenger. You and the CRO should explain to the passenger that, 
under the law, you are not permitted to physically hand-carry her 
onto the aircraft. In addition, you should explore other available 
options for assisting this passenger with boarding the aircraft, 
including carrying the passenger onto the aircraft in a boarding 
wheelchair or arranging for another flight with a working lift or a 
loading bridge. If the passenger consents to being carried onto the 
aircraft in the boarding wheelchair, you may do so. Regardless, you 
should notify the appropriate personnel that the mechanical lift is 
not functioning properly and arrange for repair as quickly as 
possible.

Connecting Assistance
    If a passenger with a disability requests transportation between 
gates to make a connecting flight, you must provide, or ensure the 
provision of, such assistance. If the arriving flight and departing 
flight are operated by different carriers, the carrier that operated 
the arriving flight has this responsibility. (Sec.  382.91(a)). Chapter 
4: Assisting Air Travelers with Disabilities at the Airport, has a more 
detailed discussion of the assistance a carrier must provide to 
passengers with a disability who are moving within the airport 
terminal.
Airport Operators at Foreign Airports--Boarding, Deplaning, and 
Connecting Assistance
    At some foreign airports, the airport operators rather than the 
carriers are responsible for providing boarding, deplaning, or 
connecting assistance for passengers. If the airport operator provides 
this assistance rather than carriers, you, as a carrier, may rely on 
the services provided by the airport operator. However, if the 
boarding, deplaning, or connecting services the airport operator 
provides are not sufficient to meet Part 382, you must supplement those 
services to ensure the assistance requirements are met. If you believe 
you are not legally permitted to supplement the airport operator's 
services, you may apply for a conflict of laws waiver under Sec.  
382.9. (Sec.  382.105).

D. Stowing and Treatment of Assistive Devices

    You should be familiar with the regulatory requirements for storage 
and treatment of assistive devices used by passengers with a 
disability, including ventilators and respirators; spillable and 
nonspillable batteries; canes; and wheelchairs. (Part 382, Subpart I).
Storing Mobility Aids and Other Assistive Devices in the Aircraft Cabin
    You must allow passengers with a disability to bring the following 
mobility aids and assistive devices into the aircraft cabin consistent 
with FAA, PHMSA, Transportation Security Administration (TSA or 
applicable foreign government requirements concerning safety, security, 
and hazardous materials:
     Manual wheelchairs, including folding or collapsible 
wheelchairs;
     Other mobility aids, such as canes, crutches and walkers; 
and
     Other assistive devices, such as prescription medications 
and the devices needed to administer them (such as syringes or auto-
injectors); vision-enhancing devices; and portable oxygen concentrators 
(POCs), ventilators, and respirators that use nonspillable batteries as 
long as they comply with applicable safety, security and hazardous 
materials rules. (Sec.  382.121(a)(1) through (a)(3)).

    Note: Carriers are not required to permit passengers to bring 
electric wheelchairs, Segways, or scooters into the aircraft cabin.

    You must not count mobility aids and other assistive devices 
brought on board the aircraft by a passenger with a disability toward 
your airline's limit for passenger carry-on baggage. (Sec.  
382.121(b)). Wheelchairs and other assistive devices that cannot be 
stowed in the cabin must be stowed in the baggage compartment with 
priority over other cargo and baggage. (Sec.  382.125(a) and (b)). In 
addition, because carriers cannot charge for facilities, equipment, or 
services required under Part 382, no charges may be imposed for 
assistive devices brought into the cabin or checked or if a wheelchair 
or other assistive device exceeds the normal weight limit on checked 
baggage. (Sec.  382.31(a)).
    Chapter 3: Assisting Air Travelers with Disabilities Planning a 
Trip, above, also discusses a carrier's obligations with regard to 
mobility aids and assistive devices.
Priority Stowage of Wheelchairs and Other Assistive Devices
    A passenger with a disability who takes advantage of preboarding 
may stow his or her folding wheelchair in the aircraft's priority 
storage space (discussed above in Section A, Aircraft Accessibility) 
with priority over all other items. You must move items that carrier 
personnel have stowed in this area, including crewmember luggage and 
on-board wheelchairs, even if these items were stowed before the 
passenger boarded the aircraft. This includes items placed in this area 
on a previous leg of the flight. (Sec.  382.123(a)(1)). You must also 
allow passengers with a disability who preboard to stow other assistive 
devices in this area with priority over other items except 
wheelchairs.\16\ (Sec.  382.123(a)(2)).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ A carrier might require FAA approval to stow assistive 
devices other than a wheelchair in the priority stowage space.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Passengers with wheelchairs or other assistive devices who do not 
preboard must still be allowed to use the priority stowage areas for 
their devices but their use of the space is on a first-come, first-
serve basis with respect to other passengers' items. (Sec.  
382.123(a)(3)).
    If a passenger's wheelchair exceeds the dimensions of the priority 
storage space while folded but otherwise fully assembled but will fit 
if the wheels or other components are removed without the use of tools, 
you must remove those components and stow the wheelchair in

[[Page 39831]]

the priority space. You must store the removed components in the areas 
provided for carry-on luggage. (Sec.  382.123(b)).

    Note: The rule currently prohibits the use of the ``seat-
strapping'' method of carrying a wheelchair in any aircraft you 
ordered after May 13, 2009, or which is delivered after May 13, 
2011. (Sec.  382.123(c)). There is currently DOT rulemaking pending 
regarding the use of the ``seat-strapping'' method and whether this 
practice should be permitted. (76 FR 32107) \17\

    \17\ Pursuant to JetBlue Airways' petition to stay the 
effectiveness of 14 CFR 382.67 and 14 CFR 382.123(c), the Office of 
the Assistant General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and 
Proceedings will not enforce the requirement that aircraft ordered 
after May 13, 2009, or delivered after May 13, 2010, have a priority 
space in the cabin of sufficient size to stow a passenger's manual 
folding wheelchair as required by section 382.67 and will allow 
carriers to continue using seat-strapping, as permitted by the 
Federal Aviation Administration or, if applicable, foreign safety 
authorities, until the rulemaking process is complete. See DOT-OST-
2010-0115.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mobility Aids and Other Assistive Devices That Cannot Be Stowed in the 
Aircraft Cabin
    You must stow mobility aids, including wheelchairs, and other 
assistive devices in the baggage compartment with priority over other 
cargo and baggage if an approved stowage area is not available in the 
cabin or the items cannot be transported in the cabin consistent with 
FAA, PHMSA, TSA, or applicable foreign government requirements. (Sec.  
382.125(a)). You need to transport only those items that fit into the 
baggage compartment and can be transported consistent with FAA, PHMSA, 
TSA, or applicable foreign government requirements on stowage of items 
in the baggage compartment. (Sec.  382.125(b)). DOT recognizes there 
may be some circumstances in which it is not practical to stow an 
electric wheelchair or some other assistive device in the baggage 
compartment, and you are not required to do so if it would constitute 
an undue burden. (Sec.  382.13(c)). For example, some larger scooters 
may not fit in smaller aircraft.
    If other passengers' items are removed from the aircraft to 
accommodate assistive devices, you must use your best efforts to ensure 
that the items are delivered to the passenger's destination on your 
next flight. The ``next flight'' may be a flight within 1 or 2 hours 
for domestic destinations or a matter of days with respect to some 
international destinations. (Sec.  382.125(b)).
    When a passenger's wheelchair, other mobility aids, or other 
assistive devices cannot be stowed in the cabin as carry-on baggage, 
you must ensure these items are timely checked and returned as close as 
possible to the door of the aircraft so that the passenger with a 
disability can use his or her own equipment, where possible, consistent 
with Federal regulations concerning transportation security and the 
transportation of hazardous materials. (Sec.  382.125(c)(1)). If, on 
the other hand, a passenger with a disability requests that these items 
be returned at the baggage claim area instead of at the door of the 
aircraft, you must do so. (Sec.  382.123(c)(2)). To ensure the timely 
return of a passenger's wheelchair, other mobility aids, or other 
assistive devices, they must be among the first items retrieved from 
the baggage compartment. (Sec.  382.125(d)).

    Example: A passenger with multiple sclerosis is one of many 
passengers on a flight who is informed that the flight is cancelled 
because of mechanical problems. It is late at night and the carrier 
has announced that the passengers will be provided a hotel room for 
the night and rescheduled on a flight leaving the following morning. 
The passenger with multiple sclerosis approaches you when she hears 
the announcement and explains that she needs access to her checked 
luggage because it contains her syringes and medication for her 
multiple sclerosis, which she must take on a daily basis. What 
should you do?
    The passenger's syringes and medication would be considered 
assistive devices. (Sec. Sec.  382.3 and 382.121(a)(3)). Because the 
passenger requested the return of her assistive device, you must 
return it to her if no extenuating circumstances prohibit the return 
of the items, for example, the carrier placed the baggage on an 
earlier flight to the passenger's final destination. (Sec.  
382.125(c)). As a matter of customer service, you may also advise 
such passengers (for example, through the carrier's Web site or 
other consumer information materials) that your carrier recommends 
to all of its passengers who require such medication or other items 
for medical necessity to bring a carry-on bag containing the 
medication or other items on board. Such medication carry-on bags 
would not be counted toward the passenger's carry-on baggage 
allowance.

Battery-Powered Mobility Aids
    As a carrier, you must accept a passenger's battery-powered 
wheelchair or other similar mobility device, including the battery, as 
checked baggage unless baggage compartment size and aircraft 
airworthiness considerations prohibit it. (Sec.  382.127(a)).
Check-In and Advance Notice Requirements (for Passengers With Battery-
Powered Mobility Devices)
    Aircraft with 60 or more passenger seats. You may require that the 
passenger check in for the flight 1 hour before the check-in time for 
the general public. However, even if the passenger does not check in 
within this time, you must make a reasonable effort to accommodate the 
passenger and transport the battery-powered wheelchair or other similar 
mobility aid provided it would not delay the flight. (Sec.  
382.127(b)).
    Aircraft with fewer than 60 passenger seats. You may require a 
passenger with a disability to provide up to 48 hours' advance notice 
and check in 1 hour before the check-in time for the general public if 
the passenger wishes transportation of an electric (battery-powered) 
wheelchair. (Sec.  382.27(c)(4)).
Battery Handling (for Wheelchairs, Scooters, and Other Mobility Devices 
Using Traditional Spillable or Nonspillable Battery Technology) \18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ PHMSA has several rules that govern the carriage of 
battery-powered devices as checked baggage. 49 CFR 175.10(a)(15) 
regulates non-spillable battery powered devices as checked baggage; 
49 CFR 175.10(a)(16) regulates spillable battery powered devices as 
checked baggage; and, 49 CFR 175.10(a)(17) regulates lithium ion 
battery powered devices as carry-on or checked baggage. See FN 18 
below. Note that Part 382 never requires that carriers allow battery 
powered wheelchair in the cabin as carry-on baggage.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    You must not require that the battery be removed and separately 
packaged if the--
     Manufacturer has labeled the battery on a wheelchair or 
other similar mobility device as nonspillable, or
     For a spillable battery, the battery-powered wheelchair 
can be loaded, stored, secured, and unloaded in an upright position.
    However, you must remove and package separately any battery that 
(1) is inadequately secured to a wheelchair or (2) if the battery is 
spillable and it is contained in a wheelchair that cannot be loaded, 
stowed, secured and unloaded in an upright position consistent with DOT 
hazardous materials regulations. Whenever your carrier is required to 
remove and provide hazardous material packaging for a battery, your 
carrier may require a passenger to provide up to 48 hours' advance 
notice and check in 1 hour before the standard check-in time. (Sec.  
382.27(c)(5)). A damaged or leaking battery should not be transported. 
(Sec.  382.127(c)).
    Finally, you must not disconnect the battery on a wheelchair or 
other mobility device if the battery is nonspillable and it is 
completely enclosed within a case or compartment integral to the design 
of the device unless you are required to do so under FAA, PHMSA, or 
foreign government safety regulations. (Sec.  382.127(e)).
    When it is necessary to detach a battery from a wheelchair or other

[[Page 39832]]

mobility device, you must provide packaging for the battery, if 
requested, and package the battery consistent with appropriate 
hazardous materials regulations. However, you are not required to use 
packaging materials or devices you do not normally use for this 
purpose. (Sec.  382.127(d)). You must not charge for such packaging. 
(Sec.  382.31(a)). You must not drain batteries. (Sec.  382.127(f)).
    If the physical size of a cargo compartment does not permit you to 
safely carry a wheelchair, other mobility aid, or assistive device 
upright without the risk of serious damage to the wheelchair, aid, or 
device, or the carriage of such a mobility aid in a small baggage 
compartment causes a load imbalance that violates weight and balance 
safety requirements, you may legitimately decline transportation of the 
item on the flight. However, you should assist the passenger in 
identifying a flight using an aircraft that can accommodate the 
wheelchair, aid, or device.
Assembly and Disassembly of Wheelchairs, Mobility Aids, and Assistive 
Devices
    You must permit passengers with a disability to provide written 
instructions concerning the disassembly and reassembly of their 
wheelchairs, other mobility aids and other assistive devices. (Sec.  
382.129(a)). When you disassemble these items, you must reassemble them 
and ensure their prompt return to the passenger with a disability. In 
addition, you must return a wheelchair, other mobility aid or other 
assistive device to the passenger in the same condition in which you 
received it. (Sec.  382.129(b)).
Passenger-Supplied Electronic Respiratory Assistive Devices
    U.S. carriers conducting passenger service (except for on-demand 
air taxi operators)
    You must permit a passenger with a disability to use the following 
passenger-supplied electronic respiratory assistive devices in the 
passenger cabin during all phases of flight on all aircraft designed 
with a maximum passenger seating capacity of more than 19 seats:
     Ventilators;
     Respirators;
     Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines; and
     FAA-approved POCs.
    You must allow such devices to be used in the cabin during air 
transportation if they--
     Meet applicable FAA requirements for medical portable 
electronic devices,
     Display a manufacturer's label indicating such compliance 
(see Note on labeling below), and
     The device can be stowed and used in the cabin consistent 
with applicable TSA, FAA, and PHMSA regulations. (Sec.  382.133(a)(1) 
and (a)(2)) \19\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ For applicable PHMSA regulations regarding ``portable 
electronic devices'' that use cells or batteries, see 49 CFR 
175.10(a)(18). This rule is not specific to disability assistive 
devices. DOT recognizes that the International Civil Aviation 
Organization (ICAO) states that portable medical electronic devices 
containing lithium metal or lithium-ion batteries may be carried by 
passengers for medical use but ``no more than two spare batteries 
may be carried in carry-on baggage.'' DOT's Pipeline and Hazardous 
Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) rule currently does not 
contain a limit on the number of lithium metal or lithium-ion 
batteries that may be carried by passengers for medical use. 
Therefore, DOT currently require carriers through its disability 
regulation to allow a passenger to transport in carry-on baggage as 
many spare lithium metal or lithium-ion batteries as needed for 
medical use subject to the gram content restrictions stated in the 
PHMSA regulation cited above. U.S. and foreign carriers are 
obligated to comply with the current PHMSA regulation unless a 
conflict of law request has been filed and approved by DOT.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Carrier personnel should inspect the device's label at the 
departure gate to ensure the device is labeled properly and that the 
passenger has an adequate number of batteries (that is, 150 percent of 
the maximum expected duration of the flight) for the flight and that 
they are properly packaged.)
Foreign Carriers Conducting Passenger Service (Except Operations 
Equivalent to a U.S. Carrier On-Demand Air Taxi Operation
    You must permit passengers with a disability to use the electronic 
respiratory assistive devices listed above (ventilator, respirator, 
CPAP machine, or POC of a kind equivalent to an FAA-approved POC for 
U.S. carriers) during flight in the passenger cabin of aircraft, 
originally designed with a maximum passenger seating capacity of more 
than 19 seats during operations to, from or within the United States. 
However, this requirement does not apply to foreign operations that are 
equivalent to on-demand air taxi operations by U.S. carriers. (Sec.  
382.133(b)).
    You must permit the use of such devices if they--
     Meet requirements for medical portable electronic devices 
established by your foreign government (or if no such requirements 
exist you may apply applicable FAA requirements for U.S. carriers),
     Have a manufacturer's label indicating such compliance 
(see Note on labeling below), and
     The device can be stowed and used in the cabin consistent 
with TSA, FAA and PHMSA regulations and the safety and security 
regulations of your foreign government. (Sec.  382.133(b)(1) through 
(b)(3)).
    Carrier personnel should inspect the device's label at the 
departure gate to ensure the device is labeled properly and that the 
passenger has an adequate number of batteries for the flight and that 
they are properly packaged.\20\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ In regards to lithium ion battery-powered respiratory 
devices, PHMSA has no prohibition or limitation on the number of 
batteries a passenger is allowed to carry on to power their 
respiratory device. PHMSA's rules differ from the ICAO standards 
which permit only two extra batteries. As PHMSA has not adopted the 
same rule, U.S. carriers are obligated to allow a passenger to bring 
the lithium-ion batteries on-board as long as they are packaged 
according to PHMSA standards. Foreign carriers are also obligated to 
carry the lithium-ion batteries unless there is a conflict of law.

    Note: Since the issuance of revised Part 382 on May 13, 2008, 
some carriers have denied passengers the use of POCs onboard the 
aircraft because the devices did not have a manufacturer's label 
indicating that the device complies with the standards of RTCA/DO-
160 or other applicable FAA or foreign requirements for portable 
medical electronic devices, even though the POC has been approved by 
the FAA for in-flight use. The DOT strongly encourages carriers to 
allow passengers to use any such FAA-approved POC if the conditions 
in Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 106 (SFAR 106) for use of 
portable oxygen concentrator systems onboard aircraft are followed 
even if the device has not been labeled.\21\ (See DOT Notice on this 
issue at http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/rules/Notice_10_28_09.pdf). Under SFAR 106, the FAA reviews the tests of POCs and 
determines whether the POCs meet safety requirements for medical 
portable electronic devices and are safe for use in-flight subject 
to certain conditions. The FAA specifically lists any POC brands and 
models that it deems acceptable for use onboard aircraft in SFAR 
106. (14 CFR part 121, SFAR 106). (A list of FAA-approved POCs can 
be found on the FAA's Web site at http://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/cabin_safety/portable_oxygen/).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \21\ The Use of Passenger-Supplied Electronic Respiratory 
Assistive Device on Aircraft, October 28, 2009. See http://airconsumer.dot.gov/rules/notice_10_28_09.pdf. The notice also 
covers other electronic respiratory assistive devices.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Chapter 3, Assisting Air Travelers with Disabilities Planning a 
Trip, also discusses passenger-supplied electronic respiratory 
assistive devices. Specifically, Chapter 3 discusses the information 
a carrier must provide during the reservation process to passengers 
with a disability who wish to use such devices during a flight and 
the conditions a passenger must meet to bring the device on the 
aircraft.

Baggage Liability Limits
    On domestic U.S. flights the baggage liability limits (14 CFR Part 
254, Domestic Baggage Liability Limits), do

[[Page 39833]]

not apply to loss, damage, or delay concerning wheelchairs, other 
mobility aids, or other assistive devices. Rather, the basis for 
calculating the compensation for lost, damaged, or delayed mobility 
aids, including wheelchairs, or other assistive devices must be the 
original purchase price of the device. (Sec.  382.131).

    Note: Baggage liability limits for international travel, 
including flights of U.S. carriers, are governed by the Montreal 
Convention and other international agreements instead of 14 CFR part 
254.

    You also must not require a passenger with a disability to sign a 
waiver of liability for damage to or loss of a wheelchair or other 
assistive device, although you may make notes about preexisting damage 
or the condition of these items to the same extent you do this for 
other checked baggage. (Sec.  382.35(b)).
    Example: A passenger with a battery-powered wheelchair with a 
spillable battery arrived for his domestic flight and carrier 
personnel determined that the wheelchair could not be loaded, 
stored, secured, and unloaded in an upright position in the cargo 
compartment of the aircraft. Therefore, the appropriate personnel 
removed the battery and stored the battery and wheelchair as checked 
baggage. When the passenger arrives at his destination and the 
battery is reconnected, it is done incorrectly and the entire 
electronic circuit board of the wheelchair is severely damaged, 
rendering the wheelchair temporarily unusable. What should you do?
    As a matter of good customer service, you should apologize to 
the passenger for the problem and the resulting inconvenience. In 
addition, you should explain to the passenger that the carrier will 
compensate him for the damaged wheelchair in an amount based on the 
original purchase price of the device. If, for example, the 
passenger provides you with documentation that the original cost of 
the wheelchair was $10,000 and verification that it cost $2,900 to 
be repaired, the carrier would pay the passenger or the repair 
company $2,900 to cover the cost of the wheelchair repair. Repair 
costs in excess of the original cost of the wheelchair need not be 
paid. The passenger could also recover from the carrier reasonable 
costs associated with the rental of a wheelchair during the repair 
period or while awaiting a new wheelchair.

E. Services and Information Provided in the Cabin

Services on Aircraft
    You must provide certain services within the aircraft cabin when 
requested by a passenger with a disability or when offered to and 
accepted by a passenger with a disability. Specifically, you must 
provide assistance:
     Moving to and from a seat as part of boarding and 
deplaning;
     Preparing for eating, such as opening packets and 
identifying food;
     If there is an on-board wheelchair, using the on-board 
wheelchair to enable the passenger to move to and from the lavatory (if 
requested, this could involve transferring the passenger from a seat to 
an aisle chair);
     Moving a passenger who is semi-ambulatory to and from the 
lavatory, without lifting or carrying the individual;
     Ensuring effective communication with passengers with 
vision or hearing impairments so that these passengers have timely 
access to information you provide to other passengers, such as 
information about weather, on-board services, flight delays, and 
connecting gates at the next airport; and
     Stowing and retrieving carry-on items, including mobility 
aids and other assistive devices stowed in the cabin (a passenger must 
self-identify as an individual with a disability needing such 
assistance). (Sec.  382.111).

    Example 1: A passenger using an aisle chair for boarding asks 
for help storing her carry-on item in the overhead compartment 
because, as is apparent, her disability prevents her from being able 
to reach up to the overhead compartment. What should you do?
    You must either assist the passenger directly or indicate that 
you will find the appropriate employee to assist her in stowing her 
carry-on bag in the overhead compartment.
    Example 2: A passenger who walks onto the plane for an evening 
flight with a rolling carry-on bag asks for help lifting his bag and 
putting it in the overhead storage compartment. What should you do?
    Because he has not identified himself as, and it is not obvious 
that he is, a passenger with a disability, you may want to ask for 
further clarification. Because, under the law, normally you cannot 
ask a passenger if he has a disability, you might ask, ``Is there 
any particular reason you need assistance sir?'' or ``Are you unable 
to lift it yourself?'' If, for example, the passenger explains that 
he has multiple sclerosis and his muscles are particularly fatigued 
at the end of the day and, therefore, he needs help lifting things, 
you must either assist the passenger directly or indicate that you 
will find the appropriate employee to assist him in stowing his 
carry-on bag. If, on the other hand, the passenger states that he is 
merely tired and does not feel like lifting the bag, he may be 
considered not to be a passenger with a disability and, therefore, 
you are not obligated to assist him. You may politely decline to 
assist him, depending on your carrier's policies regarding 
assistance with stowing carry-on items for passengers.
    You are not required to provide extensive special assistance to 
passengers with a disability such as:
     Help with actual eating, for example, feeding the 
passenger;
     Assistance within the restroom or at the passenger's 
seat with elimination functions; or
     Provision of medical services. (Sec.  382.113(a) 
through (c)).
    You cannot require that a passenger with a disability sit on a 
blanket or wear badges or other special identification. (Sec.  
382.33(b)(3) and (b)(4)).
Timely and Complete Access to Information for Passengers With a Vision 
or Hearing Impairment
    You must ensure that passengers with a disability who identify 
themselves as needing visual or hearing assistance have prompt access 
to the same information provided to other passengers on the aircraft. 
In this context, ``prompt'' means that you must provide this 
information to passengers with vision or hearing impairments as close 
as possible to the time the information is transmitted to the other 
passengers. However, you are not required to provide information if it 
would interfere with your crewmember safety duties under applicable FAA 
and foreign regulations. (Sec.  382.119(a)).
    You must provide information on--
     Flight safety,
     Procedures for takeoff and landing,
     Flight delays,
     Schedule or aircraft changes that affect the travel of 
passengers with a disability,
     Diversion to a different airport,
     Scheduled departure and arrival time,
     Boarding information,
     Weather conditions at the flight's destination,
     Beverage and menu information,
     Connecting gate assignments,
     Baggage claim,
     Individuals being paged, and
     Emergencies (for example, fire or bomb threat).
    (Sec.  382.119(b)).
    You may need to provide passengers with information not included on 
this list. In addition, if you use audio-visual displays to convey this 
information to passengers with hearing impairments you must provide 
high-contrast captioning as previously discussed in Section A, Aircraft 
Accessibility, of this chapter. (Sec.  382.69).

F. Safety Briefings

    The FAA requires that you provide a safety briefing to all 
passengers before each takeoff. (Sec. Sec.  121.571 and 135.117). With 
regard to passengers with a disability you must not require that the 
passenger demonstrate he or she has listened to, read, or understood 
the information presented, except to the extent that you impose such a 
requirement on all passengers with

[[Page 39834]]

respect to the general safety briefing or for an exit row briefing. In 
addition, you must not take any action adverse to a passenger with a 
disability on the basis the individual has not ``accepted'' the 
briefing. (Sec.  382.115(c)).
Individual Safety Briefings
    Under certain circumstances, you must provide individual safety 
briefings to a passenger with a disability. (Sec.  382.115(a)). FAA 
regulations require you to conduct an individual briefing for each 
passenger who may need assistance to move expeditiously to an emergency 
exit. (Sec. Sec.  121.571(a)(3) and (4) and 135.117(b)). You must brief 
the passenger and the attendant, if any, on the routes to the 
appropriate exit and on the most appropriate time to move toward the 
exit in the event of an emergency. In addition, you must ask the 
passenger and the attendant, if any, the most appropriate manner of 
assisting the passenger. You may offer an individual briefing to any 
other passenger. (Sec.  382.115(b)). When you conduct an individual 
safety briefing for a passenger with a disability, you must do so as 
inconspicuously and discreetly as possible. (Sec.  382.115(d)).
Safety Briefings for Passengers With Hearing Impairments
    If you present safety briefings to passengers using audio-visual 
displays, you must ensure that the presentation is accessible to 
passengers with hearing impairments. (Sec.  382.115(e)). The 
accessibility requirements for onboard audio-visual safety 
presentations are discussed in Section A, Aircraft Accessibility of 
this chapter. (Sec.  382.69).

Chapter 6: Assisting Air Travelers With Disabilities With Their 
Complaints

A. Complaints Resolution Officials (CROs)
B. Handling Passenger Complaints
C. ACCESS: An Approach for Resolving Complaints
D. General Complaint Resolution Tips
E. Categorizing, Recording and Reporting Written Disability-Related 
Complaints

A. Complaints Resolution Officials (CROs)

    Carriers providing service using aircraft with 19 or more passenger 
seats must designate one or more CROs. (Sec.  382.151(a)). CROs are 
individuals trained as the carrier's experts in ensuring that carrier 
personnel correctly implement the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) 
requirements and Part 382. Each CRO must be trained and thoroughly 
familiar with (1) the rights of passengers with disabilities under Part 
382 and (2) the carrier's procedures with respect to passengers with a 
disability. The primary purpose of having a CRO is to resolve a 
passenger's problem as quickly as possible without using formal 
Department of Transportation (DOT) enforcement procedures and before a 
violation occurs.

(Sec. Sec.  382.141(a)(7) and 382.151(d)).

    A CRO must have the authority to resolve complaints by passengers 
with a disability on behalf of the carrier. Therefore, CROs must have 
the power to overrule decisions of other carrier personnel, except that 
they are not required to have the authority to countermand a safety 
decision made by the pilot-in-command. (Sec.  382.151(e)).
Availability of the CRO
    As a U.S. carrier, you must make a CRO available at each airport 
you serve during all times you are operating at that airport. As a 
foreign carrier, you must make a CRO available either in person or by 
telephone or Text Telephones (TTY) at each airport serving flights you 
operate that begin or end at a U.S. airport. Part 382 recognizes that, 
in some cases, carriers operate flights infrequently and it is not 
necessary to have a CRO available during those times the carrier is not 
operating flights at that airport. (Sec.  382.151(b)).

    Example: A foreign carrier may fly from Dulles International 
Airport to a foreign airport only at 5 p.m. on Mondays and 
Thursdays. On other days and on Monday and Thursday mornings, the 
foreign carrier would not have to make a CRO available at Dulles.
    If the CRO is available by telephone, it must be at no cost to 
the passenger. In addition, if a telephone link to the CRO is used, 
a TTY service or a similarly effective technology must be available 
to passengers with hearing impairments. You must ensure that CRO 
services are available in the languages in which you provide 
services to the general public. (Sec.  382.151(b)).

B. Handling Passenger Complaints

    If a passenger with a disability, or someone on behalf of a 
passenger with a disability, complains or raises a concern with you 
about discrimination, accommodations, or services with respect to 
passengers with a disability, and you do not immediately resolve the 
issue to the customer's satisfaction or provide a requested 
accommodation, you must immediately inform the passenger of the right 
to contact a CRO. You must then contact a CRO on the passenger's behalf 
or provide the passenger with the means to contact the CRO such as by 
providing a telephone, a phone card plus the location and/or phone 
number of the CRO. The requirement to provide this information applies 
to your carrier's reservation agents, contractors, and Web sites when a 
passenger with a disability using those services complains or raises a 
concern about a disability related issue. (Sec.  382.151(c)). Carriers 
are responsible for making a passenger aware of the availability of a 
CRO anytime a disability-related concern is raised even if a passenger 
does not specifically ask to speak with a CRO.

    Example: A passenger with a disability states that he wishes to 
carry-on and stow his personal folding wheelchair in the cabin as he 
has done on several similar flights on your carrier in the same 
market and on the same aircraft type. As the ticket agent, you 
inform the passenger that you are unsure if wheelchairs can be 
stowed in the cabin, but state ``We have a CRO available that will 
be able to provide guidance. The CRO is our carrier's expert in 
disability related questions or concerns.''
Complaints Made Directly to a CRO During the Trip
    When a passenger with a disability makes a complaint directly to a 
CRO during the course of the trip (for example, over the telephone or 
in person at an airport), the CRO must promptly take action to resolve 
the problem as follows:
     If a passenger complains about a disability-related issue 
to a CRO before Part 382 has been violated, the CRO must promptly take 
action or direct other employees to take action to ensure compliance 
with the law. (Sec.  382.153(a)). However, as previously discussed, 
only the pilot-in-command of an aircraft has final authority to make 
decisions regarding safety onboard his or her aircraft and the CRO may 
not have the authority to override a pilot's decisions regarding 
safety. (Sec.  382.151(e)) .
     If a passenger complains about a disability-related issue 
or alleges that a violation of Part 382 already has occurred and the 
CRO agrees that a violation has occurred, the CRO must provide the 
complaining passenger with a written statement summarizing the facts 
and the steps, if any, the carrier proposes to take in response to the 
violation. (Sec.  382.153(b)). Note, some carriers use their legal 
department to provide a written response.
     If a passenger alleges a violation of Part 382 but the CRO 
determines that no violation has occurred, the CRO still must provide a 
written statement including a summary of the facts and the reasons for 
that determination. (Sec.  382.153(c)).

    Note: In both instances discussed above, the written statement 
responding to the passenger's complaint must either be provided in 
person to the passenger at the airport or it must be forwarded to 
the passenger within 30 calendar days of the complaint. The written 
statement must

[[Page 39835]]

inform the complaining passenger about his or her right to pursue 
DOT enforcement action under Part 382. (Sec.  382.153(d)).

Written Complaints Received After the Trip
    Generally, as a carrier, you must respond to written complaints 
from passengers with a disability. Written complaints may be received 
by letter, facsimile, email, electronic instant messaging, and short 
message service (SMS) via the Internet. (Sec.  382.155(a)). In regards 
to complaints received through Facebook and Twitter, in the context of 
consumer complaints, the Department allows carriers to not respond to 
those complaints provided the carrier clearly indicates on the its 
primary page on Facebook and/or Twitter that it will not reply to 
consumer complaints on that site and directs the consumer to the 
carrier's mailing address and email or Web site location for filing 
written complaints. The Enforcement Office will adopt this policy for 
disability-related complaints as well. However, you are not required to 
respond to a written complaint postmarked or transmitted more than 45 
days after the date of the incident, except complaints referred to you 
by DOT. (Sec.  382.155(c)).
    You must provide your response in writing to the complaining 
passenger within 30 days of receiving his or her written complaint. 
Your response must describe how you resolved the complaint and must 
specifically admit or deny that a violation of Part 382 occurred. 
(Sec.  382.155(d)). As a matter of good customer service, you should 
provide all information regarding written complaints in a polite and 
respectful manner.
    Depending on your carrier's determination, the response to a 
written complaint must include the following:
     If your carrier agrees that a violation has occurred, you 
must provide a written statement to the complaining passenger 
summarizing the facts and stating what steps, if any, your carrier 
proposes to take in response to the violation. (Sec.  382.155(d)(1)).
     If your carrier denies a violation occurred, the written 
response must include a summary of the facts and your carrier's reasons 
under Part 382 for making the determination. (Sec.  382.155(d)(2)).

    Note: As with the response to oral complaints, the response to a 
written complaint must inform the complaining passenger about his or 
her right to pursue DOT enforcement action under the law. (Sec.  
382.155(d)(3)).

Responsibilities of Employees/Contractors Other Than the CRO
    Each employee/contractor dealing with the traveling public should 
be trained to proficiency, as appropriate to the duties of the 
employee/contractor, on the legal requirements and the carrier's 
policies concerning the provision of air travel to passengers with 
disabilities. (Sec.  382.141). These employees/contractors must receive 
training on awareness about and appropriate responses to individuals 
with physical, sensory, mental, and emotional disabilities, including 
how to distinguish among the differing abilities of individuals with a 
disability. (Sec.  382.141(a)(2)). A discussion of employee/contractor 
training requirements can be found in Chapter 8: Personnel Training; 
and Appendix II on Airline Management Related Issues.
    You should be familiar with your carrier's established procedures 
and the CRO's duties and responsibilities with respect to resolving a 
complaint raised by a passenger with a disability. You should convey 
this information to passengers with a disability under the appropriate 
circumstances.
    When resolving complaints from a passenger with a disability, you 
should:
     Request assistance from a CRO immediately or assist the 
passenger with a disability in doing so, if the passenger requests to 
speak with a ``supervisor'' or ``manager'' about a disability-related 
issue.
     Contact a CRO if you are having any difficulty providing 
an accommodation required by Part 382 or carrier policy to a passenger 
with a disability.
     Carry the information about how to contact a CRO with you 
at all times. Remember, a U.S. carrier must make a CRO available, in 
person or by telephone, at each airport the carrier serves during all 
times the carrier is operating at that airport. A foreign carrier must 
make a CRO available, in person or by telephone, at each airport 
serving flights the carrier operates that begin or end at a U.S. 
airport. (Sec.  382.151(b)).

C. ACCESS: An Approach for Resolving Complaints

    When you receive a complaint from a passenger with a disability, 
there are certain requirements under the law with which you, your 
carrier, and a CRO must comply. Even if you call a CRO, it is important 
to be able to assess the situation firsthand through observation, 
communication, and information gathering because a CRO is not always 
available onsite and may only be involved in resolving the complaint by 
telephone.
    Having a consistent process for handling these complaints will 
assist you in meeting your legal obligations and providing good 
customer service. Learning what the particular problem is, finding the 
applicable rule, regulation, or policy that addresses the situation, 
and remedying the situation by taking positive action are important 
aspects of the process.
    The ACCESS \22\ checklist below is provided as a memory aid for 
responding to these complaints. Remember ACCESS as a thorough and 
useful process through which you can address the complaint or refer it 
to a CRO as needed.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \22\ ACCESS is a memory aid to Ask, Call, Check, Evaluate, 
Solve, and Satisfy for use when resolving complaints.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

BILLING CODE 4910-9X-P

[[Page 39836]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP05JY12.000

D. General Complaint Resolution Tips

    To ensure that you can appropriately resolve a complaint from a 
passenger with a disability, you should:
     Familiarize yourself with this manual, the full text of 
Part 382 at http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/SA_Disability.htm, and your 
carrier's policies concerning Part 382, and for providing good customer 
service. Primarily, you must not violate the civil rights of passengers 
with a disability. In addition, you should treat passengers in

[[Page 39837]]

a manner consistent with good customer service.
     Work as quickly as possible to ensure prompt service and, 
at the same time, respect the needs of passengers with a disability.
     Be aware of your carrier's procedures for addressing 
complaints. You should take the time necessary to resolve the complaint 
while maintaining flight schedules. If an unfamiliar situation presents 
itself or you have any doubts or questions, you should contact your 
immediate supervisor or a CRO for prompt resolution of the issue.
     Make reasonable attempts to keep the passenger with a 
disability informed about your or other carrier personnel's progress 
with respect to resolving a complaint.
     Do not argue with a passenger with a disability who 
presents a complaint.
     Listen carefully and actively, evaluate appropriate 
options under Part 382 and your carrier's policy, and communicate the 
basis for the action taken (or not taken) to the passenger with a 
disability in a respectful and polite manner to ensure effective 
complaint resolution.
     Assess the situation firsthand through observation, 
communication, and information gathering even if you call a CRO, 
because a CRO is not always available on site and may only be involved 
in resolving the complaint by telephone.

E. Categorizing, Recording, and Reporting Written Disability-Related 
Complaints

    As a carrier covered by Part 382 that conducts passenger operations 
with at least one aircraft having a designated seating capacity of more 
than 60 passengers on flights to, from, or in the United States, you 
must categorize, record, and report annually to the DOT written 
disability-related complaints you receive. (Sec.  382.157). This 
requirement applies to foreign carriers only with respect to 
disability-related complaints associated with any flight segment 
beginning or ending in the United States. (Sec.  382.157(b)).
    As a carrier, you must have a system for categorizing and recording 
disability-related complaints by the passenger's type of disability and 
the nature of the passenger's complaint. (Sec.  382.157(c)) In 
addition, you must submit an annual report on the last Monday of 
January of every year summarizing the disability-related complaints you 
received during the previous year. This annual report must be submitted 
online using the form specified at the Web site address http://382reporting.ost.dot.gov unless you demonstrate undue hardship if not 
permitted to submit the information via paper copies, disks or email. 
(Sec.  382.157(d)). If DOT approves your request not to submit the 
annual report through the Web site address above, you must use the form 
in Appendix A to Part 382. (Sec.  382.157(h)).

    Note: The recording and reporting responsibilities discussed 
above apply to carriers in a codeshare relationship. As carrier in 
such a relationship, you must record and report disability-related 
complaints concerning services you provide. In addition, you must 
forward to your codeshare partner any disability-related complaints 
you receive from or on behalf of passengers regarding difficulties 
encountered in connection with service provided by your codesharing 
partner. As a codeshare carrier, you must report disability-related 
complaints even when you are unable to reach agreement with your 
codeshare partner as to whether the complaint involves service you 
provide or service your codeshare partner provides.
    Each carrier, including those carriers in a codeshare 
relationship, must record and report disability-related complaints 
forwarded to it by another carrier or governmental agency with 
respect to difficulties encountered in connection with services you 
provide. (Sec.  382.157(f)(1) and (f)(2), and (g)).
    Finally, each carrier must retain correspondence and records of 
action on all disability-related complaints for 3 years after 
receiving the complaint or creating the record of action. You must 
make these records available to the DOT on request. (Sec.  
382.157(e)).

Chapter 7: Interacting With Individuals With Disabilities

A. Terminology
B. Physical, Mental, and Psychological Impairments
C. Tips for Interacting With Individuals With Disabilities

A. Terminology

    When assisting and interacting with individuals with disabilities, 
you should use language that reflects a positive view of them. You 
should focus on the person first, not the disability, and avoid 
language that reinforces myths, stereotypes, and discrimination.
    This chart lists some currently acceptable terminology and 
terminology you should avoid when addressing or referring to an 
individual with a disability.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Use                                 Avoid
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Person with a disability...............  Handicapped or deformed.
Person with a hearing impairment.......  The deaf.
Person with a vision impairment........  The blind; the visually-
                                          impaired.
Person with an emotional disorder,       Crazy, demented, lunatic,
 psychiatric illness, or psychiatric      psycho, or maniac.
 disability.
Person using a wheelchair, wheelchair    Confined to a wheelchair,
 user.                                    wheelchair bound, or crippled.
Person with acquired immune deficiency   Afflicted with AIDS, victim of
 syndrome (AIDS) or living with AIDS.     AIDS, or suffers from AIDS.
Congenital disability..................  Birth defect.
Person with cerebral palsy.............  Afflicted with cerebral palsy
                                          or suffers from cerebral
                                          palsy.
Person with Down syndrome..............  Mongol, mongoloid, or retarded.
Person with a head injury, brain         Brain damaged.
 damage, or traumatic brain injury.
Person with a speech disorder or who is  Mute or dumb.
 without speech.
Person with quadriplegia or who is       Crippled.
 paralyzed.
Person of small or short stature.......  Midget.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Physical, Mental, and Psychological Impairments

    It may not be apparent whether a person is an individual with a 
disability. You should provide an opportunity for an individual with a 
disability to self-identify by asking if the individual needs 
assistance and, if so, how best you can assist with those needs. Be 
mindful that you cannot require an individual with a disability to 
accept special services, including preboarding. (Sec.  382.11(a)(2)). 
Below are examples of physical, mental, and psychological impairments.
Examples of Physical Impairments
     Orthopedic impairment;
     Deafness (profound hearing loss);

[[Page 39838]]

     Hard of hearing (mild to profound hearing loss);
     Vision impairment and blindness;
     Speech disorder;
     Cerebral palsy;
     Epilepsy;
     Muscular dystrophy;
     Multiple sclerosis;
     Cancer;
     Heart disease;
     Diabetes; and
     Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
    (Sec.  382.3).
Examples of Mental or Psychological Impairments
     Mental retardation;
     Organic brain syndrome;
     Emotional or mental illness; and
     Specific learning disabilities.
    (Sec.  382.3).

C. Tips for Interacting With Individuals With Disabilities

    The first section below provides general tips for interacting with 
an individual with a disability. This section is followed by tips for 
interacting with individuals with one or more of a provided list of 
examples of disabilities.
    This information will help you provide services, facilities, and 
other accommodations to passengers with disabilities in a respectful 
and helpful manner. Some of the tips relate to specific requirements 
under Part 382, but most suggest ways to interact with passengers with 
disabilities that would constitute good customer service and 
demonstrate an appropriate level of sensitivity. However, carriers 
should be aware that Sec.  382.141(a)(3) requires carriers to train 
employees who deal with the traveling public to recognize requests for 
communication accommodations from individuals with vision or hearing 
impairments and to use the most common, readily available methods for 
communicating with these individuals such as writing notes and clearly 
enunciating. The tips below should be read and followed with the above 
qualification in mind.
General Tips for Interacting With Individuals With Disabilities
     Always ask. The most effective and simplest step for you 
to take when you are uncertain about a passenger's needs is to ask, 
``How may I best assist you?'' or ``Please let me know how I can assist 
you.'' A passenger with a disability has the most information about his 
or her abilities, level of familiarity with the airport and airline, 
and traveling needs.
     Appreciate the passenger's perspective. You should take 
into consideration the extra time and energy that traveling may require 
for a person with a disability. For example, you should realize that a 
person with a disability may not have the flexibility and spontaneity 
to react to unexpected situations. Understand that making adjustments 
may take more time or may require additional attention or services for 
passengers with a disability.
     Be yourself and be self-aware. When you are speaking with 
an individual with a disability it is important to relax, be yourself, 
and maintain the conversational style you would use for anyone else. Be 
aware of the possibility that your body language could convey 
discomfort or impatience; try to avoid this. Also, you should respect 
the privacy of individuals with disabilities. Asking about a person's 
disability can be perceived as intrusive and insensitive. It might be 
interpreted as placing the disability above the human being.
     Do not make assumptions. Do not assume that all 
individuals with a disability automatically need assistance. Keep in 
mind that if the setting is accessible, individuals with a disability 
would usually prefer to operate independently.
     Emotions matter. Acknowledge the emotions of the person in 
a stressful situation, for example, frustration or disappointment. When 
acknowledging the emotions of others, it may be more effective to use 
``you'' rather than ``I.'' For example, you should say, ``You must be 
frustrated by having to wait for your checked wheelchair'' rather than, 
``I completely understand how you feel, I had to wait forever at a 
supermarket check-out yesterday.''
     Focus on the person, not the disability. The emphasis is 
on the individual first, not the disability.
     Keep the passenger informed. When providing an 
accommodation to a passenger with a disability, update the passenger 
about the progress or timing in connection with the accommodation.
     Knowledge is useful. Be aware of the services, 
information, and resources available to an individual with a disability 
who asks about a particular accommodation. If you do not know the 
answer to the question, treat the individual with respect and courtesy 
and say, ``Let me find out for you.'' Do not guess about what 
accommodations or services to provide an individual with a disability. 
When explaining the requirements under Part 382, avoid giving legal 
advice or counseling the person in any way.
     The passenger is the expert. Offer assistance only if the 
passenger appears to need help. If the passenger asks for help, ask how 
you can assist and listen to the passenger's response and instructions 
before you act. If you have any doubts as to how to assist a passenger 
with a disability, you should ask the passenger for guidance before 
acting. Avoid being overly enthusiastic about helping and always think 
before you speak and act when offering assistance.
     Respect personal space. Be sensitive about physical 
contact. Avoid patting an individual with a disability or touching the 
individual's wheelchair or cane. Individuals with disabilities consider 
their assistive devices to be part of their personal space.
     Speak directly to the passenger. Always make eye contact 
and speak directly to an individual with a disability, not the 
individual's companion, attendant, or interpreter.
     Treat each passenger as an individual. It is important to 
recognize that individuals with a disability may vary in their ability 
to perform certain tasks. Individuals with a disability are best able 
to assess and gauge what they can and cannot do in a particular 
situation.
    It is always important to keep these tips in mind when assisting 
and communicating with passengers with disabilities. Although as a 
practical matter, you need to be aware of different considerations 
depending on the passenger's type of disability.
Five Examples of Types of Disabilities
    Below are five basic types of disabilities with a list of 
considerations to keep in mind when you are communicating and 
accommodating passengers with each type of disability. Although these 
five types of disabilities are specifically discussed, you must 
consider each passenger with a disability as an individual with 
individual needs. It is important for you to communicate with each 
passenger about that particular passenger's needs under the 
circumstances and avoid making assumptions about the passenger's needs.
    Five examples of types of disabilities addressed below are--
     Vision impairments;
     Hearing or severe hearing and vision impairments;
     Mobility disabilities;
     Difficulty speaking; and
     Disabilities that are not apparent (for example, a 
cognitive or emotional disability, diabetes, etc.).

[[Page 39839]]

Tips for Assisting Individuals With Vision Impairments
Communication
     Only offer assistance if it seems appropriate. Ask the 
person if you can be of assistance and, if so, how you can help.
     Identify yourself by name and job responsibility first.
     Always communicate using words rather than relying on 
gestures, facial expressions, or other nonverbal communication. For 
example, tell the passenger the gate number and the directions to the 
gate. If you are handing a boarding pass to a passenger with a vision 
impairment, explain that you have the person's boarding pass and that 
you would like to place it directly in the person's hand. Always 
communicate in words that describe what you are doing (for example, 
waiting to receive confirmation of a reservation), and identify any 
items you are giving to the passenger (for example, a credit card, 
ticket, or voucher).
     Make sure a passenger with a vision impairment is made 
aware of all relevant information as it becomes available to other 
passengers. (Sec.  382.53 and 382.119). For example, if a boarding time 
is changed and the new boarding time is posted visually at the gate, 
you must inform the person orally. You should advise the passenger when 
you are leaving the area and answer any questions the person has before 
you leave.
     If individual safety briefings are required, you must 
conduct them discreetly with respect for the privacy of an individual 
with a vision impairment. (Sec.  382.115(d)).
     If a person uses a term relating to vision impairments 
that you are not familiar with or that you do not understand, ask the 
individual what his or her needs are. If you need additional 
information, you should contact the Complaints Resolution Official 
(CRO) to discuss how best to proceed. Be aware that your carrier may 
provide additional training to educate you about the different types of 
disabilities to enhance your ability to accommodate passengers with 
disabilities.
     Keep in mind that the special service request (SSR) field 
of the passenger name record (PNR) may contain information concerning a 
passenger who is visually impaired.
Guiding an Individual
     Never take the arm of an individual with a vision 
impairment without asking first. In addition to the fact that the 
passenger might not need or want assistance, grabbing the passenger's 
arm could cause the passenger to lose his or her balance. Also, if you 
do not ask whether the passenger needs assistance, the passenger could 
perceive your forcing assistance upon him or her as a lack of respect 
because you did not give that passenger the option of receiving or 
declining the assistance. Once you ask if you can offer your arm, let 
the person take it. You may direct the individual's arm to a railing or 
the back of a chair to assist with seating.
     Walk approximately a half step ahead of the person if you 
are serving as a guide through the terminal. Inform a person with a 
vision impairment about any approaching obstacles, such as escalators, 
moving walkways, or revolving doors, and alternative routing to avoid 
these obstacles if the person desires. For example, when approaching a 
moving walkway you might say, ``We are approaching a moving walkway; it 
is approximately 50 feet in front of us. If you would like we can use 
the moving walkway or avoid the walkway. Which would you prefer?'' 
Never assume that a person with a vision impairment cannot use these 
devices because of his or her disability. Instead, offer the individual 
the freedom and flexibility to choose which devices and facilities he 
or she would like to use. Describe the environment in detail as you 
proceed and ask the person if he or she would like you to point out 
airport amenities such as restaurants, shops, automated teller 
machines, restrooms, airline club lounges, displays, or other terminal 
facilities. Note any obstacles and their location in your path. If you 
need to provide a warning, be as specific as possible. Offer to orient 
the person to the gate or other terminal area in case he or she would 
like to walk around. For example, you could say, ``All even numbered 
gates are on our right when walking from security and odd numbered 
gates are on the left.''
     When you are done guiding the person to his or her 
destination, ask if any other assistance is needed. You should not 
inform other passengers or carrier personnel that an individual with a 
vision impairment needs additional assistance unless the individual has 
requested you to do so.
     Be aware that many people with vision impairments prefer 
to walk rather than use mobility devices, such as wheelchairs or 
electric carts. You may not require an individual with a vision 
impairment to use a wheelchair and, if requested, you must provide a 
walking guide for that individual.
Service Animals and Assistive Devices
     Never pet or distract a service animal accompanying an 
individual with a vision impairment unless the individual specifically 
told you it is all right to do so.
     Do not separate passengers with vision impairments from 
their service animals unless the individual specifically told you it is 
acceptable to do so.
     Do not move a person's cane or assistive device if the 
person has placed it on the ground near a seat. If you ask and receive 
permission, you may help the passenger collect things if needed (for 
example, carry-on items or jackets.)
     Do not lean on a passenger's assistive device.
     Do not use a passenger's assistive device unless you have 
specific permission from the passenger.
     Do not disassemble a passenger's assistive device unless 
disassembly is necessary for stowage on the aircraft.
Tips for Assisting Individuals With Hearing or Hearing and Vision 
Impairments
Communication
     Remember that individuals with hearing impairments have 
various ways of communicating. Depending on the nature of their 
disability, these individuals may communicate using, for example, sign 
language, speech/lip reading, Text Telephones (TTY), a hearing aid, or 
an implant. A person's hearing impairment may go unnoticed unless the 
person self-identifies.
     When you speak, look directly at the person with a hearing 
impairment. The person may use speech/lip reading as a method of 
communicating. You should use normal lip movement and a normal tone of 
voice when speaking to the person. You should not shout because 
shouting distorts the sound, words, and lip movement. Sometimes you may 
need to rephrase your message because many words have the same lip 
movement, for example, the numbers 15 and 50. If you write a note, you 
should make the message short and simple. If the person with a hearing 
impairment uses an interpreter, you should look directly at the person 
with a hearing impairment and not the interpreter when speaking with 
the person with a hearing impairment.
     Identify yourself by name and job responsibility first.
     If individual safety briefings are required, conduct them 
discreetly with respect for the privacy of the person with the hearing 
or vision and hearing impairment. (Sec.  382.115(d)).
     Make sure a passenger with a vision or hearing impairment 
receives all relevant information as it becomes available to all 
passengers. For example,

[[Page 39840]]

if a boarding time is changed and the new boarding time is announced, 
you must inform the person through an accessible method of 
communicating. (Sec.  382.53 and 382.119).
     If a person uses a term relating to hearing or hearing and 
vision impairments that you are not familiar with or that you do not 
understand, ask the person to tell you what his or her needs are. If 
you need additional information, you should contact the CRO to discuss 
how best to proceed.
     An individual with both hearing and vision impairments may 
communicate through ``finger spelling'', which is an alternative to 
sign language. This method involves ``writing'' with your fingertip on 
the palm of the person's hand. You should use the fleshy part of your 
fingertip, not your nail. Always use all upper case letters and use the 
same reference point for each letter. You should hold the person's hand 
the same way each time, so the top and bottom letter falls in the same 
place. Make sure the words you print are ``right side up'' for the 
person receiving the message. You should write as large as possible and 
start in the upper left for a ``W'' and finish in the upper right. Use 
the entire palm area for each letter. Use one stroke for both the 
letter ``I'' and the number ``1''. It will be obvious which you intend 
from the context of what you are spelling. When you finish a word, 
``wipe it off'' using the palm of your hand. This action indicates that 
you have finished one word and you are beginning a new word.
     Keep in mind that the SSR field of the PNR may contain 
information concerning a passenger with a hearing or hearing and vision 
impairment.
Guiding an Individual With Both Visual and Hearing Impairments
     Touch the person gently and offer your arm. Let the person 
take the back of your elbow near your body so that he or she can feel 
the change in gait as you approach different barriers and prepare for 
them. Do not take or grab the arm of a person with both hearing and 
vision impairments (particularly the arm with which the person is 
holding a cane or guide dog harness) and do not push him or her along.
     If the person has a guide dog, go to the side opposite the 
service animal and offer your arm (usually the person's right side). 
Remember that a person with both hearing and vision impairments cannot 
hear you. Therefore, you must convey information regarding obstacles, 
such as stairs, tactually.
     Individuals with both hearing and vision impairments often 
have poor balance so it is helpful to offer a steady hand to aid in 
orientation. You must never leave an individual with both hearing and 
vision impairments in an open space. You should place his or her hand 
on a wall, post, railing, or whatever sturdy, stationary object that is 
available.
Service Animals
     Never pet or distract a service animal accompanying a 
person who has a disability unless the person specifically tells you it 
is all right to do so.
     Do not separate passengers with hearing or hearing and 
vision impairments from their service animals unless the passenger 
specifically tells you it is all right to do so.
Tips for Assisting Individuals With Mobility Disabilities
Communication
     If a person uses a term to describe a mobility disability 
that you are not familiar with or that you don't understand, ask the 
person to tell you what he or she needs. If you need additional 
information, you should contact the CRO to discuss how best to proceed.
     If individual safety briefings are required, conduct them 
discreetly with respect for the privacy of the person with a mobility 
disability. (Sec.  382.115(d)).
     When having a long conversation with a person who is using 
a wheelchair, you should sit nearby so that you are closer to eye 
level.
Wheelchairs, Mobility Aids, and Other Assistive Devices
     Be aware of the types of wheelchairs and assistive devices 
used by people with mobility disabilities when traveling. You must be 
able to provide information to people about the different types of 
wheelchairs, services, and other equipment provided or accommodated by 
your carrier on the particular flight.
     Understand the proper function and storage of the 
different types of wheelchairs, mobility aids, and assistive devices. 
Ask the person with the mobility disability the best way to handle the 
device.
     Consider keeping information handy about businesses 
providing wheelchair repair in the area in case a person with a 
mobility disability needs the information.
Assisting With Transfers and Movement Through Terminal
     If you must transfer a person with a mobility disability 
from an aisle chair to a seat on the aircraft, or perform any other 
kind of transfer, explain the transfer procedures and listen to any 
instructions or preferences from the person before undertaking the 
transfer.
     You must never physically hand-carry a person with a 
mobility disability from the tarmac to the aircraft door (even if both 
of you are willing) except in an emergency evacuation situation. (Sec.  
382.101). Note, however, that hand-carrying a passenger and lifting a 
passenger from his or her wheelchair onto a boarding chair and from a 
boarding chair onto his or her aircraft seat are not synonymous. 
Carriers are required to transfer passengers into and out of aircraft 
seats for boarding, deplaning, and in-flight use of the lavatory.
     When providing transportation between gates, ask the 
person with the mobility disability if he or she would prefer you to 
push the wheelchair. If the answer is ``yes,'' you should use elevators 
and avoid escalators and moving walkways. When maneuvering through the 
terminal, say, ``Excuse us'' rather than ``Excuse me.''
     Be aware that carriers are not permitted to charge 
passengers with disabilities for services or equipment required by Part 
382. (Sec.  382.31). However, if a passenger with a disability 
voluntarily offers to tip you for providing a service, you should 
consult your carrier's policy to determine whether you can accept the 
tip. Soliciting tips is prohibited.
Service Animals
     Never pet or distract a service animal accompanying a 
person who has a mobility disability unless the person specifically 
tells you it is all right to do so.
     Do not separate passengers with a mobility disability from 
their service animals unless the passenger specifically tells you it is 
all right to do so.
Tips for Assisting Individuals With Difficulty Speaking
Communication
     Ask the person how he or she prefers to communicate.
     A pencil and paper may be okay for short conversations.
     If you do not understand something that is said, tell the 
person that you do not understand and ask the person to repeat the 
statement.

[[Page 39841]]

     Be patient. An individual with a speaking impairment may 
need extra time to communicate.
     Allow the individual to speak without attempting to finish 
his or her sentence.
     To obtain information quickly, you should ask short 
questions that require brief ``yes'' or ``no'' answers.
     Do not shout.
     You should remember that difficulty speaking does not 
indicate a lack of intelligence.
Tips for Assisting People With Disabilities That Are Not Apparent
Communication
     Do not make assumptions about the needs of people if their 
behavior appears to be unusual to you. Cognitive disabilities may cause 
people to reason, draw conclusions, or respond more slowly. Individuals 
with cognitive disabilities may appear easily distracted. Depending 
upon the disability, the person may understand materials in written 
form or through a verbal explanation. They may also find the background 
noise of a busy airport terminal extremely distracting.
     Disregard any speech impairments or physical tics by being 
patient and aware of your own body language and facial expressions that 
could convey your own discomfort.
     If individual safety briefings are required, conduct them 
discreetly with respect for the privacy of the person with a disability 
that is not apparent. (Sec.  382.115(d)). Similarly, if you are 
concerned that an individual is not medically stable enough for air 
travel, conduct the inquiry in a discreet manner and involve the CRO, 
if necessary.
     If a person with a disability that is not apparent uses a 
term to describe the disability that you are not familiar with or that 
you do not understand, ask the person to tell you what he or she needs. 
If you need additional information, you should contact the CRO to 
discuss how best to proceed.
Emotional Support, Psychiatric Service, or Other Service Animals
     Be aware that people who have disabilities that are not 
apparent may travel with emotional support, psychiatric service, or 
other service animals.
     Never pet or distract a service animal accompanying a 
person with a disability that is not apparent unless the person 
specifically tells you it is all right to do so.
     Do not separate passengers from their service, emotional 
support, or psychiatric service animals unless the passenger 
specifically tells you it is all right to do so.

Chapter 8: Personnel Training

A. U.S. and Foreign Carriers That Operate Aircraft With 19 or More 
Passenger Seats
B. U.S. and Foreign Carriers That Operate Aircraft With Fewer Than 
19 Passenger Seats
C. Training Records

A. U.S. and Foreign Carriers That Operate Aircraft With 19 or More 
Passenger Seats

    Thorough training of carrier personnel who interact with passengers 
with disabilities is vital to ensure good service to those passengers 
and required to comply with the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). (Sec.  
382.141). As a U.S. or foreign carrier that operates aircraft with 19 
or more passenger seats, you must provide the training for all 
personnel who deal with the traveling public, as appropriate to the 
duties of each employee. (Sec.  382.141(a)). Foreign carriers must 
provide such training only in connection with flights that begin or end 
at a U.S. airport, as appropriate to the duties of each employee. 
(Sec.  382.143(b)).
    You also must ensure training to proficiency \23\ on the following:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \23\ Proficient is defined as being well-advanced, adept, or 
skilled in a trade or profession. An employee who is trained to 
proficiency is one who provides services or accommodations to 
passengers in the right way, the first time. For more information 
see Answers to Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs) Concerning Air 
Travel of People with Disabilities Under the Amended Air Carrier 
Access Act Regulation (FAQs no. 60) issued by the DOT Office of 
Assistant General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings 
and its Aviation Consumer Protection Division (May 13, 2009) at 
http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/SA_Disability.htm.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Part 382 requirements and other applicable Federal 
regulations affecting the provision of air travel to passengers with a 
disability;
     Your procedures, consistent with Part 382, concerning the 
provision of air travel to passengers with a disability, including the 
proper and safe operation of any equipment used to accommodate 
passengers with a disability; and
     For those personnel involved in providing boarding and 
deplaning assistance, the use of the boarding and deplaning assistance 
equipment used by the carrier and appropriate boarding and deplaning 
assistance procedures that safeguard the safety and dignity of 
passengers. (Sec.  382.141(a)(1)(i) through (a)(1)(iii)).
    You also must train employees with respect to awareness and 
appropriate responses to passengers with a disability, including 
persons with physical, sensory, mental, and emotional disabilities, 
such as how to distinguish among the differing abilities of individuals 
with a disability. (Sec.  382.141(a)(2)).
Individuals With Vision or Hearing Impairments
    You must train employees to recognize requests for communication 
accommodation from individuals with vision or hearing impairments and 
to use the most common methods for communicating with these individuals 
that are readily available, such as writing notes or taking care to 
enunciate clearly. However, training in sign language is not required. 
(Sec.  382.141(a)(3)).
Passengers Who Are Both Deaf and Blind
    You must train employees to recognize requests for communication 
accommodation from passengers who are both deaf and blind and to use 
established means of communicating with these passengers when they are 
available, such as passing out Braille cards if you have them, reading 
an information sheet that a passenger provides, or communicating with a 
passenger through an interpreter. (Sec.  382.141(a)(3)).
Refresher Training
    Refresher training is intended to assist employees in maintaining 
proficiency by reminding them of the ACAA requirements and carrier 
procedures for implementing these requirements.
Complaints Resolution Officials (CROs)
    Employees performing the CRO function must receive annual refresher 
training concerning Part 382 and their duties. (Sec.  382.143(a)(1) for 
U.S. carriers and Sec.  382.143(b)(1) for foreign carriers).
Other Personnel Who Deal With the Traveling Public
    You must ensure that all personnel who are required by Part 382 to 
receive training receive refresher training on the matters covered by 
Sec.  382.141(a), as appropriate to the duties of each employee, as 
needed to maintain proficiency. You must develop a program that will 
result in each such employee receiving refresher training at least once 
every 3 years. The program must describe how employee proficiency will 
be maintained. (Sec.  382.141(a)(5)).
Contractors
    You must provide, or ensure that your contractors provide, training 
to your contractors' employees concerning

[[Page 39842]]

travel by passengers with a disability. This training is required only 
for those contractor employees that you employ directly and whom deal 
directly with the traveling public or their assistive devices, and it 
must be tailored to the employees' functions. (Sec.  382.141(a)(6)). In 
other words, you would not be responsible for ensuring the training of 
an airport employee or contractor who is not employed directly by your 
carrier.
CROs
    You must train CROs on the requirements of Part 382 and the duties 
of CROs. (Sec.  382.141(a)(7)). CROs must be trained to be experts on 
all aspects of Part 382. See Chapter 6: Assisting Air Travelers with 
Disabilities with their Complaints for information on CROs and their 
duties under Part 382. As previously noted, you must provide annual 
refresher training to employees performing the CRO function. (Sec.  
382.143(a)(1) for U.S. carriers and Sec.  382.143(b)(1) for foreign 
carriers).
Consulting With Disability Organizations
    When developing your training programs you must consult with 
organizations representing persons with disabilities in your home 
country. If such organizations are not available in your home country, 
you may consult with individuals with disabilities and/or international 
organizations representing individuals with disabilities. (Sec.  
382.141(a)(4)).
Personnel Employed on May 13, 2009
    You must have trained personnel employed on May 13, 2009, one time 
in the changes resulting from the amendment of Part 382, which was 
issued on that date. (Sec.  382.141(a)(8)).
Training Schedule Summary
Crewmembers
    You must provide training to your crewmembers that meets the 
requirements of Sec.  382.141(a) before they assume their duties. 
(Sec.  382.143(a)(3) and (b)(3)). For U.S. carriers this requirement 
applies to crewmembers subject to the training requirements of 14 CFR 
parts 121 or 135. You also must provide refresher training appropriate 
to the crewmember's duties every 3 years. (Sec.  382.141(a)(5)).
CROs
    You must provide training to your CROs concerning the requirements 
of Part 382 and the duties of a CRO before they assume their duties. 
You also must provide annual refresher training to your CROs. (Sec.  
382.143(a)(1) and (b)(1)).
Personnel Other Than Crewmembers or CROs
    You must provide training for other personnel, including 
contractors, that meets the requirements of Sec.  382.141(a) within 60 
days after the date they assume their duties. (Sec.  382.143(a)(4) and 
(b)(4)) You also must provide refresher training to such personnel 
appropriate to their duties every 3 years. (Sec.  382.141(a)(5)).

    Note: The Department of Transportation (DOT) has developed a 
Model Training Program on the ACAA and Part 382. You can view the 
training program module at http://airconsumer.dot.gov/.

B. U.S. and Foreign Carriers That Operate Aircraft With Fewer Than 19 
Passenger Seats

    Both U.S. and foreign carriers that operate aircraft with fewer 
than 19 passenger seats must provide training for flight crewmembers 
and appropriate personnel to ensure they comply with Part 382 and are 
familiar with the following:
     Part 382 requirements and other applicable Federal 
regulations affecting the provision of air travel to passengers with a 
disability;
     Your procedures, consistent with Part 382, concerning the 
provision of air travel to passengers with a disability, including the 
proper and safe operation of any equipment used to accommodate 
passengers with a disability; and
     For those personnel involved in providing boarding and 
deplaning assistance, the use of the boarding and deplaning assistance 
equipment used by the carrier and appropriate boarding and deplaning 
assistance procedures that safeguard the safety and dignity of 
passengers. (Sec.  382.141(b)).
    You also must train employees with respect to awareness and 
appropriate responses to passengers with a disability, including 
persons with physical, sensory, mental, and emotional disabilities, 
such as how to distinguish among the differing abilities of individuals 
with a disability. (Sec.  382.141(b)). Although carriers operating only 
aircraft with fewer than 19 passengers seats are not specifically 
required to designate or train a CRO, it would be a good idea to train 
one or more in-house experts on all of the requirements of Part 382, so 
that other employees within your carrier have a person to contact to 
discuss difficult or complex disability-related questions or 
situations.

C. Training Records

    As a U.S. or foreign carrier that operates aircraft with 19 or more 
passenger seats, you must maintain records of the procedures you use to 
comply with Part 382, including those portions of manuals and other 
instructional materials concerning Part 382 compliance, and individual 
employee training records.
    Specifically, as such a carrier, you must include procedures for 
implementing Part 382 requirements in the manuals, guidance, or 
instructional materials you provide to your personnel and contractors 
who provide service to passengers, including pilots, flight attendants, 
reservation and ticket counter personnel, gate agents, ramp and baggage 
handling personnel, and passenger service office personnel.

    Note: You do not need to submit these manuals, guidance, or 
instructional materials or a certification of compliance to DOT for 
review. However, you must retain these materials for DOT review if 
DOT requests to review them. (Sec.  382.145(a)).
    As a U.S. or foreign carrier, you also must retain individual 
employee training records for 3 years demonstrating that all persons 
required to receive initial and refresher training have done so. 
(Sec.  382.145(b)).

Alphabetical Index--Part 382 Index

PART 382 SECTION

Subpart A--General Provisions

382.1 What is the purpose of this Part?

382.1

382.3 What do the terms in this rule mean?

382.3

382.5 When are foreign carriers required to begin complying with the 
provisions of this Part?

382.5

382.7 To whom do the provisions of this Part apply?

382.7
382.7(a)
382.7(b)
382.7(c)
382.7(d)
382.7(e)
382.7(f)
382.7(g)

382.9 What may foreign carriers do if they believe a provision of a 
foreign nation's law prohibits compliance with a provision of this 
Part?

382.9
382.9(a)
382.9(b)
382.9(c)
382.9(c)(1)
382.9(c)(2)
382.9(c)(3)
382.9(d)
382.9(e)
382.9(e)(1)
382.9(e)(2)
382.9(e)(3)
382.9(f)

[[Page 39843]]

382.9(g)

382.10 How does a carrier obtain a determination that it is providing 
an equivalent alternative to passengers with disabilities?

382.10
382.10(a)
382.10(b)
382.10(c)
382.10(c)(1)
382.10(c)(2)
382.10(d)
382.10(e)
382.10(f)
382.10(f)(1)
382.10(f)(2)

Subpart B--Nondiscrimination and Access to Services

382.11 What is the general nondiscrimination requirement of this Part?

382.11
382.11(a)
382.11(a)(1)
382.11(a)(2)
382.11(a)(3)
382.11(a)(4)
382.11(b)

382.13 Do carriers have to modify policies, practices, and facilities 
to ensure nondiscrimination?

382.13
382.13(a)
382.13(b)
382.13(c)

382.15 Do carriers have to make sure that contractors comply with the 
requirements of this Part?

382.15
382.15(a)
382.15(b)
382.15(b)(1)
382.15(b)(2)
382.15(c)
382.15(d)
382.15(e)

382.17 May carriers limit the number of passengers with a disability on 
a flight?

382.17

382.19 May carriers refuse to provide transportation on the basis of 
disability?

382.19
382.19(a)
382.19(b)
382.19(c)
382.19(c)(1)
382.19(c)(1)(i)
382.19(c)(1)(ii)
382.19(c)(1)(iii)
382.19(c)(2)
382.19(c)(3)
382.19(c)(4)
382.19(d)

382.21 May carriers limit access to transportation on the basis that a 
passenger has a communicable disease or other medical condition?

382.21
382.21(a)
382.21(a)(1)
382.21(a)(2)
382.21(a)(3)
382.21(a)(4)
382.21(b)
382.21(b)(1)
382.21(b)(2)
382.21(c)
382.21(d)
382.21(e)

382.23 May carriers require a passenger with a disability to provide a 
medical certificate?

382.23
382.23(a)
382.23(b)
382.23(b)(1)
382.23(b)(1)(i)
382.23(b)(1)(ii)
382.23(b)(1)(iii)
382.23(b)(2)
382.23(b)(3)
382.23(c)
382.23(c)(1)
382.23(c)(2)
382.23(d)

382.25 May a carrier require a passenger with a disability to provide 
advance notice that he or she is traveling on a flight?

382.25

382.27 May a carrier require a passenger with a disability to provide 
advance notice in order to obtain certain specific services in 
connection with a flight?

382.27
382.27(a)
382.27(b)
382.27(c)
382.27(c)(1)
382.27(c)(2)
382.27(c)(3)
382.27(c)(4)
382.27(c)(5)
382.27(c)(6)
382.27(c)(7)
382.27(c)(8)
382.27(c)(9)
382.27(c)(10)
382.27(d)
382.27(e)
382.27(f)
382.27(g)

382.29 May a carrier require a passenger with a disability to travel 
with a safety assistant?

382.29
382.29(a)
382.29(b)
382.29(b)(1)
382.29(b)(2)
382.29(b)(3)
382.29(b)(4)
382.29(c)
382.29(c)(1)
382.29(c)(2)
382.29(c)(2)(i)
382.29(c)(2)(ii)
382.29(c)(3)
382.29(d)
382.29(e)
382.29(f)

382.31 May carriers impose special charges on passengers with a 
disability for providing services and accommodations required by this 
rule?

382.31
382.31(a)
382.31(b)
382.31(c)

382.33 May carriers impose other restrictions on passengers with a 
disability that they do not impose on other passengers?

382.33
382.33(a)
382.33(b)
382.33(b)(1)
382.33(b)(2)
382.33(b)(3)
382.33(b)(4)
382.33(b)(5)

382.35 May carriers require passengers with a disability to sign 
waivers or releases?

382.35
382.35(a)
382.35(b)

Subpart C--Information for Passengers

382.41 What flight-related information must carriers provide to 
qualified individuals with a disability?

382.41
382.41(a)
382.41(b)
382.41(c)
382.41(d)
382.41(e)
382.41(f)

382.43 Must information and reservation services of carriers be 
accessible to individuals with hearing impairments?

382.43
382.43(a)
382.43(a)(1)
382.43(a)(2)
382.43(a)(3)
382.43(a)(4)
382.43(a)(5)
382.43(b)

382.45 Must carriers make copies of this Part available to passengers?

382.45
382.45(a)
382.45(b)
382.45(b)(1)
382.45(b)(2)
382.45(b)(3)
382.45(b)(4)

Subpart D--Accessibility of Airport Facilities

382.51 What requirements must carriers meet concerning the 
accessibility of airport facilities?

382.51
382.51(a)
382.51(a)(1)
382.51(a)(2)
382.51(a)(3)
382.51(a)(4)
382.51(a)(5)
382.51(a)(6)
382.51(a)(7)

[[Page 39844]]

382.51(a)(8)
382.51(b)
382.51(b)(1)
382.51(b)(2)
382.51(c)

382.53 What must carriers give individuals with a vision or hearing 
impairment at airports?

382.53
382.53(a)
382.53(a)(1)
382.53(a)(2)
382.53(a)(3)
382.53(b)
382.53(c)

382.55 May carriers impose security screening procedures for passengers 
with disabilities that go beyond TSA requirements or those of foreign 
governments?

382.55
382.55(a)
382.55(b)
382.55(b)(1)
382.55(b)(2)
382.55(b)(2)(i)
382.55(b)(2)(ii)
382.55(b)(3)
382.55(c)
382.55(d)

382.57 What services must carriers provide if their automated kiosks 
are inaccessible?

382.57

Subpart E--Accessibility of Aircraft

382.61 What are the requirements for movable aisle armrests?

382.61
382.61(a)
382.61(b)
382.61(c)
382.61(d)
382.61(e)
382.61(f)
382.61(g)

382.63 What are the requirements for accessible lavatories?

382.63
382.63(a)
382.63(a)(1)
382.63(a)(2)
382.63(a)(3)
382.63(b)
382.63(c)
382.63(d)
382.63(e)

382.65 What are the requirements concerning on-board wheelchairs?

382.65
382.65(a)
382.65(b)
382.65(b)(1)
382.65(b)(2)
382.65(c)
382.65(c)(1)
382.65(c)(2)
382.65(d)

382.67 What is the requirement for priority space in the cabin to store 
passenger wheelchairs?

382.67
382.67(a)
382.67(b)
382.67(c)

382.69 What requirements must carriers meet concerning the 
accessibility of videos, DVDs, and other audio-visual presentations 
shown on aircraft to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing?

382.69
382.69(a)
382.69(b)
382.69(c)
382.69(d)

382.71 What other aircraft accessibility requirements apply to 
carriers?

382.71
382.71(a)
382.71(b)

Subpart F--Seating Accommodations

382.81 For which passengers must carriers make seating accommodations?

382.81
382.81(a)
382.81(b)
382.81(b)(1)
382.81(b)(2)
382.81(b)(3)
382.81(b)(4)
382.81(c)
382.81(d)

382.83 Through what mechanisms do carriers make seating accommodations?

382.83
382.83(a)
382.83(a)(1)
382.83(a)(1)(i)
382.83(a)(1)(ii)
382.83(a)(1)(iii)
382.83(a)(2)
382.83(a)(2)(i)
382.83(a)(2)(ii)
382.83(a)(2)(iii)
382.83(a)(2)(iv)
382.83(b)
382.83(c)
382.83(d)

382.85 What seating accommodations must carriers make to passengers in 
circumstances not covered by 382.81(a)-(d)?

382.85
382.85(a)
382.85(a)(1)
382.85(a)(1)(i)
382.85(a)(1)(ii)
382.85(a)(2)
382.85(a)(2)(i)
382.85(a)(2)(ii)
382.85(b)
382.85(c)

382.87 What other requirements pertain to seating for passengers with a 
disability?

382.87
382.87(a)
382.87(b)
382.87(c)
382.87(d)
382.87(e)
382.87(f)

Subpart G--Boarding, Deplaning, and Connecting Assistance

382.91 What assistance must carriers provide to passengers with a 
disability in moving within the terminal?

382.91
382.91(a)
382.91(b)
382.91(b)(1)
382.91(b)(2)
382.91(c)
382.91(d)

382.93 Must carriers offer preboarding to passengers with a disability?

382.93

382.95 What are carriers' general obligations with respect to boarding 
and deplaning assistance?

382.95
382.95(a)
382.95(b)

382.97 To which aircraft does the requirement to provide boarding and 
deplaning assistance through the use of lifts apply?

382.97
382.97(a)
382.97(b)
382.97(c)
382.97(c)(1)
382.97(c)(2)

382.99 What agreements must carriers have with the airports they serve?

382.99
382.99(a)
382.99(b)
382.99(c)
382.99(d)
382.99(e)
382.99(f)
382.99(g)

382.101 What other boarding and deplaning assistance must carriers 
provide?

382.101
382.101(a)
382.101(b)
382.101(c)
382.101(d)
382.101(e)

382.103 May a carrier leave a passenger unattended in a wheelchair or 
other device?

382.103

382.105 What is the responsibility of carriers at foreign airports at 
which airport operators have responsibility for enplaning, deplaning, 
and connecting assistance?

382.105

Subpart H--Services on Aircraft

382.111 What services must carriers provide to passengers with a 
disability on board the aircraft?

382.111
382.111(a)
382.111(b)
382.111(c)
382.111(d)
382.111(e)
382.111(f)

[[Page 39845]]

382.113 What services are carriers not required to provide to 
passengers with a disability on board the aircraft?

382.113
382.113(a)
382.113(b)
382.113(c)

382.115 What requirements apply to onboard safety briefings?

382.115
382.115(a)
382.115(b)
382.115(c)
382.115(d)
382.115(e)

382.117 Must carriers permit passengers with a disability to travel 
with service animals?

382.117
382.117(a)
382.117(a)(1)
382.117(a)(2)
382.117(b)
382.117(c)
382.117(d)
382.117(e)
382.117(e)(1)
382.117(e)(2)
382.117(e)(3)
382.117(e)(4)
382.117(f)
382.117(g)
382.117(h)
382.117(i)

382.119 What information must carriers give individuals with vision or 
hearing impairment on aircraft?

382.119
382.119(a)
382.119(b)

Subpart I--Stowage of Wheelchairs, Other Mobility Aids, and Other 
Assistive Devices

382.121 What mobility aids and other assistive devices may passengers 
with a disability bring into the aircraft cabin?

382.121
382.121(a)
382.121(a)(1)
382.121(a)(2)
382.121(a)(3)
382.121(b)

382.123 What are the requirements concerning priority cabin stowage 
space for wheelchairs and other assistive devices?

382.123
382.123(a)
382.123(a)(1)
382.123(a)(2)
382.123(a)(3)
382.123(b)
382.123(c)

382.125 What procedures do carriers follow when wheelchairs, other 
mobility aids, and other assistive devices must be stowed in the cargo 
compartment?

382.125
382.125(a)
382.125(b)
382.125(c)
382.125(c)(1)
382.125(c)(2)
382.125(d)

382.127 What procedures apply to stowage of battery-powered mobility 
aids?

382.127
382.127(a)
382.127(b)
382.127(c)
382.127(d)
382.127(e)
382.127(f)

382.129 What other requirements apply when passengers' wheelchairs, 
other mobility aids, and other assistive devices must be disassembled 
for stowage?

382.129
382.129(a)
382.129(b)

382.131 Do baggage liability limits apply to mobility aids and other 
assistive devices?

382.131

382.133 What are the requirements concerning the evaluation and use of 
passenger-supplied electronic devices that assist passengers with 
respiration in the cabin during flight?

382.133
382.133(a)
382.133(a)(1)
382.133(a)(2)
382.133(b)
382.133(b)(1)
382.133(b)(2)
382.133(b)(3)
382.133(c)
382.133(c)(1)
382.133(c)(2)
382.133(c)(3)
382.133(c)(4)
382.133(c)(5)
382.133(c)(6)
382.133(d)
382.133(d)(1)
382.133(d)(2)
382.133(d)(3)
382.133(d)(4)
382.133(d)(5)
382.133(d)(6)
382.133(d)(7)
382.133(e)
382.133(f)
382.133(f)(1)
382.133(f)(2)
382.133(f)(3)

Subpart J--Training and Administrative Provisions

382.141 What training are carriers required to provide for their 
personnel?

382.141
382.141(a)
382.141(a)(1)
382.141(a)(1)(i)
382.141(a)(1)(ii)
382.141(a)(1)(iii)
382.141(a)(2)
382.141(a)(3)
382.141(a)(4)
382.141(a)(5)
382.141(a)(6)
382.141(a)(7)
382.141(a)(8)
382.141(b)

382.143 When must carriers complete training for their personnel?

382.143
382.143(a)
382.143(a)(1)
382.143(a)(2)
382.143(a)(3)
382.143(a)(4)
382.143(b)
382.143(b)(1)
382.143(b)(2)
382.143(b)(3)
382.143(b)(4)
382.143(b)(5)

382.145 What records concerning training must carriers retain?

382.145
382.145(a)
382.145(b)

Subpart K--Complaints and Enforcement Procedures

382.151 What are the requirements for providing Complaints Resolution 
Officials?

382.151
382.151(a)
382.151(b)
382.151(c)
382.151(c)(1)
382.151(c)(2)
382.151(d)
382.151(e)

382.153 What actions do CROs take on complaints?

382.153
382.153(a)
382.153(b)
382.153(c)
382.153(d)

382.155 How must carriers respond to written complaints?

382.155
382.155(a)
382.155(b)
382.155(c)
382.155(d)
382.155(d)(1)
382.155(d)(2)
382.155(d)(3)

382.157 What are carriers' obligations for recordkeeping and reporting 
on disability-related complaints?

382.157
382.157(a)
382.157(b)
382.157(c)
382.157(d)
382.157(e)
382.157(f)
382.157(f)(1)
382.157(f)(1)(i)
382.157(f)(1)(ii)
382.157(f)(1)(iii)
382.157(f)(2)
382.157(g)
382.157(h)

382.159 How are complaints filed with DOT?

382.159

[[Page 39846]]

382.159(a)
382.159(a)(1)
382.159(a)(2)
382.159(b)
382.159(c)

Appendix A--Disability Complaint Reporting Form

Appendix B--Cross Reference Table

Appendix I Table of Effective Dates

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Section                        Subject              Applicable to . . .         Compliance date
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
382.43...........................  Information and            Foreign carriers........  May 13, 2010.
                                    reservation services.
382.51...........................  Accessibility of airport   Foreign carriers........  May 13, 2010.
                                    facilities.
382.51(b)........................  Accessibility of airport   U.S. carriers...........  May 13, 2010.
                                    facilities at a foreign
                                    airport.
382.61(a) through (d)............  Movable aisle armrests...  Foreign carriers........  May 13, 2009 (for new
                                                                                         aircraft initially
                                                                                         ordered after this
                                                                                         date).
                                   .........................  ........................  May 13, 2010 (for new
                                                                                         aircraft delivered
                                                                                         after this date).
382.61(e)........................  .........................  ........................  May 13, 2009 (for seats
                                                                                         ordered after this
                                                                                         date).
382.61 (a), (b), (d) and (e).....  .........................  U.S. carriers...........  May 13, 2009 (for new
                                                                                         aircraft initially
                                                                                         ordered after April 5,
                                                                                         1990, or delivered
                                                                                         after April 5, 1992).
382.61(c)........................  .........................  ........................  May 13, 2009 (for new
                                                                                         aircraft initially
                                                                                         ordered after this
                                                                                         date).
                                   .........................  ........................  May 13, 2010 (for new
                                                                                         aircraft delivered
                                                                                         after this date).
382.63(a)........................  Accessible lavatories....  Foreign carriers........  May 13, 2009 (for new
                                                                                         aircraft initially
                                                                                         ordered after this
                                                                                         date).
                                                                                        May 13, 2010 (for new
                                                                                         aircraft delivered
                                                                                         after this date).
                                                              U.S. carriers...........  May 13, 2009 (for new
                                                                                         aircraft initially
                                                                                         ordered after April 5,
                                                                                         1990, or delivered
                                                                                         after April 5, 1992).
382.63(c)........................  Accessible lavatories      Foreign carriers........  May 13, 2009.
                                    retrofit.
                                                              U.S. carriers...........  May 13, 2009 (for new
                                                                                         aircraft initially
                                                                                         ordered after April 5,
                                                                                         1990, or delivered
                                                                                         after April 5, 1992.
382.65(d)........................  On[dash]board wheelchairs  Foreign carriers........  May 13, 2010.
                                                              U.S. carriers...........  May 13, 2009.
382.67(a)........................  Priority space to store    Foreign carriers........  May 13, 2009 (for new
                                    passengers' wheelchairs                              aircraft initially
                                    in the cabin.                                        ordered after this
                                                                                         date).
                                                                                        May 13, 2010 (for new
                                                                                         aircraft delivered
                                                                                         after this date).
                                                              U.S. carriers...........  May 13, 2009 (for new
                                                                                         aircraft initially
                                                                                         ordered after April 5,
                                                                                         1990, or delivered
                                                                                         after April 5, 1992).
382.69(a)........................  Informational displays...  Foreign carriers........  January 8, 2010.
                                                              U.S. carriers...........
                                   Audio[dash]visual          Foreign carriers........  November 10, 2009.
                                    displays used for safety  U.S. carriers...........
                                    purposes.
382.69(c)........................  Videos, DVDs, and other    U.S. carriers...........  Between May 13, 2009,
                                    audio visual displays                               and November 9, 2009.
                                    used for safety purposes
                                    with open captioning or
                                    inset for sign language
                                    interpreter.
382.99...........................  Airport agreements.......  Foreign carriers........  May 13, 2011.
382.143(a).......................  CRO Training and Changes   U.S. carriers--CROs.....  May 13, 2009 (one time
                                    to Part 382.                                         training for CROs about
                                                                                         Part 382 changes).
                                   Changes to Part 382......  U.S. carriers--Existing   No later than the next
                                                               employees.                scheduled recurrent
                                                                                         training after May 13,
                                                                                         2009, or within 1 year
                                                                                         after May 13, 2009,
                                                                                         whichever comes first.
                                                              U.S. carriers--Part 121   Before they assume their
                                                               or Part 135 crewmembers   duties.
                                                               whose employment as a
                                                               crewmember begins after
                                                               May 13, 2009.
                                                              U.S. carriers--Other      Within 60 days after the
                                                               personnel whose           date on which they
                                                               employment begins after   assume their duties.
                                                               May 13, 2009.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
382.143(b)(1)....................  Training for personnel      Foreign carriers that operate aircraft with 19 or
                                    dealing with the           more passenger seats on flights that begin or end
                                    traveling public.                          at a U.S. airport.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                              CROs....................  May 13, 2009.
                                                              Crewmember and other      Within 1 year of May 13,
                                                               personnel who are         2009.
                                                               employed on May 13,
                                                               2009.

[[Page 39847]]

 
                                                              Crewmember and other      Before they assume their
                                                               personnel whose           duties.
                                                               employment begins after
                                                               May 13, 2009.
                                                              Other personnel whose     Within 60 days after the
                                                               employment begins after   date on which they
                                                               May 13, 2010.             assume their duties.
                                                              Crewmembers and other     By May 13, 2010 or a
                                                               personnel whose           date 60 days after the
                                                               employment begins after   date of their
                                                               May 13, 2009, but         employment whichever is
                                                               before May 13, 2010.      later.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Appendix II Tips for Air Travelers with Disabilities

Tips for Air Travelers With Disabilities

    There are some commonly used accommodations, facilities, and 
services that carriers are required to make available to passengers 
with disabilities. This Appendix provides a list of tips and general 
guidelines for air travelers with disabilities regarding these 
commonly used accommodations, facilities, and services. Therefore, 
the ``you'' referred to in this appendix is an air traveler with a 
disability.

Ask Questions and Provide Instructions

Aircraft Accessibility

    Know what to ask carrier personnel. Be clear and specific. You 
can ask for, and carrier personnel must be able to provide, the 
following information on the accessibility of the specific aircraft 
the carrier expects to use for your flight:
     The specific location of seats, if any, with movable 
armrests (by row and seat number);
     The specific location of seats the carrier does not 
make available to passengers with a disability (for example, exit 
row seats);
     Any aircraft-related, service-related or other 
limitations on the carrier's ability to accommodate passengers with 
a disability including limitations on the availability of level-
entry boarding at any airport involved with the flight. Carriers 
must provide this information to any passenger who states that he or 
she uses a wheelchair for boarding even if the passenger does not 
explicitly request the information;
     Any limitations on the availability of storage 
facilities in the cabin or cargo compartment for mobility aids or 
other assistive devices, including the storage of a passenger's 
manual folding wheelchair in the cabin as provided for in Sec. Sec.  
382.67 and 382.123;
     Whether the aircraft has an accessible lavatory; and
     The types of services to passengers with a disability 
that are not available on the flight. (Sec.  382.41).

Passengers with a disability should be aware that circumstances 
could affect the accuracy of information provided at the time they 
make a reservation. For example, a carrier may use a different 
aircraft for a flight because of mechanical problems.

Advance Notice

    Generally, passengers with a disability are not required to 
provide advance notice that they will be traveling on a flight. 
However, it is best to provide detailed information about the 
accommodations you need in advance of travel to assist carrier 
personnel in providing accommodations in a correct and timely 
manner.
    In addition, there are some accommodations that passengers with 
a disability may need or want that carriers may reasonably require 
time to arrange. For certain accommodations or services, carriers 
may legally require advance notice and passengers with a disability 
to check in before the general public. Carriers may require that a 
passenger with a disability provide 48 hours' advance notice and 
check-in 1 hour before the check-in time for the general public to 
receive the following services and accommodations, some of which are 
required and some of which are optional:

Required Services

     Transportation of an electric wheelchair on an aircraft 
with fewer than 60 passenger seats;
     Accommodation of 10 or more passengers with a 
disability who make reservations and travel as a group;
     Use of passenger-supplied ventilator, respirator, 
continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, or Federal 
Aviation Administration (FAA)-approved portable oxygen concentrator 
(POC);
     Transportation of an emotional support or psychiatric 
service animal in the cabin;
     Transportation of any service animal on a flight 
segment scheduled to take 8 or more hours;
     Provision of hazardous materials packaging for 
batteries or other assistive devices that are required to have such 
packaging;
     Provision of an on-board wheelchair on an aircraft with 
more than 60 passenger seats that does not have an accessible 
lavatory; and
     Accommodation of a passenger with both severe vision 
and hearing impairments.

Optional Services

     Carriage of an incubator;
     Hook-up for a respirator, ventilator, CPAP machine or 
POC to the aircraft's electrical supply;
     Accommodation for a passenger traveling in a stretcher; 
and
     Carrier-supplied supplemental oxygen (for international 
flights, carriers may require 72 hours' advance notice and check in 
1 hour before the check-in time for the general public).
    (Sec.  382.27).

Trips Involving Multiple Carriers

    If you are making a connection, you may want to investigate 
whether your trip involves more than one carrier. If so, contact 
each carrier to determine whether it is able to accommodate your 
needs fully. Keep in mind that carriers may provide optional 
accommodations on mainline flights \24\ only and not on the flights 
operated by their smaller codeshare \25\ affiliates. For example, 
some carriers do not provide medical oxygen on board the aircraft. 
Do not assume that by communicating with the carrier for the first 
flight segment of your trip, other carriers handling the rest of 
your trip are fully briefed and able to accommodate your requests. 
Similarly, when booking reservations online, be aware that many 
carriers have their policies posted on their Web sites. You may also 
want to consider contacting each carrier by telephone to verify the 
carrier's individual policies and to provide and receive specific 
information to ensure your needs are met for each flight segment of 
your trip.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \24\ A mainline flight is a flight operated by an airline's main 
operating unit, rather than by regional alliances, regional 
codeshares, or regional subsidiaries.
    \25\ Code-sharing is a marketing arrangement in which an air 
carrier places its designator code on a flight operated by another 
air carrier and sells tickets for that flight.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Provide Information

    Although you are generally not required to (1) self-identify as 
a passenger with a disability or (2) accept services offered by 
carrier personnel that are not needed to accommodate your 
disability, most carriers assume that assistance is not needed 
unless requested. Therefore, it is incumbent upon you to notify 
carrier personnel of your desire for assistance. In addition, self-
identifying as needing assistance and providing specific guidance to 
carrier personnel as to the assistance requested allows carrier 
personnel to assist you better. For example, if you need assistance 
with transportation from the ticket counter (check-in) to the gate 
area (boarding), it would be best to notify the carrier of such 
request before arriving at the airport and to self-identify as 
requiring such assistance to carrier personnel once you have arrived 
at the airport. In addition, clear instructions to carrier 
personnel, such as your need for assistance from the ticket counter 
to the gate but your ability to walk the short distance from the 
gate to your aircraft seat, will help the carrier ensure that you 
obtain the assistance you need. Finally, if you use a personal 
wheelchair, you may want to ask carrier personnel to remove 
footrests (if possible) and other removable parts and to stow them 
in the cabin to reduce the potential for damage to the wheelchair 
while it is stowed in the cabin or in the cargo compartment.

[[Page 39848]]

Boarding Assistance

    When communicating to carrier personnel about your need for 
boarding assistance, be as specific as possible about the type or 
level of boarding assistance you require. For example, if you are 
completely immobile, ask carrier personnel to provide a wheelchair 
to transport you to and from the gate, a lift (if necessary), and 
assistance transferring from an aisle chair to a seat. If you are 
able to walk short distances, but cannot walk up and down stairs, 
ask carrier personnel to provide a wheelchair for longer distances 
to and from the aircraft and a lift (if necessary). If you can walk 
up and down stairs and can walk shorter distances but have 
difficulty walking longer distances, ask carrier personnel to 
provide a wheelchair or electric cart for longer distances to and 
from the aircraft.
    Carrier personnel are not permitted to physically hand-carry a 
passenger with a disability on or off an aircraft, except in the 
case of an emergency evacuation. (Sec.  382.101). (Note the 
regulations do not prohibit carrier personnel from transferring a 
passenger from an aisle chair into his or her aircraft seat.) Keep 
in mind that if none of the options for boarding a particular flight 
is acceptable to you, you may have to wait for another flight or 
alter your travel plans.

Carrying Assistive Devices On Board the Aircraft

    Carriers recommend that you carry on board the aircraft medicine 
or other assistive devices, such as syringes, that you may need in 
the case of a flight cancellation or a missed flight. At times, 
passengers can be separated unexpectedly from checked baggage. If 
you decide to carry medication or other assistive devices with you 
on board, the carrier must not count these items toward your carry-
on baggage limit. (Sec.  382.121(b)). While not specifically 
required, it is recommended that a carrier permit you to keep your 
assistive device near you on board when it does not interfere with 
carry-on baggage safety requirements.

Carry Information and Useful Documentation

    Bring photocopies of instructions about the assembly and 
disassembly of wheelchairs and other assistive devices when you 
travel. You can provide this information to carrier personnel who 
stow or check your wheelchair or assistive device. It may also be a 
good idea to attach a laminated set of brief instructions to your 
wheelchair or assistive device in the event that it is disassembled 
or reassembled in a secure area to which you do not have access.
    Traveling with photocopies of receipts, warranties, or other 
product information concerning a wheelchair or assistive device may 
be useful if the item is lost or damaged in transit. This 
information might help with locating a repair option or processing a 
claim for liability against the carrier responsible for the loss or 
damage.

Individual Safety Briefings

    You may require an individual safety briefing if your disability 
prevents you from understanding the safety briefing or if otherwise 
required by applicable safety rules. Carriers should provide the 
safety briefing in a manner accessible to you and as inconspicuously 
and discreetly as possible. (Sec.  382.115). Keep in mind that you 
may need to provide information to carrier personnel to ensure that 
the individual safety briefing is accessible to you.

Required Services on the Aircraft

    Carriers must provide the following services within the aircraft 
cabin as requested by or on behalf of a passenger with a disability, 
or when offered by carrier personnel and accepted by a passenger 
with a disability:
     Assistance moving to and from seats, as part of 
boarding and deplaning;
     Assistance in preparation for eating, such as opening 
packages and identifying food;
     If there is an on-board wheelchair on the aircraft, 
assistance with the use of the on-board wheelchair to enable the 
person to move to and from a lavatory (this requires airline in-
flight personnel to transfer passengers, on request, from an 
aircraft seat into an aisle wheelchair in most instances);
     Assistance to a semi-ambulatory person in moving to and 
from the lavatory, without lifting or carrying the person;
     Assistance in stowing and retrieving carry-on items, 
including mobility aids and other assistive devices stowed in the 
cabin (see also (Sec.  382.91(d)). To receive such assistance, a 
passenger must self-identify as being an individual with a 
disability needing the assistance; and
     Effective communication with passengers who have vision 
impairments and/or who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, so that these 
passengers have timely access to information the carrier provides to 
other passengers (for example, information about weather, on-board 
services, flight delays, and connecting gates at the next airport). 
(Sec.  382.111).

Limitations on Services On Board the Aircraft

    Carrier personnel are prohibited from physically hand-carrying 
you on or off an aircraft except in an emergency evacuation. (Sec.  
382.101). Additionally, carrier personnel are not required to 
provide extensive special assistance to you. For example, carrier 
personnel are not required to----
     Provide you with medical services,
     Assist you in actual eating,
     Assist you within the restroom, or
     Assist you with elimination functions at your seat. 
(Sec.  382.113).

Preboarding as an Option

    Carriers must offer preboarding to passengers with a disability 
who self-identify at the gate as needing additional time or 
assistance to board, stow accessibility equipment, or be seated. 
(Sec.  382.93). Although you are not required to preboard, taking 
advantage of this opportunity may assist you in securing a suitable 
seating accommodation when a carrier does not provide advance seat 
assignments. In this situation, you may pre-board before all other 
passengers and select a seat that best meets your needs.\26\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \26\ Southwest Airlines has been granted an equivalent 
alternative determination permitting it to preboard passengers 
requiring boarding assistance, seating accommodations, or stowage 
space for an assistive device before all other passengers, and 
allowing it to board passengers who simply need extra time to walk 
to their seats to board after its first boarding group but before 
all other passengers. (Sec.  382.10).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Preboarding may also allow you to secure priority storage space 
for your wheelchair or assistive device or allow easier access to 
overhead compartments if you are stowing your assistive device or 
parts of your wheelchair onboard the aircraft.

Safety Always Considered

    You should keep in mind that carriers are obligated to take the 
safety of all passengers into consideration when making decisions 
about accommodations for passengers with disabilities. At times, 
safety requires placing certain limitations on accommodations. For 
example, a service animal cannot block the aisle or an exit.

Seating Assignments

    When requesting a particular seat assignment, you should be as 
specific as possible about the type of seat that will meet your 
needs as a passenger with a disability. This information will help 
carrier personnel provide you with the most appropriate seating 
accommodations. For example, instead of asking for an ``accessible'' 
seat, it is more helpful to provide some details about your specific 
needs, such as a bulkhead seat or an aisle seat with a movable 
armrest. In addition, carriers may request enough information about 
the nature of your disability to determine if you are entitled to a 
particular seating accommodation if you have not initially self-
identified as having a condition qualifying you for a disability-
related seating accommodation. For example, a carrier may ask if you 
require an aisle chair to board if you have requested a seat in a 
row with a movable armrest.
    You should be aware that some carriers have begun charging an 
extra fee for occupying certain seats. Such fees are generally not 
prohibited, if the carrier fully complies with the Part 382 seating 
requirements at no added cost to a qualified individual with a 
disability. For more information on this topic, see Chapter 5, 
Section B, Seating Assignments and Accommodations.

Service Animals

    Generally, advance notice is not required from passengers with a 
disability traveling with a service animal on flights of less than 8 
hours, other than an emotional support or psychiatric service 
animal. However, to guarantee your seat assignment, depending on 
whether the carrier provides advance seat assignments and the type 
of seating method it uses, the carrier may have a policy requiring 
passengers with a service animal to:
     Request a particular seat assignment no later than 24 
hours in advance of the scheduled departure of the flight, and
     Check in at least 1 hour before the standard check-in 
time for the flight.
    Carriers are obligated to make a good faith effort to 
accommodate you and your service animal regardless of whether you 
comply with the carrier's advance seat assignment

[[Page 39849]]

policy and/or advance check-in requirement. If you are traveling 
with a service animal, you may request, and the carrier must 
provide, a bulkhead seat or a seat other than a bulkhead seat that 
accommodates your needs if the seating accommodation exists on the 
aircraft. (Sec.  382.81(c)).
    In addition, if you are traveling with an emotional support or 
psychiatric service animal in the aircraft cabin or with any type of 
service animal on a flight segment scheduled to take 8 hours or 
more, the carrier may require you to provide 48 hours' advance 
notice and to check in 1 hour before the check in time for the other 
passengers. (Sec.  382.27(c)(8)(9)). You should be aware that 
foreign carriers are not required to carry service animals other 
than dogs (except as noted in Sec.  382.7(c) for codeshare flights 
with a U.S. carrier.).
    Keep in mind that requesting your seat assignment well in 
advance of the flight may permit you to secure the specific seat 
assignment you would like with the least amount of waiting, 
inconvenience, or stress to you.

Documentation for Emotional Support or Psychiatric Service Animals

    Carriers also may require that passengers traveling with 
emotional support or psychiatric service animals present current 
documentation (that is, no older than 1 year from the date of the 
passenger's scheduled initial flight)\27\ on the letterhead of a 
licensed mental-health professional, including a medical doctor, 
specifically treating the passenger's mental or emotional disability 
stating--
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ Your carrier may, at its discretion, accept from the 
passenger with a disability documentation from his or her licensed 
mental health professional that is more than 1 year old. The DOT 
encourages carriers to consider accepting ``outdated'' documentation 
in situations where such passenger provides a letter or notice of 
cancellation or other written communication indicating the 
termination of health insurance coverage, and his/her inability to 
afford treatment for his or her mental or emotional disability.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     The passenger has a recognized mental or emotional 
disability;\28\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \28\ Referenced in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of 
Mental Disorders--Fourth Edition (DSM IV).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     The passenger needs the service animal as an 
accommodation for air travel and/or activity at the passenger's 
destination;
     The provider of the letter is a licensed mental-health 
professional and the passenger is under the individual's 
professional care; and
     The date and type of mental health professional's 
license and the state or other jurisdiction in which the license was 
issued. (Sec.  382.117(e)(1) through (e)(4)).
    For more information on traveling with service animals see 
Chapter 3: Assisting Air Travelers With Disabilities Planning a 
Trip, Section D, Service Animals and Appendix III Guidance 
Concerning Service Animals.

Familiarize Yourself With the Law

    Knowledge of the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) and its 
implementing regulations (14 CFR part 382) is important so that you 
understand your rights and responsibilities, are able to ask the 
right questions, and share the most useful information with 
carriers. Some passengers with disabilities bring a copy of the 
regulations with them when they travel to have the primary resource 
readily available. Carriers must maintain a copy of Part 382 at each 
airport they serve and make the copy available for review upon 
request. (Sec.  382.45).

Passenger Complaints

    Be aware that if you have a disability-related complaint or 
concern and carrier personnel do not immediately resolve the issue 
or provide the accommodation, the carrier must make a Complaints 
Resolution Official (CRO) available to you. This requirement applies 
to carriers providing scheduled service or nonscheduled service 
using aircraft with 19 or more passenger seats. A U.S. carrier must 
make a CRO available at each airport it serves during all times it 
is operating at that airport. Foreign carriers must make a CRO 
available at each airport serving flights that begin or end at a 
U.S. airport. (Sec.  382.151(b)). The CRO can be made available in 
person or by telephone, and must be provided at no cost to the 
passenger.
    If you have a hearing impairment, the carrier must permit you to 
communicate with a CRO using a Text Telephone (TTY) or a similarly 
effective technology. Furthermore, the carrier must make the CRO 
service available to you in the languages it makes services 
available to the general public. (Sec.  382.151(b)).
    If you make a written complaint, it is helpful to (1) State 
whether a CRO was contacted when the matter arose, (2) provide the 
name of the CRO and the date of the contact, if available, and (3) 
enclose any written response received from the CRO. (Sec.  
382.155(b)).

Resources for Air Travelers With Disabilities

Department of Transportation (DOT) Web Site

    DOT posts useful information for all consumers, including air 
travelers with disabilities, on its Web site at http://airconsumer.dot.gov/pubs.htm.

Other Useful Web Links

    The following Web links also are available to air travelers with 
disabilities:
     A list of frequently asked questions and answers 
(http://airconsumer.dot.gov/SA_Disability.htm)
     The full text of Part 382 (http://airconsumer.dot.gov/SA_Disability.htm)
     A list of recent DOT enforcement orders related to the 
ACAA (http://airconsumer.dot.gov/SA_Disability.htm)
     A listing of conflict of law waiver determinations 
(http://www.regulations.gov--under Docket Number DOT-OST-2008-0272)
     A listing of equivalent alternative determinations 
(http://www.regulations.gov--under Docket Number DOT-OST-2008-0273)

DOT Disability Hotline

    The DOT toll-free telephone hotline system is used to provide 
general information to consumers about the rights of air travelers 
with disabilities, respond to requests for consumer information, and 
assist air travelers with time-sensitive, disability-related issues. 
The hours for the hotline are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. eastern time, Monday 
through Friday except federal holidays. Air travelers with a 
disability-related service concern or issue may call the hotline at 
1-800-778-4838 (voice) or 1-800-455-9880 (TTY) to receive 
assistance. Air travelers who would like the DOT to investigate a 
complaint about a disability issue must submit their complaint in 
writing or the web. (http://airconsumer.dot.gov/hotline.htm).

Carriers' Resources

    Always check carrier resources such as Web sites and contact the 
carrier's reservation personnel when seeking information about 
services and equipment when accessing air transportation.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

    Consumers with disabilities who have concerns about the airport 
screening process or other aviation security issues may call the TSA 
toll-free at 1-855-787-2227 or email that agency at TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov. For additional information, go to http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/disabilityandmedicalneeds/tsa_cares.shtm.

Appendix III Airline Management-Related Issues

Airline Management-Related Issues

    Appendix III highlights provisions of the Air Carrier Access Act 
(ACAA) and the implementing regulations in Part 382 that are the 
specific responsibility of carrier management as opposed to 
personnel who deal with the traveling public. Cross references to 
chapters of and other appendixes to this manual are provided for 
more detailed explanations of these requirements. In this appendix, 
the word ``you'' refers to carrier management and ``your carrier'' 
refers to the carrier you manage.

Discrimination Is Prohibited

    You must ensure that your carrier (either directly or indirectly 
through its contractual, licensing, or other arrangements) does not 
discriminate against qualified individuals with a disability by 
reason of such disability in the provision of air transportation. 
(Sec.  382.11(a)(1)). In addition, you are responsible for ensuring 
that not only your own employees comply with the ACAA and Part 382, 
but also employees of any company or entity performing functions on 
behalf of your carrier. (Sec.  382.15).
    Specifically, you must ensure that your carrier does not:
     Require a passenger with a disability to accept special 
services, such as pre-boarding not requested by the passenger. 
(Sec.  382.11(a)(2)).
     Exclude a qualified individual with a disability from 
or deny that individual the benefit of air transportation or related 
services that are available to other individuals, even if there are 
separate or different services available for passengers with a 
disability, except as provided by Part 382. (Sec.  382.11(a)(3)).

[[Page 39850]]

     Take actions adverse to passengers with a disability if 
they or someone on their behalf assert their rights under the ACAA 
or Part 382. (Sec.  382.11(a)(4)).
     Limit the number of passengers with a disability who 
travel on a flight.\29\ (Sec.  382.17).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \29\ The DOT has received Conflict of Laws waiver requests from 
some foreign carriers asserting that Sec.  382.17 conflicts with the 
European Aviation Safety Agency's Joint Aviation Regulation-OPS 
1.260. Visit http://www.regulations.gov/, select ``Agency 
Documents,'' and enter ``DOT-OST-2008-0272'' to view Conflict of 
Laws waiver requests.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    You should be aware that your carrier must modify policies, 
practices, and facilities when needed to provide nondiscriminatory 
service to a particular individual with a disability, consistent 
with the standards of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as 
amended. This requirement is in addition to your carrier's general 
nondiscrimination obligation, and is in addition to its duty to make 
specific accommodations under Part 382. Your carrier is not required 
to make modifications that would constitute an undue burden or would 
fundamentally alter its program. (Sec.  382.13(c)).

Refusal of Transportation

    You must ensure that your carrier does not refuse to provide 
transportation to a passenger with a disability based on his or her 
disability unless specifically permitted by Part 382. (Sec.  
382.19(a)). Your carrier must not refuse transportation to a 
passenger with a disability because the person's disability results 
in appearance or involuntary behavior that may offend, annoy, or 
inconvenience others. (Sec.  382.19(b)).

Safety Considerations

    Neither the ACAA nor Part 382 requires you to disregard 
applicable Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or other government 
safety regulations. (Sec.  382.7(g)).
    Your carrier may refuse to provide transportation to any 
passenger on the basis of safety and if carriage would violate FAA, 
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) or applicable foreign 
government requirements. (Sec.  382.19(c)) Your carrier may refuse 
transportation to a passenger with a disability on the basis of 
safety if your carrier is able to demonstrate that the passenger 
poses a direct threat. (Sec.  382.19(c)(1)). Direct threat means a 
significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be 
eliminated by a modification of policies, practices or procedures or 
providing auxiliary aids or services. (Sec.  382.3). You should be 
aware that in exercising this authority your carrier may not act 
inconsistently with Part 382 or it may be subject to enforcement 
action. (Sec.  382.19(c)(3) and (c)(4)).
    Your carrier may deny boarding to a passenger who wishes to use 
a passenger-supplied electronic respiratory assistive devices 
onboard the aircraft, if the passenger does not comply with the 
conditions for acceptance of such devices as required in Part 382. 
(Sec.  382.133(f)(3)). The specific requirements concerning the 
evaluation and use of passenger-supplied electronic respiratory 
assistive devices onboard the aircraft and the carriers who must 
comply with these requirements are discussed in Chapter 3, Section 
B, Information about the Aircraft; Chapter 5, Section D, Stowing and 
Treatment of Assistive Devices, and below in this appendix under the 
topic Services and Equipment: Passenger-supplied Electronic 
Respiratory Assistive Devices.

Written Explanation for Refusal of Transportation

    When your carrier refuses to provide transportation to a 
passenger on his or her originally-scheduled flight on a basis 
relating to the individual's disability, your carrier must provide 
the passenger with a written statement of the reason within 10 
calendar days of the refusal of transportation. The statement must 
include the specific basis for your carrier's refusal to transport 
the passenger. (Sec.  382.19(d)).

No Charge for Accommodating Passengers With a Disability

    Unless otherwise specified under Part 382, your carrier cannot 
impose charges for providing facilities, equipment, or services that 
it is required to provide under Part 382 to passengers with a 
disability. (Sec.  382.31).

Indirect Air Carriers

    If you are an indirect air carrier that provides facilities or 
services for other carriers that are covered by Sec. Sec.  382.17 
through .157, you must do so in a manner consistent with those 
regulations. (Sec.  382.11(b)).

Contractors and Travel Agents

    You should be aware that your carrier must ensure that your 
contractors comply with Part 382 when providing services to the 
public (including airports where applicable) on behalf of your 
carrier just as if your carrier was performing the function itself. 
In addition, your carrier must include an assurance of compliance 
with Part 382 in its contracts with those contractors. This 
assurance must commit the contractor to comply with all applicable 
provisions of Part 382 that are performed on your carrier's behalf 
and require the contractor to implement directives issued by your 
Complaints Resolution Officials (CRO). Noncompliance with this 
assurance is a material breach of the contract on the contractor's 
behalf. (Sec.  382.15(a) and (b)).
    If you are a U.S. carrier, you must also include an assurance of 
compliance in your carrier's contracts or agreements of appointment 
with U.S. travel agents. Your carrier is not required to include 
such an assurance in contracts with foreign travel agents. (Sec.  
382.15(c)).
    You must monitor a contractor's performance to ensure the 
contractor complies with Part 382 and you must enforce the 
assurances in your carrier's contracts with those contractors. It is 
not a defense against a Department of Transportation (DOT) 
enforcement action that your carrier's noncompliance with Part 382 
resulted from a contractor's action or nonaction. (Sec.  382.15(d) 
and (e)).

Accessibility of Airport Facilities

Airports Located in the United States

    You should be aware that all terminal facilities and services 
owned, leased, or controlled by your carrier at a U.S. airport, 
including parking and ground transportation, must be readily 
accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities including 
individuals who use wheelchairs. You are deemed to comply with this 
obligation if the facilities meet certain requirements applying to 
places of public accommodation. (Sec.  382.51(a)(1)). The 
requirements are those of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 
Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) as incorporated in Department of 
Justice (DOJ) ADA regulations implementing Title III of that law.
    In addition, your carrier must ensure that intra- and inter-
terminal transportation systems, such as moving sidewalks, shuttle 
vehicles, and people movers, that are owned, leased, or controlled 
by your carrier, comply with the applicable DOT ADA rules (49 CFR 
parts 37 and 38)). (Sec.  382.51(a)(3)).
    Your carrier must ensure that there is an accessible route (one 
meeting the requirements of the ADAAG) between the gate and boarding 
area when an accessible passenger lounge or level-entry boarding and 
deplaning is not available to and from an aircraft. For example, 
there must be an accessible path on the tarmac between the gate and 
the aircraft when level-entry boarding is not available. (Sec.  
382.51(a)(2)).
    Contracts and leases between your carrier and airport operators 
concerning the use of airport facilities must describe your airport 
accessibility responsibility under Part 382 and that of the airport 
operator under applicable section 504 and ADA rules of the DOT and 
DOJ. (Sec.  382.51(a)(4)).

Airports Located in a Foreign Country

    Your carrier must ensure that passengers with a disability can 
readily use all terminal facilities your carrier owns, leases, or 
controls at a foreign airport. (Sec.  382.51(b)). This requirement 
applies to foreign carriers only at terminal facilities that serve 
flights covered by Sec.  382.7.
    Be aware that your carrier must ensure that a passenger with a 
disability is able to move readily through the terminal facilities 
to get to or from the gate and any other area from which passengers 
board aircraft your carrier uses for such flights. This includes the 
tarmac between the gate and the aircraft when an accessible 
passenger lounge to and from an aircraft or level-entry boarding to 
and deplaning from an aircraft is not available. (Sec.  
382.51(b)(1)). Your carrier may meet this obligation through any 
combination of facility accessibility, auxiliary aids, equipment, 
the assistance of personnel, or other means consistent with ensuring 
the safety and dignity of the passenger. (Sec.  382.51(b)(2)).

Restrictions

    You must ensure that your carrier does not subject passengers 
with disabilities to restrictions that do not apply to other 
passengers except as otherwise permitted by Part 382. Restrictions 
your carrier may not impose on passengers with disabilities include 
the following--
    (1) Restricting the movements of individuals with disabilities 
within terminals;
    (2) Requiring passengers with disabilities to remain in a 
holding area or other location

[[Page 39851]]

to receive transportation, services, or accommodations;
    (3) Mandating separate treatment for individuals with 
disabilities except as required or permitted under Part 382 or other 
applicable Federal requirements;
    (4) Making passengers sit on blankets on the aircraft; or
    (5) Making passengers with disabilities wear badges or other 
special identification. (Sec.  382.33).
    See Chapter 4, Section A, Accessibility of Terminal Facilities 
and Services, for more information on this topic.

Telephone Reservation and Information Services

U.S. Carriers

    You should be aware that if your carrier provides a telephone 
reservation and information service to the public, you must make 
that service available to individuals who use a text telephone (TTY) 
(by your own TTY, voice relay (chat screen), or other available 
technology) to permit individuals with hearing impairments to obtain 
this information. (Sec.  382.43(a)).

Foreign Carriers

    A foreign carrier must have met the TTY requirements that apply 
to U.S. carriers by May 13, 2010. (Sec.  382.43(a)(5)). However, 
these requirements apply only with respect to information and 
reservation services for flights covered by Sec.  382.7. TTY 
services apply only with respect to flights for which reservation 
telephone calls from the United States are accepted.

Exception

    The TTY requirements do not apply to carriers in any country in 
which the telecommunications infrastructure does not readily permit 
compliance. (Sec.  382.43(b)).
    See also Chapter 3, Section E, Accommodations for Air Travelers 
with Hearing Impairments, and Chapter 4, Section D, Accommodations 
for Air Travelers with Vision or Hearing Impairments.

Advance Notice and Reservation System

    Your carrier's reservation and other administrative systems must 
ensure that when a passenger provides the required advance notice 
for services and accommodations, the notice is communicated, clearly 
and on time, to the personnel responsible for providing the 
requested service or accommodation. (Sec.  382.27(e)). See Chapter 
3, Section A, Advance Notice.

Passenger-Supplied Electronic Respiratory Assistive Devices

    You should be aware that U.S and foreign carriers (except on-
demand air taxi operators) are required to permit passengers with a 
disability to use a passenger-supplied electronic respiratory 
assistive device onboard aircraft under specified conditions. (Sec.  
382.133). Chapter 3, Section A, Advance Notice, and Section B, 
Information about the Aircraft, discuss advance notice requirements 
and the information your carrier must provide during the reservation 
process to a passenger with a disability who wishes to use such 
devices during a flight.

Service Animals

    You should be aware that regardless of your carrier's policies 
with respect to pets, your carrier must permit a service animal used 
by a passenger with a disability to accompany the passenger on his 
or her flight. (Sec.  382.117(a)). A foreign carrier is only 
required to carry dogs as service animals (Sec.  382.117(f)) except 
on codesharing flights with U.S. carriers.
    At a U.S. airport facility that you own, lease, or control and 
in cooperation with the airport operator and in consultation with 
local service animal training organizations, your carrier must 
provide animal relief areas for service animals that accompany 
passengers departing, connecting, or arriving at such airports on 
your flights. (Sec.  382.51(a)(5)).
    See Chapter 3, Section D, Service Animals and Appendix III, 
Guidance Concerning Service Animals. See also, Chapter 5, Section B, 
Seating Assignments and Accommodations.

Aircraft Accessibility

    When ordering, purchasing, or leasing aircraft, you should 
consider that Part 382 requires the following features on an 
aircraft:
     Movable or removable aisle armrests (aircraft with 30 
or more passenger seats) (Sec.  382.61);
     Priority space in the passenger cabin for a passenger's 
manual, folding wheelchair (aircraft with 100 or more passenger 
seats) (Sec.  382.67);
     Accessible lavatories (aircraft with more than one 
aisle in which lavatories are provided) (Sec.  382.63);
     On-board wheelchairs (aircraft with more than 60 
passenger seats and an accessible lavatory) (Sec.  382.65); and
     In-flight audio-visual services (Sec.  382.69).
    Your carrier must maintain aircraft accessibility features in 
proper working order. (Sec.  382.71(a)). In addition, any 
replacement or refurbishing of the aircraft cabin must not reduce 
existing accessibility to a level below that required under Part 382 
for new aircraft. (Sec.  382.71(b)).
    These aircraft accessibility requirements and the compliance 
deadlines for both U.S. and foreign carriers are discussed in detail 
in Chapter 5, Section, A, Aircraft Accessibility.

Seating Accommodations

    You should be aware that, under certain circumstances, your 
carrier must provide certain seating accommodations if a passenger 
self-identifies as a passenger with a disability and the type of 
seating accommodation exists on the aircraft. (Sec. Sec.  382.81 and 
382.85). If your carrier provides advance seat assignments, it may 
employ either the block seating method or the priority seating 
method. Each method requires some advance notice on the part of the 
passenger with a disability to guarantee the seating accommodation. 
(Sec. Sec.  382.83 and 382.85).
    You should select an adequate reservation system to meet your 
carrier's needs, ensure proper administration of the reservation 
system, and provide employee training with respect to the 
reservation system and the requirements under Part 382 for providing 
seating accommodations for passengers with disabilities. If your 
carrier wishes to use a method of providing seat assignments to 
passengers with disabilities other than the methods provided for in 
Subpart E of Part 382, it must receive written approval from DOT. 
(Sec.  382.83(d)).
    If your carrier does not provide advance seat assignments, 
passengers who identify themselves as passengers with a disability 
in need of a seating accommodation must be allowed to pre-board 
before all other passengers, including other passengers entitled to 
pre-board, and select the seat assignment that best meets their 
needs. (Sec. Sec.  382.83(c) and 382.85(b)). You should note that 
your carrier must offer preboarding to passengers with a disability 
who self-identify at the gate as needing additional time or 
assistance. (Sec.  382.93(c)).
    Your carrier is not required to provide more than one seat per 
ticket or a seat in a class of service other than the one the 
passenger has purchased to accommodate a passenger with a disability 
in need of a seat assignment to accommodate his or her disability. 
(Sec.  382.87(f)).
    Your carrier must comply with all FAA and applicable foreign 
government safety requirements, including exit-seating requirements, 
when responding to requests from passengers with a disability for 
seating accommodations. (Sec.  382.87(b)).
    See Chapter 5, Section B, Seating Assignments and 
Accommodations, for more information on this topic.

Security Screenings

    You should be aware that all passengers including those with 
disabilities are subject to TSA security screening requirements at 
U.S. airports. Passengers at foreign airports, including those with 
disabilities, may be subject to security screening measures required 
by the law of the country where the airport is located. (Sec.  
382.55(a)).
    If your carrier wants to go beyond mandated security screening 
procedures, it must conduct the security screening of a passenger 
with a disability in the same manner as any other passenger. (Sec.  
382.55(b)).
    See Chapter 4, Section B, Security Screening for Air Travelers 
with a Disability.

Services and Equipment

Boarding Assistance in General

    If a passenger with a disability requests assistance getting on 
or off an airplane, or your carrier or the airport operator offers 
such assistance, and the passenger consents to the type of boarding 
or deplaning assistance offered, assistance must be promptly 
provided. The type of assistance offered must include the services 
of personnel and the use of wheelchairs, accessible motorized carts, 
ramps, or mechanical lifts as required under Part 382. (Sec.  
382.95(a)).
    You should be aware that a carrier operating aircraft with 19 or 
more passenger seats at U.S. commercial service airports with 10,000 
or more annual enplanements must provide boarding and deplaning 
assistance to passengers with a disability using lifts or ramps if 
level-entry loading bridges or accessible passenger boarding lounges 
are not

[[Page 39852]]

available. (Sec.  382.95(b)). However, boarding assistance using a 
lift or other means of level-entry boarding is not required on:
     Aircraft with fewer than 19 passenger seats;
     Float planes;
     The following 19-seat capacity aircraft models that are 
unsuitable for boarding assistance using a lift: the Fairchild 
Metro, the Jetstream 31 and 32, the Beech 1900 (C and D Models), and 
the Embraer EMB-120; or
     Any other aircraft model the DOT determines to be 
unsuitable for boarding and deplaning assistance by lift; ramp, or 
other suitable device. (Sec.  382.97).
    You should be aware that, although U.S. and foreign carriers 
must provide or ensure the provision of boarding and deplaning 
assistance at foreign airports on covered flights, level-entry 
boarding is not required. However, whenever level-entry boarding and 
deplaning assistance is not required, your carrier must still assist 
passengers with a disability in boarding and deplaning the aircraft 
if any such means is available. (Sec.  382.101).
    Your carrier must train employees in the use of the boarding 
assistance equipment and procedures regarding the safety and dignity 
of passengers receiving boarding assistance. (Sec.  
382.141(a)(1)(iii) and (b)).
    See Chapter 5, Section C, Boarding and Deplaning Assistance, for 
more information on this topic. See also Chapter 8: Personnel 
Training, for additional information on employee/contractor training 
requirements.

Boarding and Deplaning Assistance Agreements With U.S. Airport 
Operators

    U.S. and foreign carriers. Your carrier must negotiate in good 
faith with the operator of any U.S. commercial airport with 10,000 
or more annual enplanements to ensure the provision of lifts for 
boarding and deplaning where level-entry loading bridges are not 
available. (Sec.  382.99(a)).
    U.S. carriers. Your carrier must have a written, signed 
agreement with the airport operator allocating responsibility for 
meeting the boarding and deplaning assistance requirements of Part 
382, subpart G. (Sec.  382.99(b)).
    Foreign carriers. Your carrier must have a written, signed 
agreement with the airport operator allocating responsibility for 
meeting the boarding and deplaning assistance requirements of Part 
382, Subpart G with respect to all covered aircraft by May 13, 2010. 
(Sec.  382.99(b)). Foreign carriers serving a particular airport may 
be able to join existing agreements among the airport and U.S. 
carriers serving it, rather than establishing a new agreement.
    The written agreement with a U.S. airport must specify that 
accessible boarding and deplaning for passengers with a disability 
will actually be provided before May 13, 2011. (Sec.  382.99(c)).
    U.S. and foreign carriers. The written agreement may require 
passengers who want boarding and deplaning assistance requiring use 
of a lift to check in 1 hour before the standard check-in time for 
the flight. (Sec.  382.99(d)). You should be aware the agreement 
must ensure all lifts and other accessibility equipment are 
maintained in working order. (Sec.  382.99(e)).

    Note:  All carriers and airport operators are jointly and 
severally (individually) responsible to implement the agreements 
completely and in a timely manner. You must make the agreements 
available to DOT upon request. (Sec.  382.99(f) and (g)).

Boarding, Deplaning, and Connecting Assistance at Foreign Airports

    You should be aware that at foreign airports where the airport 
operator has the responsibility for boarding, deplaning, or 
connecting assistance, U.S. and foreign carriers can rely on the 
airport operator's services to meet Subpart G of Part 382. (Sec.  
382.105). However, if the services provided by the airport operator 
are not sufficient to meet these requirements, your carrier must 
supplement the airport operator's services. If your carrier believes 
it is legally prohibited from supplementing the airport operator's 
services, it may apply for a conflict of law waiver under Sec.  
382.9.

Storing Wheelchairs and Other Assistive Devices in the Cabin

    Your carrier must allow passengers with a disability to stow the 
following mobility aids and assistive devices inside the aircraft 
cabin provided they can be stowed consistent with FAA, PHMSA, TSA or 
applicable foreign government requirements concerning safety, 
security, and hazardous materials:
     Manual wheelchairs, including folding or collapsible 
wheelchairs;
     Other mobility aids, such as canes, crutches and 
walkers; and
     Other assistive devices for stowage or use in the 
cabin, such as prescription medications and the devices needed to 
administer them; vision-enhancing devices; and portable oxygen 
concentrators (POC), ventilators, and respirators that use 
nonspillable batteries if they comply with applicable safety, 
security and hazardous materials rules. (Sec.  382.121(a)).

    Note: The requirements concerning the in-flight use of 
passenger-supplied electronic devices that assist with respiration 
are discussed later in this appendix. (Sec.  382.133).

    Your carrier is not required to permit passengers to bring 
electric wheelchairs into the aircraft cabin.
    You should be aware that certain aircraft must have priority 
space in the cabin to stow at least one typical adult-sized folding, 
collapsible, or break-down manual wheelchair. (Sec.  382.67(a)). See 
Chapter 5, Section A, Aircraft Accessibility, for more information 
about this requirement, including the aircraft to which it applies.

    Note: Your carrier must not count mobility aids and other 
assistive devices brought on board the aircraft by a passenger with 
a disability toward the limit for passenger carry-on baggage. (Sec.  
382.121(b)).

On-Board Wheelchairs

    When required, on-board wheelchairs must be equipped with 
specific features and be designed to be compatible with the 
maneuvering space, aisle width, and seat height of the aircraft on 
which they are to be used, and to easily be pushed, pulled, and 
turned in the cabin environment by carrier personnel. (Sec.  
382.65)(c)). See Chapter 5, Section A, Aircraft Accessibility, for 
more information about this requirement, including the aircraft to 
which it applies.

Wheelchairs Unable To Be Stowed in the Cabin as Carry-On

    Know that your carrier must stow mobility aids, including 
wheelchairs, and other assistive devices in the baggage compartment 
with priority over other cargo and baggage if an approved stowage 
area is not available in the cabin or the items cannot be 
transported in the cabin consistent with FAA, PHMSA, TSA, or 
applicable foreign government requirements. (Sec.  382.125(a) and 
(b)). Except as otherwise provided in Part 382, your carrier may not 
charge for facilities, equipment, or services required under Part 
382 to be provided to passengers with a disability. Therefore, your 
carrier cannot charge for a wheelchair or other mobility or 
assistive device that exceeds the weight limit on checked baggage. 
(Sec.  382.31(a)) and 382.121(b).
    However, DOT recognizes there may be some circumstances in which 
it is not practical to stow an electric wheelchair or some other 
assistive device in the baggage compartment, and you are not 
required to do so if it would constitute an undue burden. (Sec.  
382.13(c)). Only devices that fit and meet all applicable hazardous 
materials and other safety regulations need be carried.
    When a passenger's wheelchair, other mobility aids, or other 
assistive devices cannot be stowed in the cabin as carry-on baggage, 
a carrier must ensure these items are timely checked and returned as 
close as possible to the door of the aircraft (unless the passenger 
requests the items be returned at the baggage claim area) so that 
the passenger with a disability can use his or her own equipment, 
where possible, consistent with Federal regulations concerning 
transportation security and the transportation of hazardous 
materials. (Sec.  382.125(c)(1) and (c)(2)).
    To ensure the timely return of a passenger's wheelchair, other 
mobility aids or other assistive devices, they must be among the 
first items retrieved from the baggage compartment. (Sec.  
382.125(d)).

Battery-Powered Devices

    A carrier must accept a passenger's battery-powered wheelchair 
or other similar mobility device, including the battery, as checked 
baggage unless baggage compartment size and aircraft airworthiness 
considerations prohibit it. (Sec.  382.127(a)).
    Check-in and advance notice requirements (for passengers with 
battery-powered mobility devices)
    Aircraft with 60 or more passenger seats. Your carrier may 
require that a passenger who wants you to transport his or her 
battery-powered wheelchair or similar mobility device check in for 
the flight 1 hour before the check-in time for the general public. 
However, even if the passenger does not check in within this time, 
your carrier must make a reasonable effort to accommodate the 
passenger and transport the battery-powered wheelchair or other 
similar mobility aid provided it would not delay the flight. (Sec.  
382.127(b)).

[[Page 39853]]

    Aircraft with fewer than 60 passenger seats. Your carrier may 
require that a passenger with a disability provide up to 48 hours' 
advance notice and check in 1 hour before the check-in time for the 
general public if the passenger wants your carrier to transport his 
or her electric (battery-powered) wheelchair. (Sec.  382.27(c)(4)).

Battery Handling (for Wheelchairs, Scooters, and Other Mobility Devices 
Using Traditional Spillable or Nonspillable Battery Technology)

    Your carrier must not require that the battery be removed and 
separately packaged if the--
     Manufacturer has labeled the battery on a wheelchair or 
other similar mobility device as nonspillable, or
     For a spillable battery, the battery-powered wheelchair 
can be loaded, stored, secured, and unloaded in an upright position.
    However, your carrier must remove and package separately any 
battery that (1) is inadequately secured to a wheelchair or (2) if 
the battery is spillable and it is contained in a wheelchair that 
cannot be loaded, stowed, secured and unloaded in an upright 
position consistent with DOT hazardous materials regulations. A 
damaged or leaking battery should not be transported. (Sec.  
382.127(c)).
    Finally, your carrier must not disconnect the battery on a 
wheelchair or other mobility device if the battery is nonspillable 
and it is completely enclosed within a case or compartment integral 
to the design of the device unless required to do so under FAA, 
PHMSA, or applicable foreign government safety regulations. (Sec.  
382.127(e)).
    When it is necessary to detach a battery from a wheelchair or 
other mobility device, a carrier must provide packaging for the 
battery, if requested, and package the battery consistent with 
appropriate hazardous materials regulations. However, your carrier 
is not required to use packaging materials or devices you do not 
normally use for this purpose. (Sec.  382.127(d)). Your carrier must 
not charge for such packaging. (Sec.  382.31(a)). Your carrier also 
must not drain batteries. (Sec.  382.127(f)).

Passenger-Supplied Electronic Respiratory Assistive Devices

U.S. Carriers Conducting Passenger Service (Except for On-Demand Air 
Taxi Operators)

    You should be aware that, subject to the conditions below, your 
carrier must permit a passenger with a disability to use the 
following passenger-supplied electronic respiratory assistive 
devices in the passenger cabin during all phases of flight on all 
aircraft designed with more than 19 passenger seats:
     FAA-approved POC,
     Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines;
     Respirators; and
     Ventilators.
    Your carrier must allow such devices to be used in the cabin 
during air transportation if they--
     Meet applicable FAA requirements for medical portable 
electronic devices,
     Display a manufacturer's label indicating such 
compliance, and
     Can be stowed and used in the cabin consistent with 
applicable TSA, FAA, and PHMSA regulations. (Sec.  382.133(a)(1) and 
(a)(2)).

Foreign Carriers Conducting Passenger Service (Except Operations 
Equivalent to a U.S. Carrier On-Demand Air Taxi Operation)

    A foreign carrier must permit passengers with a disability to 
use the electronic respiratory assistive devices listed above (a POC 
of a kind equivalent to an FAA-approved POC for U.S. carrier, CPAP 
machine, respirator, or ventilator,) in the passenger cabin of 
aircraft originally designed with a maximum passenger seating 
capacity of more than 19 seats during operations to, from or within 
the United States. (Sec.  382.133(b)).
    Your carrier must permit onboard use of such devices if they--
     Meet requirements for medical portable electronic 
devices established by your foreign government (or if no such 
requirements exist you may apply applicable FAA requirements for 
U.S. carriers),
     Have a manufacturer's label indicating such compliance, 
and
     The device can be stowed and used in the cabin 
consistent with TSA, FAA and PHMSA regulations and the safety and 
security regulations of your foreign government. (Sec.  
382.133(b)(1) through (b)(3)).
    For more information on this topic see Chapter 5, Section E, 
Services and Information Provided in the Cabin. For a discussion 
about the specific information your carrier must provide during the 
reservation process to a passenger with a disability who wishes to 
use a passenger-supplied electronic respiratory assistive device 
during a flight see Chapter 3, Section B, Information about the 
Aircraft.

Baggage Liability Limits

    On domestic U.S. flights the baggage liability limits (14 CFR 
part 254, Domestic Baggage Liability Limits) do not apply to loss, 
damage, or delay concerning wheelchairs, other mobility aids, or 
other assistive devices. Rather, the basis for calculating the 
compensation for lost, damaged, or delayed mobility aids, including 
wheelchairs, or other assistive devices must be the original price 
of the device. (Sec.  382.131).

    Note: Baggage liability limits for international travel, 
including flights of U.S. carriers, are governed by the Montreal 
Convention and other international agreements instead of 14 CFR part 
254.
    Your carrier also must not require a passenger with a disability 
to sign a waiver of liability for damage to or loss of a wheelchair 
or other assistive device, although your personnel may make notes 
about preexisting damage or conditions of these items to the same 
extent you do this for other checked baggage. (Sec.  382.35(b)).

Timely and Complete Access to Information at the Airport

U.S. Carriers

    Your carrier must ensure that passengers who identify themselves 
as persons needing visual or hearing assistance receive prompt 
access to the same information that you provide to other passengers 
at each gate, ticketing area, and customer service desk that you 
own, lease, or control at any U.S. or foreign airport. However, your 
carrier is not required to provide information if it would interfere 
with employee safety and security duties under applicable FAA and 
foreign regulations. (Sec.  382.53(a)(1)). This requirement applies 
to information on a wide variety of subjects such as flight safety, 
ticketing, schedule changes and gate assignments. (Sec.  382.53(b)).

Foreign Carriers

    Foreign carriers must make the same information available to 
passengers who identify themselves as needing visual or hearing 
assistance at each gate, ticketing area, and customer service desk 
that you own, lease, or control at any U.S. airport. At foreign 
airports, a foreign carrier must make this information available 
only at gates, ticketing areas, or customer service desks that you 
own, lease, or control and only for flights that begin or end in the 
United States. (Sec.  382.53(a)(2)).
    See Chapter 4, Section D, Accommodations for Air Travelers with 
Vision or Hearing Impairments.

Timely and Complete Access to Information on the Aircraft

General Information

    You should be aware that your carrier must ensure that 
passengers with a disability who identify themselves as needing 
visual or hearing assistance have prompt access to the same 
information provided to other passengers on the aircraft. However, 
your carrier is not required to provide information if it would 
interfere with crewmember safety duties under applicable FAA and 
foreign regulations. (Sec.  382.119(a)). This requirement includes 
information on a wide variety of subjects such as flight safety, 
procedures for takeoff and landing, and flight delays. (Sec.  
382.119(b)).
    In addition, if your carrier uses new audio-visual displays to 
convey this information to passengers with hearing impairments it 
must provide high-contrast captioning. (Sec.  382.69).

Safety Briefings for Passengers With Hearing Impairments

    If your carrier presents safety briefings to passengers using 
audio-visual displays, the presentation must be accessible to 
passengers with hearing impairments. (Sec.  382.115(e)).
    See Chapter 5, Section E, Services and Information Provided in 
the Cabin and Section F, Safety Briefings.

Complaint Procedures

Complaints Resolution Officials (CROs)

    Carriers providing service using aircraft with 19 or more 
passenger seats must designate one or more CROs to handle 
disability-related complaints. (Sec.  382.151(a)). A U.S. carrier 
must make a CRO available at each airport it serves during all times 
it operates at that airport. A foreign carrier must make a CRO 
available at each airport serving flights it operates that begin or 
end at a U.S. airport. 382.151(b).

[[Page 39854]]

Responding to Complaints

    You should be aware that your carrier must respond to both oral 
and written complaints from passengers with a disability.
    Complaints made directly to your CRO. If a complaint is made 
directly to your CRO before a potential violation has occurred your 
CRO must take prompt action to ensure compliance with Part 382. If 
the alleged violation has already occurred and your CRO agrees that 
Part 382 was violated, your CRO must respond in writing with a 
summary of the facts and what steps, if any, your carrier proposes 
to take in response to the violation. If your CRO does not find that 
Part 382 was violated, your CRO must provide a written statement 
summarizing the facts and the reasons for the determination. In 
either case, the response must inform the passenger of his or her 
right to pursue DOT enforcement action. If possible, your CRO should 
provide the response to the passenger at the airport. If this is not 
possible, the response must be forwarded to the passenger within 30 
days. (Sec.  382.153).
    Written complaints made after a trip. Your carrier must provide 
a written response to the complaining passenger within 30 days of 
receiving their written complaint. The response must describe how 
your carrier resolved the complaint and must specifically admit or 
deny that a violation of Part 382 occurred. (Sec.  382.155(d)). 
Depending on your carrier's determination, the response to a written 
complaint must include the following:
     If your carrier agrees that a violation has occurred, 
it must provide a written statement to the complainant summarizing 
the facts and stating what steps, if any, your carrier proposes to 
take in response to the violation. (Sec.  382.155(d)(1)).
     If your carrier denies that a violation occurred, the 
written response must include a summary of the facts and your 
carrier's reasons under Part 382 for making its determination. 
(Sec.  382.155(d)(2)).
     Information about the complainant's right to pursue DOT 
enforcement action under Part 382. (Sec.  382.155(d)(3)).

Recording, Categorizing, and Reporting Disability-Related Complaints

    A carrier covered by Part 382 that conducts passenger operations 
with at least one aircraft having a designated seating capacity of 
more than 60 passengers on flights to, from, or in the United States 
must categorize, record, and report annually to DOT the written 
disability-related complaints received by your carrier. (Sec.  
382.157). This requirement applies to foreign carriers only with 
respect to disability-related complaints associated with any flight 
segment beginning or ending in the United States. (Sec.  
382.157(b)).
    Your carrier must have a system for categorizing and recording 
disability-related complaints by the passenger's type of disability 
and the nature of the passenger's complaint. (Sec.  382.157(c)). In 
addition, your carrier must submit an annual report on the last 
Monday in January of every year summarizing the disability-related 
complaints received during the previous year. This annual report 
must be submitted online using the form specified at the Web site 
address http://382reporting.ost.dot.gov unless your carrier 
demonstrates undue hardship if not permitted to submit the 
information via paper copies, disks or email. (Sec.  382.157(d)). If 
DOT approves your carrier's request not to submit the annual report 
through the Web site address above, it must use the form in appendix 
A to Part 382. (Sec.  382.157(h)).
    The recording and reporting responsibilities discussed above 
also apply to carriers in a codeshare relationship. (Sec.  
382.157(f)).
    See Chapter 6: Assisting Air Travelers with Disabilities with 
Their Complaints.

Employee Training

    You should be aware that proper training of carrier personnel is 
critical to compliance with the ACAA and Part 382. The training 
requirements in Part 382 vary with aircraft size. A carrier 
operating aircraft with 19 or more passenger seats must train all 
personnel who deal with the traveling public, as appropriate to the 
duties of each employee, to proficiency in certain specific areas 
such as applicable regulations and carrier procedures on providing 
air travel for passengers with disabilities, and provide training in 
other areas such as appropriate communications as outlined in Part 
382. (Sec.  382.141(a)). Your carrier must provide, or ensure that 
your contractor's provide, training to contract employees who deal 
directly with the traveling public that is tailored to the 
employees' functions. (Sec.  382.141(a)(6)). Your carrier must 
consult with organizations representing persons with disabilities in 
your home country when developing your training programs and your 
policies and procedures. (Sec.  382.141(a)(4)).
    A carrier operating aircraft with fewer than 19 passenger seats 
must provide training for its flight crewmembers and appropriate 
personnel to ensure that those personnel are familiar with 
applicable regulations, carrier procedures, and appropriate 
communication in providing air travel to passengers with a 
disability and that they comply with Part 382. (Sec.  382.141(b)).
    Chapter 8: Personnel Training, contains a detailed discussion of 
carrier personnel and contractor training program requirements, 
including refresher training, as well as the recordkeeping 
requirements and schedule associated with this training.

Appendix IV FSAT 04-01A Location and Placement of Service Animals on 
Aircraft Engaged in Public Air Transportation

    ORDER: 8400.10
    APPENDIX: 4
    BULLETIN TYPE: Flight Standards Information Bulletin for Air 
Transportation (FSAT)
    BULLETIN NUMBER: FSAT 04-01A
    BULLETIN TITLE: Location and Placement of Service Animals on 
Aircraft Engaged in Public Air Transportation.
    EFFECTIVE DATE: 6/24/04
    AMENDED DATE: 7/23/04
    TRACKING: N/A
    APPLICABILITY: This bulletin applies to operations under part 
121 and 135.

    NOTE: This amended bulletin adds further guidance about 
``unusual service animals'' in paragraphs 4 D and E.

    1. PURPOSE. This bulletin clarifies the Federal Aviation 
Administration (FAA) Flight Standards Service's safety and 
enforcement policy regarding the location and placement of service 
animals, as defined by the Department of Transportation (DOT) in 
Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 382, 
Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel, for all 
aircraft operated under 14 CFR parts 121 and 135. This bulletin 
supplements information contained in Federal Aviation Administration 
(FAA) Advisory Circular (AC) 120-32, Air Transportation of 
Handicapped Persons.
    2. BACKGROUND.
    A. As early as 1977, the FAA recognized the need for guidance 
regarding the placement and location of service animals on aircraft. 
AC 120-32 discusses the placement of ``guide dogs'' and states that 
``They should be seated in the first row seat of a section next to 
the bulkhead where there is more room for the dog''. This guidance 
was issued well before DOT Part 382 was published in 1990. 
Collaboration among the FAA, the DOT and members of the disabled 
community during the development of DOT Part 382 ensured that its 
requirements would be consistent with the AC previously published by 
the FAA.
    B. Flight Standards has recently received questions from air 
carriers, aviation safety inspectors, airline industry 
representatives and people with service animals regarding compliance 
with DOT Part 382 Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in 
Air Travel as it pertains to the location and placement of service 
animals on aircraft engaged in public air transportation.
    C. On May 9, 2003, DOT issued revised guidance regarding the 
carriage of service animals affecting all transportation modes, 
including aviation. If the FAA believes that additional FAA 
rulemaking or guidance is necessary, the FAA will undertake them, as 
appropriate. One example of this type of activity is the issuance of 
this FSAT, which contains Flight Standards' safety and enforcement 
policy regarding the placement and location of service animals 
accompanying persons with disabilities on aircraft.
    3. SAFETY REVIEW.
    A. A review of all available reports regarding commercial 
aircraft accidents with at least one fatality, in operations under 
part 121, that occurred between 1/1/1990 and 1/1/2004, contained in 
the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reporting system, 
found no references to either a service animal's presence on the 
aircraft or its placement or location on the aircraft, to have 
negatively impacted an aircraft evacuation or a particular 
individual's emergency egress from an aircraft.
    B. A review of NTSB Safety Report ``Survivability of Accidents 
Involving Part 121 U.S. Air Carrier Operations, 1983 Through 
2000(NTSB/SR-01/01), also found no references to either a service 
animal's presence on the aircraft or its placement or

[[Page 39855]]

location on the aircraft, to have negatively impacted an aircraft 
evacuation or a particular individual's emergency egress from an 
aircraft.
    C. Similarly, a review of the NTSB Safety Study, ``Emergency 
Evacuation of Commercial Airplanes (NTSB/SS-00/01),'' found no 
references to either a service animal's presence on the aircraft or 
their placement or location on the aircraft, to have negatively 
impacted an aircraft evacuation or a particular individual's 
emergency egress from an aircraft.
    4. GUIDANCE. The variety of service animals, as well as the 
services these animals perform, has certainly become larger in scope 
since the FAA's policy was first published in 1977. However, after a 
comprehensive review of available NTSB data, the FAA sees no safety 
issue that compels the FAA to change its long standing safety and 
enforcement policy regarding placement and location of service 
animals on aircraft. Therefore, consistent with DOT part 382 
requirements:
    A. Placement. A service animal may be placed at the feet of a 
person with a disability at any bulkhead seat or in any other seat 
as long as when the animal is seated/placed/curled up on the floor, 
no part of the animal extends into the main aisle(s) of the 
aircraft, the service animal is not at an emergency exit seat and 
the service animal does not extend into the foot space of another 
passenger seated nearby who does not wish to share foot space with 
the service animal.
    B. Placement of lap held service animals. Lap held service 
animals (such as a monkey used by a person with mobility 
impairments) are discussed in the preamble to DOT Part 382 
Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel, issued 
in 1990 (FR Vol. 55, No. 44 361990, pg. 8042). They are service 
animals that need to be in a person's lap to perform a service for 
that person. This service animal may sit in that person's lap for 
all phases of flight including ground movement, take off and landing 
provided that the service animal is no larger than a lap-held child 
(a child who has not reached his or her second birthday).
    C. Documentation. One type of service animal is an animal used 
for emotional support. The presence of such an animal is found to be 
medically necessary for the passenger traveling with the animal. 
Under DOT rules, and outlined clearly in DOT Guidance Concerning 
Service Animals, published on May 9, 2003, an air carrier may 
require documentation regarding the medical need for the presence of 
an emotional support animal as a condition of permitting the animal 
to accompany the passenger in the cabin as a service animal.
    D. Unusual Service Animals. On May 9, 2003, the Department of 
Transportation issued Guidance Concerning Service Animals in Air 
Transportation. Unusual service animals pose unavoidable safety and/
or public health concerns and airlines are not required to transport 
them. Snakes, other reptiles, ferrets, rodents, and spiders 
certainly fall within this category of animals. The release of such 
an animal in the aircraft cabin could result in a direct threat to 
the health or safety of passengers and crewmembers. For these 
reasons, airlines are not required to transport these types of 
service animals in the cabin, and carriage in the cargo hold will be 
in accordance with company policies on the carriage of animals 
generally.
    E. Other unusual animals such as miniature horses, pigs and 
monkeys should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Factors to 
consider are the animal's size, weight, state and foreign country 
restrictions, and whether or not the animal would pose a direct 
threat to the health or safety of others, or cause a fundamental 
alteration (significant disruption) in the cabin service. If none of 
these factors apply, the animal may accompany the passenger in the 
cabin. In most other situations, the animal should be carried in the 
cargo hold in accordance with company policy.
    F. This safety and enforcement policy has been coordinated with 
AGC-220, Operations and Air Traffic Law Branch.
    5. REFERENCES.
    A. 14 CFR Part 382, Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability 
in Air Travel, as amended http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/rules/rules.htm
    B. DOT Guidance Concerning Service Animals, May 9, 2003 http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/rules/20030509.pdf
    C. Advisory Circular 120-32, Air Transportation of Handicapped 
Persons http://www.faa.gov/avr/afs/cabinsafety/acidx.cfm
    D. DOT Part 382 Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in 
Air Travel, including preamble, issued 1990, (FR Vol 55, No. 44 
361990, pg. 8042) http://www.faa.gov/avr/afs/cabinsafety/disabilities.cfm
    E. NTSB Accident Database & Synopses http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/query.asp
    F. NTSB Safety Report (NTSB/SR-01/01) ``Survivability of 
Accidents Involving Part 121 U.S. Air Carrier Operations, 1983 
Through 2000'' http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/2001/SR0101.pdf
    G. NTSB Safety Study (NTSB/SS-00/01), ``Emergency Evacuation of 
Commercial Airplanes'' http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/2000/SS0001.pdf
    6. ACTION.
    A. Each Principal Operations Inspector (POI) and Aviation Safety 
Inspector--Cabin Safety should make the information contained in 
this FSAT known to the director of safety or the director of 
operations, respectively, of each assigned operator under part 121 
or part 135.
    B. This information may be conveyed by hard copy of this FSAT or 
by referring the director of safety or the director of operations, 
as applicable, to the following FAA public web site: http://www.faa.gov/avr/afs/fsat/fsatl.htm
    7. PROGRAM TRACKING AND REPORTING SUBSYSTEM (PTRS). Document the 
conveyance of the information contained in this FSAT for each air 
carrier affected:
    A. Use PTRS code 1385.
    B. Enter ``FST0401A'' in the National Use Field (without the 
quotes).
    C. Once the POI has accomplished the ACTION in paragraph 6, 
close out the PTRS.
    8. INQUIRIES. This bulletin was developed by AFS-200. Any 
questions concerning this bulletin should be directed to Nancy 
Claussen, Flight Standards Service, at (602) 379-4864, ext. 268.
    9. EXPIRATION. This bulletin will remain in effect until further 
notice.

/s/Thomas K. Toula, for
Matthew Schack,
Manager, Air Transportation Division.

[FR Doc. 2012-15233 Filed 7-3-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-9X-P