Langevin, Brady Fight to Improve Air Travel for Passengers with Disabilities


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-chair of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus, and Congressman Robert Brady (D-PA) introduced the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act (ACAAA) to enhance air travel protections for people with disabilities. The ACAAA builds upon the accessibility framework established over 30 years ago by the Air Carrier Access Act, which was enacted to prohibit discrimination based on disability in air travel.

“Despite three decades of progress, I know firsthand the challenges of airplane travel for someone with a disability,” said Congressman Langevin. “It’s time to update the standard of air travel for people with disabilities, who continue to face barriers when flying. This bill will promote inclusivity by making substantial improvements in ticketing, passenger assistance, and airplane accessibility and accommodation.”

“Every American deserves the freedom to travel by air and I am proud to support a bill that will make it easier for Americans with disabilities to fly,” said Congressman Brady.

“One of the top areas of complaint from members of Paralyzed Veterans of America is problems in safely accessing air travel,” said Paralyzed Veterans of America National President David Zurfluh. “Although the Air Carrier Access Act prohibits disability-based discrimination in air travel, too many of our members continue to suffer bodily harm in the boarding and deplaning process, and their wheelchairs sustain damage while being stowed and transported. We fully support the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act because it builds upon the ACAA by improving aircraft accessibility, increasing assistance training, and strengthening enforcement of these vital civil rights protections.”

Identical legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). The ACAAA includes numerous improvements to air travel. It requires the U.S. Department of Transportation to ensure disability-related complaints can be filed efficiently, establishes an Airline Passengers with Disabilities Bill of Rights, removes physical and communication barriers, and calls for a study of in-cabin personal wheelchair use. These provisions will reaffirm Congress’s commitment to the original intent of the ACAAA.