Wheelchair Access On Commercial Airlines
Dear President Trump and Congressional Leaders:
The Air Carrier Access Act of 1986, Title 49, Section 41705 of the U.S. Code, prohibits commercial airlines from discriminating against passengers with disabilities. The act itself, however, does not have any provision to protect the rights of those who, because of their disabilities and for safety reasons, cannot sit in a standard airline passenger seat and must remain seated in their personal wheelchairs like myself. These individuals are prevented from traveling any way except by land vehicles, trains, or ships. This constitutes a blatant infringement on their civil rights and access to affordable and expedient transportation.
We, the undersigned, propose that every commercial aircraft have one to two removable passenger seat(s), in the front row of every aircraft, with a 4-point air cargo system underneath (identical to the system used in the U.S. Air Force cargo transport aircraft) to fasten each wheelchair securely to the floor of the cabin. An additional safety belt will be required around the waist of each wheelchair user to secure them in their seats. This proposed setup will guarantee the accessibility and safety of every passenger on board.
Such implemented change is an economically sound investment for air carriers. The large and growing market of people with disabilities has $175 billion in discretionary spending, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Additionally, The New York Times reported that spending by travelers with disabilities exceeds $13.6 billion annually. I know that I personally spend approximately $5,000/ year on vacations. We estimate that this amount will increase significantly once individual aircraft become more wheelchair accessible.
Please amend the Air Carrier Act of 1986 and push the Federal Aviation Administration to require airlines to designate wheelchair accessible spaces on every commercial aircraft.
Thank you for your support,
All Wheels Up