And not just the discounters, this from a Pittsburgh Business Journal:
March 26, 2003 |
DOT fines US Airways over treatment of disabled
The U.S. Department of Transportation has fined US Airways $550,000 to settle an investigation of the airline's treatment of passengers with disabilities.
In a statement Wednesday, the Department of Transportation said it found US Airways violated the Air Carrier Access Act and other federal regulations that require wheelchair service to be provided to disabled airline passengers.
Under the terms of the settlement, US Airways, of Arlington, Va., must refrain from such behavior in the future. Also, the settlement allows the carrier to use $400,000 of the penalty for activities that will improve its services to people with disabilities. The remaining $150,000 will be treated as an unsecured creditor's claim in US Airways' bankruptcy proceedings.
US Airways, which is Pittsburgh's dominant airline and one of the region's largest employers, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last August. It hopes to complete its restructuring by the end of this month.
"I believe as I did more than a decade ago, as a co-author of the Americans with Disabilities Act, that accessibility to transportation is a civil right," Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said.
The DOT's Aviation Enforcement Office launched an investigation of US Airways' compliance with the federal regulations after receiving complaints.
A review of the complaints by the enforcement office, as well as US Airways, found violations including prolonged delays in obtaining wheelchairs and passengers left alone in wheelchairs aboard planes for extended periods of time, the DOT said.
A US Airways spokesperson could not be immediately contacted for comment.
And just like they did with Southwest, JetBlue, AmericaWest, and USAir, the DOT is refunding AirTran $105,000 of the $125,000 in order to implement the needed accessibility. The total fine ends up only being $20,000 when all is said and done