DOT fines US Airways for ‘inadequate’ wheelchair services

By Jerry Limone
The Department of Transportation fined US Airways $1.2 million for allegedly failing to provide adequate wheelchair assistance, as required by the Air Carrier Access Act, to passengers at the airports in Philadelphia and Charlotte, N.C.

The DOT said an investigation uncovered “a significant number of violations,” including passengers missing connecting flights because of “inadequate connecting assistance.”

The DOT said it reviewed all disability-related complaints relating to incidents at the Philadelphia and Charlotte airports received by US Airways during 14 separate weeklong intervals in 2011 and 2012.

According to the consent order, US Airways agreed to settle the matter, without admitting to violations, to avoid the burden and expense of litigation.

The DOT said that $700,000 of the assessed civil penalty is due and payable within 30 days.

US Airways has been ordered to spend the remaining $500,000 on improvements to its services to disabled customers at the Philadelphia and Charlotte airports, including up to $280,000 for the first-year salaries of quality-assurance managers.

The DOT called the $1.2 million penalty one of the largest it has assessed in a disability case.
 
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