Multiple Sclerosis: Accessible Travel

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Does an airline have to provide service to a disabled person?

Multiple Sclerosis: Accessible Travel

When traveling, always check with the airline carrier if you have special needs to ensure that they can provide accessible travel assistance. While airline carriers cannot discriminate because of a disability, they can refuse to provide transportation if a person has a disability that would put others in danger (health or safety issues).

If the carrier doesn't have lifts, boarding chairs or other devices to assist a disabled person to board the plane, the carrier can refuse service. This may be a problem with the smaller carriers, but any carrier with 19 or more seats at airports that have 10,000 or more enplanements must have equipment to help a person with a disability board and deplane. If a person with a disability cannot be seated without violating the FAA Exit Row Seating rules, the carrier may refuse transportation.

When someone calls the carrier to inquire about services for the disabled, the carrier must provide the requested information. Most airlines have seats with movable aisle armrests for people who use wheelchairs. Some carriers have a special wheelchair on board made to fit in the narrow aisles. One of the things that should be asked of the airline is whether it has an accessible lavatory.



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