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14 CFR Part 382 Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel (Air Carrier Access Act) (with amendments issued through May 2016)

Click here to see the Preamble and Section-by-section Analysis to 14 CFR Part 382.

Subpart H—Services on Aircraft

§382.111 What services must carriers provide to passengers with a disability on board the aircraft?

[Doc. No. DOT-OST-2004-19482, 73 FR 27665, May 13, 2008, as amended at 75 FR 44887, July 30, 2010]

As a carrier, you must provide services within the aircraft cabin as requested by or on behalf of passengers with a disability, or when offered by carrier personnel and accepted by passengers with a disability, as follows:

(a) Assistance in moving to and from seats, as part of the enplaning and deplaning processes;

(b) Assistance in preparation for eating, such as opening packages and identifying food;

(c) If there is an on-board wheelchair on the aircraft, assistance with the use of the on-board wheelchair to enable the person to move to and from a lavatory;

(d) Assistance to a semi-ambulatory person in moving to and from the lavatory, not involving lifting or carrying the person; or

(e) Assistance in stowing and retrieving carry-on items, including mobility aids and other assistive devices stowed in the cabin (see also 382.91(d)). To receive such assistance, the passenger must self-identify as being an individual with a disability needing the assistance.

(f) Effective communication with passengers who have vision impairments or who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, so that these passengers have prompt access to information the carrier provides to other passengers (e.g. weather, on-board services, flight delays, connecting gates at the next airport).

§382.113 What services are carriers not required to provide to passengers with a disability on board the aircraft?

As a carrier, you are not required to provide extensive special assistance to qualified individuals with a disability. For purposes of this section, extensive special assistance includes the following activities:

(a) Assistance in actual eating;

(b) Assistance within the restroom or assistance at the passenger's seat with elimination functions; and

(c) Provision of medical services.

§382.115 What requirements apply to on-board safety briefings?

As a carrier, you must comply with the following requirements with respect to on-board safety briefings:

(a) You must conduct an individual safety briefing for any passenger where required by 14 CFR 121.571(a)(3) and (a)(4), 14 CFR 135.117(b), or other FAA requirements.

(b) You may offer an individual briefing to any other passenger, but you may not require an individual to have such a briefing except as provided in paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) You must not require any passenger with a disability to demonstrate that he or she has listened to, read, or understood the information presented, except to the extent that carrier personnel impose such a requirement on all passengers with respect to the general safety briefing. You must not take any action adverse to a qualified individual with a disability on the basis that the person has not “accepted” the briefing.

(d) When you conduct an individual safety briefing for a passenger with a disability, you must do so as inconspicuously and discreetly as possible.

(e) The accessibility requirements for onboard video safety presentations that carriers must meet are outlined in section 382.69.

§382.117 Must carriers permit passengers with a disability to travel with service animals?

[Doc. No. DOT-OST-2004-19482, 73 FR 27665, May 13, 2008, as amended at 74 FR 11471, Mar. 18, 2009]

(a) As a carrier, you must permit a service animal to accompany a passenger with a disability.

(1) You must not deny transportation to a service animal on the basis that its carriage may offend or annoy carrier personnel or persons traveling on the aircraft.

(2) On a flight segment scheduled to take 8 hours or more, you may, as a condition of permitting a service animal to travel in the cabin, require the passenger using the service animal to provide documentation that the animal will not need to relieve itself on the flight or that the animal can relieve itself in a way that does not create a health or sanitation issue on the flight.

(b) You must permit the service animal to accompany the passenger with a disability at any seat in which the passenger sits, unless the animal obstructs an aisle or other area that must remain unobstructed to facilitate an emergency evacuation.

(c) If a service animal cannot be accommodated at the seat location of the passenger with a disability who is using the animal, you must offer the passenger the opportunity to move with the animal to another seat location, if present on the aircraft, where the animal can be accommodated.

(d) As evidence that an animal is a service animal, you must accept identification cards, other written documentation, presence of harnesses, tags, or the credible verbal assurances of a qualified individual with a disability using the animal.

(e) If a passenger seeks to travel with an animal that is used as an emotional support or psychiatric service animal, you are not required to accept the animal for transportation in the cabin unless the passenger provides you current documentation (i.e., no older than one year from the date of the passenger's scheduled initial flight) on the letterhead of a licensed mental health professional (e.g., psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed clinical social worker, including a medical doctor specifically treating the passenger's mental or emotional disability) stating the following:

(1) The passenger has a mental or emotional disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—Fourth Edition (DSM IV);

(2) The passenger needs the emotional support or psychiatric service animal as an accommodation for air travel and/or for activity at the passenger's destination;

(3) The individual providing the assessment is a licensed mental health professional, and the passenger is under his or her professional care; and

(4) The date and type of the mental health professional's license and the state or other jurisdiction in which it was issued.

(f) You are never required to accommodate certain unusual service animals (e.g., snakes, other reptiles, ferrets, rodents, and spiders) as service animals in the cabin. With respect to all other animals, including unusual or exotic animals that are presented as service animals (e.g., miniature horses, pigs, monkeys), as a carrier you must determine whether any factors preclude their traveling in the cabin as service animals (e.g., whether the animal is too large or heavy to be accommodated in the cabin, whether the animal would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others, whether it would cause a significant disruption of cabin service, whether it would be prohibited from entering a foreign country that is the flight's destination). If no such factors preclude the animal from traveling in the cabin, you must permit it to do so. However, as a foreign carrier, you are not required to carry service animals other than dogs.

(g) Whenever you decide not to accept an animal as a service animal, you must explain the reason for your decision to the passenger and document it in writing. A copy of the explanation must be provided to the passenger either at the airport, or within 10 calendar days of the incident.

(h) You must promptly take all steps necessary to comply with foreign regulations (e.g., animal health regulations) needed to permit the legal transportation of a passenger's service animal from the U.S. into a foreign airport.

(i) Guidance concerning the carriage of service animals generally is found in the preamble of this rule. Guidance on the steps necessary to legally transport service animals on flights from the U.S. into the United Kingdom is found in 72 FR 8268-8277, (February 26, 2007).

(a) As a carrier, you must ensure that passengers with a disability who identify themselves as needing visual or hearing assistance have prompt access to the same information provided to other passengers on the aircraft as described in paragraph (b) of this section, to the extent that it does not interfere with crewmembers' safety duties as set forth in FAA and applicable foreign regulations.

(b) The covered information includes but is not limited to the following: information concerning flight safety, procedures for takeoff and landing, flight delays, schedule or aircraft changes that affect the travel of persons with disabilities, diversion to a different airport, scheduled departure and arrival time, boarding information, weather conditions at the flight's destination, beverage and menu information, connecting gate assignments, baggage claim, individuals being paged by airlines, and emergencies (e.g., fire or bomb threat).


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