New Digital Accessibility Regulations for Air Carriers

Air Carrier Access Act includes accessibility of airline websites and kiosksIn an amendment to the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), the United States Department of Transportation has taken definitive steps to address the accessibility of air carrier websites and kiosks to persons with disabilities.

Travel Carriers and Websites Affected by the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA)

The amendment applies to:

  • All domestic and foreign airlines operating at least one airplane with a seating capacity of more than 60 passengers, serving U.S. passengers.
  • Domestic and foreign airlines that have more than 10,000 passengers.
  • Ticket Agents that are not small businesses (including travel websites such as such as Kayak.com, cheaptickets.com, airlineconsolidator.com, cheapoair.com, orbitz.com).

Complying with the Air Carrier Access Act Accessibility Amendment

The amendment lays out a two-phase compliance schedule for domestic and foreign airlines.

Compliance Schedule for Air Carrier Access Act

Phase 1: All  “Core functions” must be WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA compliant by June 30, 2016. Core functions are defined as:

1. Booking or changing a reservation (including all flight amenities)
2. Checking-in for a flight
3. Accessing a personal travel itinerary
4. Accessing the status of a flight
5. Accessing a personal frequent flyer account
6. Accessing flight schedules
7. Accessing carrier contact information.

Phase 2: All remaining pages must be made compliant by December 2016.

Accessibility Requirements for Air Carrier Access Act

Please Note: A carrier’s “text-only” version of a web page may only be considered an accessible alternative if it provides the same content and functionality as the corresponding non-text version, and can be reached via an accessible link from the primary site. The “text-only” version must conform to WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA guidelines and must promptly and regularly updated.

In addition, domestic and foreign airlines exceeding 10,000 passengers must ensure accessibility of all kiosks installed after June 30, 2016, and 25% of kiosks in each location must meet the specified accessibility standards by December 12, 2021.

Finally, Ticket Agents that are not small businesses must accessibly disclose and offer web-based fares on or after June 14, 2014.

Meet Compliance Deadlines for the Air Carrier Access Act

Find out how compliant your “Core functions” are today. The Deque accessibility experts can help you learn how your websites and kiosks perform against the new standards and can help you become compliant easily!

Contact Deque today to learn more about these new digital accessibility regulations for air carriers.

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