Airline Damage Reporting.
Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) is applauding a long-sought move by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to address how airlines handle people with disabilities and their equipment.
The DOT's February Air Travel Consumer Report for the first time included the number of wheelchairs and scooters enplaned and mishandled by airlines.
The report includes enplanement and mishandling data from December 2018 and also has information on complaints about treatment of passengers with disabilities.
The damage statistics are now required for the monthly consumer reports following PVA's lawsuit against the DOT and subsequent congressional action in the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018.
"Equipment damage reporting is a crucial piece of the puzzle for travelers with disabilities. Our members, and anyone with a disability, can now make informed decisions when planning air travel," says PVA Deputy Executive Director Shaun Castle. "We hope this accountability will inspire airlines to improve procedures to accommodate the more than 20 million Americans who have mobility disabilities."
The Air Travel Consumer Report contains information from 12 major airlines, with damage percentages ranging from less than 1% to nearly 15% of the wheelchairs and scooters stored in aircraft cargo compartments. In total, 701 devices were reportedly damaged from Dec. 4 to Dec. 31, 2018.
You can access the full report at pva.org/travel. The site includes the damage report and tips for travelers with disabilities and will continue to provide updates regarding travel requirements and resources for accessible travel.
Related article: NWPVA Honors Seattle VBA.
The Paralyzed Veterans of America Northwest (NWPVA) Chapter recognized all Seattle Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) employees for their service to veterans with a Distinguished Service Award during the group's quarterly employee award ceremony in March. The ceremony was held at the new Decision Review Operations Center, which is one of only two offices nationally that processes appeals under the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017. Pictured from left to right, Seattle VBA Director Pritz Navaratnasingam, NWPVA Secretary Skip Dreps and Seattle VBA Assistant Director Andy Lindstrom.