Final Summary of Discussion

By the Regulation Room team based on what people have said

Websites: Which? What content?

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§1. Who participated?

This post received 4 comments from 2 users; moderators responded twice.

One user described her/himself as a traveler and a travel agency owner or staff. The other described her/himself as a site designer or programmer, usability expert, and an air carrier staff member.

§2. General summary

One commenter (travel agency owner or staff) disagreed with requiring any website redesign: “The best compromise is simply to require the airlines to provide the same pricing by telephone or TTY as is available on the web, for those with disabilities. This will be a whole lot cheaper to implement and avoid a whole lot of unnecessary rework for websites.”

The second commenter (airline staff member and a site designer or programmer/usability expert) criticized the proposal to regulate online ticket agents (OTAs) indirectly by holding airlines accountable for accessibility of OTAs’ websites. S/he pointed out that DOT is already regulating OTAs directly for fare advertisements (noting recent large fines imposed on Orbitz) and strongly argued that DOT should take the same direct regulation approach to accessibility. “Why would we expect airlines to face fines for content and functionality that they do not directly control?” This commenter also asked how DOT would enforce such a policy: “Sending a notice is easy. Checking for full accessibility compliance is not and is costly. Is the expectation that the airline would do more than send a notice or adjust contracts to note that the OTA site(s) should be accessible or be held accountable for any fines? Would it be the airline fined rather than the OTA if a violation of regulations was found?”

Additionally, the commenter posed a question: “Will transactional HTML emails generated by the website be included in the content that is required to be accessible?”

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