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I strongly feel that more is needed in the way of better website access. Perhaps, as stated, airline personnel are supposed to waive the service fees for telephone reservations for disabled people, but my experience is that they often don’t. And when it comes to finding cheaper fares or less expensive alternative flight dates or times, they are no help at all. These are simple tasks for the non-disabled, but add greatly to both the cost and frustration of many disabled travelers.
As a visually impaired person I DO NOT believe kiosks access would be beneficial. In fact, I suspect that the plan may ‘backfire’, making airport access more difficult. Not being able to read airport signage, and therefore requiring “meet and assist” assistance to my designated gate, I find it most convenient to fint a ticket agent who will also call for assistance to take me through security and to my gate. If kiosks become more widely used (or possibly required) in the future, it is likely tomean fewer ticket agents, thus longer wait times on line, and more difficulty and delays acquiring the assistance I need. Making keosks available to those disabled individuals who wish to use them may be a good idea in theory, but, as proven by the growth of ATMs and self service checkouts, the more automation – the less human assistance!
Thank you for sharing your personal experience with telephone reservations, alposner, and welcome to Regulation Room. Does anyone else have personal experiences they could also share about their issues with telephone reservations or air travel websites? DOT needs to know more about what people with disabilities are experiencing when they travel.
Thanks for your comment, alposner. Welcome to Regulation Room. Throughout the proposal, DOT has focused on trying to make sure airlines are providing the exact same type of service to travelers with disabilities as they do to travelers who do not have disabilities. Is this the wrong way to approach these issues in an airport? Are there any other potential costs to travelers that the Agency has overlooked?