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I would argue against making airlines responsible for the accessibility of medium to large OTAs, or any for that matter. I find it confusing that the DOT would put the burden of responsibility for accessibility of OTA websites on the airline rather than on the OTAs directly. If the airlines were held responsible, the methods DOT suggests for them meeting this responsibility vastly differ. 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? It seems to me that OTAs are currently responsible… more »
Will transactional HTML emails generated by the website be included in the content that is required to be accessible?
I don’t think making airlines responsible is the only way. It shouldn’t be. I think DOT should regulate the way in which air travel is sold whether it is by the carrier or not. It already does apparently with fare advertisements on sites like Orbitz, so why wouldn’t it with regard to website accessibility requirements?
Welcome to Regulation Room, htebazile, and thank you for your comment. DOT has proposed to make airlines responsible for ensuring that online ticket agents meet accessibility requirements, but the Agency is seeking comment as to the best way to implement this proposal and has not yet decided upon the specifics of enforcement. DOT has clear authority under the Air Carrier Access Act to regulate discrimination on airlines’ websites, but it is less clear whether it has authority to regulate the OTA websites in the same way. If making airlines responsible is the only way for DOT to regulate accessibility on OTA websites, should it still go through with these plans?