JetBlue Fined For Violating
Disability Code Share Disclosure Rules
December 14, 2010 - The U.S. Department of
Transportation (DOT) on Monday assessed a civil penalty
against JetBlue Airways for violating rules protecting
air travelers with disabilities and for failing to
disclose when flights sold by the carrier were being
operated under a code-sharing arrangement.
The carrier was assessed a civil penalty of $600,000, of
which $350,000 must be paid by the carrier and up to
$250,000 may be used to improve its service to disabled
passengers beyond what is required by law.
?We expect airlines to treat their passengers fairly,
and we will not hesitate to take enforcement action when
carriers fail to respect their rights,? said U.S.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
rules implementing the Air Carrier Access Act
require airlines to provide assistance to passengers with
disabilities in boarding and deplaning aircraft, including the
use of wheelchairs, ramps, mechanical lifts or service personnel
also must respond within 30 days to written complaints about
their treatment of disabled passengers and specifically address
the issues raised in each complaint.
In addition, airlines must also submit annual reports to
the Department on disability-related complaints from passengers,
noting for each complaint the type of disability and the nature
of the complaint.
a visit to JetBlue?s headquarters in March, DOT?s Aviation
Enforcement Office reviewed complaints about the treatment of
passengers with disabilities filed with the carrier and with
DOT. The complaints
revealed a number of violations of the requirement to provide
enplaning and deplaning assistance.
In addition, the Enforcement Office found that the
carrier frequently did not provide an adequate written response
to complaints from disabled passengers and that it failed to
properly categorize disability complaints in reports filed with
addition, the Enforcement Office made a number of telephone
calls to JetBlue?s reservation line and found that the carrier?s
agents failed to disclose that flights sold by the carrier were
being operated by
DOT rules require airlines to disclose to consumers, before they book a flight, if the flight is operated under a code-sharing arrangement under which a carrier will sell tickets on flights that use its designator code but are operated by a different airline. The disclosure must include the corporate name of the transporting carrier and any other name under which the flight is offered to the public.
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