WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Rep. Greg Stanton and 30 members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure sent a letter to Airlines for America (A4A) President and CEO Nicholas Calio expressing concern and dismay regarding the continued trend of mishandled wheelchairs and scooters, most recently on display in a video showing airline employees’ mistreatment of a passenger’s wheelchair at the Miami International Airport.

“This is yet another in a troubling series of mishandled or damaged wheelchair incidents by commercial airlines, raising serious concerns about the systemic barriers to air travel passengers with disabilities face every day and your member airlines’ ability to effectively serve all consumers,” the Members wrote, highlighting the estimated 13 percent increase in incidents of mishandled wheelchairs and scooters in September 2023 compared to September 2022. “When wheelchairs and other assistive devices are damaged or lost, it does not just limit a passengers’ mobility; it hinders their independence and can have severe effects on their health.”

The full letter is available HERE.

While A4A pledged to improve the safety and accessibility of passengers with disabilities in October 2022, considering the recent video, the members requested a detailing of the latest actions taken by A4A and its member airlines to fulfill their commitment.

In a November T&I hearing, Stanton criticized the U.S. Senate for failing to take up the House-passed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization, which includes bipartisan provisions to make flying safer and more accessible to passengers with disabilities. The House-passed legislation directs the Department of Transportation to develop minimum training standards for airline personnel and contractors on assisting passengers with disabilities, and create a roadmap for airlines to reduce damage to wheelchairs and mobility aids and better accommodate passengers in wheelchairs onboard aircraft, among other key reforms.