WASHINGTON, D.C.—Representatives Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.) and Marc Molinaro (R-N.Y.) this week introduced the bipartisan Access and Dignity for All People who Travel (ADAPT) Act to improve the air travel experience for millions of people with disabilities.

“Airline passengers with disabilities are too often subject to discriminatory, arbitrarily-enforced rules and excessive fees,” Rep. Stanton said. “Our bipartisan ADAPT Act will make sure people with disabilities—including our veterans—can fly knowing they’ll be treated fairly and with dignity.”

Rep. Molinaro said, “I established the Think DIFFERENTLY initiative in 2015 to break down barriers for individuals with disabilities and I’m proud to continue this fight by introducing the ADAPT Act with Rep. Greg Stanton. This bipartisan bill will improve the air travel experience for individuals with disabilities by improving seating accommodations, establishing a Known Service Animal Travel Pilot Program, and providing guidance for airline staff. It is time to remove the barriers and make flying accessible for all Americans.”

Specifically, the bill would require the Secretary of Transportation to issue regulations regarding seating accommodations for passengers with disabilities and personal care attendants who should be afforded an adjoining seat according to the Air Carrier Access Act.

The bill would also create an optional Known Service Animal Travel Pilot Program to provide service animal users the opportunity to participate in a streamlined pre-registration process, and publish guidance on training for airline staff and contractors on recognizing when a passenger with a disability is traveling with a service animal. 

Companion legislation has been introduced by Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) in the Senate.


More than thirty years after the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Air Carrier Access Act were signed into law, millions of people with disabilities continue to face barriers that make air travel unnecessarily difficult and frustrating. From inaccessible airport facilities and in-flight seating to discrimination based on traveling with a service animal, passengers with disabilities need better policies that make air travel more equitable.

DOT requires that airlines provide in-flight seating accommodations for passengers with certain disabilities and accommodations needs, such as for those passengers who travel with personal care attendants or assistants or who have a fused or immobilized leg. However, many passengers are charged extra for such seats, and their companions are often not allowed to sit with them. Further, people who travel with service animals continue to encounter difficulties when navigating confusing airline policies and inconsistent, discriminatory treatment from airline staff. Americans with disabilities who travel by air deserve a better, more equitable experience.