Must information and reservation services of carriers be accessible to individuals with visual, hearing, and other disabilities?
(a) If, as a carrier, you provide telephone reservation and information service to the public, you must make this service available to individuals who use a text telephone (TTY), whether via your own TTY, voice relay, or other available technology, as follows:
(1) You must provide access to TTY users during the same hours as the telephone service is available to the general public.
(2) You must ensure that the response time for answering calls and the level of service provided to TTY users is substantially equivalent to the response time and level of service provided to the general public (i.e., non-TTY users).
(3) You must not subject TTY users to charges exceeding those that apply to non-TTY users of telephone information and reservation service.
(4) In any medium in which you list the telephone number of your information and reservation service for the general public, you must also list your TTY number if you have one. If you do not have a TTY number, you must state how TTY users can reach your information and reservation service (e.g., via a voice relay service).
(5) If you are a foreign carrier, you must meet this requirement by May 13, 2010.
(b) The requirements of paragraph (a) do not apply to you in any country in which the telecommunications infrastructure does not readily permit compliance.
(c) If you are a U.S. or foreign air carrier that operates at least one aircraft having a designed seating capacity of more than 60 passengers and owns or controls a primary Web site that markets passenger air transportation, or a tour (i.e., a combination of air transportation and ground or cruise accommodations), or tour component (e.g., a hotel stay) that must be purchased with air transportation, you must ensure the public-facing Web pages on your primary Web site are accessible to individuals with disabilities as provided in paragraphs (c)(1) through (4) of this section. Only Web sites that market air transportation to the general public in the United States must be accessible to individuals with disabilities. The following are among the characteristics of a primary Web site that markets to the general public in the U.S.: the content can be viewed in English, the site advertises or sells flights operating to, from, or within the United States, and the site displays fares in U.S. dollars.
(1) Your primary Web site must conform to all Success Criteria and all Conformance Requirements from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Recommendation 11 December 2008, Web site Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 for Level AA as follows:
(i) Web pages associated with obtaining the following core air travel services and information that are offered on your primary Web site are conformant by December 12, 2015:
(A) Booking or changing a reservation, including all flight amenities;
(B) Checking in for a flight;
(C) Accessing a personal travel itinerary;
(D) Accessing the status of a flight;
(E) Accessing a personal frequent flyer account;
(F) Accessing flight schedules; and
(G) Accessing carrier contact information.
(ii) All remaining Web pages on your primary Web site are conformant by December 12, 2016.
(2) Your primary Web site must be tested in consultation with individuals with disabilities or members of disability organization(s) who use or want to use carrier Web sites to research or book air transportation in order to obtain their feedback on the Web site's accessibility and usability before the dates specified in paragraph (c)(1) of this section. Collectively, such individuals must be able to provide feedback on the usability of the Web site by individuals with visual, auditory, tactile, and cognitive disabilities. Consultation is required to ensure that your Web site is usable by individuals with disabilities by the date specified in paragraph (c)(1).
(3) You are permitted to use a Level AA conforming alternate version only when conforming a public-facing Web page to all WCAG 2.0 Level AA success criteria would constitute an undue burden or fundamentally alter the information or functionality provided by that page.
(4) You must assist prospective passengers who indicate that they are unable to use your Web site due to a disability and contact you through other channels (e.g., by telephone or at the ticket counter) as follows:
(i) Disclose Web-based discount fares to the passenger if his or her itinerary qualifies for the discounted fare.
(ii) Provide Web-based amenities to the passenger, such as waiving any fee applicable to making a reservation or purchasing a ticket using a method other than your Web site (e.g., by telephone), unless the fee applies to other customers purchasing the same fare online.
(d) As a carrier covered under paragraph (c) of this section, you must provide a mechanism on your primary Web site for persons with disabilities to request disability accommodation services for future flights, including but not limited to wheelchair assistance, seating accommodation, escort assistance for a visually impaired passenger, and stowage of an assistive device no later than December 12, 2015. You may require individuals who request accommodations using this mechanism to provide contact information (e.g., name, daytime phone, evening phone, and email address) for follow-up by your customer service department or medical desk.
(e) As a carrier covered under paragraph (c) of this section, you must provide a disclaimer activated when a user clicks a link on your primary Web site to an external Web site or to third-party software informing the user that the Web site or software may not follow the same accessibility policies no later than December 12, 2016.
[Doc. No. DOT-OST-2004-19482, 73 FR 27665, May 13, 2008, as amended at 74 FR 11471, Mar. 18, 2009; 78 FR 67914, Nov. 12, 2013]