United Airlines has reached a consensus to implement modifications regarding its disability accessibility.
The accord follows an investigation by the United States Department of Transportation into the manner in which the airline recently managed a passenger's disability equipment.
United intends to implement an internet-based search feature that will enable passengers to locate flights featuring sufficient cargo space to accommodate their wheelchairs.
If the passenger is compelled to reschedule their flight due to the inability of their initial option to accommodate their wheelchair, United will provide reimbursement for the additional cost.
The decision was influenced by the case of Engracia Figueroa, an advocate for disabled rights, who claimed that United Airlines mishandled her $30,000 custom wheelchair during a flight approximately two years ago.
The severe damage to her custom wheelchair necessitated her temporary use of a loaner wheelchair, which precipitated additional health complications that required her to be hospitalized twice.
She passed away in October 2021 due to complications resulting from a severe wound.
The investigation into United will be concluded by the Office of Aviation Consumer Protection of the Transportation Department, in accordance with an agreement reached with the airline. This agreement includes the provision of an online search function.
United has agreed to implement a number of modifications that surpass federal regulations pertaining to passengers with disabilities, according to the DOT, which will continue to monitor the situation.
Delta Air Lines announced earlier this year that it was developing a prototype that would enable wheelchair passengers to remain in their seats throughout the flight.