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AAPR Press Release

Sep 21, 2009

Association for Airline Passenger Rights (AAPR)
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Washington, DC 20005

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Association for Airline Passenger Rights Endorses Petition for Wheelchair Accessibility on Airplanes


WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 21, 2009) – The Association for Airline Passenger Rights (AAPR) today endorsed a petition being circulated by Sally O'Neill, a 17-year old girl with cerebral palsy, calling on the airline industry to comply with the mandates of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.  The petition calls on the airline industry to modify the first seat in the first row to allow passengers with disabilities using wheelchairs to remain in their wheelchairs during flight.


“After consulting with numerous professionals with disabilities having expertise in accessibility and safety standards, we determined that the ‘O’Neill petition’ was an important initiative to support,” said Brandon M. Macsata, Executive Director of the Association for Airline Passenger Rights.  “Forcing people with disabilities to travel using non-disabled standards when safe alternatives are available is not consistent with the principles laid out in the ADA.”


Macsata further stated, “This petition asks that the first seat in the first row of the airplane be removable with the capability to have tie-downs inserted when needed to accommodate a wheelchair, or that the airlines develop a solution to this urgent need.  Modifying 1-2 seats per airplane represents an investment to further improve air travel for passengers with disabilities -- especially people with cerebral palsy.”


To learn more about the O'Neill petition, please contact UCP Family Support, 11731 NE Glenn Widing Drive, Portland, Oregon  97220, or call 503-777-4166 x232.


The Association for Airline Passenger Rights is a 501(c)(4) tax-exempt, nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote fairer customer service and accessibility standards in the airline industry and to improve passenger satisfaction. AAPR was formed in response to growing dissatisfaction among American consumers toward the airline industry.  According to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), a polling organization that rates over forty-three businesses in ten sectors based on in-depth interviewing and computer-based extrapolation of its results, the Big Six legacy airlines (full-service providers with national or international flight routes) rate the lowest of all sixteen industries surveyed in the first quarter of 2008.


For more information about the Association for Airline Passenger Rights or the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009, please visit or contact AAPR directly at