United Airlines: changes for people in wheelchairs after government investigation

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United Airlines agreed to improve passenger air transport by Wheelchair after the federal government investigated a complaint filed by a rights activist People with Disabilities.

United and the Department of Transportation (DoT) announced Thursday that the airline will add a filter tobooking tool on its website to help consumers find flights on which the plane can more easily accommodate their wheelchairs. THE cargo doors of some aircraft are too small to easily accommodate a motorized wheelchair in the belly of the aircraft.

The airline also agreed to reimburse the price difference plane tickets if a passenger has to take a more expensive flight to accommodate their wheelchair. These changes, which are likely to be made early next year, follow a complaint filed by Engracia Figueroa, who said her custom wheelchair was damaged on a United flight in 2021.

Figueroa died three months later, and her family members and lawyer blamed the wounds, skin grafts and emergency surgeries that she suffered to the fact that she had sat for five hours in a manual wheelchair that did not suit her body. The Paralyzed Veterans of America and other groups cited Figueroa’s death as they pushed for new federal regulations aimed at increasing accessibility aboard airline planes.

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