Accessibility Plan Progress Report

2024

General

This report outlines the progress American Airlines has made during the first year of its Accessibility Plan.

American welcomes feedback from its customers. To request a copy of American Airlines’ Accessibility Plan or Feedback Process Document in an alternate format, or to provide feedback on accessibility at American Airlines, please contact our Customer Relations Department through any of these channels:

American Airlines Accessibility Feedback Process

Channel Contact information Description
Phone 682-278-9000 To request a copy of, or to provide feedback on, the accessibility plan
Phone 800-892-3624
682-286-5070 (International)
800-735-2988 (Hearing or speech-impaired assistance)
To provide feedback on accessibility on American Airlines, or a concern regarding disability assistance
Web form Contact American
Email address accessibility.feedback@aa.com
Mail address American Airlines Customer Relations
4000 E. Sky Harbor Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85034

A dedicated Accessibility Plan Outreach Coordinator has been designated to receive this feedback.

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)

As noted in our Accessibility Plan, American is committed to making our information and communications accessible to people with disabilities. We set our web accessibility standards high and work ardently to achieve them. Our team is dedicated to ensuring our sites continue to meet all current laws and guidelines – including the W3C WCAG 2.0 guidelines – and creating a usable experience for all customers. We are continuously educating ourselves and learning through training sessions with advocacy groups, industry partners, and more.

As stated in our Accessibility Plan, we have continued to work with services like Level Access, conduct external testing of our digital communications, and use customer feedback to identify and remove barriers in American’s information and communication technologies.

This year, we initiated the survey developed by Level Access to gauge our organization’s digital accessibility maturity. By leveraging the insights and recommendations gleaned from this assessment, we’re poised to implement strategic changes aimed at enhancing our overall maturity in this crucial area. Additionally, we’re excited to mark Global Accessibility Awareness Day at American, spotlighting the significance of digital accessibility and championing inclusivity for individuals with disabilities.

Communication, other than ICT

As noted in our Accessibility Plan, American has an established process for communicating critical travel information to customers with disabilities. At the time of booking, customers with disabilities have the option to request the help of a Special Assistance Coordinator. These coordinators can help with medical or special-assistance related items needed by the customer. Additionally, any accessibility needs are recorded and transmitted to the front line and in-flight service crew. Services such as separate safety briefings are provided for deaf or hearing-impaired customers as needed.

Though our process for communicating with our customers with disabilities is well-established, American is always working to improve the delivery of our services. For example, in the past year we have re-written all of our Special Service Request (SSR) definitions in plain English to increase accessibility. We plan to review these definitions to determine whether they can be further simplified for improved customer understanding. Additionally, we are rolling out automatic bag tagging this year, which we anticipate will decrease mishandling of devices by reducing manual tasks in the tracking process. All automatic bag tags are associated with the respective customer and the customer’s itinerary is printed on the tag.

Procurement of Goods, Services, and Facilities

American is committed to procuring our goods, services, and facilities from suppliers that comply with accessibility regulations, and ensuring that any goods procured are accessible. As stated in our Accessibility Plan, we require that our vendors providing services within covered airports be compliant with the Accessible Canada Act (ACA).

In our Accessibility Plan, we note that we incorporate various types of accessibility enhancements when developing new components and configurations for our aircraft cabins. Representatives from interested organizations are brought in to experience our seats and other cabin elements to validate access (entry, egress, layout, and reach) and to aid in development and training of the transfer processes of people with reduced mobility.

This year we will be updating our facilities to deliver improved service to customers with disabilities by installing assistive device straps in cargo compartments of airplanes. Adding assistive device straps in cargo will help ensure that all battery-powered wheelchairs in cargo are properly secured during transport, minimizing the potential for damage. Additionally, American is initiating an overhaul of our onboard bathrooms to comply with updated U.S. bathroom accessibility regulations.

Design / Delivery of Programs and Services

American is committed to the accessible design and delivery of our programs and services. Internally, we have achieved great success in creating an accessible work environment. For the last eight years, we have been recognized as one of the best places to work under the Disability Equality Index. We are continuously working to ensure that our delivery of programs and services is just as inclusive and accessible as our work environment.

As noted in our Accessibility Plan, with the information gathered from conferences such as Universal Access in Aviation, consultations with organizations such as Open Doors and Level Access, and feedback from our customers, American has been increasingly focused on how we build accessibility into our services. In our Accessibility Plan, we explain that our Airport Readiness team has been developing and implementing employee trainings to ensure all staff are well-equipped to execute our updated processes for accessibility.

This year, American rolled out an enhanced employee training. The Customer Care trainings are intended to help team members better understand special service request definitions and scenarios where there are multiple requests (i.e., when there is lift/assist and a mobility device). Additionally, the training includes best practices on how to communicate with customers with disabilities and introduces the automatic bag tagging system to the customer care team. The trainings for Customer Operations team members are intended to better prepare team members to load assistive devices on Boeing 737 aircraft, as their door opens inward and reduces the entry space for loading.

Transportation

As noted in our Accessibility Plan, we continue to ensure that all our transportation services used to and from terminals comply with the Canadian Transportation Act.

Built Environment

In our Accessibility Plan, we note that American already has a well-established system of providing mobility assistance to customers with disabilities at their request. We also identify ongoing actions American is taking to minimize barriers in its built environment, specifically when it comes to installing wheelchair lifts and accessible kiosks at airports across our system.

Wheelchair lift installation updates

In our Accessibility Plan, we note that we are installing wheelchair lifts at airports across our system, particularly where lifts are needed due to airport infrastructure. In 2024, we will add wheelchair lifts at CLT, DFW, and ORD airports. Additionally, we are installing wheelchair lifts at smaller airports, as well. As we note in our Accessibility Plan, wheelchair lifts assist team members in moving wheelchairs in and out of airplane stowage, which decreases the possibility of damage to the devices and of injury to team members.

Installing accessible kiosks updates

As stated in our Accessibility Plan, American set an internal goal to install a greater percentage of accessible kiosks at our proprietary locations. In Canada, airport kiosks are installed under the shared use model, so American lacks control over the number of accessible kiosks it has access to. However, by exceeding expectations for our proprietary kiosks across the world, American is striving to be an international example for kiosk accessibility in the aviation industry, which we hope will encourage others to do the same. In 2023-2024, we added accessible kiosks to our proprietary kiosks at DFW and MIA airports, and are continuing to expand to our other propriety kiosks.

Provisions of CTA Accessibility-Related Regulations

American is subject to regulations under subsection 170 (1) of the Canada Transportation Act. This includes the Accessible Transportation for Person with Disabilities Regulations (ATPDR), and the Air Transportation Regulations, Part VII. Our Accessibility Plan outlines several of American’s actions to comply with or exceed accessibility requirements. However, the Accessibility Plan is not all-encompassing, and we may be engaged in activities beyond those highlighted in the Accessibility Plan and Progress Reports.

Feedback Received on our Accessibility Plan

In 2023-2024, American did not receive any feedback via accessibility.feedback@aa.com or feedback related to our Accessibility Plan via our webform or through the mail. We continue to welcome feedback and have solicited external feedback through our consultations process.

Consultations

American Airlines developed our Accessibility Plan based on feedback from customers with disabilities, from internal consultations with our employees, and from external consultations with accessibility advocacy groups. We benefited from these distinct perspectives and sources of expertise, as they have helped us identify different types of barriers to access and prioritize our actions.

In 2023-2024, American continued to work with the Open Doors Organization, which American has been working with for many years. Open Doors is a non-profit organization with the purpose of creating a society in which all persons with disabilities have the same consumer opportunities as everyone else. In November 2023, American expanded the partnership to include hands-on mobility device training. This course was offered to frontline staff and to date, around nine hundred employees have attended.

Additionally, in April 2024, American participated in an open forum with To Be Like Me, a nonprofit with a mission to further disability awareness education led by people living with disabilities. The forum included about 15 To Be Like Me leaders with disabilities and 15-20 representatives from American Airlines leadership, including from Customer Relations, Government Relations, Digital Channels, Training, Procurement for Business Partners who offer wheelchair service, Regional Airlines, Engineering/Tech Operations, Airport Operations, and Customer Experience. The individuals with disabilities spoke about the barriers they faced as airline customers and responded to questions regarding how to minimize those barriers.

Conclusion

American Airlines is an industry leader in innovation and accessibility. We take an all-angles approach to incorporating accessibility into everything we do. In this progress report on our Accessibility Plan, we have noted the ways we are implementing our Accessibility Plan. We plan to continue addressing present and future barriers to accessibility by focusing on our growth areas, listening to feedback, and making ongoing changes to our operations. We will revisit our Accessibility Plan to ensure that we are always advancing with accessibility in mind.

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