American Airlines Accessibility Plan

2023 – 2025



American Airlines has a deep-rooted history leading the industry through innovation and firsts, including hiring the first Black U.S. commercial airline pilot, hiring the first female U.S. commercial airline pilot, launching the first loyalty program of any major carrier, and becoming the first airline to introduce airport lounges. We pride ourselves on continuing this legacy of firsts into the area of accessibility.

Inclusion is one of the cornerstones of American’s strategy and is foundational to our purpose of caring for people on life’s journey. A key component of this strategy is creating a positive travel experience for all our customers when they fly with us, including customers with disabilities. American has placed a particular focus on giving our team members the tools and resources needed to properly assist customers with disabilities, including resources to properly handle and track mobility devices.

In support of our accessibility goals, we established an Accessibility Council and a Customer Accessibility Team to focus on improving the travel experience for our customers with disabilities, which ultimately benefits all our customers. The mission is to advance accessibility by leveraging focused input, broad organization awareness, and internal expertise to be an industry leader in this area. We're seeking to advocate for customers with disabilities, while continually searching for ideas and innovations that lead to measurable improvements to the accessible experience on our airline. Key to making meaningful progress is engaging with our team members and the accessibility community to discuss opportunities and trends that directly impact accessibility.

We are bringing our mission to life – we are improving our wheelchair / scooter tag to facilitate better communication with customers about their needs and the specific features of their mobility devices; working with our airport teams to streamline scanning and loading wheelchairs; conducting in-person mobility device training for our teams; and installing wheelchair movers and lifts at airports across our system. And we’re not stopping there.

The Accessible Canada Act defines a barrier as “anything – including physical, architectural, technological, or attitudinal, anything that is based on information or communications or anything that is the result of a policy or a practice – that hinders the full and equal participation in society of a person with an impairment, including a physical, mental intellectual, cognitive, learning, communication or sensory impairment or a functional limitation.” Our Accessibility Plan outlines the ways we are assessing barriers throughout all of American’s services and the plans we have to remove and prevent such barriers in the future.

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Areas described under Section 5 of the Accessible Canada Act

Built Environment

American is committed to creating an accessible travel environment. This commitment means constantly improving our built environment, which includes our aircraft, the signage at our gates, and the means of checking in, checking bags, boarding, and disembarking to ensure accessibility for all of our customers. Throughout our international system, American operates in airports with disparate resources and methods of planning for accessibility. Each airport layout is unique, which results in unique accessibility barriers across the world. American strives to work collaboratively with every airport and ensure our proprietary environment includes accessibility features that meet or exceed expectations.

When operating under so many variables, it is necessary to identify recurring structural barriers to focus on making changes with widespread impact. While American has always taken a holistic approach to accessibility, recent customer and employee feedback, along with industry collaboration, has helped place an added focus on identifying and removing any mobility-related barriers in the built environment.

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Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)

American is committed to making our information and communications accessible to people with disabilities. We set our web accessibility standards high and work tirelessly 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.

American strives to do a full annual audit of all our digital communications. The accessibility of our website is periodically evaluated and tested using automatic technology, including but not limited to screen readers and screen magnifiers. Our website is also tested by users with disabilities who use these technologies. Additionally, in June 2022, American started working with Level Access to push ourselves to achieve an even higher degree of accessibility through training and tools. Through this partnership, American has an improved understanding of the past and present barriers in our digital space and has set goals for continued leadership in digital accessibility.

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Communication, other than ICT

American is committed to communicating information about our services in diverse and accessible ways. We will continue to consult with people with disabilities to determine how best to communicate information about all aspects of our services (communication technologies; the procurement of goods, services, and facilities; the design and delivery of our services; and transportation).

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.

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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. Currently, we require that our vendors providing services within covered airports be compliant with the Accessible Canada Act (ACA). Feedback from customers with disabilities using our vendor services is critical for American to identify barriers and areas of improvement regarding these services. Additionally, we are implementing consultations within our process of procuring goods, including aircraft, to ensure accessibility.

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Design and 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 seven 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.

American is a participant in Universal Access in Aviation (UAIA), a three-day conference that brings together aviation access professionals for an open exchange of ideas and best practice solutions focused on improving air travel for people with disabilities and older adults. We had the privilege of hosting the conference at our corporate headquarters in October 2022. During the conference, we were able to learn about many different aspects of our services by attending sessions such as Stowage and Ground Handling, Inclusive Airport Design, and Traveler Feedback.

With the information gathered from conferences such as UAIA, 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. For example, this past year we have focused on updating our processes for handling mobility devices and engaging with customers with disabilities. 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.

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Ease of mobility is at the heart of American’s business. We recognize that as we develop and improve our transportation services, employees and customers will identify new and potential barriers to transportation. Currently, we ensure that all our transportation services used to and from terminals comply with the Canadian Transportation Act.

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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 Accessibility Plan, we have identified areas of growth and goals for improved accessibility. 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 this Plan to ensure that we are always advancing with accessibility in mind.

Updated June 1, 2023

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