US Airways fined $1.2M for violating wheelchair access rules

US Airways fined $1.2M for violating wheelchair access rules
© Getty Images

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is issuing a $1.2 million fine to US Airways for not providing wheelchair access to airplanes for disabled passengers.

The DOT said the infractions, which took place in 2011 and 2012 at the Philadelphia International Airport and Charlotte Douglas International Airport, were a violation of the Air Carrier Access Act.

Transportation Secretary Anthony FoxxAnthony Renard FoxxReport: Chao has used government planes seven times this year Week ahead in tech: Lawmakers turn focus to self-driving cars Six contenders to be Uber's new CEO MORE said the fine was the largest penalty the DOT has ever handed out in a disability case.

“All air travelers deserve to be treated equally and with respect, and this includes persons in wheelchairs and other passengers with disabilities,” he said. “We will continue to make sure that airlines comply with our rules and treat their passengers fairly.”

The DOT said it discovered the alleged violation of the rules during reviews at the Philadelphia and Charlotte by its Aviation Enforcement Office.

The agency said it found a "significant" number of violations in US Airways's terminals in both airports.

The DOT said its investigation also included reviewing 300 complaints that were filed against U.S. Airways by passengers.

The agency said U.S. Air could use $500,000 of its $1.2 million to pay for disability access improvements.