[blindlaw] Spirit Airlines is no longer accessible using speech [Incident: 120307-000422]

John Sheehan johnrsheehan at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 29 15:52:29 UTC 2012

The correspondence below has been brought to our attention. While it is true that your airline may be adhering to the "letter" of the law, despite the polite language, it rather avoids the spirit, ie trying to be as accommodating as possible to people who value their independence as they travel and pursue normal lives and activities. As I am sure your IT department can verify - and if they can't, you might want to explore expanding your IT staff - these are not difficult or costly changes to make. 

We will be including a condensed version of this correspondence in our E-newsletter and we will certainly help spread the word among the blind community and those who support it that it would be best to explore alternative travel options. Certainly a number of other airlines have managed to include the blind community - and they will be the ones who get our business.

Congratulations on being so successful that the large numbers of people involved in this issue aren't an audience of interest to you.
Fr. John R. Sheehan, SJ
Xavier Society for the Blind
Web Site: www.xaviersocietyfortheblind.org
154 E. 23rd St
NYC 10010
212 473-7800, ext 119

Help us raise money for the Xavier Society for the Blind just by searching the Internet or shopping online with GoodSearch - www.goodsearch.com - powered by Yahoo! Free for you - and money for us! Thank you.
53 E 83rd St
New York, NY 10028

Room Phone: 212 606-3420
Cell: 646 853-1820
Blog: www.frjohnsj.blogspot.com

 From: David Andrews <dandrews at visi.com>
To: david.andrews at nfbnet.org 
Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 10:57 PM
Subject: [blindlaw] Spirit Airlines is no longer accessible using speech [Incident: 120307-000422]

>From: "Reese" <atlanticstar1 at gmail.com>
>Subject: [Blindtlk] Fw: [Travelandtourism] Spirit Airlines is no longer
>         accessible using speech [Incident: 120307-000422]
>Please circulate this message where ever you feel its appropriate.
>----- Original Message -----
>Hello list:
>Here's the final word from Spirit Airlines regarding there inaccessible
>website.  It will follow my final reply to them.  Again the US Department of
>Transportation has dropped the ball on this one just like they did with the
>accessible airport boarding.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Peachtreetravel.net" <reservations at peachtreetravel.net>
>To: "Spirit Airlines" <spiritair at mailnj.custhelp.com>
>Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 1:35 PM
>Subject: Re: [Travelandtourism] Spirit Airlines is no longer accessible
>using speech [Incident: 120307-000422]
>Dear Michelle:
>First I want to thank you for researching this serious matter both for me
>and all of the members of my Organization.   Regretfully I'll have to inform
>the 50,000 members of my organization to do business else where until Spirit
>Airlines website is accessible once again.  For this is the only way to
>achieve fare and equal access.
>I will check back from time to time to see if true access ever returns to
>spirit Airlines and will keep my members up to date.  It has been good doing
>business with you and hopefully we
>can resume doing business again in the future.
>Sincerely yours,
>Maurice P Shackelford
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Spirit Airlines" <spiritair at mailnj.custhelp.com>
>To: <reservations at peachtreetravel.net>
>Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 9:38 AM
>Subject: [Travelandtourism] Spirit Airlines is no longer accessible using
>speech [Incident: 120307-000422]
>[Travelandtourism] Spirit Airlines is no longer accessible using speech
>Discussion Thread
>  (Michelle 62611) - 03/27/2012 09:38 AM
>Dear Mr. Shackelford,
>Thank you for your patience as we investigated this matter thoroughly.
>We sincerely regret that you are unable to access the check box for the $9
>Fare Club membership and or the check box at the end of the booking.
>However, this is not a violation of DOT's disability rule. Please be advised
>that airlines are governed under the Department of Transportation and their
>disability rule, 14 CFR 382, and are under no legal obligation to provide an
>accessible website. We are required, under 14 CFR 382.31(c), to disclose
>web-based discount fares to any prospective passenger who contacts the
>carrier via other normal channels for inquiring about fares, making a
>reservation, or purchasing transportation (e.g. telephone reservation line,
>airport ticket counter) and states that he or she has a visual impairment
>and is unable to use the website. The carrier must sell a
>web-based discount fare to such a person if his or her itinerary qualifies
>for the fare as it is offered on the web (e.g., same cities and dates).
>Our IT Department has reviewed your claim and they have informed me that
>they changed the boxes on our booking path to styled check boxes which don't
>work in the browser types you've attempted to use. The change was made
>nearly a year ago and this has been the first complaint brought to their
>attention on the matter. They are reviewing options to allow these types of
>browsers to work with the needed functionality for our customers with visual
>I regret that I cannot offer more information on the matter, but thank you
>for bringing this to our attention.
>Please note, if you ever encounter problems when traveling with us, feel
>free to ask our Spirit Airlines customer service personnel for a Complaint
>Resolution Official (CRO). Our CROs have been specially trained and are
>aware of applicable Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of
>Transportation (DOT) disability regulations. Our CROs are available at all
>airport locations and will be glad to respond to your concerns.
>We trust we have addressed you concerns in a satisfactory manner; however,
>if you choose to pursue enforcement action, you have the right to contact
>the Department of Transportation, in accordance with ACAA and DOT rule 14
>CFR Part 382.
>Please feel free to contact me if you ever require assistance. We know you
>have a choice in air travel and are grateful you choose Spirit Airlines.
>Michelle 62611
>Disability Specialist/
>Corporate Escalation Officer
>Spirit Airlines

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