Regional Aircraft Weight Limits

American Airlines revises weight limits on regional aircraft

By PVA National Staff

In response to a requirement from the Canadian government, American Airlines published earlier this year weight limits for assistive devices stowed on their aircraft.

In October, John Morris, a wheelchair user and travel blogger at WheelchairTravel.org, was denied travel due to the weight of his power wheelchair.

This incident resulted in an extreme amount of anxiety among passengers with disabilities who use power wheelchairs who feared that they would be denied boarding or have their chair damaged due to its being dismantled in order to meet the weight limit requirements.

Following an outcry from the disability community, including a letter from PVA and 17 other disability and veterans organizations, American Airlines worked with the manufacturers of its regional jets on their interpretation of weight limits for those aircraft.

On November 23, American announced that it has eliminated the conservative weight guidelines and replaced them with guidelines, approved and reviewed by FAA, that better reflect the ability of the cargo floor to support mobility devices and wheelchairs based on their distributed weight.

Their website has been updated to reflect distributed weight limits for their regional aircraft.

This change should ensure that American Airlines is able to continue to transport large power wheelchairs on their regional aircraft.

Please contact Heather Ansley, Associate Executive Director, Government Relations, at heathera@pva.org if you encounter any difficulties on American Airlines related to carriage of wheelchairs.

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