Wheelchair attendants working at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) filed a formal complaint August 26th with
the U.S. Department of Transportation against a contractor that provides wheelchair assistance to various airlines, alleging that the workers have not received adequate training.
The complaint filed against Aviation Safeguards, which services airlines such as Southwest, Continental, and Alaska Airlines, alleges that the company fails to provide proper training to workers in accordance with the Air Carrier Access Act, thereby putting passengers at risk of
The attendants claim in the complaint that they are not being given adequate training on how to safely operate wheelchairs and how to assist passengers with disabilities. They claim that they are not trained with regards to sensitivity and appropriate responses to passengers with disabilities.
The workers additionally allege that the poor condition of wheelchairs provided by Aviation Safeguards prevents employees from safely transporting passengers at the airport.
Officials at Los Angeles World Airports, the city agency that operates LAX, said in a report that the agency is “taking proactive steps to ensure quality security and service” by adopting a program requiring airline contractors to meet certain standards, including service training to passengers with disabilities.
“We are pleased that Los Angeles World Airports is taking a strong, proactive approach to improving the quality of service at the airport,” said Carolina Briones, director of research for the Los Angeles Alliance for a
New Economy, an organization that joined in the complaint.
“An airline contractor’s failure to provide adequate training
to its workers is a perfect example of what LAWA should be considering in order to ensure that we have quality contractors at our airports.”
Representatives of Aviation Safeguards did not respond to phone calls seeking comment on the complaint as of Argonaut press time.
The Air Carrier Access Act, passed in 1986, requires that airlines and their contractors provide training to properly assist passengers with disabilities in traveling, including how to properly and safely operate equipment and how to respond appropriately to those with a disability.
Through the complaint, the wheelchair attendants request that the contractor be compelled to provide adequate training to all employees who are expected to provide services to people with disabilities.