The mission of the Association for Airline Passenger Rights is to promote fairer customer service and accessibility standards in the airline industry and to improve passenger satisfaction. AAPR exists to educate policymakers on travel-related information important to airline passengers, improve accessibility for passengers with disabilities and protect the consumer rights and responsibilities of airline passengers.
The following summarizes a few areas where AAPR has focused its efforts last year:
AAPR is the only airline consumer rights organization that is dedicated to improving airline and airport accessibility for travelers with disabilities. A majority of their board of directors are individuals with disabilities who can offer personal experience and expertise to this issue. To that end, they've always included improved accessibility in their public comments submitted to the U.S. Department of Transportation on various regulations when they're under review. Additionally, they've hosted educational webinars offering travel tips for travelers with disabilities; and AAPR called on the USDOT to strictly enforce the Air Carrier Access Act.
AAPR has been among the most vocal critics of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Not because they oppose airport security, but rather because they believe the TSA's "one-size-fits-all" approach to airport security not only violates basic privacy rights, but it does so without enhancing overall security. They have called upon TSA to "think outside the box" instead of utlizing limited resources on senior citizens, toddlers and children with development disabilities. AAPR has applauded the TSA when they've incorporated good public policy into their screening techniques, evidenced by new rules governing the aforementioned special populations of travelers.
Larger Coach Seats
AAPR fights to protect the rights of every passenger, regardless of their size. The bottom line is coach seating on most airlines is too small, crammed and uncomfortable. By representing the interests of passengers of size, AAPR believes it is in the interests of every single passenger. In fact, AAPR called on the airplane manufacturers to produce larger seats, even if only in a few rows, whereby passengers of size can fly more comfortably, and non-passengers of size can too. AirBus now plans to offer extra-wide seats on planes. While AAPR can not take credit for this decision, they certainly contributed to the national dialogue that led to the change.
These are just a few select areas of interest whereby AAPR has been working to improve air travel, but there are many more. To learn more about AAPR, click here.