New U.S. rule ensures wheelchair users have easy access to airplane bathrooms.

New U.S. rule ensures wheelchair users have easy access to airplane bathrooms.

Airlines Required to Make Bathrooms More Accessible for Disabled Passengers

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced a new rule on Wednesday that requires airlines to make bathrooms on their planes more accessible for disabled passengers. This rule is authorized under the Air Carrier Access Act and aims to ensure that individuals with disabilities have the same access and dignity as the rest of the traveling public.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg highlighted the importance of this new rule, stating, “Traveling can be stressful enough without worrying about being able to access a restroom; yet today, millions of wheelchair users are forced to choose between dehydrating themselves before boarding a plane or avoiding air travel altogether.” With this new regulation, passengers will no longer have to make such difficult choices.

Improving Access in Air Travel

The new rule specifically requires airlines to make lavatories on any new single-aisle aircraft large enough to allow a passenger with a disability and an attendant to maneuver within the lavatory. This means that individuals who require assistance will now have the necessary space to comfortably use the bathroom during their flight.

This is a significant change that will greatly improve the travel experience for disabled passengers. The lack of accessible bathrooms on planes has been a long-standing issue, causing unnecessary discomfort and inconvenience for many individuals. With this new rule, airlines will have to make the necessary adjustments to provide accessible lavatories.

A Step Towards Inclusive Travel

The Department of Transportation has also implemented other measures aimed at increasing accessibility for disabled individuals in transportation. These measures include modernizing airport terminals to include wheelchair ramps and accessible restrooms. This is an important step in ensuring that airports are fully equipped to accommodate the needs of all travelers.

Additionally, the department will be funding programs to improve access in train and subway stations. This will benefit people who use wheelchairs, push strollers, or have difficulty navigating stairs, allowing them to reliably use rail systems in their communities.

Furthermore, the Department of Transportation is laying the groundwork for a future rule that would allow passengers to stay in their own wheelchairs when they fly. This is an exciting development that would provide greater convenience and independence for individuals with mobility limitations.

Enhancing Staff Training and Passenger Services

In addition to physical infrastructure improvements, the Department of Transportation is calling for better training of airline staff who assist passengers with disabilities or handle battery-powered wheelchairs or scooters. Proper training is crucial to ensure that airline staff can provide adequate assistance and support to disabled passengers, enhancing their overall travel experience.

These measures collectively aim to enhance accessibility and ensure that disabled individuals can travel with the same ease and comfort as other passengers. This is a significant step towards creating a more inclusive and equal travel environment for all.


The U.S. Department of Transportation’s new rule requiring airlines to make bathrooms more accessible for disabled passengers is a welcome development. This regulation addresses a long-standing issue and will greatly improve the travel experience for individuals with disabilities.

In addition to the bathroom accessibility rule, the Department of Transportation is implementing other measures such as modernizing airport terminals, funding programs for improved access in train and subway stations, and exploring the option for passengers to stay in their own wheelchairs during flights. These initiatives are crucial in creating a more inclusive and accommodating travel environment.

With these changes, disabled individuals will have equal access and dignity while traveling, further promoting equality and inclusivity in society.

For more information on airline passenger rights, visit the U.S. Department of Transportation.