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The Travel Industry

Congress has used the Commerce Clause as authority to enact other laws affecting travel safety. One such law is the Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 (49 CFR 382), which prohibits discrimination and requires physical accommodation of passengers with disabilities. Airlines may not require advance notice that a person with a disability is traveling (with certain exceptions involving special equipment or hook-ups), and airlines are prohibited from restricting the number of disabled persons on a flight.

As a general rule, “common carriers,” such as airlines, cruise line, bus and rail operators, are held to a higher standard of care owed to passengers and travelers. Common carriers cannot require or request patrons to sign contracts that purport to disclaim liability caused by the gross negligence or intentional misconduct of the common carrier or its agents/employees. Nor may common carriers attempt to enforce such a disclaimer even if it appears on a passenger ticket.


Inside The Travel Industry