In a class-action lawsuit filed in Alameda County Superior Court, Judith Smith of Oakland and Bonnie Lewkowicz of Berkeley, both of whom use wheelchairs and helped found Axis Dance Company in Oakland, said Hotels.com treats accessibility as an optional "amenity," such as a king-size bed or a room with a view.

Despite making reservations online and contacting Hotels.com's customer-care representatives, the women found that wheelchair-accessible rooms aren't guaranteed, the lawsuit says. Smith and Lewkowicz use wheelchairs and tour the state and country as part of a troupe of dancers with and without disabilities.

"Thus, if an individual who depends on a wheelchair or other assistive device makes a reservation through Hotels.com, she runs a real risk that - despite having prepaid for the room and made the reservation well in advance - she will literally not be able to enter or use the room once she arrives at the hotel," according to the suit.

The suit seeks class-action certification and an injunction requiring Hotels.com to modify its policies and practices so that it will guarantee reservations for accessible hotel rooms.

Get the full story at the San Francisco Chronicle