MIAMI — Virgin Atlantic has become the first airline to offer in-flight entertainment (IFE) for customers that are visually impaired.
This remarkable new feature has been designed by Blue Box Aviation, which comes in a tablet device with headphones that have recorded narrations of TV shows, movies, and books, adapted to offer audio description, as well as a large variety of music.
“I’m very proud to announce a global aviation first, and that is that we’ve pioneered new technology to give our blind and visually impaired customers access to all our great in-flight entertainment,” said Mark Anderson, Executive Vice President – Customer at Virgin Atlantic.
By IATA’s resolution 700, the rights of travel for blind customers are protected, as well as the Air Carrier Access Act regulations if it is an American carrier. But there’s still not an airline, besides Virgin Atlantic, that offers special features for visually dispaired passengers.
Airlines like Air Canada and Qantas have precise information on their websites for the proceedings to take a flight with as a blind person. Both carriers offer their service to customer from ticket booking to the final arrival. However, these passengers are not being entertained with custom-made systems like the one Virgin Atlantic is now offering.
The visually dispaired customers of Virgin Atlantic may request to the cabin crew for the device before takeoff. Guide Dogs for the Blind have also tested Blue Box technology, and according to them, it had positive feedback from visually-impaired passengers.
The innovative IFE will be offered throughout Virgin Atlantic’s fleet across all their destinations.