Virgin Atlantic has launched in-flight entertainment for blind people

Everyone knows that the only way to get through a long-haul flight is to plug in your headphones and queue up a list of films you want to watch on the in-flight entertainment. But if you’re visually impaired, the outdated technology on most aeroplanes can make tuning in impossible.

Now Virgin Atlantic has become the latest carrier to improve the experience of flying for its blind passengers, by offering audio description on its entertainment system.

The innovative technology, designed by tech firm Bluebox, will offer a recorded narration through headphones, explaining the action during gaps in a film’s dialogue.

From now on, passengers can specially request the handheld tablet from the cabin crew prior to takeoff. The touchscreen device comes loaded with a list of current film and TV titles – all of which have been adapted to offer audio narration.

Mark Anderson, a spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic, said: “Today I’m very proud to announce a global aviation first, and that is that we’ve pioneered new technology to give our blind and our visually-impaired customers access to all of our great in-flight entertainment.”

Virgin Atlantic says it has tested the new feature with charity Guide Dogs for the Blind, reporting positive feedback from visually-impaired passengers.


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