USA: DOT fines Virgin America for failing to make safety videos accessible to passengers with hearing impairments

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) fined Virgin America USD 150,000 for failing to make its in-flight safety video accessible to passengers with hearing impairments. The airline also was ordered to cease and desist from further violations.An investigation by DOT’s Aviation Enforcement Office found that since October 2007, when the airline first began scheduled service, Virgin America used its in-flight entertainment system to present the pre-flight safety briefing but failed to ensure that the video was accompanied either by open captioning or an inset for a sign language interpreter. This violated DOT’s rule, which is part of its regulations implementing the Air Carrier Access Act, requiring video safety briefings to be accessible to passengers with hearing impairments.Source: DOT press release 78-13 of Sep. 10, 2013Consent order available at, docket DOT-OST-2013-0004

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