Posted on: September 11, 2013
DOT fines Virgin America over safety videos
The Transportation Department (DOT) has imposed a $150,000 fine on Virgin America for allegedly failing to provide captions for the hearing impaired on its in-flight safety videos.
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The airline agreed to the figure for the purposes of settlement, but denied that it violated the DOT’s anti-discrimination rules.
According to a consent order released this week, the airline said it has consistently provided non-video alternatives, such as “live safety demonstrations, Safety Information Cards and personalized safety briefings upon request by passengers in order to communicate required safety-related information.”
The carrier said it chose these alternative methods, which are permitted by the regulation, because it believed that, owing to the video format, captions would interfere with the video.
The DOT, however, looked at the video and decided that captions would not interfere, and concluded that the airline was in violation.
As part of the settlement, the airline is adding captions to its in-flight video safety messages by the end of this month.