Southwest Airlines to offer closed captioning on wireless inflight entertainment in early 2014

We may be getting close to the tipping point where people start to understand the importance of captioning. I’ve said for some time that 50 years ago, nobody thought about wheelchair ramps, it just didn’t happen. Now, nobody thinks about wheelchair ramps, it happens automatically. We are at the stage where people are thinking about captioning. Now we have to get to the point where nobody thinks about it anymore, but just does it. ~John Waldo, Advocacy Director and Counsel Washington State Communication Access Project

Southwest Airlines will be among the first carriers in the United States to introduce closed captioning to its wireless video entertainment product when the low-cost giant rolls out CC in early 2014.

The move will come as welcome news to the many deaf and hard of hearing (HoH) passengers who have been calling on airlines here and abroad to offer CC on in-seat and wireless IFE systems.

Airlines that have been slow to offer CC ā€“ together with content creators and suppliers ā€“ may feel further pressure to take action because Southwest is taking the lead on the wireless front. United Airlines in 2011 announced availability of CC on the live television systems installed on its Continental Airlines Boeing fleet.

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