Last weekend, I went to the sweetest wedding of all time. It was in New York, and I flew direct from SFO to JFK on Delta Flight 444.
Normally, I spend most of my time on planes working -- I can crank out, like, five blog posts on a cross-country flight. But on this particular trip, I wanted to watch Iverson -- the Allen Iverson documentary.
Except two minutes into the movie, I had to pause it. I couldn't hear anything anyone was saying. All I could hear was the roar of the crowd.
No biggie. I'll just turn on the captions...
Except I navigated through every single page on the whole in-flight entertainment system, and nowhere, anywhere, was there an option to turn on captions.
So I asked a flight attendant, "Do you know how to turn on the captions?"
She did not. She did, however, take the issue very seriously. She asked every single other flight attendant if they could help. She tried going onto the master control thingie at the front of the plane. She even had her manager come to my seat to try to help me figure out a way.
I felt bad for causing so much trouble, and I told them not to worry -- "I'm not hearing impaired," I reminded them. "I just couldn't hear because of the background noise."
But on the inside, I was thinking, This actually is a big deal. It's, like, a major accessibility issue. What if I were hearing impaired? The only movies I'd be able to watch on this flight would be the foreign language films with English subtitles.
The flight attendants seemed to feel the same way. They continued trying to figure out a good solution, even though I politely told them, "It's fine. I don't want to watch a movie anymore, anyway."
Eventually, we came to a compromise. I watched 世界から猫が消えたなら -- If Cats Disappeared From The World -- and it was very charming. They gave me a free bottle of wine for the inconvenience.
The flight attendants on Delta are not to blame for this -- they were super compassionate, and impressed me with their eagerness to solve problems. One showed me how to stream movies from the Delta server on my laptop, to see if the sound would be better. Some of the movies on the server did, in fact, have captions -- it's just, there weren't outlets at the seats on this flight, and I didn't have a full charge.
Another brought me a new pair of headphones, in case mine weren't working right.
They did everything they could, and I am in no way blaming them... but something about this just isn't sitting right with me.
In spite of having mocked an over-the-top Everyday Feminism article (which included commands like, "Have a designated sniffer at the door to smell everyone as they arrive and make sure no one is wearing a chemical fragrance") on the topic, accessibility is important to me.
Having closed captions on the in-flight entertainment system seems like a very cheap, easy way to make a long flight more enjoyable for the hearing impaired. (As well as people like me, who wanted to hear more than just the explosions.) It seems pretty wild and unacceptable to me that Delta either
a) Couldn't be bothered to include them
b) Did include them, but in such a clunky way that not even the flight attendants could figure out how to turn them on.
The good news is, it seems like an easy fix. Delta Airlines -- you need to fix this.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
Want to support The Happy Talent? CLICK HERE!
Or Find me on Patreon!
What's Popular on The Happy Talent:
Trending in Dating and Relationships:
What's Popular in Science:
Playfulness and Leisure Skills:
Popular in Psychology and Social Skills: