At this year's annual Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, United Airlines was awarded the Crystal Cabin Award for Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity for its new onboard entertainment interface, which recently debuted on the airline's 787-10 Dreamliner fleet. The highly coveted award, which is the standard by which airlines, manufacturers, suppliers and design and engineering firms are judged, recognized the efforts of United and its partners at Panasonic Avionics to provide customers with what is the most accessible airline entertainment system in the world.

"Accessible and relevant inflight entertainment plays a major role in customers enjoying their flying experience and we wanted to create a system that all United customers could enjoy, including customers who have varying vision, hearing or mobility requirements," said Toby Enqvist, senior vice president of customers at United. "Together with Panasonic, we spent three years building a system that is truly inclusive, and we look forward to adding it to more aircraft soon."

This new system offers the world's most extensive suite of accessibility features on seatback entertainment, which accommodates any level of vision, as well as provides support for customers with hearing and mobility issues. These features include:

  • Text-to-speech with reading granularity options
  • Customizable voice volume, speed and pitch
  • Explore by touch features including screen magnification, customizable text size, high contrast text options, color correction options and color inversion options
  • Custom messaging tailored for customers with hearing disabilities
  • Additional navigation options for mobility impaired passengers who are unable to swipe or use handset features