Web Accessibility Advocacy: Letter to West Jet by Peg Mercer

To Whom It May Concern
Disability Assistance, West Jet
disabilityassistance@westjet.com

My name is Peg Mercer and I often travel with West Jet. I am a blind person and use screen-reading software to access information on the computer screen.

I often purchase airline tickets online. For several years, I appreciated the efforts that West Jet took to implement measures of accessibility to their site. The booking page for visually-impaired people was easy to access as the link for it appeared on the home page.

More recently, this booking page for visually impaired people has been moved inside an area under “Accessibility” which makes it harder to locate straightaway. The current issue that is most problematic with this booking page, however, is that now the date fields for choosing departure and return dates are no longer accessible to navigate by those using screen-reading software. The consequence of this current problem is that users of screen-reading software can no longer carry out online bookings on West Jet’s site.

I understand that web site content and design may need updating from time to time. It is very important, however, that the standard of accessibility for all users remain constant and not be compromised as a result of updating. I will add that ideally, accessibility standards need to be built in to the site globally so that accessible design is present in all areas of the site and not restricted to segregated sections of the site. In this way, the site would be easy for anyone to utilize from any page of it.

I trust that West Jet may consult with experts in web design that conform to accessible standards in order that all your site is fully and equally usable by all customers and that the standard does not change when updates are made.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of this important matter

Regards,

Peg Mercer
Pmercer51@shaw.ca

Cc: Access for Sight Impaired Consumers
Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians
Canadian Council of the Blind

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4 thoughts on “Web Accessibility Advocacy: Letter to West Jet by Peg Mercer

  1. From: disabilityassistance@westjet.com [mailto:disabilityassistance@westjet.com]
    Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 8:31 AM
    To: Peg Mercer
    Subject: WestJet Response: West Jet Web Site: Accessibility Compromised for Blind and Visually Impaired Customers [InteractionID:7e35386d-5112-4baa-bcef-9daf44de68a6]

    Hello Peg,
    Thank you for contacting us.

    We are sorry for the inconvenience caused due to changes on our website. We have forwarded your concern to our IT and Marketing Team for their consideration. We value feedback like yours as this helps us improve our services. We are always striving to improve our customer service and operations. We do take these types of comments very seriously.
    Thank you for your patience as we work to resolve your concern.

    Kind regards,
    Bhagya
    Guest Support Specialist

    From: Peg Mercer [mailto:pmercer51@shaw.ca]
    Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 1:31 PM
    To: disabilityassistance@westjet.com
    Cc: Access for Sight Impaired Consumers ; secretary@blindcanadians.ca; info@ccbnational.net
    Subject: RE: WestJet Response: West Jet Web Site: Accessibility Compromised for Blind and Visually Impaired Customers [InteractionID:7e35386d-5112-4baa-bcef-9daf44de68a6]

    Hello,

    Thank you for your response below. I look forward to once more being able to access your site to carry out online bookings.

    Regards,

    Peg Mercer
    Pmercer51@shaw.ca

    Like

  2. He forgot to add that booking flights now will cost him a service charge!

    I experience the same thing using air miles because their website is not accessible!

    Jim

    Sent from Jim’s iPhone

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello all. As many of us as possible should try using the site to see if we encounter the same problems. Then more of us should write to Westjet.

    Betty

    Like

  4. Yes: a site called cheapoair.ca also has this problem. You can get some great deals on there. It really would be a great money saver some times! depending on your situation. Problem is none! of the edit fields are labeled or even clickable. So we can’t really get in to the edit box. You might even get lucky here and there. But it’s no way to really book a flight. Sob sob.

    P.s: We need these sites. Edmonton to Vancouver $48 Can’t book it.

    Like

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