(NOW WITH UPDATE)    Reproduced with permission from a blind mailing list (names removed). WestJet is Air Canada’s rival airline. To my knowledge, all airline Web sites have poor accessibility (though, according to firsthand reports, Icelandair’s revised site will remedy that to a large extent).

  1. I can no longer use your site to book flights as the controls used to display the origin and destination cities have been changed and they do not function properly if using a screen-reading program such as Jaws.

    I used to be able to use the site very well and used to rave about how well it worked but, in the last month or so, something has changed. I would be happy to explain over the phone if this does not make sense to you and I would hope it could be fixed so I could use the site again. If it helps, take a look at the control used to choose the number of guests – this was the control which used to be used for the city choices, and it works!

    • Area of Feedback: On the Web: Reliability/speed

    • Rating: Bad

    • Company Reply: […] Thank you for taking the time to contact us. While we do not discourage people to screen-read our website, we need to have an agreement with people to do so. If you are interested in doing this, please contact our marketing department in writing. You may still use our Web site by visiting it directly at www.westjet.com. Thank you for your patience in this matter.


(2006.07.18)    Gillian Bentley, WestJet’s media and public relations coordinator, recently wrote:

  1. I understand that the customer service agent was referring to “Web readers” and used the wrong terminology. Please accept our apologies for this confusion.

  2. One of WestJet’s values is all about finding solutions. Hopefully we have found an interim solution to provide better accessibility for our blind users at WestJet.com.

    Our development team has informed us that if people using Web-page readers point their browser readers to [a particular URL] then they will get our old Step 1 which will work better for them than our new Step 1.

We do have plans for the future – once we have a new and improved reservation system in place – which include creating a panel of users with disabilities to help us better understand accessibility issues and requirements…. We’re hoping that this will work, and look forward to your feedback.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2006.05.30 11:41. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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