Holiday websites inaccessible to the elderly
21st August 2014
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.
A recent survey has found that 11 out of 12 of the UK’s top holiday and airline sites are inaccessible to disabled and elderly visitors. The survey from national technology and disability charity AbilityNet found that the websites of some of the top holiday companies were completely inaccessible and difficult to navigate, making it incredibly difficult for elderly or disabled users to book a holiday.
The UK-based charity was surprised at how many of the top holiday websites were missing out on custom from this particular group. While mobility aids including curved stairlifts and walking aids are making everyday tasks more accessible for the older generation, it seems extraordinary that the country’s top airlines and holiday operators are still operating inaccessible websites for such clientele.
Website of 10 top companies need immediate attention
Of the 12 top holiday sites: British Airways, Carnival, Club Med, EasyJet, First Choice, Monarch, Qantas, Ryanair, Saga, STA Travel, Thomas Cook and Virgin Atlantic, only one met the base level of access for such customers. Of the remaining 11 companies, ten require immediate attention. This means that it took disabled users over an hour to make their bookings on such sites or were unable to get to this stage whatsoever.
As well as being a concerning issue for the disabled and elderly community, it is also worrying for the companies involved. Robin Christopherson, the author of the report and the Head of Digital Inclusion at AbilityNet, said in this article, “This is a fiercely competitive market and it’s surprising to see leading players overlooking this opportunity to meet customer needs.”
The report comes a decade after the charity first reviewed the country’s top airlines’ websites and assessed their website usability, and sadly they found that very little has changed. Considering that a company’s website is often the first port of call for elderly users who would be able to access such services from the comfort of their home or electric rise and recliner chair rather than venture out to a shop where mobility is difficult, it seems baffling that such companies are yet to make the most basic of changes to their website usability.
Image Credit: Thomas Tolkien (flickr.com)
This content was written by Emily Bray. Please feel free to visit my Google + profile to read more stories.