Normally you need to request wheelchair assistance, or have someone do it for you. I don’t often see airlines proactively enter wheelchairs into a reservation. Yet
American’s Next Top Model winner Nyle DiMarco claims United Airlines did just that, suggesting they were confused that his being deaf means he’s unable to walk through the airport on his own. The man also won Dancing With the Stars.
He flew Denver – Los Angeles on United on Sunday and when he deplaned there was a wheelchair waiting for him on the jet bridge.
todays tea according to @united
) ) )
) ( ) )
\ / _
\ ooh a deaf person/ |
\ give him a /____|
\ wheelchair /
— Nyle DiMarco (@NyleDiMarco) February 17, 2019
Oddly this keeps happening to DiMarco and he can’t strictly speaking just blame United here. In December he made news when Delta did the same thing.
Not a clear video but apparently being deaf at an airport means I need a wheelchair. pic.twitter.com/fmFn1CsSv2
— Nyle DiMarco (@NyleDiMarco) December 19, 2018
Maybe Delta agents are that proactive, though the only time in my life I needed a wheelchair to travel I flew Delta and needed to request it myself. But Delta and United in the span of a couple of months? I’m skeptical. Perhaps someone requested a wheelchair for him in both instances.
And that’s even though I once experienced a proactive wheelchair request of my own. Three years ago an Alaska Airlines agent seemingly put in a wheelchair request in my reservation after I showed what kind of a klutz I am by spilling coffee before a 6 a.m. flight.
— gary leff (@garyleff) November 27, 2015
That was highly inappropriate because it may have meant that someone else would have been waiting for a wheelchair that was tied up to help me, and because the person pushing the wheelchair lost out on a potential tip (I didn’t tip them).
I wasn’t offended though, and some passengers even request wheelchair assistance when they don’t need it in order to get priority and skip queues.