Some unscrupulous people request wheelchair assistance at the airport when they don’t need it, using their ‘injury’ for a whole bunch of benefits:
- Early boarding gets them access to overhead bin space before other passengers, and avoids being forced to gate check bags.
- It also gets around basic economy restrictions at United which are enforced by boarding group, netting a free carry on bag.
- On Southwest they’d have their choice of seats on board.
- Plus help skipping security lines.
Thanks to ‘The Great Resignation’ it’s been tougher to find people at the airport to push wheelchairs so this is tougher to do, and might really trade off with someone that needed a wheelchair being able to get one.
However people are still faking injuries. TSA security checkpoint wait times can be long, without enough screeners and with travel really picking up. A man on TikTok showed how he fakes an injury to get priority screening from the TSA and then assistance through the airport.
Wolf Jenkins filmed himself pretending to have sprained his ankle at the Bodrum Airport. He walked around barefoot (inside the airport – yuck). He saw huge lines and was worried he’d miss his flight, and wound up pushed in a wheelchair through the airport and to his seat. He was even given his own row on board so he could stretch out.
After the flight – it was a miracle – he could walk!
Hopefully everyone reading this site has PreCheck and perhaps CLEAR, or strategies to avoid the long lines that don’t involve wheelchairs.
(HT: Eye of the Flyer)