Man Fakes Sprained Ankle, Uses Wheelchair To Skip All The Lines At The Airport

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)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I don’t think it was funny. Serious he thinks it a game to him but at the end someone is more serious than him. I would have told him this myself and make him feel the pain of other need one bad

  2. I hope the airlines are reading this and flag his name. He should board in group 10.

  3. You just described half the flights from NYC to central/south Florida. 20 wheelchair pax pre-board in NYC, nearly all of them walk off the plane in Florida…it’s a miracle!

  4. It’s quite annoying to see 20 wheelchairs boarding flights (Florida is the worst) and then witness the majority of those people (when forced to wait for everyone to deplane at the destination) walk right off the aircraft and past their waiting arrivals wheelchair. This ranks right up there with flight attendants that bump to the front of the line at the X-ray machine, especially in groups (thankfully becoming less so given more dedicated crew security).

  5. Ever flown Southwest to FLL or MCO? Every flight, every day. Wheelchair needed to board and suddenly the legs work once wheels down in Florida. Straight miracle flights.

    If you need extra time to preboard then you need extra time to deplane so you should have to WAIT UNTIL LAST TO DEPLANE!!!

  6. As my wife who uses a wheelchair 99% of they day says – Jetway Jesus cures them

  7. This conduct dishonors our disabled veterans.

    (No political comments please.)

  8. I only fly Southwest and have seen this type of behavior happen seemingly every flight. I have paid $40 many times for an upgrade for early boarding and have had to stand and watch this type of behavior being allowed. I called Southwest and asked about this being and was told that if someone “claims” the need for pre boarding, the Southwest agents are not allowed to ask for a reason – these people abuse this pre boarding right knowingly.

  9. Looks and laughs like a beta male, too. Places camera right above him…a spot where women “look up” to a man. I couldn’t ever fight this dude…too feminine for me….would probably slap him, though.

  10. That’s an upgrade from what had frequently seen- the person that jogs into the gate area and by boarding now sports a knee brace and limp for pre-boarding

  11. What amazes me is how we’ve become a society where people post their videos of themselves that just show the world what a$$holes they are.

  12. Steve, just remember that Florida has the Fountain of Youth (St. Augustine tourist trap). By flying over it on the way to Miami they are miraculously cured!

  13. Precheck and Clear don’t amount to anything at the Turkish airport shown at the start of the video.

  14. GUWonder – and just what does your moronic statement have to do with what this man did? I’ll make it easy for you – nothing.

  15. Yes. I saw a similar situation on a recent flight on Alaska. A rather large person was in our waiting group at JFK, heading for a non-stop flight to LAX. About 45 minutes later I saw her being taken to the Gate in a wheelchair so I assumed that something unfortunate happened. However, after we boarded and the flight was underway I couldn’t help but notice her moving down the aisle quite easily. When we landed in LAX I saw her again being wheeled into the baggage area. Then she stood up and walked quite easily with a companion and her luggage. It left me wondering if it was a scam or if the porters at the airport were offering wheelchair rides for a fee.

  16. I was told that the the Joshua tree grows only in Israel and Palm Springs. One is the entrance to hell the other is the exit. It should be Florida not Palm Springs then we would know where the entrance to hell was

  17. Really. I was told that the the Joshua tree grows only in Israel and Palm Springs. One is the entrance to hell the other is the exit. It should be Florida not Palm Springs then we would know where the entrance to hell was

  18. Wheelchairs are particularly helpful in international destinations. I traveled to Cancun with my 92 year old mother last winter, and had never gotten a wheelchair for her. Having a Houston connection, I saw a cart and knew the walk was long, my mom walks very slowly (more shuffles), the connection tight after a weather delay, and asked if we could ride. The driver let us, and we made the flight. So, in Cancun, we got a wheelchair, and they wizzed through immigration, bypassing most of the huge lines. Same thing leaving Cancun. Unfortunately, there were no pushers available in Houston, but someone did get us a wheelchair. That was fun pushing with one hand effort trying to move the recheck luggage and carryons in the other, but still better than walking. But, I would have been sad if the reason no one was available was because the fakers were consuming all the service.

    Could we have done without the wheelchair? Maybe, we didn’t get one at the destination on the return, but the walk was short there. It was most important for the tight connection.

  19. Sleazeballs will always be with us. At least sleazeballs who brag will probably have to stop cheating disabled people out of their transport at the airport. What a disgusting creature. I’ve never needed a wheelchair, but I have made lots of trips using a cane after knee/hip surgery. Airport people are very nice and helpful. But that will soon stop once they know they’re being taken advantage of by the aforementioned sleazeball and the wanna-bes.

  20. David Miller,

    A question about where he stayed is not a moronic statement. It’s a question. And it’s moronic to think that the following statement has nothing to do with this blog article:

    “Precheck and Clear don’t amount to anything at the Turkish airport shown at the start of the video.”

    Guess who was advancing the benefit of PreCheck and Clear when the video shows wheelchair use at an airport in a country where PreCheck and Clear provide no access to priority security screening.

  21. James,

    Some people may appear to be fully mobile without issue but really are not as capable of being on their feet without health issue as it may appear to an average random observer. The duration of being on their feet or the duration of a particular thing they are doing while on their feet can delay a full recovery or cause or exacerbate an injury. In such cases, the need for a wheelchair is not in the eye of the beholder; it is in the eye of a medical professional familiar with a patient or of the traveler who knows their own body better than David Miller or some random dude at an airport or on the plane.

  22. James, I travel with a person with a severe cardiac condition. She can walk short distances with no problem, but the long distances in airports or packed parking lots are not feasible. While I think the people who abuse this need, such as the guy in this video are disgusting, I also recognize that the need for a wheelchair can be for reasons other than a musculoskeletal issue.

  23. David Miller,

    Professional help is indeed needed …… with a house cleaning service. Not sure you’re qualified for that, given the lack of attention to detail demonstrated by you. Dog walker seems more your thing, with all that insecurity-driven rabid discontent about the government and the world being stacked against you and your near and dear subset of men. “Woof woof, give the dog a bone.”

  24. GUWonder – What in the hell are you stupidly spewing about? Each of your posts is more ignorant that the previous ones. Do everyone a favor and have yourself readmitted to whatever mental institution you escaped from.

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