Scammers Using Wheelchairs to Skip Long Airport Lines
Airport lines can be long, but if you require the use of a wheelchair you can typically skip the long lines. When boarding a flight, those with kids and those in wheelchairs always board first. According to CBS some of those that you see in wheelchairs may not really require them.
Or, at least, that’s the angle some fully-abled passengers are using to cut through the winding queues at airport security checkpoints, the New York Times reported. According to the 1986 Air Carrier Access Act, airlines are required to accommodate disabled travelers — who need not show any proof of disability — free of charge.
And this isn’t news to airport staffers.
“When [travelers] see that the line is so long, they just ask for a wheelchair,” Evelyn Danquah, an attendant for Delta Air Lines, told the Times. She said she has seen some wheelchair fakers stand and walk away as soon as they clear security. Wheelchair attendants — whose salaries range between $9 and $14 an hour, with tips, help to maintain a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding the line-hopping strategy in hopes of bolstering their paychecks, the Times reported.
The tactic even spawned a new term among flight attendants: “miracle flights.” Where passengers use wheelchairs to board but abandon them when their planes land.
As of right now there is no penalty for using a wheelchair when you don't really need one. Except for karma, there is always that. Have you ever seen someone at the airport fake it?