What’s one way to zoom to the front of security lines at airports? Simply request a wheelchair!
Experts say that a growing number of ABLE-BODIED travelers are dodging long security lines by faking injuries to take advantage of the “wheelchair loophole.”
Here’s how they get away with it. Federal law requires all airlines to provide assistance to disabled travelers, like priority boarding. And airlines don’t ask travelers for proof they’re disabled – so anyone can ask for a wheelchair and then be pushed to the front of security by an airport employee, no questions asked.
In fact, it’s so common now that airport workers can predict spikes in wheelchair requests when security is backed up. And flight attendants see it so often on certain, very busy routes that they call them “miracle flights.” Because miraculously, the passengers wheeled to the front at boarding, suddenly don’t need a wheelchair when they land. Because disabled passengers are the first to board – but the last to debark.
And even though a number of passengers have filed complaints about fakers, the airlines don’t want to ask for proof.
Because it could set off a public relations nightmare if they questioned the validity of even one person who was TRULY disabled. Also, some disabilities are hidden. For example, a 30-year-old guy might look healthy. But he could have a heart condition that makes him weak when standing for long periods of time.
So, do you think? Should passengers have to show proof that they’re disabled - similar to handicapped parking spaces, which require a permit?
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