Multiple social media users have been taking to the platform to share their “travel hacks” to board a plane faster including faking an injury to receive a wheelchair. Broadcaster Henry Bonsu told the Jeremy Vine show: “It’s not good at all because for who genuinely are disabled like Frank Gardener, the BBC’s security correspondent. There aren’t enough people to help him with his issues. Look at what people are saying at Heathrow and Luton.
“The number of people who are asking for help is going through the roof.
“It’s way more than during the pandemic. The question is, what’s behind it?
“Is it hacks or is it something else, are people becoming much more disabled than they were?!”
Columnist Carole Malone added: “That really makes me sick. I’ve seen people get into the buggies because sometimes you have half a mile to walk before you get to the plane.
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“I’ve seen them do that and I actually want to say to them, ‘get out of that’ because my mum used to need one all the time and could never get one.”
Heathrow airport‘s chief executive John Holland-Kaye described this as “the wrong thing to be doing”.
He told LBC: “For passengers requiring wheelchair support we have more demand than we had before the pandemic.
“Why is that happening? Some of this is because people are using the wheelchair support to try to get fast-track through the airport.
A video showing a passenger skipping queues at Ibiza Airport, Spain, by feigning injury to get a wheelchair has been viewed 2.5 million times on TikTok.
The man is shown standing up and walking away after the flight.
Mr Holland-Kaye added that about half of arriving passengers who request assistance only do so once they are on the plane.
He urged people who “really need the service” to let Heathrow know “well in advance so we can make sure there are enough people there to meet your needs”.
Many travellers using the airport this summer have faced long queues, with the situation blamed on staff shortages.
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