So the New York Times digs into a phenomenon where a few healthy people fake the need to use a wheelchair so they can get through security lines faster and get to board first!
So it may be an expected, if uncomfortable, fact that some travelers appear to exploit perhaps the only remaining loophole to a breezy airport experience — the line-cutting privileges given to people who request airport wheelchairs, for which no proof of a disability is required.
The practice, tacitly endorsed by a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy from wheelchair pushers, who sometimes receive tips, is so commonplace that airport workers can predict spikes in wheelchair requests when security is particularly backed up, and flight attendants see it so often on certain routes — including to the Philippines, Egypt and the Dominican Republic, for which sometimes a dozen people in wheelchairs will be waiting to board — they’ve dubbed them “miracle flights.”
“We’d say there was a miracle because they all needed a wheelchair getting on, but not getting off,” said Kelly Skyles, a flight attendant and the national safety and security coordinator for the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which represents American Airlines attendants. “Not only do we serve them beverages and ensure their safety — now we’re healing the sick.”