Faking disabilities to skip queues

2012-10-09 11:57

If we had to be 100% honest, the chances are good that most people would have to admit that faking a disability in order to snatch up a convenient parking spot or skipping a queue had crossed their mind at some point. 

Following through on this impulse is, however, a whole different story, but one that seems to be on the increase in airport terminals around the UK and probably the rest of the world. 

The Telegraph reports that more and more unscrupulous able-bodied travellers have been caught abusing the privileges of passengers with reduced mobility (PRM) to board aircrafts first and skip queues. Because proof of disability is not requested during check-in it's easy for corrupt individuals to slip through the cracks. 

The practice is becoming so common, in fact, that airline staff have coined the amusing phrase "miracle flights" to describe how certain passengers require assistance or a wheel chair to board the flight, but are able to disembark without. 

Evelyn Danquah, who provides PRM assistance for Delta Air Lines, said passengers in long queues will often request help, while some will even attempt to look more convincing by walking with a limp.

"When they see that the line is so long," she added, "they just ask for a wheelchair."

Although national statistics for PRM requests are not available, ISS World, which provides assistance at Stansted, said the number of requests had increased annually by between eight and 10 per cent in recent years.

Read more on:    travel international


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