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Travellers skipping queues by pretending to need wheelchairs, Heathrow boss says

Written by on 26 July 2022

Travellers at Heathrow are skipping queues by pretending to need wheelchairs, the airport’s boss has said.

John Holland-Kaye blamed a TikTok video showing how to do this, which amassed 2.5 million views on the platform.

The video showed a passenger bypassing queues at Ibiza airport in Spain by faking a leg injury and asking to use a wheelchair.

The man is shown standing up and walking away after the flight.

Mr Holland-Kaye 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.

“That is absolutely the wrong thing to be doing.

“We need to protect that for the people who most need help.

“If you go on TikTok you’ll see that that is one of the travel hacks that people are recommending.

“Please don’t do that.”

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Passengers queue inside the departures terminal of Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport in London, Britain, June 27, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls  2:55 What’s behind UK airport delays?

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He recommended that people who “really need the service” let Heathrow know “well in advance so we can make sure there are enough people there to meet your needs”.

He said about half of people who ask for the service do not do so until they are on the plane.

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Airline passengers have faced long queues at the airport in recent weeks, with the situation blamed on staff shortages.

To help relieve the pressure, Heathrow imposed a cap on passenger numbers earlier this month and asked airlines to stop selling summer tickets.