Frontier Airlines faces ‘rampant abuse’ of passengers using wheelchair service

Frontier Airlines passengers are misusing the company’s wheelchair service to skip the line and secure priority boarding on their flights, the budget airline says.

“There is massive malpractice in the special services. People who use wheelchairs don’t need that,” CEO Barry Biffle said Thursday at a luncheon at the Wings Club in New York. According to CNBC.

Border seats are on a first-come, first-served basis and those requiring wheelchair assistance board the aircraft before other passengers.

Biffle says he witnessed 20 people in wheelchairs get on the plane, but only 3 asked for assistance when disembarking.

“We cure a lot of people,” he joked.

Frontier Airlines says some passengers are misusing wheelchair services to get priority on flights. mtcurado

The Air Carrier Accessibility Act of 1986 prohibits airlines from discriminating against people with disabilities and requires companies to provide “safe carriage,” including wheelchairs, for passengers to board an aircraft.

The company’s website says it is “pleased to provide services to our passengers who require a wheelchair or mobility aid.” But Biffle is frustrated by people who use those services to help those in need.

It costs an airline $30 to $35 for a customer to request wheelchair assistance, and the malpractice can lead to delays for other passengers, Biffle says.

Frontier seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, and those requiring wheelchair assistance board the aircraft before other passengers. mtcurado

“Everybody should have the right to those who need it, but if you park in a handicapped spot they will tow your car and fine you,” Biffle told CNBC. “There should be the same penalty for misuse of these services.”

Problems can extend beyond the boarding gate to security gates and other airline services

“There is widespread abuse among passengers who use wheelchair services to get ahead of security lines and get priority boarding on flights,” the carrier told Fox Business, adding, “TSA and airlines are in a difficult position to manage the problem.”

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Shady passengers faking injuries and disabilities to avoid taxes have also plagued other carriers, such as Southwest Airlines.

Last year, a Southwest Airlines passenger took to social media to complain about a “pre-boarding scam” that saw nearly two dozen people in wheelchairs line up to board a flight in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“Only 20 wheelchair-bound passengers and 3 passengers need one person to disembark,” the flyer said. Paul wrote in X named

Southwest doesn’t reserve seats like Frontier, which leads to preboarders getting the run of the cabin.

Last year, a Southwest Airlines passenger took to social media to complain about “pre-boarding fraud” after she found herself queuing in wheelchairs to board a flight in Florida. @trendready/X

Another Southwest passenger recently called a similar scam on a flight from Philadelphia to Chicago, where he found 30 preboarders lined up at the terminal who allegedly “self-identified” as disabled to get a preferred seat on the plane.

Steve Maciarka told the Wall Street Journal about the February flight. “It’s out of control now.”

In 2022, the head of a major airport called out TikTok users for inappropriately recommending wheelchairs to followers.

“If you go on TikTok, you’ll see that this is one of the travel hacks people are suggesting, please don’t do it, we need to protect the service for people who need it most,” London-Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said later. UK-based LBC Radio.

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