Heathrow boss blames TikTok queue-jump hack for spike in demand for wheelchair assistance  

By Lisa James
Home » Heathrow boss blames TikTok queue-jump hack for spike in demand for wheelchair assistance  

Passengers pretending to need wheelchair assistance are causing problems at Heathrow – and a TikTok travel hack is showing people how to do it, says the airport’s boss.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said he blamed the TikTok queue-jumping hack for causing delays for those with real mobility issues, accusing some passengers of ‘using wheelchair support to get through the airport faster’.

Mr Holland-Kaye told LBC’s Nick Ferrari at Breakfast show that demand from people with mobility issues has increased since the pandemic.

He was responding to a question by Mr Ferrari, who said he’d heard from air crew that 20 passengers last week were left waiting at Terminal 3 for assistance, with no air conditioning and in circumstances that Mr Ferrari described as ‘a disgrace’.

Mr Holland-Kaye replied: “We do have as many people now working in our ‘passengers requiring support team’ as we had before the pandemic. We have seen demand has gone up significantly.   

“For passengers requiring wheelchair support we have more demand than we had before the pandemic.

“Now, why is that happening?  Some of this is because people are using the wheelchair support to try to get fast-tracked through airport. That is absolutely the wrong thing to do and we need to protect that for the people who most need help.”

When asked by Mr Ferrari: “So you mean people are flagrantly abusing the rules and pretending they need that when they don’t?”, Mr Holland-Kaye replied: “Absolutely and if you go on TikTok you will see that’s one of the travel hacks that people are recommending.”

He urged listeners: “Please don’t do that. We need to protect the service for the people who need it most.

“Half of the people who ask for the service only ask once they are on the plane. If you really need the service you will be letting us know well in advance.”

The Heathrow boss also told Mr Ferrari that delays were caused by passengers ‘travelling with more than they normally would’ and too few ground handlers to meet rising demand.

He said: “A lot of people are put off from checking in all of their makeup, for example, because they are worried about whether their bag will make the journey with them.”

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