When security lines get long at Kennedy International Airport, workers brace themselves for a rush of wheelchair requests. A lot of passengers have realized that because no actual proof of an ailment is required to request a wheelchair, anyone in a hurry can do so and zip straight to the front of the line, workers tell the New York Times. One wheelchair pusher says she's seen customers blatantly step out of line in front of her and ask for a chair.
Many keep right on rolling until they get on the plane, since passengers in wheelchairs board first. This happens so often that flight attendants refer to "miracle flights," in which as many as a dozen passengers board on wheelchairs, then leave on foot. "Not only do we serve them beverages and ensure their safety—now we're healing the sick," one attendant quips. But airlines seem content to let some cheaters through. "We respect our passengers," says a spokeswoman for one industry group, "and we trust their integrity."