Travel and Clothing Company, Surf Patch, Reacts to Passengers Attempting to Flyclear of Security by Exploiting Wheelchair Law

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More and more people today require the use of wheelchairs to board but don’t seem to need them after they arrive at their destinations. This is because passengers in wheelchairs are required to cut ahead of the lines to check in and healthy people are exploiting this rule.

On October 10, 2012, Surfpatch, a company that enables pre-screening for passengers in order for them to flyclear at the airport released a statement in response to the story revealing several passengers who use wheelchairs .

According to an article from the New York Times, an increasing number of travelers ask for assistance in wheelchairs simply to cut the long lines at airports. These passengers are exploiting the federal Air Carrier Access Act, which mandates airports to provide assistance for disabled people upon request. The practice has become a real time saver. In fact, New York Times reported on this as it happened, “But one couple had a different experience. Pushed along in the wheelchairs each airline provides by request, they whizzed past the line to a specially designated and briskly efficient Transportation Security Administration screener. Once cleared, the woman suddenly sprang up from her wheelchair, hoisted two huge carry-on bags from the magnetometer’s conveyor belt and plopped back in the wheelchair. She gave a nod to the person pushing her, and they rolled off to the gate.”

This shameful misuse continues as a direct result of the “don’t ask don’t tell” attitude of these employees. The article includes that these employees earn about $ 9-14 per hour and the occasional tip from travelers looking to cut the long line is welcomed. And there is no way of telling if a person is faking it because disabilities aren’t’ always visible.

It seems to work on one end but the down side of it is the increasing number of wheelchairs that are left empty when fights arrive, directly because of travelers trying to flyclear of the long lines.

Takara Licausi, spoke on behalf of Surf Patch by adding, “It is unethical to fake a disability; people need to stop out of respect for the disabled and to protect their rights.” Surf Patch offers the ability to cut lines while traveling through separate checkpoints, all you have to do is sign up.

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Scott Darrohn
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