Travel | July 27, 2022 2:06 pm

Heathrow CEO Claims Passengers Use This Vile TikTok Hack to Skip Lines

If you don't require a wheelchair to get through the airport, you should under no circumstances be requesting a wheelchair to get through the airport

A woman pushes a wheelchair at the airport. The Heathrow CEO claims people are using a vile TikTok hack involving wheelchairs.
Co-opting wheelchairs from people who actually need them is not a "travel hack."

If you’ve spent any amount of time in an airport this summer, you’ve likely experienced at least a portion of the chaos that’s become synonymous with flying as of late. It’s understandable that, at one point or another, you may have turned to the internet for guidance. And because there are no shortage of “travel hacks” in circulation these days, you may have even stumbled across a valuable tip.

What I know to be unequivocally true, however, is this: for every good and moral travel hack, there are 10 bad and immoral ones to match. For example, flight attendant-turned-TikToker Kat Kamalani has, on more than one occasion, caught flak for suggesting that passengers do dumb shit like use tissues instead of toilet paper on a plane, because they are “are softer and way better quality.” For obvious reasons, that’s bad. Later in the same clip, though, Kamalani also shows viewers how to raise the aisle seat armrest using a secret button located underneath, which allows the passenger to slide their legs around to the aisle and let their neighbor pass. Good!

But things have gone too far in a recent TikTok trend. In an interview with Leading Britain’s Conversation (LBC) radio station, CEO of Heathrow Airport John Holland-Kaye said that — thanks to one malevolent TikToker — there has been an uptick in able-bodied passengers requesting wheelchairs in an effort to bypass the mayhem.

“For passengers requiring wheelchair support we have more demand than we had before the pandemic,” Holland-Kaye said. “Why is that happening? Some of this is because people are using the wheelchair support to try to get fast-tracked through the airport. That is absolutely the wrong thing to be doing.”

“If you go on TikTok, you’ll see that that is one of the travel hacks that people are recommending,” he added. Per a report from Insider, a spokesperson for Heathrow confirmed that it’s been happening across other airports as well. This comes on the back of several reports that disabled passengers have been left stranded at terminals, some for hours, in the absence of adequate mobility equipment.

Now, to be explicitly clear, requesting a wheelchair to get yourself through security quicker when you do not actually require a wheelchair is not a “travel hack.” It does not make you a savvy traveler. It makes you an asshole. Don’t do this.