I was waiting in a long line to go through security at LAX when I noticed a woman in a wheelchair being pushed to the front of the line by a LAX airport security employee. After an hour long wait to get through security, I made it to my gate and noticed that the same woman was boarding my flight. The woman was first to board and it took two airport employees to get this passenger and her luggage settled on the plane.
The airline did a great job helping this disabled passenger through her entire boarding process.
When the plane landed in Dallas, this same passenger was first to stand up and push her way past passengers to bolt off the plane.
I saw her again in baggage claim hoisting her luggage off of the conveyor and quickly wheeling it out of the airport. Apparently, the plane flight cured her of whatever ailment she contracted upon entering the security line at LAX.
Cutting ahead of people for whatever reason is becoming an ever increasing occurrence at every airport.
Most percentage of people requesting wheelchair assistance at the airport truly need it.
However, there are a small minority of passengers that request a wheelchair so that they can get through security and board the plane faster. Airlines always have a wheelchair waiting for them at their final destination, however, it is seldom ever used as wheelchair assisted passengers are last to debark the plane.
Unlike having to have a handicap placard to park in a handicap spot or a note from your doctor when missing three days of school, anyone may reserve a wheelchair with assistance at every airport.
In my opinion, there is a difference between someone running late trying to make his flight and politely asking if they can jump ahead of you, and the person who acts like they have no clue that they just cut in line.
I have been asked on different occasions if it would be okay to jump in front of me. Usually, you can see the panic in this passengers eyes. I normally allow it if they have asked nicely. I have been in the same situation before and it’s not fun.
However, I am not a fan of a true line cutter. It’s a pet peeve of mine that goes back to waiting in line by last name alphabetical order at the water fountain after 3rd grade gym class. My kids bolt when they see someone cut in line because they know that I will call them out very adult-like with a “Hey, you cutted!”
A line cutter will react with one of two reactions:
The first reaction is what I call the “stupid” reaction. The cutter is so caught off guard that you actually said something about their line cutting that they do not know what to do so they react as if they had no clue that there was a line. “Ohhhhh, I didn’t know there was a line”.
The second reaction is what I call the “I’ve got” reaction. This is a premeditated line cutter as he has his excuse ready.
• “I’ve got bladder control issues”
• “I’ve got special permission”
• “I’ve got my grandma’s medicine”
• “I’ve got low blood sugar”, etc.
My retort is normally, “Well, you aren’t bleeding to death so get to the back of the line!”
It’s never okay to assume and cut in front of a line of passengers.
In my opinion, purposely cutting in line or faking a disability is a true character flaw showing dishonesty. If you are running late or need to jump ahead, ask politely. Most passengers understand and don’t mind if they feel you are being sincere.