Priority Boarding Scam: Frontier Airlines CEO Exposes Abuse of Wheelchair Service by Passengers

Denver, CO – Frontier Airlines is facing challenges with passengers abusing the company’s wheelchair service to gain priority boarding on flights. CEO Barry Biffle expressed concerns over the widespread abuse of special services during a luncheon in New York.

Frontier Airlines operates on a first-come-first-serve basis for seating, but those requesting wheelchair assistance are allowed to board before other passengers. Biffle highlighted instances where up to 20 people boarded a flight in a wheelchair, despite only 3 needing the service upon disembarking.

The Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 prohibits airlines from discriminating against individuals with disabilities, mandating safe carriage for all passengers. While the company is committed to providing wheelchair and mobility assistance to those in need, Biffle emphasized his frustration with passengers taking advantage of the service.

The abuse of wheelchair services not only poses challenges for other travelers but also incurs additional costs for the airline. Biffle cited the $30 to $35 expense for each customer requesting wheelchair assistance and noted that such misuse can lead to delays.

The issue extends beyond Frontier Airlines, with reports of similar incidents affecting other carriers like Southwest Airlines. Passengers have been observed faking injuries and disabilities to exploit priority boarding privileges, creating challenges for airport security and the airlines.

Instances of passengers exploiting wheelchair services have been documented on social media, prompting calls for stricter enforcement to prevent abuse. In response to the growing concerns, airline executives have expressed the need to address the issue to ensure the integrity of services for those who genuinely require assistance.

In light of the escalating problem, transport authorities and airline officials are exploring measures to deter misconduct and uphold the principles of equitable access to services. Efforts are underway to address the abuse of wheelchair services and maintain the integrity of boarding procedures at airports across the country.