Frontier Airlines Grapples With Alleged Wheelchair Service Abuse As Travel Surges

As the Memorial Day weekend approaches, Frontier Airlines is confronting what it claims to be a growing issue of passengers exploiting wheelchair services to cut pre-boarding lines, raising concerns about the impact on travelers with genuine needs.

CEO Barry Biffle addressed the topic at an industry luncheon on Thursday, stating, “There is massive, rampant abuse of special services. There are people using wheelchair assistance who don’t need it at all.” Biffle shared an anecdote about witnessing 20 passengers boarding a flight using wheelchairs, but only three requiring assistance upon arrival.

The alleged abuse of these services, which cost the airline between $30 and $35 per passenger, not only strains resources but also contributes to delays for travelers who legitimately require assistance. Frontier Airlines believes that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and airlines find themselves in a challenging position when it comes to managing this issue.

The carrier told Fox Business that “there is widespread abuse among passengers using wheelchair services to move to the front of security lines and obtain priority boarding on flights.” Some passengers have reportedly faked injuries to take advantage of these accommodations.