There have been some LONG waits at the TSA security checkpoints this summer. The waits seem to have improved some, but you can still find some hot spots at airports across the country, without looking too hard.
Case in point, you’ve probably read recently that the queues for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) were out of this world not too long ago. Here’s the ATL security lines on October 9th:
Atlanta Airport’s security lines were so bad this morning. 😱 pic.twitter.com/yNmc1C6I5Z
— Everything Georgia (@GAFollowers) October 9, 2022
Even the CLEAR queue, which tends to be the shortest option at most airports, was MONDO LONG just the day before that:
Clear pre-check isn't worth it anymore. This was the 'CLEAR' line at Atlanta Airport. pic.twitter.com/5QRPpBPob9
— Everything Georgia (@GAFollowers) October 8, 2022
It turns out that some wheelchair attendants may be using those long queues to their advantage.
I was perusing one of my travel-related Facebook groups the other day when I saw a post that made me stop in my tracks. Paraphrased, it said:
Atlanta is one hustling city! So everybody knows that Hartsfield-Jackson ATL is the busiest airport in the world, right? I mean, even the CLEAR and TSA Precheck lines have had a 30+ minute wait. So as I’m waiting and praying we don’t miss our flight, a guy walks up beside me and whispers, “Wheelchairs 2 for $30.”
Turns outs this man works for the airport in the extra assistance department and was selling wheelchair rides to cut the line! So long story short, if you saw me and my guy being pushed through the airport in wheelchairs with our kids walking beside us, just know we caught our flight with 45min to spare — at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Y’all, I just shook my head. Not so much that the person took the guy up on his offer, but that wheelchair agent was doing it in the first place.
OK yes, I know that everyone’s got a hustle. People make stuff and sell it on Etsy. Others drive for Uber or Lyft. Still others shovel their neighbors’ snow in the winter. All of them hustles, side hustles, you name it.
But there’s a nationwide shortage of wheelchair agents at airports all across the country. People requiring wheelchairs have had to wait for long periods of time for someone to pick them up, because there aren’t enough agents to go around. And this guy is offering his wheelchairs to able-bodied people for money, so they can skip the queues? It’s just as bad as the selfish people who request wheelchair service when they don’t need it, again, to skip the queues.
But meanwhile, as he escorted these two people, who can walk just fine, to their gate, two other people who truly couldn’t negotiate an airport on their own, were probably sitting there, waiting for a wheelchair agent who was making an extra buck – on company time, no less!
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary