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Heathrow bosses are blaming social media for the ongoing travel chaos at airports.
The airport’s chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, claims passengers are pretending to be disabled to avoid horrific queues during the summer getaway mayhem.
Wheelchair demand has “significantly increased” since the “travel hack” was unveiled on TikTok.
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One user “faked hurting his leg to get through security quicker” on a plane home from Ibiza.
Another posted a “step-by-step” guide on social media showing how to make the “hack” convincing.
Mr Holland-Kaye said: “We do have as many people now working in our ‘passengers requiring a support’ team as we had before the pandemic.
“We’ve seen demand has gone up significantly.
“For passengers requiring wheelchair support, we have more demand than we had before the pandemic.
“Why is that happening? Some of this is because people are using the wheelchair support to try and get FastTrack through the airport.
“And we need to protect that for the people who most need help.”
It comes as huge snaking queues continue to dominate many of the nation’s airports as desperate passengers try to make their school summer holiday flights.
He added: “If you go on TikTok that is one of the travel hacks people are recommending.
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“Please don’t do that, we need to protect the service for the people who need it most.
“The second thing is half of all the people who ask for the service only ask once they’re on the plane.
“If you really need the service, you’ll be better letting us know well in advance so we can make sure there are enough people there to meet your needs.”
Bosses at Birmingham airport also reported a 20% rise in people asking for assistance.
The airport says it has had to buy more wheelchairs and take on extra staff to push them.
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