The situation at London’s Heathrow airport has gotten so bad that airlines were recently asked to stop flights through the busy hub. Bags have gone missing, connections have been missed, and people who need assistance getting to the gate have been left to wait for extremely long hours. When it comes to the latter issue, Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye says that a TikTok “hack” is partly to blame.
On LBC radio, Holland-Kaye said that 20 wheelchair passengers were forced to wait for someone to take them through immigration in a room with “no air conditioning; these people sitting there knowing it was an absolute disgrace.” This is despite the fact that there are the same number of wheelchair assistance personnel today as there were before the pandemic. Holland-Kaye told the radio program that the issue is that people who don’t need assistance are requesting wheelchairs to get out of the extremely long lines, as depicted in a viral TikTok posted in June.
“Why is that happening? Some of this is because people are using the wheelchair support to try to get fast-track through the airport,” Holland-Kaye said, adding, “If you go on TikTok, you’ll see that that is one of the travel hacks that people are recommending. Please don’t do that.”
@wolfjenko Amazing what taking one sock off can achieve 😂✈️ #holiday #wheelchair #vip #foryoupage #foryou #prank #funny #fypシ ♬ original sound – WolfJenko
The video in question was posted on June 21 by user @wolfjenko. He explains that he faked hiring his leg to get through security faster on his way back from Ibiza. He gets a wheelchair, is expedited through security, uses the extra time to mix a “cheeky bevy” of sprite and vodka in a paper coffee cup, and then laughs as a gate agent pushes him to his seat. At the end of the video, he puts his shoes back on and walks out the airport doors on the other side.
“Amazing what taking one sock off can achieve,” he wrote in the caption.
Commenters were quick to call him out.
“This really isn’t funny, there are some of us that really actually need this!!!” user Nicola Giles commented.
“Be careful because what goes around comes back around,” Shanaya commented. “Coming from a wheelchair user.”
Some pointed out that things like this are what put people who actually need these services into a tight spot.
“This is why people like me who ‘look healthy’ but are really sick and need a chair get harassed at the airport, please don’t do this,” user sav commented.
Needless to say, no matter how bad the airport is during this chaotic summer travel season, this is one TikTok hack you should not be trying.