Rich Thomaselli

Are they scamming the airline? Many people are wondering
about Southwest Airlines’ wheelchair policy after one passenger became livid on
a recent flight.

A Florida man’s post on social media went viral after he
counted more than 20 people who needed wheelchair assistance to board a
Southwest flight, but only three needed assistance when departing the plane. 

The man accused all airlines of being hit by the pre-boarding
scam and received dozens of replies supporting his opinion.

Southwest responded on Twitter by saying, “Since many
disabilities aren’t visible, we are unable to question the validity of
pre-boarding requests.” 

In other words, airlines are relying on the integrity of

Southwest offers accessible
travel assistance
, including wheelchair service. The policy states
travelers “must identify themselves as needing wheelchair assistance upon
arrival to the airport, at any connection points and upon arrival to their
destination. Wheelchair assistance is available from airport to/from gates and
between gates for connecting flights.”

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