Schiphol employees noticed an increase in travelers faking a disability and requesting special assistance to skip the long queues the airport has been dealing with in the past months. The number of requests for passenger assistance has increased by 35 percent since the May holidays, compared to the same period in 2019, AT5 reports.
There are two ways to explain the increase in requests, Schiphol spokesperson Madelon van der Hof said to the broadcaster. “Partly, it is because people have to wait longer and are therefore more likely to need physical assistance,” she said. “On the other hand, we also see that travelers use aids to avoid queues.”
“Of course, we have nothing good to say about the latter. It puts more pressure on the vulnerable group of travelers,” Van der Hof continued. For example, it can result in travelers with disabilities having to wait longer for assistance or insufficient wheelchairs.
According to Van der Hof, it is difficult for Schiphol to act against this. “We are legally obliged to provide assistance to anyone who asks for it. We are not allowed to ask for the reason for the request. Hence the call to people to only request assistance if they really need it.”