5/29/14 Wheelchair Brigade


I travel at least three weeks of every month.  I’ve seen hundreds — maybe even thousands of people in airport wheelchairs.

There was a time when travelers being pushed around by airport employees were elderly.  Or had physical infirmities.  Using walkers, crutches or canes.

An advantage to being in a wheelchair is those passengers go to the head of the TSA line.  And they get to board their aircraft first.

I can’t imagine any traveler has a problem with this.

But wheelchair patrons have undergone a Benjamin Button transformation.  They’ve gone from elderly.  To older.  To middle-aged.

I’ve watched passengers who appear to be as young as in their late 40s or early 50s ride wheelchairs as if they’re on a theme park roller coaster.

Last week, I saw an airport employee who was clearly older than the couple he was simultaneously pushing around.  While juggling their bags.

I watched a young woman struggle pushing two wheelchairs.  Behind her was an older woman.  In a walking cast.  Using a cane.  I presumed she had too much pride to ask to be wheeled around.

And who knew that miracles occur on airplanes? Passengers who needed the wheelchair before the flight often walk past the chairs left for them at the destination.  Cured of their critical ailments.

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