The difference in Figgie's situation is that she's just reminding the airport employee of an already-agreed-upon arrangement that she purchased with her ticket - the right to preboard using the aisle chair. She's not asking for a special accommodation at the expense of the other passengers, or demanding something she's already been told isn't possible. I can absolutely see why you'd want to keep yourself visible during the pre-boarding madness, ready to move quickly in case something goes awry. Ultimately, having your needs met will allow the rest of the passengers to board more quickly and efficiently also.
I just wanted to point out that a lot of the examples in that article did not come "at the expense" of other people. This kind of thing obviously doesn't work to conjure one extra apple pie at the bakery that has run out, but but it might do the trick when there's a gap between 'what's possible' and 'what's preferable' (for the party in charge). Naturally airlines do not want to book you a last minute ticket on their competitor, and would rather inconvenience you the passenger rather than lose money. But it is possible
for them to do so. Extra (subtle) pressure, empathy, tenacity - or whatever the combination - could be the thing that gets you home in time for the funeral or not, and I don't think it's rude to try. Rude would be making a scene, yelling, and demanding. This requires none of those. In my earlier example, I caused a person to *gasp* walk down the hall and check to see if my passport was done. There was certainly no cost to the worker.