"United Airlines corridor, Chicago O'Hare Airport" by InSapphoWeTrust is licensedunder CC BY-SA 2.0
We all know the scene: the minute pax begin to disembark the aircraft, it's all out pandemonium - a sprint to the airport exit as quickly as humanly possible.
One American dodged the race to the baggage carousel and chose instead to make Chicago’s O’Hare airport his home away from home where he remained undetected for months.
Thirty-five-year-old Aditya Singh was found living at ORD.
In a scene reminiscent of the Tom Hanks movie The Terminal, a California man consumed by fear of COVID ended up living in a secure area of O’Hare International Airport for three months, too afraid to return home to Los Angeles, reported The Guardian.
According to prosecutors, Aditya Singh arrived on a flight from LAX to ORD on 19OCT, 2020. Nearly three months later, he was approached by two United Airlines employees who asked to see identification. Singh allegedly showed them an airport ID badge that had been reported missing by its owner, an airport operations manager, on 26OCT. After finding Singh, the United Airlines employees called 911 and police took him into custody.
Assistant state attorney Kathleen Hagerty said Singh found the badge in the airport and was “scared to go home due to COVID." Singh has a master’s degree in hospitality, is unemployed and lives with roommates in Orange, Los Angeles, according to assistant public defender Courtney Smallwood.
Cook County judge Susana Ortiz was appalled that ORD housed the uninvited roomie for so long.
“The court finds these facts and circumstances quite shocking for the alleged period of time that this occurred,” said Ortiz. “Being in a secured part of the airport under a fake ID badge allegedly, based upon the need for airports to be absolutely secure so that people feel safe to travel, I do find those alleged actions do make him a danger to the community.”
The 36-year-old man was arrested this weekend and charged with criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and theft. His bail was set at US$1,000 and should he be able to post bail, he is barred from entering the airport.
The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) said in a statement: “While this incident remains under investigation, we have been able to determine that this gentleman did not pose a security risk to the airport or to the traveling public. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners on a thorough investigation of this matter.”
No word yet on whether Tom Hanks is looking at buying the movie rights to the man’s story.
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.