10 People Who Lived in an Airport for Months

by Aleena Khan2 months ago

6 Edward Snowden hid for 40 days in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport.

Edward Snowden
Snowden departed from the Moscow airport on August starting, following a 40-day stay in the transit section. Image Credit: Wikimedia.org

When American whistleblower Edward Snowden was on the run, he lived in an airport to shield himself from the law. He found refuge in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport on 23 June 2013 and stayed hidden from journalists and the outside world in the transit area of the airport.

As he had arrived from Hong Kong with no luggage, his lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, gave him clothes, shoes, a Russian-English dictionary, and some books.

Snowden would spend his days reading literature and learning the Russian language while anxiously waiting for asylum.

After much deliberation, Russia gave him temporary asylum for a year.

Consequently, Snowden left the airport after 40 days in hiding to stay with his American friends for the time being. (1,2)

7 Gary Peter Austin spent 25 days, including his Christmas & new year’s eve, in a dilapidated terminal of Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Philippines.

Gary Peter returned to England after 25 days
Gary Peter returned to England after 25 days. Image Credit: Rappler/Youtube.com

Gary Peter was due to return to England after spending his holidays in the Philippines from 29 November 2012. But his e-ticket got canceled, and with no money left to book another flight, he had no option but to live in Terminal 1 of Philippines Ninoy Aquino International Airport until help arrived.

Unlike modern-day airport facilities, Terminal 1 of NAIA had a crumbling interior with no place to sleep or store luggage.

Despite the lack of amenities, Gary had a positive experience living there, thanks to the helpful staff of the airport. The staff collectively donated money to help him buy food, while a watchwoman, Mary Ann Montilla, even invited Gary to her home for Christmas Eve.

Even his return to England after 25 days was sponsored by a Manila-based Dutch chef, Jeroen Van Straten, who visited him at the airport to give the needed fare. (1,2)


8 Bayram Tepeli lived in Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport for 27 Years!

Bayram Tepeli
Bayram Tepeli resided within Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport for a duration of 27 years. Image Credit: Milliyet.com.tr

Bayram Tepeli was 26 years old when he ran away from his family in Bursa, Turkey in 1991 and in Istanbul. He started working as a cleaner at Ataturk Airport, and with no place to live, he started living in the airport after his shift. Even after he quit his job due to health issues, he continued to live in the airport for a total of 27 years.

It was his home, and everyone there, from shopkeepers to civil servants, took good care of him. However, the Ataturk Airport was shut down in 2019, and Bayram had to move out of his home of almost three decades. However, the man moved to Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen airport in 2022. (1,2)


9 Aditya Singh spent three months living and masquerading as an operations manager in Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport in October 2020

Aditya Singh
Aditya Singh resided unnoticed in Chicago airport for a period spanning three months. Image Credit: Chicago Police Department

Aditya Singh was afraid to go to India because of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, he didn’t board his connecting flight at  Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and decided to live in the airport instead.

He stole the ID badge of an operations manager at the airport and remained undetected for three months, living in the secured terminal of the airport.

His hide-out was exposed when two airline staff asked him to show his identification. Aditya was prepared for such a situation and produced the stolen badge. However, he was caught and taken into police custody on 16 January 2021.

He was later released on bond and was found not guilty of his charges of felony trespassing and misdemeanor theft in October 2021. (1,2)


10 Heinz Muller camped at Brazil’s Viracopos-Campinas International Airport for 13 days after being ghosted by his online lover.

Heinz Muller's journey of love leads to a temporary home in Brazil's airport before departure
Heinz Muller’s journey of love leads to a temporary home in Brazil’s airport before departure. Image Credit: Representational Image

Heinz Muller had flown all the way from Germany and arrived in Rio de Janeiro on 2 October 2009, to meet the woman he met online and fell in love with.

But the woman didn’t show up, and Muller was left heartbroken. As he had no money left, he started living in Brazil’s Viracopos-Campinas International Airport and continued to stay there for 13 days.

No one in the airport minded his presence as he didn’t cause any trouble and passed his time sitting and wandering around the airport. But that was not enough for authorities to let him stay there forever. He was eventually whisked away from the airport for a psychological evaluation towards the end of October and finally left Brazil on February 5. (1,2,3)

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