History Faculty Publications

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Publication Source

The Conversation


In January, local authorities arrested a 36-year-old man named Aditya Singh after he had spent three months living at Chicago’s O'Hare International Airport. Since October, he had been staying in the secure side of the airport, relying on the kindness of strangers to buy him food, sleeping in the terminals and using the many bathroom facilities. It wasn’t until an airport employee asked to see his ID that the jig was up.

Singh, however, is far from the first to pull off an extended stay. After more than two decades studying the history of airports, I’ve come across stories about individuals who have managed to take up residence in terminals for weeks, months and sometimes years.

Interestingly, though, not all of those who find themselves living in an airport do so of their own accord.

Document Version



The document available for download is the author's manuscript of the article that appeared on the Conversation website. It is provided in compliance with the publisher's policy on self-archiving. Permission documentation is on file.


The Conversation US

Included in

History Commons