Aditya Singh, 36 from California claims his fear of flying and catching COVID-19 led to him making himself literally at home in Chicago O’ Hare airport for three months.
He was arrested over the weekend after initially arriving at the airport on October 19, last year.
He could still be living there if two United Airline employees had not requested him to show his ID. His long airport layover abruptly came to an end when he showed them the one he had gotten by on that was lost by an airport employee and had been reported missing.
Cook County Judge Susana Ority told the court she was astounded that this situation had occurred.
‘You’re telling me that an unauthorized, non-employee allegedly living within a secure part of the O’Hare airport terminal from 10th October, 2020 to 16th January, 2021, and was not detected? I want to understand you correctly,’ she said. ‘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.’
However Singh didn’t cause any issues for travelers in Chicago during his “stop over.” A fact that was reiterated by the judge. In fact passers-by had been kindly giving him food to live off, completely unaware that he had made himself a permanent residence at the airport.
Singh’s airport experience is the kind movies are made of akin to Tom Hank’s “The Terminal” except set in the midst of a global pandemic.
Singh, reportedly a college graduate with a master’s degree in hospitality needs to post $1000 bail but he will not be able to return to the airport he made his home as he has been banned.
The Chicago Department of Aviation issued a statement to appease passengers that Singh had not posed a security risk.
“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,” a spokesperson reassured.
Taking into account his immense fear of contracting Coronavirus through air travel, Singh should probably consider a different kind of transportation to get him to his final destination.