Man Cleared Of Tresspass For Living In O’Hare Airport For 3 Months

A man who lived in Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport for three months has been cleared of trespassing charges. The man, Aditya Singh, remained airside after skipping a flight, allegedly due to fear of COVID, and relied on travelers to purchase food and essentials. Let’s find out more about the case.

American Airlines at O'Hare
The man was found living in Chicago O’Hare from October 2020 to January 2021 without any detection. Photo: Getty Images

Not a crime

According to The Chicago Tribune, a judge has found a man living in Chicago O’Hare Airport for three months not guilty of trespassing. The court found that Aditya Singh, 37, did not breach restricted airport areas without permission and, therefore, will not face punishment for felony criminal trespassing.

The news came after a TSA investigation came to a familiar finding about Singh’s extended stay at the airprt. A TSA spokesperson said,

“Mr. Singh did not breach or improperly enter secured areas — he arrived there like tens of thousands of arriving passengers do every day, by stepping off a plane. While we won’t speculate on Mr. Singh’s motivations, he decided to remain in the secure area and made every effort to blend in as a passenger and airline employee until his arrest.”

Chicago O'Hare Terminal
Since Singh entered the terminal area as a regular passenger, his overstay does not constitute trespassing. Photo: Getty Images

However, Singh is not out of the woods just yet. On Friday, he will come before the court again over an escape charge related to electronic monitoring while he was out on bond earlier this year after his arrest. If this case is also dismissed, Singh might finally be able to take his 12 month-delayed flight back to India. So what exactly happened?

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The Terminal?

Many incidents over the last year have drawn comparisons to Tom Hank’s iconic 2004 film ‘The Terminal.’ With travelers stuck in terminals for weeks or months due to changing travel restrictions, many have faced hardship due to the pandemic. However, Aditya Singh’s case is a bit different.

Singh boarded a flight from Los Angeles to Chicago on October 19th, 2020, with plans to fly back home to India. He entered the US on a student visa and completed a master’s degree from Oklahoma State University in the summer of 2019. With his visa coming to an end, he decided to return home.

United B787-9
Singh decided that he was too scared to fly back to India and decided to camp out in the airport instead. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

However, after his first flight, Singh claims that a fear of flying due to COVID set in. He opted to skip the onward flight and live at O’Hare Airport instead. He did so successfully from October 19th to January 16th, 2021, living off food from travelers and some staff. However, he was discovered by two United employees in January, who asked to see his ID, and he produced a missing ID from an operations manager.

Despite the extended layover, it seems he committed no crimes by staying in O’Hare. While he is up for separate charges, for now, Singh might be on his way back to freedom like Tom Hanks’ character.

What do you think about Aditya Singh’s story? Let us know in the comments!