Living in an airport

Lots of folks feel like they live at the airport some times. After four or five trips in a week and a similar number of trips through the security line, the idea of just living there might not seem so bad.

Welcome to the life of Eram Dar, one of the more than one hundred people who lives at London’s Heathrow airport. He day is apparently similar to that of many other passengers, standing in line to buy coffee in the morning and maybe a lunch as well. Window shopping fills the time many days. She even has a favorite spot to sleep every night, between the currency exchange booth and the ice cream vending machine.

The builders who work overnight at the airport are very kind and don’t report the homeless to the authorities. The cleaners turn a blind eye, too.

In the mornings, when I get up, I wash and change my clothes so I don’t stand out from the crowds. I look like a passenger most of the time. Sometimes, people ask me which flight I am about to catch.

I try to make plans for the future, but that’s difficult when you have next to nothing and live at an international airport. Yet most of the time I am happy.

In a world where finding a warm and safe place to sleep at night is less than common for the homeless, the airports are generally clean and quiet, assuming you can tune out the repetitive security announcements. And for some folks, it is the only reasonable option they have. Too bad security throws them out after determining that they aren’t actually passengers.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

One Comment

  1. Interesting that in the land of Big Brother they havent identified these guys.

    Once I took a flash-picture in the London Tube (not knowing its suposedly forbidden , in fact after what happened I looked at there was not a single sign that said it ) ……and it took exactly 3 seconds from shooting the pic till I heard “Customers are reminded that taking flash pictures is forbidden”

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