Spanish Tourist Pulls a Tom Hanks, Lives in Chilean Airport for Two Months


Photo: Megavision

This isn’t so much about sleeping in airports as it is about living in airports. For more than two months, Radrigo Ben-Azul has been stranded at Chile’s Santiago de Chile Airport after he ran out money. He can’t afford to get back to Spain, so he decided to live in the airport until he can muster up some cash to get home.

Like something right out of the movies (we’re thinking Tom Hanks in The Terminal), Ben-Azul found himself in this predicament after arriving in South American country to take care of some family business. The business didn’t go so well for him and now he’s stuck waiting for relatives to send him enough money for a plane ticket. It’s been over eight weeks (including Christmas and New Year) and counting, so we guess his family didn’t work out the problems he came to resolve in the first place.

When he was interviewed by Chilean TV station Megavision, he explained: “I am trying to return to Spain. I’m waiting for them to send me money for the ticket.”

To make some extra coin, Ben-Azul returns abandoned luggage trolleys in order to claim the money. For food, he dumpster dives, and after his hardy meals, smokes discarded cigarette butts. At the end of the day, you’ll find him curled up in a small corner, having a snooze.

What would you do if you had a super-extended layover at the airport? What’s the longest period of time you’ve been stuck in the airport lobby? Do you think he should start up a Kickstarter fund to raise money for a return ticket? Please leave your stories in the comments section below.


Photo: Megavision


About Amy Tokic

A huge fan of free Wi-Fi in airport lounges, Amy Tokic usually fills the 3-hour wait time before her flight leaves by catching up on her writing assignments. She misses those little packages of peanuts they used to give out on flights and doesn’t mind sitting in the aisle seat. Amy likes writing about the sordid underbelly of airport intrigue with strange and usual stories that probably won’t make the 6 o’clock news.

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