Photographers Bored & Stranded At The Airport … Funny Or Illegal?

Being stuck in an airport overnight is not what most people consider fun … so how did automotive photographers Joe Ayala and Larry Chen deal with their unexpected overnight stay after their flight out of Dallas – Fort Worth International Airport’s (DFW) was canceled? They made a humourous video of their adventures in an empty terminal that some people don’t find so funny … and some scenes appear to be downright illegal.


Ayala and Chen’s video documents the two stranded travelers misadventures through DFW and while the video doesn’t show Ayala and Chen breaching any security zones, or being in any locations that would involve the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) … and while some complain that the video shows a complete lack of security, that is likely caused by editing. DFW has security cameras, security patrols, facilities personnel and police in the airport who only intervene if they need to … wheel chair racing and running on escalators in an empty airport is not threat to security and probably happens fairly often with stranded passengers seeking to entertain themselves .  The video however does show a complete lack of the airport’s inability to secure at least one restaurant after the airport has closed its retail outlets for the evening.


Personally, as someone who has spent countless nights sleeping in airports, many in ‘post-security areas, I’ve witnessed people wheel chair racing, playing with PA systems at the gate, skateboarding, running up & down escalators the wrong way, performing gymnastics on seats, even a guy riding his unicycle up and down the escalator at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. These stranded passenger antics generally go on with very little interference by security. So while I find Ayala and Chen’s video quite amusing, I am concerned about one thing, how did they get into the Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen?


Generally sit down restaurants in airports, especially those with a full bar, have doors, or a sliding gate, that is locked when they close up for the night.  In this video Ayala and Chen enter the Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, enter the kitchen to find a glass, and then walk behind the bar to pour a beer, while standing under a rack of liquor.


When shown Ayala and Chen’s video, Betty J. Culbreath, a member of DFW’s Board of Directors stated, “It’s not funny. It’s not going to happen again as far as I’m concerned. It should not have happened because it gives the perception the airport is sitting out there unguarded and that’s why I was concerned, and am still concerned.”


So … when DFW Board Member Culbreath addresses the airport’s board about security, she needs to address how the airport is securing the premises of DFW’s retail tenants, because pretty much everything else is fairly normal in the middle of the night for stranded passengers in large airports.


The video is posted below … if you’ve ever slept in an airport, I’m sure you’ve had thoughts of doing some of these things yourself.


Happy Flying!


  1. This is a pro video! IT has nothing to do with security. It’s impossible for them without the proper equipment and personal to get a footage like that without lighting, tripods, even rollerskater board cam based. It’s impossible for a couple who was stranded at the airport. There are more to this story than it is telling!

  2. I have done better than before at JFK. Changing the electric signage and much interesting hijnks (for an FFer at leat). Just wasn’t foolish enough to videotape it.

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