American traveler stayed in Taiwan's Taoyuan airport for 3 days and didn't want to go home
Taiwan's Taoyuan airport is ranked the 17th best airport in the world in the 2015 Best Airport Awards compiled by Skytrax. It is also ranked the best for airport staff, 6th best for transit passengers, 8th for airport amenities, and 9th for shopping. No wonder an American transit traveler decided to linger around the Taoyuan airport and refused to leave.
The unnamed American traveler, shown in the photo, was a transit passenger who was en route from Vietnam to the U.S. She should have changed her plane at the Taoyuan airport, but instead of boarding her next flight, she entered Taiwan. (Americans can enter Taiwan as tourists without a visa.)
After visiting Taiwan for over a week, she used up her money and had no place to stay. She returned to the airport and stayed there for three days before the security staff discovered her situation. During the three days, she spent her time enjoying free services such as wi-fi, music, computer games, free food tastings, and slept on the chairs when she got tired. Reportedly she appeared to be quite happy at the airport.
When authorities contacted the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT, which functions like a consulate.) AIT offered to loan her the funds for a return ticket to the U.S. She actually refused. Ultimately it took a lot of effort to get her on the flight home. AIT also canceled her passport to prevent her from getting away again.
The unusual incident occurred in January. The interesting story also caught the attention of the Foodamentals site whose foodie-blogger reported it with a very funny headline: "An American Decides to Stay in the Taiwan-Taoyuan Airport for Three Days and Proceeds to Eat at Every Airport Restaurant." The writer also claims that the Taoyuan airport has the best beef noodle soup.
It would seem that the Taoyuan airport should also rank as a best airport for a long layover.