Denver International Airport is the subject of myriad conspiracy theories, as the recent fears about a Russian military takeover made clear. But the truth at DIA is sometimes stranger than fiction. We ran down a list of crazy airport stories in Off Limits this week. Of course, they're not flattering, so DIA spokeswoman Jenny Schiavone provided three "nice" airport tales. Count them down below.
Number 3: Love in the skies
The construction of DIA took a little longer than expected (it opened in 1995), but that provided some extra time for love. Former DIA spokesman Chuck Cannon recalls the wedding of Channel 4 traffic reporter Luan Akin and Skip Guarini, a member of the team that oversaw safety issues during construction. "They met while Akin was doing a story on the construction and they began dating," he recalls. "One day, unbeknownst to Luan, Skip arranged for a group of her friends and airport employees, together with a minister, to congregate on Runway 34. The Channel 4 helicopter pilot (I think it was Mike Silva) told Luan that he had to go to DIA to check something out. He landed the chopper on the runway and they proceeded to get married. They had obviously obtained a marriage license earlier, but had not set a specific date. It was all a surprise to Luan, and I think they're still married today."
Number 2: Swarm!
In the middle of a normal summer afternoon in July 2010, thousands of bees suddenly swarmed a passenger drop-off area located next to Frontier Airlines curbside check-in and a main entryway into the terminal. DIA's Operations and Environmental groups responded, roped off the area surrounding the swarm and called in a local bee keeper for help. The bee keeper knew he'd be able to relocate the swarm, but had to wait until nightfall to safely accomplish this. Several local news outlets camped out throughout the afternoon and evening to get the story.
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Number 1: What a feeling!
Holiday travelers were surprised last November with an entertaining treat when a flash mob broke out in Jeppesen Terminal two days before Thanksgiving, one of the busiest travel days of the year. Approximately 100 dancers from Community-Minded Dance (cmDance) performed a Lindy Hop to a medley of Swing classics in the airport's Great Hall. Passengers arriving from the concourse train platforms, as well as visitors waiting to pick up loved ones, were pleasantly shocked by the jumping, jiving and wailing that sprang up around them. DIA posted a video of the event on YouTube and Facebook, sparking a viral sensation. The video received over a million views and became the airport's feel-good holiday story of the year.
More from our Strange but True achive: "Man selling motorcycle on Craigslist to pay for wife's boob job."