With a tangled web of immigration laws, the country you’re in when you’re visiting international airports or on a flight is a surprisingly tricky question.
By Darren Orf
International airports are hubs dotted around the world for ferrying passengers from country to country. But in that moment of transition, past the customs gate but before landing at your destination, what country are you technically in? Most likely, the answer you think is wrong.
Typically this question is more of a thought experiment, but Wendover Productions walks though a scenarios of what could happen if passengers became entangled in a criminal incident while technically in the jurisdiction of two or even more countries. For example, what happens if you’re on an Aer Lingus flight, that flew out of Paris, departing for New York when a crime occurred over Canadian air space. What country are you technically in?
Questions get even weirder when you consider international airports like Dublin, which allow you to go through U.S. customs in Dublin before flying to America. Although you’re technically past U.S. customs (and thus in the U.S.), you still reside on Irish soil. Some scenarios require so much mental gymnastics, you might want to take notes. That, or go watch The Terminal instead.
Video credit: Wendover Productions
Image credit: chuttersnap via Unsplash
This article was originally written for and published by Popular Mechanics USA.