- California Doubling: A literal example in that the interior set was built in a large hanger at the LA/Palmdale Regional Airport. Exterior scenes were filmed at Montreal's now-closed Mirabel Airport.
- Life Imitates Art: The plot of the movie got certain Hilarious in Hindsight vibes after Edward Snowden, having leaked confidential CIA documents, got himself stuck in the Moscow airport, his US passport revoked. For several weeks, he was in no position to either leave for another country or enter Russia soil proper until finally being offered asylum in Russia.
- Unintentional Period Piece: Seen from a late 2010s perspective, the movie evokes an era:
- ... before the retail apocalypse, when Brookstone and Borders still existed and did a brisk business.
- ... when there were still plenty of payphones to use, and while many people had cellphones they were used primarily for voice telephony (no one in the movie bothers to text anyone!), as smartphones had not yet arrived.
Trivia / The Terminal