A PENSIONER couple from Poole are reportedly living at Heathrow Airport after falling into financial difficulties.

Alan Lane, 71, and Katrina Smith, 62, are due to appear on ITV talk show Loose Women on Monday, meanwhile an appeal on funding website gofundme.com has raised more than £9,000 to help them out.

A spokesman for the airport said the Heathrow Travel Care team often dealt with homeless people taking advantage of the warmth and facilities laid on for travellers, but the couple had not yet contact them.

“We do help homeless people, find them temporary accommodation and help them get back on their feet,” the spokesman said.

“But our guys haven't spoken to this couple, they would be hard to identify as homeless and they haven't spoken to us.”

He said airport staff would be searching for the couple today.

Mr Lane and Ms Smith, whose former home in Poole is now worth nearly £500,000, told a national newspaper they are among a growing number of middle-class people living at the airport.

Ms Smith, a former nanny, told the paper: “I don't know if the airport staff suspect we're staying here - if they did, they could move us on - but we look presentable. That's in our favour.

“And there are others like us; we're a little community. But we only acknowledge each other's presence with a sideways glance.”

She said she and Mr Lane, a communications consultant who still works from the airport coffee shop, moved around the terminals to evade staff.

“We spread ourselves thinly. We don't want to stick out.”

The couple, who have been together for 28 years, put their situation down to a run of bad luck and poor choices - Mr Lane having been made redundant twice.

The first time they had to sell their £265,000 home in Poole.

The paper reports the couple now have an income of £1,400 a month, of which £300 is spent on paying for storage for their furniture and £485 goes towards a £20,000 bank loan they took out in 2011.

This isn't the first time Mr Lane has hit the headlines. In July 2006 the Daily Echo reported how the businessman was caught up in the crisis in Lebanon. He was eventually rescued by the destroyer HMS York.