In the 2004 movie The Terminal, Tom Hanks stars as an eastern immigrant who finds himself stranded in the JFK airport.
His country goes into revolution while he’s en route. Upon landing in New York, he finds himself without a country—or at least one that the US government can recognize. He is denied entry, but cannot be deported until his status is fixed.
Though he doesn’t speak English very well, he somehow adapts to his temporary residence in the airport.
The film was partially inspired by the 17-year-stay of Mehran Karimi Nasseri in the Charles de Gaulle International Airport, Terminal I, Paris, France from 1988 to 2006.
If I were to get stuck in an airport, I would choose Hong Kong where I can eat tonkatsu
buy clothes at Zara or Giordano
or hang out in the Cathay Pacific lounge, where there are decent restrooms and showers, and hopefully they won’t kick me out.
One of my goals this year is to visit Seoul as well as experience the number one airport in the world, Incheon.
Wouldn’t mind being stranded there.
Now imagine you are stuck in NAIA.
British citizen Gary Peter Austin, a 52-year-old former horse jockey from England, has been stuck in the departure lounge of NAIA Terminal 1 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport since December 17, 2012.
Austin told reporters he arrived in Manila from England via Bahrain on board Gulf Air last Nov 29, 2012, and went to Cebu for sightseeing and to meet his Filipino friends.
He returned to Manila last December 17, where he tried to check in at the NAIA Gulf Air counter for his return trip to England.
But airline staff said they cannot accommodate him, as his e-ticket was already cancelled by his travel agent.
Unfortunately Austin had run out of money, so he decided to stay at the terminal as he tries to figure out how he can raise money to fly back to England.
Without money to buy a return ticket to England, barred from leaving the airport, and virtually forgotten by the airline that flew him in, Austin will have to make do with terminal 1 as his temporary home.
Listen, the thought of being stuck in NAIA just makes me want to cry.
We want to pay for this man’s ticket to go home. But how to do it?
Can Edwin Llobrera/Rappler/Maria Ressa help us make a donation?
UPDATE: We have been in touch with Rappler’s Bea Cupin and Maria Ressa and have contacted Mr. Austin.
Let’s hope he catches his Emirates flight tomorrow PM.