MANILA, Philippines - Gary Austin, the man stuck in Manila’s International Airport for over 3 weeks, finally has a flight home.
A Filipino blogger and her husband, Cecile and Jeroen van Straten, bought Austin a ticket the same day they read his story on Rappler.com.
“It’s a relief for me because otherwise I was essentially just going to be stuck here,” Austin told Rappler.
Cecile van Straten who writes the blog chuvaness.com said, “I saw the story about it and of course, I was horrified. And it was my husband's idea to get him out of there.”
In her blog she asked, "How to Help a Man Stuck in NAIA?" When the blog post was tweeted to @rapplerdotcom, Rappler social media manager Bea Cupin immediately got in touch with her and gave her Austin's phone number.
The couple called Austin and bought him a flight the same night.
On Friday morning, January 11, Jeroen van Straten went to Austin's temporary home in terminal 1 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport to give him the ticket.
Austin is now booked on an Emirates flight leaving Manila at 5:35 pm today, Friday. If everything goes as planned he should change planes in Dubai and arrive in London’s Heathrow airport on January 12 at 7:10 am.
“I’m a little bit excited but I’m going to miss it here because I made so many friends,” said Austin.
Austin has witnessed Filipino hospitality first hand. During his stay at the airport he befriended the janitorial staff, who brought him meals during their morning and evening shifts. He said the guards let him stay in the terminal even though he technically didn’t have a ticket. And now a Filipino couple is sending him back to England.
“I don’t have to check in until 3:30 but of course I’m here at the airport. We can laugh a little bit about it now,” he said. - Rappler.com