Tourist’s “dream trip” turned into “nightmare” when he got stuck in NAIA for 109 days
It’s basically Tom Hanks’ film “The Terminal” in real life—but under different conditions
Jul 8, 2020
“I was on my dream trip,” says Roman Trofimov, an Estonian tourist, describing his travel around Southeast Asia. Coming from his visit to Bangkok, Thailand, he landed in Manila on Mar. 20. According to him, an airline staff took his passport before even reaching immigration. He was also denied access to the country as immigration authorities had already stopped issuing entry visas then.
He was supposed to fly to Cebu the same day and return to Bangkok on Apr. 2. Enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was already imposed during that time though, so both flights were canceled. He wasn’t allowed to fly back to Estonia either and was advised to wait until ECQ is lifted and flights resume. He has been stuck in NAIA ever since and compared his situation to that of a prisoner’s.
Мой второй день в аэропорту 22 Марта, у меня не было телефона поэтому я сделал транспарант и пошёл пикетировать около…
For the first few days of his stay, Trofimov slept on the floor or on cold metal chairs before he was finally given a bed in the departure lounge.
Первая неделя на Филлипинах 20 Марта 2020. NAIA – Terminal 3Душа не было толко грязный туалет где даже не меняли мыло…
During his entire stay in NAIA, he had not eaten any proper food and just lived off fast food and some snacks given by airport staff.
В Суботу приходили сотрудники полиции аэропорта, они наводили справки про меня спрашивали всё ли в порядке, сказал им…
On his 105th day in the airport, he posted on his Facebook account asking for assistance. According to the post, he already reached out to the Estonian Foreign Ministry but they were “no help” either. “I am [a] person with disability. My health is getting worse due to malnutrition, lack of sun and fresh air. I have no other choice but to go public,” he added.
I am European from Estonia held in Manila International Airport for more than 100 days need any help getting out of…
“It is important to note that he flew to the Philippines during a time when countries had announced emergency situations and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had given a travel warning, which informed people that travelling during the emergency situation might leave them stuck in the destination due to travel restrictions,” explains Estonian Foreign Ministry.
According to an Estonian news site though, the Estonian Embassy in Japan already arranged a flight for Trofimov but he refused as it was too expensive. “I don’t have that kind of money. I was offered to take a loan. But I did not take risks as there was no guarantee that they would let me out of the country because of a loan I can’t give back,” says Trofimov. The news site also reported that the tourist was given three meals a day.
Fortunately, Trofimov was finally able to fly back home yesterday and is expected to land in Tallinn, Estonia today.
Header photo by Roman Trofimov on Facebook
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