A 24-year-old man from Taiwan, who ended being unable to find work and ran out of money, lived at the airport in Perth, Australia, for a week; he has finally headed home thanks to a combination of good will from local police, an airport employee, and the airline he had booked to fly home in October.
Lee Chi Lin, a 24-year-old man from Taiwan, has finally flown home after becoming stranded in Australia. Lee was in the country working, but his visa ran out and he couldn’t find new work. And then he ran out of money. His original ticket was set to fly him home in October, but he couldn’t afford to change it to a September departure.
After being unable to take the cold of sleeping in a park—he had no lodging as well—Lee decided to live in the airport until October, when he could fly home. He managed to live in the Perth airport for a week, surviving on a loaf of bread, noodle packets, and tuna. At that point, the Australian Federal Police found him staying at the airport and decided to help. They contacted passenger services manager Kathryn Weeks to see what she could do. Weeks in turn contacted Scoot, Lee’s airline, and asked them to change his flight date for no charge as a humanitarian service. Within 24 hours, the ticket was moved and Lee was able to fly home.
“I offered him money but he wouldn’t take it from me,” Weeks told Perth Now. “I considered taking him in and giving him somewhere to sleep because I really felt for him. He said he was fine. He was very humble, well spoken and was so thankful that I was trying to help him. It’s really fantastic that the airline looked at the information and decided to help this man, because they didn’t have to. This is a great example of people working together for a good cause. I have two sons and I’d hope that if they were ever in this situation that someone would help them.”