This Man Has Lived in an Airport for 14 Years for the Pettiest Reason
Tom Hanks gave moviegoers a peek into the struggles of shacking up at an airport in the 2004 film The Terminal. However, one man has decided that living in an airport is much easier than living at home with his family.
Wei Jianguo, who is in his 60s, reportedly moved into the Beijing Capital International Airport over 14 years ago after a falling out with his family, who didn't support his drinking and smoking habits.
Wanting a place to drink and smoke without judgment, Jianguo now calls the Beijing airport home. He has even constructed a makeshift home base, complete with his belongings, food and a sleeping bag.
Speaking to China Daily, Jianguo explained, "I can't go back home because I have no freedom there."
"My family told me if I wanted to stay, I had to quit smoking and drinking. If I couldn't do that, I had to give them all my monthly government allowance of 1,000 yuan (roughly $150). But then how would I buy my cigarettes and alcohol?"
According to China Daily, Jianguo has given up on looking for work and has found ways to be self-sufficient using the amenities provided at the airport. His daily routine includes shopping for breakfast, lunch and alcoholic beverages.
"There's nowhere warmer than here [the airport]," he told China Daily. "I can go back home anytime, but I will not be allowed to drink."
Airport officials have reportedly contacted police and asked Jianguo to leave the airport several times. The latest occurrence happened just before Christmas 2021 after a viral video showed Jianguo eating noodles in the terminal.
Police escorted Jianguo home to his family (approx. 12 miles away). Within days, Jianguo was back in the familiar surroundings of the airport.
"I get expelled, lay low, and then I come back, just like old times," he tells the outlet. "At least I have my freedom in the airport."
According to China Daily, Jianguo isn't the only resident who calls the Beijing airport home.
In 2018, it was reported that as many as six people were living in its three terminal.
Though Jianguo's story is currently trending online, he isn't the most famous airport dweller.
That honor goes to an Iranian man named Mehran Karimi Nasseri, who lived in Terminal One of Paris Charles de Gaulle from 1988 until 2006, when his health declined.
In fact, the film The Terminal was based on Nasseri's story.