Inspired by the 2004 Tom Hanks film The Terminal, a homeless army veteran looking for a place to sleep recently decided to move into Heathrow Airport. He originally planned on staying for a couple of nights, but he’s been living there for almost a month.
A former member of the Parachute Regiment who served in Northern Ireland before working in private security, Simon Jones – fake name to protect his identity – fell on hard times after his business collapsed and his romantic relationship ended. Penniless and with no place to sleep, he remembered watching The Terminal, in which the main character is forced to live in an airport after war breaks out in his country leaving him stateless, and decided to crash at Heathrow Airport – the busiest in Europe – for a couple of nights.
“I suddenly lost everything when my business, which provided high-risk assignments and the training of personnel, collapsed. The business put an enormous strain on my relationship and we separated. I was suddenly homeless and, because all the bank accounts were in joint names, penniless,” Jones told English newspaper The Sunday Express. “I was mulling over what to do. I don’t want to be a burden on anybody, so felt I couldn’t stay on friends’ floors for more than a night or two, especially since I can’t pay my way. Then I remembered the Tom Hanks film about the bloke living at an airport. I realized there would be washing facilities and even free wi-fi.”