'I don't have money anymore': Canadian man desperately asks to board flight despite expired RT-PCR test result

Published May 31, 2021, 1:11 PM

by Ariel Fernandez

An expired reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test prevented a Canadian national from boarding his scheduled Korean Airlines flight on Sunday night, May 30 at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1.

‘CUFF ME–Jim Robert offers to get handcuffed after creating a commotion at NAIA Terminal 1. (Ariel Fernandez / MANILA BULLETIN)

Reports said that passenger Jim Robert was supposed to depart for Canada via Incheon, South Korea at around 8 p.m. Sunday when Korean Airlines personnel refused to board him.

Robert had presented a negative RT-PCR test result but was told that it had expired five hours ago and therefore, he couldn’t be allowed to board flight KE624.

The foreigner reportedly pleaded for consideration from the airline personnel but to know avail. “We cannot do that, the airline will be penalized if we allow you to board…we only allow passengers with negative results issued within 72 hours and beyond that we will not allow,” he was reportedly told.

It was at that point that Robert lost his temper and raised his voice, saying, “It’s only five hours why can’t you people understand my situation and be reasonable!”

Airport police responded to calm down Robert, who stretched out his arms as if offering to be handcuffed. But police never did. Instead, they talked to the airline representative to help Robert board his flight, but he was again refused.

Robert was subsequently brought to the arrival extension to relax. He was advised to rebook his flight and undergo another RT-PCR test, as per the required procedure amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. “I don’t have money anymore, I came from Southern Leyte,” he replied.

Airport police explained to Robert, “It is better to call your Embassy to help you in this kind of situation.”