For as long as I could remember, I have always loved flying. The minute I step into the airport, the check-in process, passing through security and even the immigration. Now, I wished I was taking the bus home instead. Flying regularly also teaches me to have better tolerance. Here are some reasons why.
I am someone who loves to plan ahead. That says so much about my flights because I always check-7 days in advance which is applicable to some airlines. However when I was in Kuala Lumpur, things started to go really wrong. I left my hotel for the airport about 3 hours before flight time which presumably gives me ample time to sit around at the airport (mobile check-in done). When I reach the airport, all I had to do was to scan a barcode on my mobile phone and the ticket will be printed out.
Next process was the baggage drop off. I joined the queue and noticed the line was not that long. A group of Indonesian travellers were queuing in front of me and they were taking so much time. One had to go back and forth the queue just to get her things and the other was still sorting her check in baggage. Not that it really matters to me but my fight was leaving in about 1 hour and 15mins time. As soon as it was my turn, I spoke to the counter agent nicely telling her that I have a flight that leaves soon. She said nothing but smiled at me. What does it mean? I don’t know.
Once again, this happened in Kuala Lumpur. The immigration line was quite alright. The horror begins here. 15 minutes in the line and it wasn’t even moving. Later on I found out the system had some problems which doesn’t allow the officer to “only-God-knows what he’s supposed to do.” Again and again he tried to scan the passport but to no avail. For your information, this wasn’t my passport. I was at the back of the queue. The technical guy came a few minutes later and tried to do repair the system. I wonder why they do not have a back-up system.
At this point of time, I was on the verge of breaking down because my flight leaves in 15 minutes time and the announcement was calling for passengers to board my flight. “Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, flight AK @#$ bound to Phuket is now ready for boarding. The Elderly, families with young children, passengers seated at row number 1, 12 and 14 are welcome to board the flight first.” I nearly shit in my pants when they started to call my flight number. I was still half way through the queue and it wasn’t even moving. When it was my turn, the immigration officer notice how worried I look and realised my plane was about to leave after seeing my boarding pass.
To the immigration officer, I would love to say this to you, “BUCK UP HONEY OR QUIT YOUR JOB!”
Let’s focus my mind somewhere else besides Kuala Lumpur. Have you even been to an airport where the boarding gates are combined with other flights? This usually happens in small airports. When the announcement is made, passengers will rush to queue like as if their seats will be taken. I hate that. You know when you are there on time, there’s no need to rush as seats are allocated on most Asian budget carriers. I have seen many people rushing to be the first in the queue and then get rejected for quick boarding simply because they have not purchase the quick boarding process namely Tiger Airways’ “Board me first” and Airasia’s Express Boarding option. I tried once on my flight from Clark, Philippines to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and it worked and for a few minutes I felt like a VIP because I jumped queue when they called my row number. It’s worth the try though. The cheapest quick boarding option will be by Airasia.
Ahhhh! Yes, passengers. I have met many kinds of people on board flights. To name a few, here they are:
- The ones who cannot shut up
- The ones who speak on top of their voices although their mate is just right beside them
- The ones who cannot stop fidgeting
- Infants who cry non-stop
- Children running up and down the aisle
- Irresponsible parents
Apart from the categories above, I have never met rude passengers in my entire life until one fine day I was on domestic flight from Hanoi to Da Nang. A Vietnamese woman seated behind me decided to put her foot on my arm rest. I elbowed her foot and she got a shock and quickly apologised. Oops.
I was on the most uncomfortable passenger jet ever. It was a Vietnam Airlines Boeing 777-200 jet. I was excited as it was my first time on Boeing 777-200.
I sat down and found the seat with a huge bulge on the lower back. Throughout the flight I sat down in an “erotic” position and that sitting position made me looked like I had huge dose of old men Viagra the night before likewise long-term erection. Forget about the seats since it’s a 1 hour 15 minutes flight. At that point of time, my only wish was to be seated on AirAsia or Jetstar’s plane despite the tiny leg space which at least the seats are more humane.
I entered the plane and was greeted by 2 half dead Vietnam Airlines flight attendants. I supposed it’s a cheap airline therefore you get bloody cheap service. I expected a commercial airline to be of better standards than budget airlines but oh well. As I walked down the aisle, none of the flight attendants greeted me. I really don’t expect much but I think basic courtesy is common sense when you work in a service-oriented industry.
I also have another bad experience. This time is with Air Asia. I have always loved Air Asia for giving me the chance to fly without having to spend a bomb on a single flight. I remembered clearly it was a short shuttle flight from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. The day before I flew from Yangon, Myanmar. I entered the plane. Two flight attendants stood there with their blank faces. To make sure I was on the right flight, I asked if this plane was bound to Singapore. I had my reasons to ask them. One was because I came across and unhappy message from a disgruntled passenger to Air Asia’s Facebook page saying that he got on the wrong flight despite asking the flight attendants if he was on the right flight. So I did not want to take any chances too. Now back to my story. I entered the plane and asked the flight attendant if this plane was bound to Singapore. She confirmed my inquiry and I said thank you. As I entered the aisle suddenly I overheard some mean words coming out from the flight attendant’s mouth. She said in broken English,” Then where?! Go Thailand ah?!” in a very rude way. I felt like I was being backstabbed because she said that literally behind my back. A person of her calibre shouldn’t even work as a flight attendant. Honey if you are seeing this, I hope you get fired one day.
**Disclaimer: Pictures may or may not represent texts on my blog.