Short changed…

We flew via maswings

maswings

…to Kuching that day.

I booked through the Malaysia Airlines website and there was no indication as to whether it would be a Boeing flight or one on the small ATR aircrafts…so I just picked the flights according to the fare and the time. It seems that if the flight is numbered MH2xxx, then it is a Boeing flight and that will only take 35 minutes compared to the rest – 40…and when you board the aircraft, they will tell you it is going to take 45 minutes altogether…IF the flight is on schedule and there is no delay!

All in all, I paid over RM500 for two persons…and that was on Thursday – when we got the news via the service commission’s website that Melissa would need to be present at something that they would be holding in Kuching. The next day, Friday, the MATTA Fair started and if I had booked a day later, I would have save over RM100 on the air tickets. Sometimes it pays not to be too efficient! Tsk! Tsk!

Well, if you’re flying on one of these little planes, it is best to check in your luggage. After all, you get an allowance of 20 kg free (or is it 30 kg now?) and it being such a small plane, upon arrival at the airport, by the time you reach the carousel at the luggage reclaim area, your stuff would have come out already. For one thing, the overhead stowage compartment is very small…

ATR SC

…smaller than even the old Fokkers in the past so you may not be able to squeeze your bag into it and will have to place it under the seat in front of you…and end up getting cramps in your legs by the end of your flight.

Then, there are those inconsiderate nincompoops sitting in front who will just stuff their bags in the compartments at the back before they proceed to their seats. Thus, if you are sitting at the back, when you board the aircraft, you may find that you do not have any space to put yours at all and that was exactly what happened to me that day on our flight home – AND HEAR ME AND HEAR ME LOUD AND CLEAR, all you airline staff…and those who have this horribly selfish and inconsiderate habit! Next time, I will just take those bags and throw them down the aisle and put my own bags in the compartment right above my own seat that is rightfully mine. You are the world’s No. 1 cabin crew (or is that for Malaysia Airlines’ only, and all the maswings ones are of a different class altogether and are not included?)…so you go and handle that situation yourself. It is not my problem.

They have moved the business class seats to the back now – those few seats used to be right in front. I guess the change is in view of the fact that the door is at the back of the aircraft and it would not be so convenient for these selected few – their esteemed passengers. An ex-student of mine, who used to work with the airline, would promptly move me to these seats if he happened to be on duty – not that it would make much of a difference other than the fact that you would get something a little bit nicer to eat and not just a packet of MILO and peanuts…

MILO & nuts

Well, unfortunately, my ex-student has joined the new airline in the region now but I do recall when I was flying to places in Sabah sometime ago, I was given the refreshments on board in boxes and inside, other than those MILO drinks, they had sandwiches and cup cakes and even a Kit Kat! Perhaps that is for their longer flights, I wouldn’t know.

They are still using the same safety briefing video…

SFB

…that I thought was kind of funny when I saw it the first time but unfortunately, the “jokes” are getting somewhat stale. I would think a simple straightforward one would be more appropriate and they can keep on screening it till kingdom come and nobody would give two hoots about it. If I remember correctly, they are now using the Malay version and not the English one that you can see if you click this link here. Tourists from overseas would surely have a problem trying to make head or tail of the whole thing, I’m afraid.

Incidentally, is there any way one can fasten one’s seat belt while still standing?

Seat belt

I guess one can only do that when and while seated, right? For one thing, I must say that it is commendable that the ones in this aircraft are all long enough and I did not have to ask for extensions, thank goodness.

Yes, if you’re thinking that it is a small aircraft, you are right. Even the seat for the cabin crew is stowed away in a compartment in the wall and for landing and takeoffs, he or she would have to take it out and sit on it…

CC seat

Somehow or other, it conjures images in my mind of those contraptions in James Bond’s Aston Martin…where you press a button and the person in the seat would be ejected into the air and out of the car in an instant…and in this case, the plane. LOL!!!

I guess we should appreciate the fact that we do have this miserably-categorised “rural air services” even though the main towns and cities included are in no way “rural” and the airfares are in no way cheaper for warts and all, at the end of the day, we do not have much of a choice since we do not have the luxury of those smooth, multi-laned highways that are all over the peninsula…and our Third-World country’s Pan-Borneo Highway, I would say, is, in no uncertain terms, a real disgrace in this present day and age. Vision 2020? *guffaws* Yuck…yuck…yuck!!!!