"Last call for boarding for Ishak Mas'od, Noraishah Anjang Abd Hamid, Rahimah Ishak, Muhammad Nazim Ishak.."
is the normal situation of the Ishak's family on any airplane travel.
We never missed to be announced over and over in airport for boarding. I
cant count how many times that when we just enter the plane, the door
of the plane immediately close and plane ready for take off. But, not
once, never once, a plane will left us behind. Does not matter how
pissed off they were with our lateness, but they will wait. They will
ensure we safely and successfully board the plane.
good records came to an end 2 years ago when a plane decided to left us
behind. We felt that we were cruelly undone by this airplane company.
We checked-in on time. Early in fact. One mistake we did was, we went
for quick lunch at the food court nearby and made way to boarding area
only a few minutes before take off. When we arrived at the departure
entrance, we hear the last call for boarding announcement and we all
running like crazy. When we finally arrived at the door, the staff said
we cannot get to the plane and our luggage had been off-load from plane.
We was like WHAT?!!! We just hear our names been called, 1-2 mins
ago..and its not like we can contact the staff saying that we are
running our ass off for boarding and vice versa and scream wait for
us!..wait for us! It was not even the time for take off yet.. There were
5 of us, my bro, my sister-in-law, my mum, Zulaika and I. Zulaika was
just 1 year plus at the time. They can simply decided to off-load all of
us. Really cruel. Because of that, we need to buy a new ticket with
higher price. Our conclusion was that, yeah.. that's how this company
make their money.
Recently, I, together with my mum and Zulaika traveled to Bandung taking this airplane company. Yes, we did not failed to be late this time too.. hahaha.. family tradition.. always like the chaos, 'Home Alone' style..
this time it worse than the last time.. We late for checked-in too.
The flight was 6.40am in the morning and we arrived airport 10 minutes before
6 a.m. The check-in line for all Indonesian flights were quite long and I just got into the line nervously, while Dahlia, my sister in law tried the self check-in kiosk, in case, we still can. From there, she got to know that check-in for Bandung flight had closed and we need to go to this special case counter. The staff was busy to get to us immediately, as there were other peoples with all kind of problems too.When the staff finally got to me, and we state our current dilemma, she also got worried for me. She called somebody to ask if she can still check us in. Then she asked if we got luggage. "Yes" I said. The the staff said, if got luggage, we cannot check-in. Dahlia and Ajim, my brother then both said, "No..No. Tak de luggage. Check in jer". The staff then proceed to process our boarding pass.. In mean time, Dahlia and Ajim told me, "Imah check-in jer.. nanti kita pindah sikit barang dari lugagge dalam bag-pack..brg tak penting..daripada rugi tiket".. OKla I thought. As long as I can get to the plane. If I missed the plane, no way I can afford to buy new tickets.
After I got the boarding pass, we ran off to the departure gate. There, we opened the luggage and shove in as many things from the luggage to bag-pack that I carry. Then, we were searching for plastic bag. Good thing, mum packed this 1 empty plastic hand-luggage and we managed to get all the stuffs from luggage to this bag - all clothes, pampers, shampoo, shower gel etc etc. We continue our conquest to catch the plane. 3 of us, ran towards immigration counter. We got the next road-block to our journey. The security check! After our bags got through the scan, we were asked to open our bags. Yes, we got a lot of stuffs that we cant put in hand-lugagge. I told them.."we are in a hurry, please just take whatever you need to take". After finish with the first 2 bags, mum just ran off from there with Zulaika and left me with the last bag to inspect. That bag was obviously full and packed and no way I can get to the things they want, so I just told them, it might be the bottled water for my childs milk. So I was let go. I ran off as fast as I can catching up with mum to the boarding counter.
The door for boarding was obviously already close. The staff communicate to the cabin crew to ask, if they can let us to board the plane. Was asked again if we got luggage, and I quickly said no. Because of that, the crew, said we can proceed to the plane. Thank God! The staff quickly informed us the gate number. "Gate number 74 tau. Ingat Gate 74. Lari cepat!". 3 of us got running again to get to this Gate 74. Since mum was fully occupied with hand-luggage in both hands. I got the bag-pack and Zulaika. Zulaika and I ran as fast as we can. Obviously, Zulaika almost 4 years old legs can't compare to my 30 years old legs, so I decided to cradle her instead. Just imagine, running with almost 6kg bag-pack on your back and a 14kg child on your arms. That was the biggest work-out I ever did in my whole life. While running, I was searching around for Gate 74. Where the hell is this gate? It is incredibly far! Really far! The furthest of all from the door we came from. I didn't ate anything the night before and obviously got no time for breakfast. So, with all the running and weight, I feel like I was going to pass out at that moment. But yes, the spirit of Bandung is strong, I successfully got there.
Yes! We got to the plane!
I thought, pheww, we already inside the plane. Everything will be OK.
But being me. It's not the end of the drama yet. The careless Rahimah decided to turn up that morning. The sling-bag that had money, phone, Zulaika's Mickey-Mouse shades, went missing from my shoulder. No! Oh No! I might have left it at the security check scanner place! I quickly told the cabin crew that was helping us with the bags of my situation. That was the most important bag. The cabin crew told me, they can't go there for me to search for it. If I'm going to get the bag, they will probably need to off-load me from the plane. Oh, no! Off-load. I'm quite traumatic with the word off-load already. In the sheer panic, I told myself, that it's OK, I still got half of the money in the other bag. It should be more than enough for 1 day. I will contact Ajim once arrived to transfer the $ to our trevel agent the next day (Monday). However, I still worry about the bag. I still got millions of ruppiah in there plus the Note2 phone. I asked the cabin crew, if there's a way for them to check if the bag is really at the security check place and safe? I don't mind if I cant get the bag but I want to be sure that the bag is there and not somewhere-else.
The cabin crew care about my situation as he thought, I got all my money in that bag. So, he went to the pilot to discuss the situation. He came back with a good news he said. Pilot gave permission for me to go back to find my bag and I got 7 minutes to do it. After 7 minutes, he'll fly the plane without me. OK, 7 minutes. I don't think much and just ran out from the flight to get my bag. I mentioned that the distance between the plane and airport building is far right? The first round was already exhausting. I doubt that I have enough strength to go back inside the building and ran back to the plane. But 1 need to do what they need to do rite? So I just move along. While running, I was thinking, Can I do it? Can I get back to the plane within 7 minutes? I'm not so much of a marathon person, yet alone a sprinter, but I just ran. I don't really count the time.
I got to the security check place and asked for the bag. The guy asked a few question like what were inside the bag. What phone brand was there. and I thought, yes, they got my bag. What I was told next disappoint me a bit. "Kami dah bagi beg Cik kepada adik Cikla. Ni nama, nombor telefon dan nombor IC dia".. Siiigh.. I ran for nothing then. I took the tissue where my brother wrote in his details, check if there are true and ran back to the plane. Part of me feel relieved because at least I know that my belongings are safe, but part of me feel that, it will be much better if I have the bag. Nevertheless, the most important task was to get inside the plane again.It will be like triple blow if I missed the plane too. At that point of time, my mum was waiting inside the plane. What she told me was, if I didn't get to the plane, she will just left me and travel with Zulaika. huhuhu..so much of motherly affection eh?
I managed to get to the plane and the flight took off on time and arrived Bandung as scheduled. I'm totally grateful to the cabin crew and the pilot of that flight. If it was a different crew and different pilot (like what we got 2 years back), they certainly will not entertain that kind of 'situation'. We may not be able to board the plane in the first place. And then, no way a pilot will allow me go search my bag and wait. Even the cabin crew told me that I was lucky that the pilot is super-kind. Normally, pilot will not give permission for passenger to do what I did.
It was really an unforgettable experience for me. I told myself 2 things. In future:
1. Never ever dare to book early morning flight - risk of overslept
2. Plan to check-in at least 2 hours before boarding
So, now I'm waiting until my next international travel, to assess if things will changed and if I will ever listen to my own advice.. hahaha..