Monday, August 13, 2012

Yours and Mine

Flew Firefly recently... I was early at the airport even though I had done the web check in. Decided to go to the check in counter just the same and was told that my flight had been re-timed. It would depart 1.5 hours late. Since I had nothing better to do, I decided to just walk around Subang Airport. I last stepped into the airport more than 20 years ago! And what used to feel so big back then is actually quite a small place. My perception has been tampered by time and experience.

Walking around, I spotted that the screen which showed departures and arrivals only showed a 20 minute delay. This time I went to the Firefly Office to double check. The ticketing clerk checked and told me the time on the screen was the correct one, which made me very happy since it was only a 20 minute delay. I decided to check-in after wandering around a while. The waiting area was quite full as there were passengers for the Penang and Kota Bahru flights. Those flights were called by 6.30 p.m. While waiting to board, I busied myself with a book.

When I looked up, the place was quite empty. I thought my flight would be quite empty. I was looking forward to go home after a tiring day on the road with Son. As I was walking to the plane I suddenly saw a familiar face. This friend said she had a coupon issued by the airline company for free makan at one of the outlets as the plane was supposed to leave at 8.30 p.m. She said she only knew about the 'error' from another friend (whom I presumed must have looked at the departure and arrival screen like me). Later I found out that those who did not do the web check in mostly had free makan coupons.

At 7.00 p.m I boarded the plane. It was quite empty. 7.20 came and went. Then the Captain announced it was time to buka puasa. And I was thinking that it was quite ridiculous to wait till after buka to take off... 7.45 p.m. By then many of us on the plane were plain annoyed. But I noticed that passengers were still boarding. At almost 8 p.m. An apolegetic but equally frustrated Captain announced that we were waiting for one more passenger as the Duty Manager insisted that we had to.... We finally took off at 8.05 p.m., after sitting in the plane for an hour!

Made me realized that even after I went to the airline office to enquire about the time discrepancy, no effort was made to inform the check-in counter of the error. I must have been the first to 'check-in' at the check-in counter cos I did not get the free coupon... There seemed not be any communication between the office and and counter even after an enquiry about the discrepancy of time was made and noted that the check in counter had made an error. It was a you do your job and I do mine... Any problems arising from it, well... just hope somehow it'll solve itself.

Kinda very much a reflection of a lot of things in our country. Different races are 'taught' to mind own race so much so that we've turned many blind eyes on many things. Even in neighbourhoods, break-ins can be happening right next door, and we just mind our own business too. And in recent days too, I noticed too many of our kids go sesat because of the same attitude. It takes a village to raise a good kid. These days, parents better hope hard that their kids aren't one of those with a penchant to go sesat, cos if that happens, it's a lonely path you traverse. Many of us seem to subscribe to as long as I am doing fine, my kids are doing okay.... anything that happens outside that circle does not deserve my attention or effort.

Another observation, majority took the word of the check-in of the change and did not look further on their own; which is a norm. Many of us take the word of our political and religious leaders without question.... (how nice if our kids do that when we talk to to them, 8))

As for my flight... 50 people would translate to 50 hours lost. Add that to the extra time those family members waiting at the airport in Alor Setar and the stress, etc, etc. So much wasted.... which could have been saved if the ticketing clerk just picked up the phone and informed her superiors... but then it's not her time.

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