Saturday, 7 March 2009

Selamat tinggal Bali. Terima Kasih for everything!

"Michelle, my belle, these are words that go together well, my Michelle."

The instrumental tune of this song played on Phillipine Airlines flight PR504 from Jakarta to Singapore as we landed. This morning at 11:15am Bali local time I boarded a Garuda flight from Denpasar to Jakarta. Very sad to leave that beautiful and incredibly serene island, I arrived in Soekarno-Hatta International Airport only to be advised that Etihad Airways flight to Abu Dhabi is delayed for two hours. A little bit upset, but not too fussed, I proceeded to the check in counter. After standing in a still queue for about 20 minutes, I approached the highly strung staff to enquire what was taking so long.

ME: Excuse me, can you please tell me why check-in is taking so long?
Etihad (abruptly, looking elsewhere) : We have delays.
ME: Yes, I understand that but why can't we check in?
Etihad: Because we have more delay. Maybe till tomorrow.
ME: And when were you planning to inform us???
Etihad: You don't know?
ME: No, I don't. So what now?
Etihad: Your ticket please.
ME: Don't have one. It's an e-ticket.

(A lot more fussing and Bahasa Indonesia chatter)

Etihad: Ok, come with me.

One other passenger and I follow the Etihad staff member across the aiport, with absolutely no clue where she's taking us. And she's too busy on her walkie-talkie to answer any questions. We arrive at an unmarked check-in counter. I check-in and get a Phillipine Airline boarding pass to Singapore, and from Singapore I am to take Etihad to Abu Dhabi. And I better hurry because the flight leaves in 20 minutes. OF course, the PR 504 gate is the last one in the airport.

Breathless, I arrive and settle down. I don't know how I would've survived that 1hr 20 min journey and calmed my fury without the help of John Le Carre and my iPod.

In Singapore Airport, check-in at the transfer desk, where the Etihad staff member is polite, helpful and surprisingly, informative. "Are you aware of the reason the flight from Abu Dhabi was delayed?" Er, no. "There was a medical emergency on board and so they had to divert to Madras." Ah. I see.

Well, I hope you're ok Mr/Ms passenger in a Madras hospital somewhere.

Behind me in the airport lounge CNN reports about Cuba. Probably my next holiday destination. But until then, I shall report on Bali (and a wrap up on Jakarta).

1 comment:

  1. LOL. It's all your fault according to your mum! hahaha. Can you please put some pictures up on fb?