Saturday, June 20, 2009

Part 1: The AirAsia X Experience

The D72002 flight to London left on June 16, 0100 hours without me. Fortunately, I managed to board another flight, about 33 hours later – Flight No. D7 2006. Even spending close to 8 hours at the LCC Terminal was bearable because I wanted to make sure I got on the next flight. And I did. When I cleared Immigration – imagine that! I hadn't been abroad for two whole years! – I said a prayer because I knew I was finally going to the UK. I had worked really hard to write this academic paper with Sheila Cheng and Dr Cho Cho Wei, and I was determined to go to the University of Hertfordshire to present the said paper. I am an academic after all – I have to start presenting papers and publishing in journals. It would have been really great if Paul Chan could have been supportive financially, but... Anyway, I couldn't care less because I had already made up my mind about going.

Once in the plane, I was mighty relieved. And I began to relax. Still, take-off was kinda slow since we were aircraft No. 5 in the queue. But what's important, flight No. D72006 did take off.

This AirAsia X flight was okay – I had no major complaint whatsoever. Yes, I had to pay for my drinks (e.g. a can of Carlsberg 320 ml cost RM10). I had to occupy myself since I had 14 hours on my hands – luckily, I had my trusted Walkman to entertain me throughout the journey, since the airline didn't provide any (unless you paid RM30 for a portable video player where one could enjoy movies, tv shows, music and games). Food, I must say, was disappointing. Other than that, cabin service was pleasant, and even friendly. I was not the type to sleep well on a plane – but on and off, I did managed to drift into deep slumber, accompanied by loud trumpets of snores (or at least I imagined them to be).

I landed in London's Stansted Airport to be met by wonderful English sunshine (the ground temperature was a lovely 15-degree Celsius). Come to think of it, I should have kissed the ground as my feet touched the tarmac - but that would have been so Hollywood, right? I have really missed this British weather...

No comments: