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samedi 6 février 2010

Air Asia to Cochin.. From Kuala Lumpur

arriving at the LCCT at KL International Airport with a heavy heart, always sad to leave this country which has become dearer to my heart. Sad good byes remind us that joyful Hellos are waiting... right at this very same airport... Ojala!
Every one was wearing buttons declaring I Love India.. no they have not suddenly become enamoured with the ancient country but it is to publicize Tony Fernandes' pioneering decision to introduce flights to Cochin, Trivandrum, Bangalore, Madras, Calcutta, Delhi, Bombay, Hyderabad and Trichy from Kuala Lumpur. The Economist once descriebd him as the person who has brought South East Asia together more than any one else.. true, when i began travelling in SE Asia in 1992, Vietnam Cambodia Laos were not in the travel maps of an average Malaysian... that is history now.. My brother hotel in Siem Reap, The Mandalay Inn has become a gathering spot for the Air Asia travellers to Siem Reap to watch sunsets over the magnificent archeological ruins of Angkor..
I am sure, in one year from now, an average Malaysian would think nothing of taking a long weekend holiday in India, something not conceivable now...
How to make your flight comfortable and enjoy your trip.
Tony Fernandes runs a budget airlines but his ways are anything but budgetary.. he charges for everything, which is fair enough.. but this is what i advise so that your flight is without hassles and enjoyable.
For 40 RM you can increase the luggage allowance to 30 kg! so even if you dont use it, why face any hassle at all at the checking agents encounter? Nasi Lemak , preorder it for 8 RM, so dont have to feel hungry as the smell of malay cooking wafts through. 25 RM guarantees you the first row in the plane... and let me tell you it is the best 25 RM i spent on that fare..
I took my seat 1C and expected some other soul to have dished out 25 RM to come and claim !A adn 1B... but no one did. and of course, if someone eyed an empty seat and claimed it, i am sure they would be promptly told, 25 RM please.. so here i was sitting with three seats to myself and enjoying Nasi Lemak and reading and listening to music. which made the four hour flight little less cumbersome.
The flight landed at 4 pm local time, i was out of the plane at 4 05 pm being the first person leaving the aircraft. I have my own pace of walking to the Immigration desk, having to do that ritual once a week.. as I got down after going through the Immigration, who were only cursorily interested in me, my passport, my visa etc..the luggage was ready and i was out of the hall at 4 15 pm. at 4 20 pm I was sitting inside the prepaid taxi heading towards Ernakulam, one hour away.. Was that 25 RM worth it? to me yes it was...