The joyful, free rides…
Some of you – guys and gals – do remember my previous “angkatchawan” article, right? Well, it’s OK lah; you can browse for it later.
As a frequent “angkatchawan”, I normally take Air Asia’s Kuching–Bintulu flights back and forth (my frequent, monthly destinations). But then, due to some urgent matters, so I took MASwings’ flight from Kuching to Bintulu on Sunday morning, September 13, 2009. Other passengers and I were on board ATR 72–500 aircraft (see the photo above). Yeah, kudos to MASwings for its latest addition of ATR 72–500 aircrafts into its fleet. This type of modern aircraft have its built-in in-flight entertainment (IFE) system (see the photo below) to reduce the workload of its cabin crew, plus promoting Sarawak and Sabah tourism products via flash videos. And that’s good, especially for a new passenger like myself lah! But then, I might get bored lah, if I become one of its loyal passengers! Aiya, for sure lah… I love to watch beautiful lady stewardess doing the safety demos in front of me, what…?! Don’t get me wrong lah, gals!
Well, yeah… I used to board Fokker F27 Friendship (?) flights – operated by MAS – for both destinations in the early 1990s. Anyway, MASwings now have a few number of Fokker 50 operating for its rural air service (RAS) within Sarawak and Sabah.
To continue with my story lah; our ordeal started at 12.45 pm when we were supposed to be landed at Bintulu Airport. However, due to bad, afternoon weather (plus thunderstorm), the aircraft couldn’t land at the airport. So, the two flight-deck crew (the pilots) – based on the directive(s) given by the air traffic controllers (Kuching/Sibu/Mukah/Bintulu/Miri?) – have diverted the flight path towards Miri International Airport. We landed safely around 1.05 pm, and have to transit and wait for another flight to Bintulu for about 45 minutes (which was beyond the 20 minutes transit time). Around 2 pm, we were again air borne – not to Bintulu Airport as expected – but to Sibu Airport! Wahlau weh!
To cut the story short, we were once again air borne – from Sibu to Bintulu – at about 3.30 pm and Thanks be to God!, as we were finally landed at Bintulu Airport around 4 pm…
And guess what?! I was greeted with sour faces, as my friends have been waiting for my arrival since 12.30 pm… Well, it’s OK lah; as I gave them a special treat after that… L.O.L.!!! 😮
Yup, we got free rides to Miri and Sibu before we reach Bintulu, lah… And one of the passengers who did enjoy that free rides commented for having two slices of sandwich and an orange juice (during the first flight); including an extra of two cold Milo drinks (for the last two flights)!
Anyway, kudos (syabas) to MASwings’ air and ground crew for making our flight(s) safe and sound! And thanks again to MASwings for the joyful, free rides… 🙂
The author’s note: The Wikipedia reference on MASwings.