There will come a time in your life when you feel the urge to leave everything behind and go explore other parts of the world. That’s called wanderlust. And then, there will come a time when you feel the call to wander but find that it costs more (in my case, much much more) than you can afford. Then you’ll find yourself faced with two choices: to still answer the call as you disregard the destination and let price become the deciding factor or to bury it deep inside and never let it emerge.
I pray that you will always choose to answer the call, for travel brings more joy, more knowledge, more wisdom than anything you’ll ever experience in life. And I pray that you won’t mind travelling on a budget airlines. Although they may be inconvenient at times, when price is the deciding factor, they make a fine option. One of those low-cost carriers is Air Asia.
As you will soon begin to understand, many people harbor mixed feelings about that particular airline. I know the feeling. I’ve felt that feeling – that tug-of-war between loving it for its great promos or hating it for its inconvenience and the customer service that decreases as the promos increase. It’s as if “the higher the discounts, the less the service” was an unwritten rule that we should all know, understand, and tolerate. However, I think no matter how much I have this love-and-hate relationship with this budget airline, I will never forget how it pulled through for me in the time when I needed it the most.
Let me tell you why.
Back in 2007, when I was 28 weeks pregnant with my first born, M1, I wanted – no, I NEEDED – to fly to KL to see my husband, your Papa, who was there for training for AN ENTIRE MONTH. Normally, I would have been fine. But I was pregnant with a girl and was filled with crazy hormones. I was clingy and nagging endlessly. I couldn’t live without him. After being away from me for two weeks, I desperately (DESPERATELY!) needed to see him. But I was carrying a huge belly. I had bought a ticket but the moment they saw my belly at the check-in counter, they wouldn’t let me in. Even when I had 3 letters from different OBs that cleared me for the flight. No other airline would take me either. Not one would take the risk of, hmmm.. (I’m not too sure actually… of giving birth in an airplane, maybe?)
So, after being rejected at three ticketing offices and feeling depressed, I sat on the bench in front of the check-in counters, with a huge belly, a carry-on suitcase, and red swollen face from crying. I’m sure that people thought that I was leaving my husband or that my lover had forsaken me upon knowing that I was knocked up. Then a lightbulb came on in my head. I rose to my feet because I just realized there was one airline that I hadn’t asked.
I walked (or, waddled is more like it) to the AIR ASIA counter and asked if they still had seats available to go to KL. “There is one flight that leaves in 20 minutes!” said the ticketing officer. “You’re just in time!”
“Wait, what about my pregnancy?” I asked.
“Do you have a letter from the ob-gyn that cleared you for flying?”
“Yes. Yes! I got THREE!” I almost screamed in excitement. He scanned through the document, booked my seats on his computer and asked for my credit card. He even offered to wheel me to the gate!
I got to meet Papa that night. And although it’s no longer my first choice of international carrier (although still first for budget airlines), I would not forget how Air Asia pulled through for me. And I’m sure it’s all because “NOW EVERYONE CAN FLY!” (Way to stay true to those slogans.) (LOL!)
If there’s anything I learned from those few hours I spent at the airport, it’s this: Don’t frown upon budget airlines. Sometimes they might be the ones that will pull through for you. The same goes for people. Don’t ever look down on anyone, for the feet you step on today might be connected to the ass you’ll have to kiss tomorrow.
Okay, no. That has nothing to do with it. I really just wanted to tell you the Air Asia story.