The alarm I had set started ringing when it turned 5:00. I dropped the call I was on and walked towards the check-in counter.
For some reason, I was not able to do the web check-in. The queue was pretty long. I wondered if everyone was flying to Bali. When it was my turn, I went to the leftmost check-in desk of Air Asia.
A smart gentleman in the mid of 30’s was waiting for his next passenger. I handed over my passport and looked at his name tag. So he is Mr.Louis Paul.
“Do you have any check-in bag?”
“Would you mind placing all your bags on the weighing machine?”
I put my sling bag, my favorite peach color puma backpack and my brand new Tommy Hilfiger cabin bag on the weighing machine.
“Sorry, Ma’am !! The baggage limit allowed on the cabin is just 7kg. You seem to have an extra 7 kg. You can send one as a check-in baggage.”
Recently one of my friend who traveled from India to the USA on Delta airways got his check-in baggage misplaced and it took almost a week for him to get it back. When he got it back, few of the home decors that he had bought from India was broken. I didn’t want to deal with any such pain on my vacation.
“I guess I want to take this as my cabin baggage.”
“But Ma’am at Malaysian airport they will definitely ask you to send it along with the check-in baggage. So better you can pay baggage allowance of Rs 4000/- now and check-in your bag. It will definitely reach your destination.”
“Why do I have to pay an amount? That bag alone doesn’t weigh more than 5kgs?”
“Sorry Ma’am in AirAsia for all the check-in bags, baggage allowance needs to be paid.”
“Omo!! But I have only these two small pieces as cabin baggage other than this.”
“No ma’am it’s the airline policy.”
“Ohkay fine!! Maybe I will put on some more layers of clothes. Thank you!! “
I stretched my hands to collect my passport back
“Are you a Malayali?”( in regional language)
“Yea I’m” (in regional language)
“Do you have only this three bag?”
“Ohkie! I will let you go. Make sure you keep your sling bag inside your backpack in case there is a baggage check at Malaysia. ”
“Ohh !!Thank you!! Thank you so much!!”
Maybe because I watch more K-Dramas. I gave him a bow with gratitude.
He handed over my passport and boarding pass. For a moment I was so happy for being born as a Malayali. And regretted packing all the unnecessary stuff.
I cleared the immigration check got my exit stamp. Nothing makes me happier than leaving my own country.
I passed through the security check and went to collect my bags.
“Ma’am, do you have any swiss knife or any such items in your bags?”
This time it was a CRPF lady.
“Yea, I have a swiss knife with me.”
“Can you open your bag?”
Now, what the hell is this??? I wondered.I opened my bag and took out my swiss knife.
“Do you have only one?”
“Ma’am you cannot take a swiss knife in your cabin bags.”
I wanted to ask her whether she will return me my knife when I return but before I could ask something she walked away with my $90 USD swiss knife. The way she took it way from me broke my heart. I regretted not sending my bag with the other check-in baggage.
It was already 6:45am. I waited at Gate 17 for another 45 mins mourning for my lost swiss knife.
“Good morning passengers. This is the pre-boarding announcement for flight AK10 to Kuala Lumpur. We are now inviting those passengers with small children, and any passengers requiring special assistance, to begin boarding at this time. Please have your boarding pass. Regular boarding will begin in approximately ten minutes time. Thank you.”
I unplugged my phone from the charging port and waited until they called for row 6-21. The flight was full. I settled down at my usual seat 16F. For the people who sat beside me, it was their first flight experience. They were flying to Malaysia to attend their relative’s marriage. They were really excited about their travel.
When the last passenger got in an announcement came in Malaya and English.
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome onboard Flight AK10 with service from Chennai International Airport to Kuala Lumpur. We are currently third in line for take-off and are expected to be in the air in approximately seven minutes time. The Captain has turned on the Fasten Seat Belt sign. If you haven’t already done so, please stow your carry-on luggage underneath the seat in front of you or in an overhead bin. Please take your seat and fasten your seat belt. And also make sure your seat back and folding trays are in their full upright position.
If you are seated next to an emergency exit, please read carefully the special instructions card located by your seat. If you do not wish to perform the functions described in the event of an emergency, please ask a flight attendant to reseat you.
We remind you that this is a non-smoking flight. Smoking is prohibited on the entire aircraft, including the lavatories. Tampering with, disabling or destroying the lavatory smoke detectors is prohibited by law.
If you have any questions about our flight today, please don’t hesitate to ask one of our flight attendants. Thank you.”
I buckled up my seat belt and looked out through the windows, revising some flying lessons I attended a year back.
to be continued…