Today is my flight bound to Taipei I decided to work from home to avoid too much traffic from the city since its Friday and to give me a chance to prepare my stuff as I am avoiding to miss anything in my backpack. While I am packing, I’m still working, monitoring all incoming emails from time to time. I am lucky as not much work for me today since it’s just few days after New Year, most people at work has still hangover from recent major holidays. It is a quiet day for my work life which is great.
I left home 5 hours before my scheduled flight. I traveled at least 1.5 hours from home to Ninoy Aquino International Airport, to Terminal 3 to be exact. I withdrawn few cash to pay for my travel tax. There are self check-in kiosk available at the front of Air Asia counter, which is my airline for my travel. I felt at ease at first since I don’t have luggage to checked-in. After checked-in at the kiosk, I got my boarding pass from the machine, but when I checked the boarding pass printed, I saw that there is travel document verification mark on it and instructing to go to document verification counter. I inquired in one counter of Air Asia about it, I was advised the travel document verification is the same as checked-in counters. This means the self checked-in I did earlier in their kiosk is useless because I have to queue in the long line too. I wondered why they put those self checked-in kiosk, when they cannot provide a counter that only checks travel documents. It’s one of the disappointments that I experienced today.
I queued more than 1.5 hours just for travel document verification. When its my turn, I only spent around 5 to 10 mins. I was advised for the gate for my flight and instructed that the next step is immigration. If there was separate counters for verification check, the 1.5 hours may have been spent to other things than queuing and waiting, but that is reality of life when dealing with budget airlines.
I went to the immigration gate and passed easily without questions. Then, I passed the last scanner and I walked straight to the gate for my flight. One hour to go before my flight and I thought all will be good and then, as we approached the time of the flight schedule, there was announcement that the plane is being serviced and therefore the flight will be delayed for at least 40 minutes. Like other passenger, I can’t do much about it but to wait.
Next announcement was past quarter of 11 PM that night and they mentioned that we will be boarding soon. Then after few minutes, boarding the plane has been started. The plane took off past 12 AM in the morning. Estimated time to arrive Taipei was almost 3 AM, 2 hours delayed than scheduled time.
The usual experience inside the plane happened, the flight crew checks everything, demonstrated safety procedures and evacuation process during emergency. Then, the plane took off, after we were stabilized in the air, the crew started to do their chores, since I booked my flight with food, they served the food to the people who ordered it prior to the flight. I know that we cannot expect too much quality of the service in a budget airlines, because customer service comes with a price nowadays. That’s why I have to order my food together with my booking so that I can take advantage of serving the food at the earliest. Ordering food on the spot while inside the plane, can be daunting, as most of the time, your order will take sometime and if unlucky, the food you wanted to order is not available anymore.
My food served at the earliest and I ate and finished early, while the other crew still serving the other passengers. Because the flight was not too long, I just closed my eyes and took a nap. When I woke-up, the crew announced to prepare for landing to Taoyuan International Airport and I knew that in a matter of few minutes, I will be in Taipei, Taiwan, new city and new country for me. Until then
Written this diary last January 6-7, 2017.
Updated, June 8, 2017