everything happens for a reason


21 october 2015 marks an interesting day. my malaysia airlines flight scheduled at 8.30am back to langkawi was cancelled and rescheduled to 10.15am. and so it begins. we boarded the flight on time, and waited as usual for departure. and waited. and waited. the announcement came, we were to disembark and wait for further instructions. flights to and fro langkawi had been either delayed, retimed or cancelled, no thanks to indonesia causing the haze all over malaysia. but, everything happens for a reason.

got to the transfer counter and we were assigned another flight at 1.10pm. and so we boarded. and waited. and waited. there were unrest in the plane, passengers demanding answer to what, why, when. no one could give any. five minutes came and another five minutes gone as the crew struggles to delay decision. then the same came again, we were to disembark till further notice. this is where most lost it. everyone was crowding around the transfer counter demanding for answer from the poor girls manning the counters. i was watching with much surprise, especially after all the previous bad publicity on malaysia airlines, that these girls at the counter were simply very much composed and calm, smiling each and every time we get to the counter, explaining and issuing us meal vouchers.

over the next few hours a lot had indeed taken place. we saw people shouting and screaming on one end, then on the other side confused travelers not knowing what is happening, hardly even understand english for that matter. there were families where the man was obviously dominant, while a few others the lady was always consulted. there were independent travelers frustrated about they money wasted, and holiday gone down the drain, and a handful whom had full travel insurances to cover pretty much everything, expected and unexpected. this, i believe, is the beauty of tourism. people of all walks of life, all sorts of behaviour and culture, citizens of the world. amazing.

we were put on an evening flight. and the same took place again. endless waiting at the departure gate. and that created an opportunity for us to get to know each other. we started chatting about the situation, their plans and of course disappointments, and also about langkawi. there was a family from the united kingdom, a couple from hong kong, one from india and another ironically from langkawi but left in the early years, now returning for holiday, and a girl alone from japan.

being the local of the group, i ended up giving recommendations, chatting up about langkawi and its attractions and we exchanged contacts and became friends. everything happens for a reason, and with this, i made new friends from all over the world. we never got into the plane that night, instead we were placed in a hotel for the night. while waiting for the coach to send us, we had were given meal vouchers, and some had to make additional arrangements with their hotels in langkawi. we teamed up with a group going for their luggages, and another packing meals from the restaurant to bring back to the hotel. we were completely strangers just couple of hours back. the indian couple cancelled their trip and went elsewhere.

we requested to be in the same hotel, airline agreed, took our names and made the arrangements. they sent us to another hotel, despite promising us a better one. just for the night we thought, it didn’t matter. the family from uk, couldn’t bear another night and probably another series of wait the next day, they had their travel agents arranged a coach for them, courtesy of their travel insurance, and left soon after midnight. the rest of us stayed back. after short night’s rest, we met up for breakfast and waited for updates from the airline. we were soon sent off to the airport again, to wait.

as we were waiting, we told ourselves that we needed to make a decision, waiting is not the solution. for me it was simple, i’ll just take next day’s flight, better chances of getting off. the others decided to cancel their trip to langkawi, airline offered penang as an option. some went on, the others made other plans. refund was in place for those decided otherwise. the japanese tourist took the penang option, but ironically the airline didn’t change her return flight, it was still from langkawi. i helped her to get it replaced, so that she can still catch her flight back to japan upon returning. and there we parted.

it wasn’t the end. i got back to langkawi, we got to know that the family from uk had indeed arrived in langkawi, staying at the datai resort. and i got a message from them through the gm of the andaman where they visited. attached was this million dollar photo, a happy family in langkawi. small world for citizens of the world, world without strangers.

© Crowd Consulting 2016