Monday, October 6, 2008

SNIPPETS from the MIDDLE-EAST ( Part I ) : Flying on Kuwait Airways

Wishing everybody a joyous Eid Mubarak.
I took Kuwait Airways (KU) to join my daughter in Dubai flying via Kuwait on the 3rd Day of Eid. As I took off late at 3.15am from KLIA, there was nothing much to endure except for my new experience of flying on KU. The flight had earlier started off from Jakarta with some European and Indonesian passengers already on board though not even half-full laden. I was allotted a window seat when I checked-in and was quite happy with the help of a ground crew at the check-in counter who suggested that I could sleep undisturbed on flight. Never did I realise that all the aisle seats were already taken up and monopolised by the European passengers who each filled the improvised sofas to sleep on. My reclining seat had to be manually operated to make it upright.
Shortly after take-off, we were served with some delicious meal, more like a light middle-eastern savoury, which was too short on quantity ! I was quite hungry then and whispered to the stewardess, who happened to be a Malaysian named Win Nee, asking for a double portion of same but it never came. The flight was not full, remember ? There were still so much food on-board the flight to go round with. I didn't see them serving liquors or beer on flight, but the pineapple juice given to me was simply a disaster; it tasted as if a cockroach has swum in it. I asked for an orange juice for a substitute. For Heaven's sake, don't they check the quality before it is served ?
I have brought along 2 books with me for my in-flight reading but after the cabin lights-out I found that the reading light above me did not work. In fact only 2 or 3 lights did I see working in the whole cabin I was seated. What was even worse, from my quick count, less than 10% of the video screens available in the cabin were functional. And no one seemed to wanting to complain. It didn't seem to matter the passenggers for being deprived of the in-flight movies. For me, there was no reading nor movies to enjoy on the 9-hour or so flight. I managed to perform my Fajr prayers from my seat in between my numerous forty-winks when I saw an awesome streak of some red-orange dawn light over the horizon.
We touched down in Kuwait at 6.15am which was already broad daylight, but there was a heavy overcast in the sky. The weather was very cool upon our arrival. The airport, against my fanciful expectation, was just mediocre. I now had the impression that Kuwait was not as vibrant as it was hyped to be.
The good thing about KU flight, they served complimentary breakfast to all transit passengers upon arrival. May be MAS could take heed to enhance its passenger services to a higher quality level.



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