I’ve just finished reading another book on adventure or rather misadventure by my favourite author, Jon Krakauer (The author, who more famous for his account of the Mt. Everest’s 1996 tragedy – Into Thin Air). Into the Wild, a similar run theme is a true story of a young adventurous soul, Christopher McCandless who went tramping the wild north, Alaska in search of a true meaning of life and happiness. However, he was reported dead on 12 September 1992.

For most people, the story of Mr.McCandless is just another sad story of a fool who was just asking for trouble and got what he deserved when he was found dead in the wild Alaska. But for me, McCandless’s story was very enlightening on man’s thirst for adventure.

I found a lot of myself in McCandless or better known as Alex. I began to understand at this very moment of writing this post that everything that took place in my life shaped me into what I am right now almost perfectly. I guess, the only thing that differentiates me from Alex is that, I have found the answer and I am living it through. I have no doubt also that Alex too had found the answer in the Alaskan wilderness, but he never got the chance to return to his loved ones and provide more meanings in their lives.

Reading Into The Wild brings back my childhood memories of similar misadventures that I have had from the day I learned to walk. There was me having my first ‘Fear Factors’ game by walking alone in the middle of the night in Johor Bahru’s Hutan Bandar, (JB’s most famous boy scouts camping ground located just next to a Chinese cemetery) just to prove to other scouts at the age of 12 that there was no such thing as Hantu Jepun in that area (and as a proof of courage, I was asked to bring back Coke for each and every one of them!). And there was me sleeping alone in the middle of the Rimutaka range only to know later that the spot where I slept was part of an abandon train station (it was known to be haunted!).

Considering all these misadventures that I had in life, it has started to make a real sense now why and how I have got myself stuck in Quality. This is one work where passion is the only thing that matters! There is a true spirit of adventure in the things that I do as a quality professional. The whole work of quality personnel revolves around the journey of leading and driving the company to the final destination. It is a journey, an adventure! It is a long and winding road towards a never ending quest called Business Excellence.

For me, the prospect of this fairytale like journey itself is one hell of an adventure for me to savour! AirAsia has only been around for less than a decade and yet this company has moved leaps and bounds to what it is today, the leading low-cost airline in this region! And yet, as far as Quality-The Journey is concerned, this organisation is very much in its infancy years. It takes a lot of patience and passion for me to lead my Quality team and my colleagues in AirAsia in this journey towards Business Excellence.

There is no telling precisely what the path will look like for AirAsia on this long journey towards Business Excellence. But one thing for sure, there will be stories of misadventures along the way and of course, I am more than happy to blog them as part of my adventures (or rather misadventures) in life!


In AirAsia I climb mountains. From the highest in Malaysia to the most ferocious volcano in Indonesia. My passion is to climb as many mountains as I can before I die and in between mountains, I will cycle to work!
At work, I preach and inspire my colleagues! My missionary work takes me to all the stations that AirAsia flies into and brings me closer to my mountains.
Time is my main enemy! 25 minutes is all I have each time our A320s & B737s reach their destinations! I preach them on the importance of quality at work and I inspire them on why they have to give their very best when they serve our passengers (i.e. our guests). My work is also to heal and make some necessary kills when I observe processes are inefficient and ineffective in our operations.

When I am not at the stations, I will tune into the Guest Support Channel. They have quite a variety of good tunes that I love to spend time listening. These tunes come from our customers (i.e. our guests) and they range from their wonderful jazzy experience flying with the red-skirts and to their unfortunate rhapsody when their flights are delayed.

That in a nutshell, are all the things that I do in AirAsia!

P/S: If you still can’t figure it out, well, I am with the most misunderstood department in the organisation – The Service Quality Team!

  • Shyamala

    Khairul Ariffin, I did not wake up at 3.00am to blog. I was planning to send a note to The-Kid-On-TV, Azran Osman-rani. Thing was, I saw him on BTV/Channel 502 last Saturday and I wanted to tell him that I am proud of him.

    But it seems like I never ever do what I set out to do when I stepped into the Wild. Now you make me want to go out to get that book. The MPH opens only at 10am and that’s a long way. So, thank you for giving me something to achieve in the coming days – getting That Book.

    Oh, on quality, I hope you will stay stuck in Quality for always. It is the best place to be, all the time.

  • Muqaddis

    The thirst for adventure will lead towards the long and winding road, occasionally perturbed by the agony of being able to assist, being refrained from committing a morally acceptable. The sky will enhance AirAsia path towards the so-called reality and inevitably contributes towards mankind. Bravo AirAsia!

  • Yew Aun

    I’ve been doing the Christopher McCandless thing for a bit now.
    Malaysia is a good place to do something like that.

  • Nurul Syafiqah

    salam…alhamdullillah…saudari dikurniakan kerjaya yang bagus sehingga dapat melancong begitu jauh….