17 December 2010

My Stories with AirAsia…(so far)

By Yohanes Peter

I loveeee airplane when I saw it for the first time when I was very young. Yeah, maybe it’s because I really do love traveling as well. Oh well, no wonder that my dream from my young age was to fly here and there, roaming to different cities and of course, to the world! Yep, that’s correct, it is an expensive dream!

When I grew older, I began to come to my senses and able to realize, “Hey!”, I thought. “This whole flying dream is an impossible dream! Oh nooooo!”, I screamed my heart out for this one. Let me bore you this story of my, yes, my family’s financial background: all we have was just enough. Sadly, it’s certainly not enough to cater my expensive flying dream. Don’t talk to me about flying abroad, I couldn’t even afford the even a close-enough domestic airfare! Sigh…. Yes, yes, what a sad sad thing back then.

Be hold you people! The impossible dream will soon turn to a possible dream!

A huge life turning point was happened when Air Asia was firstly introduced in Indonesia. My heart was beating very hard with full of excitements when I firstly saw their ads in the newspaper!!! “Oh, Dear Dear Lord! This is it!!! Zero rupiah it is!!! Hahahahaha! Thank you, my Dear Dear Lord!!! The door to fly has now been opened wide!”

Wait… Wait… Seriously, WAIT!!! A zero rupiah???

Yes, I panicked.

I began to grow a multitude of interest on how on earth this Air Asia could possible offer a crazy zero rupiah flying charge? Is this some kind of sales or marketing trick?!?!

My friends and I started to speculate about this and then they have all warned and mocked me up. “Beware!” was the word that I heard the most.

“Don’t play around and just choose any flight!”
“Don’t just choose a cheap one! You don’t want to plunge to your death from the air!”
“The only inflight entertainment served would be accident!”
“They’ll surely land on the wrong airport!”
“They won’t provide you with any staircase for you to get off from the plane. You just have to find your own way to get off!”
“Oh sure, they’ll just delay your flight for an easy 2-3 days.. Enjoy that!”

And, my thought was, “………… Oh, ow…..” It has certainly worried me to the core.

However, being an optimistic, I still wanna try Air Asia. How would I know how it would ended up with if I have never ever give it a try, wouldn’t I???

It is still fresh in my memory when I recall the first flying experience with Air Asia. Bali was my destination. I went there together with my pals. Don’t tell them that my actual purpose getting them to go there with me. They would kill me for sure. Or, by the time you might be reading this writing of mine, I would have been long gone missing. Dead. Hahaha.. OK, jokes aside. Actually, I still have some doubts with Air Asia deep down in my little heart. So, since I was afraid being alone to mingle in the trouble, I gently dragged them all with me, secretly. Hahaha…

Off we went to Bali, the Island of The Gods. The return air ticket cost per person was only Rp. 300,000 at that time. Gee! For me, it was very cheap compared to the fellow flight competitors during that time. It was a smooth flight and no-accident-inflight-entertainment being served whatsoever! Far beyond from what other people has been mocking Air Asia about. The flight was just felt like how a normal flight supposed to be, except the no-frills part, which, oh well, I don’t mind at all. However, I have to face a flight delay on returning home. But again, it is normal for me.

The sixth of us, including my future wife-to-be really had a blast in Bali. Normally, we only could afford going to Puncak or Bandung as the furthest recreation place, now, Bali has became affordable for us! What a fun-tastic trip! Hahaha..

There you go, my first journey with Air Asia was very delightful experience. It erased all of my doubtfulness to keep flying Air Asia for my next and next and next holiday trip would be. It brings me happiness just to think about it.

Why is that so??? Why, Peter, why???

Easy peasy, Air Asia could help me to save me a lot of money on the air ticket so I could maximize my money for my holiday.

Often, I do invited my other fellow friends and relatives to tag along on my next trip. Oh well, many of them are still being cynical about flying Air Asia. Not little of them warn me to be careful. As long as I could satisfy my childhood dream, I just don’t care..

At one point of time, the government decided to abolish any fiscal charges for us to go overseas. Going overseas became more affordable with less a-fixed-2-million-rupiah-fiscal-charges. Yipeee! When I saw the Air Asia’s ads on newspaper, early morning during my breakfast time, as I sipped my morning coffee-fix, I just couldn’t believe what my own eyes have seen! Going to Singapore has being the same as going to Bali. Even it gets cheaper to fly to Kuala Lumpur. Oh, my goodnesssss!!!

These two things have allowed me to go abroad without any dependency on travel-agent-related-tour-group-thingy! I just need to ask around, google things up and other things. Voila! You are good to go!

After that, the story goes..

HONEYMOONING IN MALAYSIA AND THAILAND
I have been planning far far away before the date I got married. I wanted to have honeymoon somewhere in abroad. I wanted to maximize my honeymoon with only the budget I have. I follow what the Air Asia has suggested me: fly during the low season, NOT peak season, and NOT holiday season! So, even though I had to postpone my honeymoon for a month back, but I finally achieved what a powerful honeymoon could possibly get! Within a week, my wife and I could reach 4 cities and 2 countries with only IDR 1,500,000 to spend! Yes, return air fares, Jakarta – KL – Bangkok – KL – Jakarta… Gee, I am still being so proud of my delightful-yet-sounds-so-impossible achievement! Hehehe.

GOING GOING SINGAPORE
Finally, I could really match up and see Singapore with my own eyes. I could finally reconfirm with my own eyes about what the writing on my t-shirt that says “Singapore is a Fine City”. This long overdue confirmation I made was a pleasant journey. It made me wanted to come back for more. A 3-days and 2-nights trip became not enough for all of us. We could catch the Disney on Ice show in Singapore Indoor Stadium, doing what women says shop-till-you-drop in Orchard Rd, and spend sometime in Sentosa Island. Tell you what. I actually have a sentimental reasoning with Disney On Ice show. It is actually a show that my father, my little sister and I have been watching every year in Jakarta. It was once my childhood’s routine show to watch. However, they have stopped doing it in Jakarta for such a long period time and I have been missing this childhood event of my life. But, again, thanks to Air Asia, it has become something that I could watch again. It would be my unforgettable memory for life!

ACCOMPANIYING MY FRIENDS TO MALAYSIA (again, I know).
Once in a blue moon, my friends feel like to visit Malaysia. Since it would be their first ever overseas trip, then, I gladly accept their invitation. “I’ve been wanting to visit KL some more, anyway!”, I thought.. Hihihi *evil grin*… So, there we go, we visited KL and Genting. No need to pay a bomb for the hotel, transportation and other costs since I have arranged everything through Air Asia. There was SkyBus that send us down from LCCT to Hotel Tunes in KL Sentral! Indeed, fun is accessible without paying top dollars! I am, truly a satisfied customer!!!

“TOUR GUIDE” FOR THE MUMS
This would be my experience with Air Asia’s wonderful service. At one point of time, my wife told me about her desire to please our mums. Hers and my mum. Oh well, as we all knew that women is an ‘impossible-to-be-break-apart-from-shopping-creature’, my dear wife asking for my permission to take them for a shopping spree in Bangkok, Thailand. Just her and our mums. She just wanted to go shopping over there since it is cheap to shop there. It is a fact that we discovered during our last honeymoon trip. Not long after her request, I bought the tickets for them, as usual, far far away before the D-day. But, what can we say, God has a different plan for us. My wife was pregnant! The doctor restricted her from flying. Oh, Dear Lord, her mum and mine would have to fly alone there. The fact that they have not been overseas alone, it would create one of a disastrous trip. Want it or not, I have to be the one that replacing my wife to accompany the mums on this shopping trip. When I wanted to purchase another ticket for me, I found out that my wife tickets is refundable since the pregnancy is taken place. Just need to show them the Doctor’s medical certificate that saying that she’s currently pregnant, and voila! The refund money is being provided. Eventhough it was not in its full amount, but it helped a big time! I could use the refund money to purchase my own air ticket. See? Who says that an expensive flight carrier cannot be wonderfully nice? I can finally accompanying the mums to spend-a-lot-of-money shopping thingy! While in Bangkok, my heart was racing because of two-fold reasons. One, because it was a week before the predicted labor day of my wife and, also because looking at the total money the mums spent on shopping! Hehehe…

GP FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE NIGHT RACE! WOHOOOOO!!!!

This one was my latest trip, the freshest one I could still remember. Finally, a dream came true! Watching a GP Formula 1 Singapore!!! It has been since looooooong time ago, I have been wanting to watch it since they gonna hold it in Singapore. It was on the year of 2009 when FIA announced that the race schedule for the year of 2010. I just ran to the computer, go online and book the ticket, a year ahead! HAHAHA… I bought the return air ticket for just IDR 500,000!!! I could see that the travel agents everywhere are offering tour promo package to watch F1 for ‘only’ IDR 7 – 10M plus plus!!! I was soooooo glad to get mine from Air Asia without being ripped off! I could also use this trip to visit Universal Studios in Singapore that was just recently opened too!

Now, can you all see? All of my trips were done with LCC flight carrier that I love the most: Air Asia. It is inexpensive to fly now. This day, I really do admire Air Asia and its family. I admire a Tony Fernandes. Because of them, now I really CAN FLY!!! It is also a living prove that LCC flight carrier is not a cheap class, isn’t it? Imagine this in your mind: they can sponsor one of the greatest football – Manchester United, sponsored an F1 team, even now they can have their own F1 team, hotels, and new fleets………. There are a lot more that I admire.

My friends that once mocking Air Asia, now slowly started to open their eyes. Funny enough, after they have seen me flying here and there, they mistakenly thought that I have become rich! Hahaha.. No, I have yet to become rich. I could make my dream come true by not even being a conglomerate. They, who were mocking me up, now become the curious. Funny, eh? Hahaha..

Even before I have finished writing this blog, I have taken my big family for a trip to Bali, including both of our parents and my new family member, my baby son! It was the first time ever for all of us to go Bali, and also, the first time ever for me to take my son, flying.

I hope that one day, my son adores what I adore.

Thank you Air Asia, thank you Tony Fernandes, keep on going forward. Keep everyone can fly all the time….