Grumbling On Malaysians with their hand luggage.

A friend of mine once suggested that the general Malaysians needed to be re-educated on how to behave on board of the plane and also the school syllabus should include subject on the ethic of air travel for the young ones.

It may not be the entire Malaysian people behaving badly on the plane but a handful who stands out like a sore thumb and giving annoyances to their fellow passengers and crew alike.

At the departure lounges. When the traffic staff were just about to announce ” Ladies and gentlemen, we are now invite those with…..(he or she meant to continue further by saying).…children and babies to board the plane first” but generally who already on their feet were those neither have children or babies. They would squeeze-in between those parents to board the plane first.

And now, the staff going to make another announcement ” We are now calling those who are seated at row 20 to row 27 to board the plane”. Unfortunately the announcement fell on the deaf ears. Those seated at the front rows who’d sprung to take the queue. To make matter worst if they have a large amount of hand luggage. Why? When they arrived at their allocated seats at some where row five or six, they would hog the area trying to stow their luggage while those actually called would have to wait. The call to board for those been given the aft seats is to facilitate a smooth boarding process by following the simple procedure “last rows to board first” but Malaysians, as kiasu as ever wanted to board first in order to secure the overhead stowage bins.

Talking about the hand luggage. Both passengers and airlines’ personnel are at fault (except Air Asia which really serious about excess hand luggage because they have earned a huge profit from these charges).

Our national airline was usually serious about one hand luggage per passenger policy just a matter of a few hours after the instruction was sent through the internal email ( Not even days). If you do not trust me, you may take a look at the special counter built at the main entrance of KLIA domestic safety check that has long been left unattended. The passengers are free to carry as much luggage as they like.

Reenforce this procedure and am sure, the airline could make a few extra bucks and at the same time, Malaysians and passengers alike are being educated to restrain themselves to the impulse of carrying heavy luggage on board. It is a win-win situation for all parties including our environment when the planes have a fewer weights and indirect consuming less fuel.

The old habit resurfaces and no one seems to care, to forbid passengers from carrying more than what they should. The staff should seriously enforcing this procedure in order to educate passengers to travel light for the flight.  The reason given to the flight crew when we made noise was usually “We do not have enough man power”.

The problem with extra bags that endlessly being carried on board are among the main reasons that we have a slow passengers boarding hence the flight usually delayed. Both actions of carrying and stowing these bags contribute to the overall time-consuming during this process. The selfish act of taking the entire bin just because they have a few loaf of bread or fragile photo frames, guitar or simply a newly bought Louis Vuitton has further causing the overflow of luggage. The excuses that the passengers have given to the flight crew when we tried to rearrange the bins are countless, rude to some extend.

Now they are on the plane. The luggage are safely carried on board but suddenly these bags are too heavy for them to lift it up to the overhead bins. They apparently had the energy to carry those bags from their house but when they came on board, they thought those petite looking stewardesses were former heavy weights lifters. The polite ones would ask for an assistance but the rude ones would simply using their  “remote controls” instructing the crew to stow for them.

The luggage are now stowed. On air, by whatever reasons they sometimes needed to retrieve the bag, it is uncommon to see those bins were left widely opened after they have taken what needed. The crew then had to leave what ever they were doing just to walk into the cabin and closing them back.

The aircraft has landed and now time to leave the plane. The business section is at the front of the cabin. It is a normal practice of any airline to allow their business or first class passengers to leave the plane first. The class partition is separated only by a mere curtain. Some economy passengers would simply budged-in to disembark among the business class passengers without a hint of shame on their faces. Come on people, please have some courtesy to at least ask permission of the crew who manning  the business class  if you have any urgent matters to attend upon arrival.

Business people have left. Now the commoners turn to leave. You will see why did I call those seated in economy are commoners. No pun intended but let see…passengers who were rushed to board the plane even though their numbers were not among those called earlier during boarding, are now scrambling to retrieve their luggage in the over head bins. More than often, they simply took their own sweet time as if they were on their own private plane. The rest of passengers would have to be contented with sarcastic expressions while waiting for them to disembark. Parents were told to wait for the rest of passengers to leave in order to speed up disembarkation process but hell no…they wanted to leave the plane while carrying babies and adding to the annoyance was when the children reluctant to walk along the aisle. Another reason why these parents are told to disembark last is because the retrieval of their baby stroller usually took a bit of time and there is no point waiting  at the bridge while their strollers yet to be sent to them.

We are now left with a few remaining passengers from the last rows but suddenly we noticed there are bags left inside the overhead bins in business class section. The immediate reaction was usually thinking that business class passengers may have forgotten their luggage and the crew were about to take away the bags and hand them over to the ground handling but then we heard a screaming passenger  ” hey those are mine!”. The cattle class or the economy passengers are sometimes placed their bags in the bins meant for business class when they boarded the plane. This selfish act was usually done by regulars who knew that cabin crew were usually busy during boarding and they took advantage of the situation to quickly stow their bags, walked to economy section and quietly took their seats. The problems were not only occurred after landing when the crew might mistakenly thought it was belonged to business class passengers but it could cause a major problem during boarding too if the business class section is fully seated. Obviously the bins would be filled to brim and the crew might have a problem finding space for these luggage carried by business passengers.

It will take a few pages of me writing on luggage alone. Enough for now.

Why did I mention that Malaysians needed to be re-educated on the ethic of flying? What I have written above was simply a ten percent on how badly my fellow Malaysians behaving on board. I have flown the unfriendly skies far too long  not to notice the differences between  international travellers and Malaysians.

It is a common encounter for me waiting at the door welcoming passengers….” Good morning sir, welcome aboard” but getting this reply from my fellow Malaysian…” No Star arrr? No paper are?”. My greetings were usually received no response but when a matsaleh responded and we exchanged a few words, then goes the infamous accusation that cabin crew are biased toward their own kind.

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