When the Cyclone Comes To An End

Flying Back

When the tinge whispers to my ear, I obviously am listening to Jason Mraz's top hits "I'm Yours". San Diego's world's recognized singer blows the bottlenecked air to inner eardrum as earphone tools my ear. I mumble the lyric and still keep playing over my head "... And nothing stops me but divine intervention". This upbeat phrase occurs to me for real when my itinerary goes into more unpredictable.

I'm not the only one on the queue list for two-hour long sitting back at small Departure Room of Sultan Kaharudin Airport (Brang Biji) of Sumbawa. The inconvenient announcement of cancellation is inevitable truth. Merpati Nusantara flight MZ6465 turns back to Lombok due to unfriendly weather is striking back Sumbawa since three days ago. I have never made any flight plan without calculation and risk possibility. I'm not kind of easily-packed-stuff-goer on board if I was never ever finding out how second plan could be made. I should have been at cybersphere to gather up lot of information as well as trial-and-error airlines' website. But this experience is the worst ever since.

I booked for SWQ-LOP departure time 03.35 pm and subsequent flight to Jakarta (LOP-CGK) two hour later. In my overbearing time calculation it was totally worthwhile. But "divine intervention" as Jason Mraz claim is the only power can stop me. The day of online booking was bright and clear. But just few days before the departure time, the weather has turned into bulky cloudy above and windy or even worst. I was totally having no idea what thing has been doing. The plane cancels to fly descending yet it swerves. I (and we all passenger) can't blame the airlines company as mother nature plays its part. With all due respect representatives come upon upset passenger to explain the reason, it's very obvious though. Then I try to contact my upcoming flight, Lion Air's CS to cancel Jakarta trip but unfortunately their system stagnates, no one is over there to listen my cancellation. It's game over.

My Mom is still welcome to open the door. I, for inconvenient account, has to stay home for undecided return plan. I'm at home again and the rain is still pouring down heavily. Family member and neighbors wrap off important documents, clothes, and other important stuffs to anticipate overflowing river. Last year when no one really realized the flood inundated most of settlement while people were sleeping nice. They (I) have learnt a lesson just based on classic proverb "Prepare an umbrella before rain comes". But I have a really good-luck, it never happen or at least water bank is not serious enough. We are saved.

I'm just too curious to know what thing happens, or it only may has influenced me since my major deals with weather. Browsing for some hours trying to gather up news, the conclusion comes to end as official release by BOM of Australia reveals in detail the Rusty Cyclone is hitting my area and now moving southeasternward to noethern area of Western Territory. Based on officials forecast, it would occur for 12 days. I inhale deeply then exhale slowly while my mind is thinking, how to go back to Bogor soon. I'm ready for the next must-be-successful itinerary.

Feeling the weather development and pace, I with mixed up of doubt and certainty at the end of thinking has compromised to refrain my stay lasting only a week. I compare every ticket price that of airlines to serve my route, I'm fortunate finding out Merpati out of sudden offers the lowest price ever. But is it really worthy for today situation? Get my doubt rid out first, next I have to deal with subsequent 2-hour long flight to Jakarta. Since Batavia went to bankruptcy, Garuda Indonesia and Lion Air are the only two options. I surely don't want my badluck to happen for the second time or I'm the moron of speculation. Well, I assume the weather will go into messy or anything happen that cause my flight from Sumbawa cancelled again, thus my plan should be mature. I have to book the next day (in the morning) flight from Lombok since I could catch up it by narrow body bus and ferry in the night, with extra 6 hours long exhaust. I deal with my own decision.

I've just been more relieved. I contact my buddy in Mataram to pick me up for a night stay when my flight from Sumbawa will have arrived. He is excited I will come since we never met again for a year. I value what friendship is.

But wait, seems I should put my promise off. I would never met my buddy for 2 years then as Merpati Nusantara CS calls me to inform disappointing account, the aircraft is under maintenance. Well, I should really go to plan B. Staying overnight on the bus then approaching the airport as soon as possible when arrived. He still calls me even when I'm on the ferry whether it is possible to catch me up in the very early morning yet I should not miss my flight since I have to go by taxi to the new airport for almost an hour distance. The decision falls to postpone to meet up.

Garuda Indonesia B737-800NG parks at Lombok International Airport

Arriving at Lombok International Airport, I am still so sleepy hardly. Garuda Indonesia Boeing 737-800 NG is parking over there engaged to skybridge. It flies an hour later after Lion Air's B737-900 ER takes off. My decision, based on my own measurement, is seemingly perfect when I chose Garuda Indonesia as my carrier this morning. The price was cheaper on the day of booking and the service is surely above low cost airlines. But unfortunately the ground service today is not full satisfying. We have to wait almost 15 minutes after the due schedule to only check-in. Next airlines serve better ground service even though their passenger queue is so long by number due to high load factor, it's option. I show my GFF and ID card asking for window seat with no additional airport tax, it's all included. It's way better I guess.

Mt. Rinjani, Three Gilis (Meno, Air, Trawangan), and blue GA' sharklet

Coach Freshment

For the time performance, I should do appreciate GA is rarely disappointing. Today my measurement close to 95%. Everything is well. Omelet, sausage, and little bit cubical potato are all served for coach passenger. No more food choice but beverage, milk, coke, or orange juice. I wonder to have seat on Business Class, how does the freshment taste? But all I remember, "You get what you pay". At least I still I own the AVOD which is placed at every seat, including coach aisle. That's all good enough.

Two-hour long I just watch few minutes piece of selected movies randomly. Some times returning back again to song choice or just playing around my finger on the screen. I enjoy the most is Anggun's track which is available the whole of her albums, her golden voice. My preference is "Echo", the song she sung at Eurovision 2012 to represent France at the second most bottom ranking. Yet I love the way she speaks French, sounds sexy.

It's almost two hour but the aircraft still wonders above the sky to wait until ATC officer allows it to touch down. The air traffic has become more crowded. I can obviously see many aircrafts are flying ascending after leaving the runway. The airport load in fact is so much overwhelming yet the extension pace is far slower. Current release of ACI (Airports Council International) shows that Soekarno-Hatta International Airport has gained 2 position into the 10th most busiest airport by passenger traffic or the third in Asia after Beijing-China and Haneda-Tokyo, Japan. It has even surpassed neighboring Changi, Singapore and Suvarnabhumi, Thailand and even far leaving KLIA. Based on quality and service, I have to admit they are above average leaving SOETTA at the bottom line. Though now I see some improvements are really occurring. The connecting bus passenger has exclusive stop point near to Terminal 2. The extension of Terminal 3 is on progress. I just hope in the very near soon it will find its balancing point between capacity and loading. Just heard Lion Air's new deal/record with Airbus is another uprising issue as headline. Let's see.

Welcome campus life!

2 Response to When the Cyclone Comes To An End

March 21, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Weather, climate and organizational competence rule obviously in air transport. Planning your trips home and back apparently calls for a major in the likes of econometrics and huge improvisational talents - or so it seems :).

Yet the adventures in the air guarantee a good story :).

The mega deal between Lion and Airbus may help both of us; it will in all likelihood drastically improve travelling in the archipelago on the one hand and our ailing European economy on the other :).

April 3, 2013 at 10:14 AM

I hope the mega deal would be a path to more economy ties :-)

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