I sat at one of seats near gate 112 belonging to Satellite Concourse Building Incheon International Airport after a few minutes before being transferred by shuttle train from Terminal 1. Boarding time was only half an hour away, so I couldn’t take the risk to explore the entire airport terminal building.
I prefered to watch airplanes fly by. Some of them seemed to focus in landing their wheels at airport’s runway and others seemed to be queuing up to get permission from Air Traffic Controller (ATC) to fly. I often did this habit because of my interest in aircraft and aviation industry. From this habit of observing, it wasn’t uncommon for me to find the names of new airlines which in the future I usually targeted them to enjoy their services in traveling around world.
For me, that day was very special in my travel history, because Air Asia D7 505 would be my first trip using a large aircraft. If in previous flights I had always ridden a small aircraft, such as an Airbus A320 or Boeing 737, but that time I would ride an Airbus A330 with 9 columns of seats…. That afternoon really created curiosity and impatience.
Half an hour later, the gate actually opened. I started to take a position in the right column of queue.
“Just give duty free shopping to mom, let mom hold it,” a male passenger shouted in Indonesian language to his son who was carrying two large bottles of alcoholic drinks. Hearing the language of my nation while in another country was indeed a special gift that could help raise the mood to always feel close to home. That time at my left was an Indonesian citizens of Chinese descent who also seemed to be on their way home.
“Which city are you come from, Sir?”, I ventured to ask.
“Oh, you’re from Indonesia too? I’m from Bekasi, Sir.”
“Oh, I’m from East Jakarta, Sir”.
“Oh, our home are close. What kind of business do you do, Sir in Jakarta?”
“I just work in a company, sir, in Jakarta. Not doing business”
“Oh, is that so, are you alone, Sir?”
Our conversation didn’t last long because our meeting had to end when a ground staff checked our tickets and passports. After that we were separated in a long aerobridge.
At the end of aerobridge, I was greeted by a Malay-looking flight attendant at plane door and I was directed to turn towards front cabin. According to my boarding pass, I looked for seat numbered 14K which turned out to be positioned in right side of window seat. That was the seat which I had to enjoy during the long flight later.
Oh yes, my flight number that time was D7 505. Do you want to know the meaning of code?….
If QZ was the flight code operated by Indonesia Air Asia and AK was the flight code for Air Asia Malaysia, then D7 was the flight code belonging to Air Asia X specifically for long-haul flights.
D7 505 itself was a flight of 5,000 kilometers with a travel time of 5 hours 50 minutes. The flight started from Incheon International Airport, South Korea and would end at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2, Malaysia.
Hmmm…..During the flight….
Turns out, the window seat I was in was uncomfortable because the curve of airplane cabin limited my comfort during the flight. While flying in economy class, I could only pass the time by flipping through Travel 360, which was Air Asia’s inflight magazine. When my eyes get tired of reading, then I continued to spend time with closing my eyes. Luckily, the packaged almonds I bought at Namdaemun Market a day before made my flight a little less boring.
Half of the flights in light conditions allowed me to freely enjoy the views of Yellow Sea and East China Sea, while the rest of the flights continued in complete darkness where I couldn’t do much. Until finally the plane arrived in Kuala Lumpur around ten at night.
After the flight, I still had to go through the last leg of my journey to explore East Asia by staying for 9 hours at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 before returning to my homeland on the next day using Air Asia AK 382 connecting flight.