Namanya Maeda….Vanilla Air JW 130 dari Kaohsiung (KHH) ke Tokyo (NRT)

Jalur pernerbangan Vanilla Air JW 130 (sumber: https://www.radarbox.com/).

Pramugari ayu berbalut seragam biru dengan bunga di selipan telinga kanannya itu terlihat paling muda….Juga paling cantik.  Senyumnya juga paling ceria.  Berambut pendek  kecoklatan sepanjang bahu tetapi sedikit lebih panjang di potongan sisi kirinya dan sudah barang tentu, paras oriental menjadi penyempurna keelokannya.

Namanya Maeda….

Entah, kalau dirunut, dia terletak di silsilah yang mana dengan Tadashi Maeda, seorang Laksamana Muda yang berperan penting dalam kemerdekaan Indonesia.

Nama Maeda disejarahkan sebagai sebuah Klan Samurai di Jepang. Memiliki sifat jujur, berani, setia dan memegang teguh komitmen pada kebenaran.

Berburu Yen di Kaohsiung International Airport.
Bersiap check-in.
Yes, boarding pass ditangan.
Menuju gate setelah diinterogasi cukup lama di imigrasi.

Pagi itu, dia menjadi yang tersibuk di atas Laut China Timur. Seorang keluarga asal Tiongkok terlalu keras kepala mengakuisisi deret bangku demi berkumpulnya satu keluarga kecil dalam penerbangan Vanilla Air kali ini. “Si Ayu” Maeda terus membujuknya untuk duduk sesuai nomor yang tertera dalam boarding pass. Ternyata suara lembutnya tak pernah berhasil membujuk keluarga itu untuk berpisah hingga separuh waktu penerbangan. Bahkan Maeda merayunya hingga berjongkok di depan penumpang itu.

Entah kenapa sampai sekarang pun aku masih teringat dengan si Maeda ini,

Maeda menjadi sebuah bonus dari penetapan pilihan pada maskapai yang sebenarnya aku tak mengenal baik sebelumnya. Pencarianku pada situs penyaring penerbangan berdasarkan beberapa kategori, memilihkanku pada maskapai pengakuisisi Air Asia Jepang ini. Di kemudian hari, tiket seharga Rp. 800.000 itu menerbangkanku dari Kaohsiung di Taiwan menuju Tokyo.

Bahkan waktu-waktuku sebelum bertemu Maeda ini tak seindah yang kubayangkan. Aku memaksakan diri tidur semalaman di Kaohiung International Airport di sebuah selasar Departure Hall.

Bangun pagi….Bahkan masih terkantuk pun, karena terbawa obrolan dengan penumpang lain hingga lewat tengah malam, aku bersungut-sungut menuju meja check-in setelah menukarkan sisa New Taiwan Dollarku dengan Yen.  Konter check-in bernomor D18 dengan LCD bercantum nama maskapai menyelesaikan proses itu dengan cepat.

Gate 30, tempat menunggu Vanilla Air JW 130 datang.
Boarding yang membahagiakan.
Cari bangku bernomor 27D.

Masalah lain muncul,

Di meja imigrasi, terjadi agenda klarifikasi segala yang membuatku dipisahkan dari antrian dan di dudukkan pada sebuah bangku di ujung deretan konter.

Why do your visa look like this”, Visa Waiverku dicurigai.

It’s a new waiver visa for Indonesian e-passport holder,Mam”

Wait, let me check to my boss!”.

Wanita muda itu tergopoh meninggalkanku menuju sebuah ruangan. Aku masih tenang saja menantinya kembali, hingga 15 menit lamanya.

Ahh…Aku pasti lolos”, batinku.

Ok, sir, It’s valid”, celotehnya membuyarkan beku mukaku yang sedang mengamati sebuah pojok bangunan terminal.

Setelahnya, dia melepasku untuk memasuki sebuah koridor berplafon lengkung dangan pohon-pohon artifisial di sisi kiri menuju ke gate nomor tiga puluh.

Itu dia “Si Ayu” Maeda.
Disembarkation Card dan Customs Declaration untuk memasuki Jepang.

Lalu bagaimana dengan keluarga Tiongkok yang sedari tadi dibujuk “Si Ayu” Maeda?

Bersyukur, pimpinan pramugari turun tangan membantunya dan berhasil memisahkan keluarga kecil itu sesuai prosedur penerbangan.

Mengesankan! Vanilla Air menjadi maskapai  nomor empat belas dari dua puluh delapan jenis maskapai yang telah kunaiki. Bersyukur tentunya bisa menikmati jasa penerbangan milik anak perusahaan ANA (All Nippon Airways) ini.

Pagi itu pilot menjelaskan ada sedikit badai yang berasal dari Laut Filipina, tapi syukurlah, turbulensi itu tak berlangsung lama dalam perjalanan. Pernebangan menggunakan Airbus A320, sejauh 2.500 Km, berselang tiga jam dengan ketinggian 37.000 feet ini sungguh menyenangkan. Mungkin saja, karena ini adalah titik kulminasiku dalam menjelajah Asia. Siapa sih yang tak berhasrat mengunjungi Negeri Matahari Terbit itu.

Pukul sebelas lebih beberapa menit akhirnya aku tiba Narita International Airport.

Yuk berpetualang di Tokyo!

Alternatif untuk tiket pesawat dari Kaohsiung ke Tokyo bisa dicari di 12Go atau link berikut: https://12go.asia/?z=3283832

Kisah Setelahnya—->

Citilink QG 145 from Semarang (SMG) to Jakarta (HLP)

Citilink QG 145 flight route. Source: https://flightaware.com/

Titan treated me to lunch before arriving at hotel. A portion of Pecel 1* rice near Public Senior High School 1 Semarang. Then he also supplied me with typical Semarang Presto 2* Milkfish to take back to Jakarta. Wow, he was my kind friend.

Before actually checking out, Titan, who was curious about how I chose cheap lodging, he came with me to dormitory room. He paid close attention to dormitory room and its sleeping capsules. “Great Donny, can you sleep in a capsule like this?“, he said with a smile. “When abroad, I did the same thing, Titan. That’s why I can travel at a low cost”, I replied in a whisper.

Toyota Calya in orange metallic color, picked me up at Sleep & Sleep Capsule. Simultaneously, I said goodbye to Titan to leave Semarang. Thank you Titan.

On 15:25 hours, I arrived at the airport. Without further ado and exploration, I hurried over to check-in counter. I was only forty-five minutes from boarding time. Less crowded counters allowed me to finish check-in process in fifteen minutes and finally my boarding pass was in my hand….Nice.

I continued to focus on heading to waiting room quickly. I was only thirty minutes away from flight. And exactly fifteen minutes before boarding, I reached waiting room and sat down with gasping. Not long, after enjoying the beauty of waiting room, A call from ground staff to got ready to fly echoed. Now, I was preparing at Gate 3A to enter aircraft cabin.

Ticket to Jakarta.
Citilink QG 145’s cabin interior. Sat on seat number 10A.

Now I was sitting on seat which matched with its number on boarding pass. I was getting ready to go to Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport, which was 394 Km from Ahmad Yani International Airport. I would fly with Airbus A320’s flying casings with a maximum altitude of 26,000 feet, with a speed of 520 mph and a travel time of 53 minutes.

During boarding process, I continued to enjoy the beauty of Ahmad Yani International Airport’s new passenger terminal from plane window. Seen some planes were back and forth coming and going on left side of plane which I was riding. The sky was cloudy, a sign that I should be prepared for a little turbulence right after take-off.

The time when had been waiting arrived, the plane was already getting ready on runway and waiting for permission to spur its jet engine into air. I was just busy in reading Citilink’s inflight magazine, i.e Linkers. Plane slowly began to advance and showing overall shape of airport from end to end. Beautiful of Ahmad Yani International Airport.

Wings Air’s ATR aircraft.
Which destination was that Air Asia to ?.
Terminal building along with ATC of Ahmad Yani International Airport during take-off.

Before breaking through thick clouds above, this flight quickly showed the beauty of Semarang’s north coast. Combination of dark clouds with orange sunlight which penetrated between clouds, combined with blue sea with the creeping of ships around port….Hmmhh, a very authentic Semarang.

The vibrations began to be felt when plane wanted to stabilize its flying altitude. But after that, sky returned clean and revealed its beauty from a height. That afternoon, I didn’t want to close my eyes and mised that amazing sky show.

Semarang north coast….Wouww, awesome.
The sun version of sky and the sun version of sea …. Beautiful isn’t it ?.
Pilots were very adept in dodging clouds….Smooth flight.

Flight incredibly felt short. Citilink began to get down above capital sky. Land of Bekasi was very dense. Several city icons were clearly visible from above. Patriot Candrabhaga Stadium, which I visited during President Cup match between Bali United and Semen Padang FC, just for seeing Irfan Bachdim’s figure closer.

While another view was LRT line which was being built along Cikampek toll road, it looked very beautiful. That was the path which almost I have taken every day throughout my profession as a salesman in capital city.

Patriot Chandrabhaga Stadium was visible from a height.
LRT line which was currently under construction.

Citilink QG 145 landed at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport very smoothly. As usual, passengers would get off and walked at apron area to main terminal building. I rushed to conveyor belt to pick up luggage and then went home using an online motorcycle taxi.

Get off the plane in apron area.
Several visitors were waiting for Apron Free Shuttle Bus. I prefered to walk..

Many beautiful flights with Citilink. Thank you Citilink.

Alternatives for flight tickets from Semarang to Jakarta can be searched on 12Go or the following link: https://12go.asia/?z=3283832

Scoot Air TR 457 from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore (KUL-SIN)

SCOOT AIR….Low Cost Carrier (LCC) from Singapore, which its stocks are owned by Singapore Airlines.

Scoot Air TR457 flight path. Source from https://flightaware.com

Scoot is 22nd airlines which I have ever used. Through flight number TR 457 on regular route Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Singapore (SIN), I firstly used Scoot Air service on March 31st, 2018. On that time, I boarded an Airbus A320 aircraft with 168 passengers in capacity.

Even though I ever used Tiger Mandala Airlines on November 26th, 2013 while heading to Bangkok and Tiger Air on January 11st, 2015 when I returned from Vietnam. Now the two airlines have merged into Scoot Air.

Look that ! Tiger Air identity in Scoot Air TR 457 plane.

Ambiguity of terminal where I would depart (whether from KLIA terminal 1 or KLIA terminal 2) made me a little nervous because departure list usually publishes 2 hours before flight. And of course, it takes time to move from KLIA2 to KLIA.

For international flights, I always start towards airport on 4 hours before flight time. So I left Westree Hotel on 05:30 and rushed to Skybus/Aerobus shelter which located in KL Sentral. Because distance from hotel to shelter is only 40 m, I only needed to walk for 3 minutes towards shelter.

Indian descent hotel security sharply watched me in inner door of lobby….Because I stood for a long time in middle of lobby door….I was seriously watching around….So quiet, I had to make sure that there wasn’t suspicious thing along road which I would pass towards KL Sentral.

Yesss….There aren’t any people on road….Fast walking. Like an racewalking athlete, I started to stay away from hotel. I arrived in shelter when bus was ready to leave.

With USD 3.1, I arrived at KLIA2 on 6:30. I immediately headed to information center to ask about terminal where TR457 would take off. On early morning, I disturbed information center officer with some questions because departure board didn’t display yet an information about TR457, so She had to pull keyboard and searching information for me….very kindly officer.

God…..my eyes glared while chewing Nasi Lemak (original food from Malaysia) with fried egg in corner of NZ Curry House….Look like a goat which was ruminating. It was a sign that I wasn’t ready to get early breakfast.

Yes, there wasn’t other choice, it was better to have breakfast in Indian restaurant with cheapest price before heading to 3rd floor for check-in, immigration and departure processes.

Departure Board in Departure Hall
Information Centre in Departure Hall
Departure Hall Area
Check-in counter no Z2-Z3 for Scoot Air TR457.
After passing immigration counter, I headed to waiting room at gate L3.

I entered waiting room on 08:05. In boredom of waiting, Vietnamese came to me and ask something:

Vietnamese: “Hi, Can you explain to me about my cigarette (while showing a pack of cigarettes which have been smoked two stumps). Can I bring it when entering Singapore?

Me : “Do you bring another one  or just this opened pack?. If you just bring it, you can savely entering Singapore.

Vietnamese: “No, I just bring it. So it’s savely. Thanks you.

Me: “You are welcome”.

Waiting room in front of gate L3.
After waiting for 20 minutes, finally boarding process begins.
Where was seat 14D?

Scoot Air is identical with yellow. The charm of young air crews was very fresh when their appeaybrance is clad in yeloow t-shirt and shallow.

Fly over Malacca Strait
The sky is really clear, very comfort to fly without turbulence.

After fllying about 1 hour and 15 minutes, I landed at Changi International Airport Terminal 2. Trying to leave Changi as soon as possible to go to Greendili Backpackers Hostel in Race Course Road and then ready to explore Singapore for 7th time.

Searching MRT map before entering Changi International Airport immigration counter.
Catch the MRT ! towards downtown.

Let’s go to Mustafa Center for lunch before exploring.

Scoot Air TR457 dari Kuala Lumpur ke Singapura (KUL-SIN)

SCOOT AIR….maskapai Low Cost Carrier (LCC) milik Negeri Singa yang kepemilikan sahamnya dikuasai oleh Singapore Airlines.

Lintasan terbang Scoot Air TR457. Sumber dari https://flightaware.com

Scoot sendiri masuk list ke-22 dari seluruh maskapai yang pernah kunaiki. Melalui nomor penerbangan TR457 dengan rute regular Kuala Lumpur (KUL) ke Singapura (SIN), Aku pertama kali menggunakan jasa Scoot Air  tertanggal 31 Maret 2018. Kali ini Aku menaiki pesawat berjenis Airbus A320 dengan kapasitas 168 penumpang.

Walaupun sebenarnya Aku pernah menggunakan Maskapai  Tiger Mandala pada 26 November 2013 saat menuju ke Bangkok dan Tiger Air pada 11 Januari 2015 saat kembali dari Vietnam. Kini kedua maskapai tersebut sudah merger ke dalam Maskapai Scoot Air.

Tuh kan sudah merger, masih ada identitas Tiger Air di badan pesawat Scoot Air TR457

Ketidakjelasan terminal asal keberangkatan (apakah dari KLIA terminal 1 atau KLIA terminal 2) membuatku sedikit gelisah karena biasanya Departure List baru keluar 2 jam sebelum penerbangan. Dan tentu perlu waktu untuk berpindah dari KLIA2 ke KLIA.

Untuk penerbangan internasional, Aku selalu memulai perjalanan menuju bandara 4 jam sebelum waktu penerbangan. Jadi Aku meninggalkan Westree Hotel pada pukul 05:30 dan bergegas menuju ke Skybus/Aerobus Shelter yang terletak di KL Sentral. Karena jaraknya cuma 40 m, Aku hanya perlu berjalan kaki selama 3 menit menuju shelter.

Security hotel keturunan India tajam memerhatikanku di pintu lobby bagian dalam….Lha iya, Aku berdiri lama ditengah pintu….clingak-clinguk kiri kanan kaya ayam mau nyebrang….Saking sepinya, Aku harus memastikan tak ada yang mencurigakan di sepanjang jalan yang akan kulewati menuju KL Sentral.

Yesss….Sepi, ndak ada orang….Kabuuurrrrrr. Bak atlit jalan cepat, Aku mulai menjauhi hostel. Aku tiba saat bus siap berangkat.

Dengan 12 Ringgit aku tiba di KLIA2 pada pukul 6:30. Setiba di KLIA2, Aku segera menuju information centre untuk menanyakan dimana terminal TR457 akan lepas landas. Pagi-pagi Aku sudah ngrepotin Si mbak India petugas information centre, karena Departure Board belum menampilkan informasi tentang TR457 maka Dia harus menarik keyboard dan mencarikan info untukku….Hadeuhhh, sudah manis….baik pulak si teteh….eh, si mbak.

Buseeettt….mataku melotot sambil mengunyah nasi lemak telur ceplok di pojokan NZ Curry House….kek kambing yang sedang memamah biak. Pertanda Aku tak bisa membohongi otak bahwa perutku belum siap bersarapan.

Ya memang tak ada pilihan lain, lebih baik sarapan di kedai makan India dengan harga paling murah sebelum menuju ke lantai 3 untuk proses check-in, proses imigrasi dan keberangkatan.

Departure Board di Departure Hall
Information Centre di Departure Hall
Departure Hall Area
Konter check-in Z2-Z3 untuk Scoot Air TR457
Setelah melewati konter imigrasi, Aku menuju ke ruang tunggu di gate L3.

Aku memasuki ruang tunggu pada pukul 08:05. Dalam kejenuhan menunggu, datang kepadaku wajah Vietnamese dan bertanya:

Vietnamese: “Hi, Can you explain to me about my cigarette (sambil menunjukkan sebungkus rokok yang sudah terhisap dua puntung). Can me bring it when entering Singapore?”

Aku : “Do you bring another one  or just this opened pack?. If you just bring it, you can savely entering Singapore.”

Vietnamese: “No, I just bring it. So it’s savely. Thanks you.”

Aku: “You are welcome”.

Ruang Tunggu di depan Gate L3
Setelah menunggu selama 20 menit, akhirnya boarding process dimulai.
Mana 14D….manaaaaa?

Scoot Air identik dengan warna kuning. Pesona pramugari-pramugara muda keturunan Tiongkok semakin segar ketika penampilan mereka terlihat berbalut t-shirt dan syall serba kuning.

Terbang diatas selat Malaka
Langit sungguh cerah, nikmat banget terbang tanpa turbulensi.

Setelah mengudara selama 1 jam 15 menit, Aku mendarat di Terminal 2 Changi International Airport. Berusaha secepat mungkin meninggalkan Changi untuk menuju ke Greendili Backpackers Hostel di bilangan Race Course Road dan selanjutnya siap mengeksplorasi Singapore untuk ke-7 kalinya.

Cari peta MRT sebelum masuk konter imigrasi Changi International Airport.
Catch the MRT ! Menuju pusat kota

Makan siang dulu yuk ke Mustafa Centre sebelum walking-walking.

Sebagai alternatif, tiket pesawat, kereta dan bus dari Kuala Lumpur ke Singapura bisa dipesan melaui e-commerce perjalanan 12go Asia