You wouldn’t believe how I came back to Kuching this time round! I also couldn’t believe that I would be able to get a flight back because the amount of people on standby was exceeding 100 and business class seats were all snapped up like hot cakes. I thought maybe I won’t be going back to Kuching anymore this Christmas. But it all changed because of one SMS.

Waiting at KLIA Flight Ops.

9:00PM Friday, 22nd December 2006 – I’ve almost given up hope of coming back to Kuching. All flights full, confirmed tickets all sold out, no chance of standby. There was almost no way of coming back to Kuching on the 23rd. That is until I sent the crucial message to Alvin.

9:50PM Friday, 22nd December 2006 – I rushed to MAS complex B to catch the staff bus to KLIA. Almost missed the bus. But we were on our way to KLIA at 10PM. This is where the real journey begins.

11:00PM Friday, 22nd December 2006 – Reached KLIA. Located the Flight Ops room. A steward was kind enough to let me use his pass to enter the room. Met with an officer who helped me arrange for a jumpseat. But I will still have to get permission from the Captain when he arrives in the morning.

12:00AM – 6:00AM Saturday, 23rd December 2006 – Tried to get some sleep on the couch.

7:30AM Saturday, 23rd December 2006 – Met the Captain and he approved. Got the chop from Flight Ops and the signature from the Captain. Went and checked in immediately. The procedures were different from normal check-ins because I was on the jumpseat. The stewardress who checked my ticket at the gate was surprised to see me on the jumpseat haha

This is my ticket back home. My seat number is 000.

8:30AM Saturday, 23rd December 2006 – I’m in the cockpit with my housemate and the Captain and the co-pilot. I’ll let pictures and videos to do the talking.

The 737-400 that I used to come back.

Observing the whole length of the flight from the cockpit.

I got two videos here: the first is an overview of the cockpit during the flight (754KB) and another one on the approach and landing (3.81MB):

The flight was pretty uneventful. I had business class food =D If you want to know more about it, ask me personally when you see me. But what matters most is that I managed to get back to Kuching at 10AM =D

Nice view outside.

Plane taxiing to the aerobridge after landing.

KCH airport as seen from the cockpit.

Being in the jumpseat is probably one of the most exciting thing I’ve experienced in the aviation industry so far. It’s amazing to witness the take off, how pilots make full use of the auto-pilot and how they land the plane. It’s really interesting. I’m really glad I choose to use standby ticket back this time round. Continue reading