Being a Princess works sometimes!

Trip Start Sep 26, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Nilai Hotel

Flag of Malaysia  , Wilayah Persekutuan,
Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ok, so as you may have guessed, we didn't make the connecting flight! But as they say, every cloud has a silver lining & this lining was particularly sparkly & shiny!

The official story goes like this...
Whilst sitting panicking about the connection, we decided it may be best to speak to an Air Asia rep, explain the situation & hopefully they would have a solution. So off the boys went to find someone while I stayed with our hand luggage! I was so relieved when they came back and said it was all sorted! They were going to call ahead to inform their colleagues at KL that we were delayed so they would hold the flight! All we had to do was get off the plane as quick as possible & 2 of us run to check in so they knew we were there while the other person waited & grabbed the bags when they came through baggage reclaim then come join us! Easy right?!

Well, we stuck to our side of the bargain! Gareth & I sprinted through the airport not even looking to see if customs wanted our passports or bothering to scan our hand luggage bags at security! Having found where we needed to be, Gareth rushed back to help Matt while I dashed up to the Service counter, bearing in mind all of us had flip flops on and running in flip flops is not advised generally, especially at speed and with bags. I made it at 19:40 (the flight was due to leave at 20:00) only to be told by the miserable representative that we were too late, the flight was closed!!

I pleaded our case, explaining that our original flight had been cancelled and the new flight delayed, I relayed the conversation the boys had had in Langkawi with her colleague and I talked her through blow by blow our dash to be here as quickly as possible. At one point I thought she was thawing a little but then as the boys still hadn't arrived with the bags she snapped back to her original self and said there was nothing she could do other than transfer us on to the next flight (07:20 tomorrow!!!!) for free. No accommodation, no food no nothing!!! Check in opened at 20:30 for our new flight so she told me to go and wait until then! I tried pleading with her but she wasn't for shifting, at one point telling me not to shout at her?! Me, shout?!?!?! It was all I could do to swallow the lump in my throat that was about to make me burst out crying, shouting was never going to happen!!!! Even the man behind me in the queue piped up in my defence!

The boys arrived & I explained the situation, Matt of course got angry, Gareth couldn't believe her rudeness! Both preparing to go try their luck demanding/politely asking for compensation or help when the desk opens again.

Now, this is where the official story & reality differ!
In the official story, we waited calmly until 20:30 when we went & checked in for our new flight. At this point, we again explained the situation and Thavamany (I'd made a note of her name ready for my email of complaint!!) now understanding none of this was our fault arranged a hotel for us!

In reality, I stood howling in the middle if the airport at the prospect of sleeping there overnight, to the point that I was making the airline look bad - even the boys had abandoned me (Matt to a couple we had figured were in a similar position to us & Gareth to see if there were any alternative airlines we could use!) - so Thavamany called me over and after calming me down called whoever it is they call in those situations to book us into a hotel! Result!!!

Moments later we were whisked off in a taxi to our home for the night, The Nilai Hotel! En route, we asked the taxi driver if it was nice there, his response came after too long a pause, "it's ok, you can sleep!" Helpful!!

Now here comes the silver lining bit, after driving round a couple of deserted shopping precincts (?!) we pulled up at what looked like a nice hotel. We were greeted by a friendly receptionist who checked us in & told us to go & drop off our bags then come back down as they were preparing food for us! Bonus!! Our room was lovely! Clean, spacious, wifi!!!!! And, at 224RM a night, over double what we had paid for the hotel we should have been at in Miri! When we came down for the food, the couple Matt had been speaking to in the airport were also checking in so we all went & sat together to eat!

We discovered their names were Danny & Carrie. Danny, originally from Tasmania, & Carrie, originally from Japan, live together in Cairns!! What are the chances?! That silver lining just kept getting shinier! Over dinner, we had a really lovely chat & got to know each other a bit better! We exchanged email addresses & talked about the upcoming solar eclipse, each others travels and life in Australia. They were only on a 2 week holiday travelling round Malaysia so missing their flight was more of a bummer to them than us. We were entertained by the people enjoying the karaoke bar (read: strip club) next door who occasionally popped into the hotel & left again within the hour?! They were a really fun, interesting couple and we hope we do manage to meet up with them in Cairns and have that lamb shank & garlic mash we planned!!!!

Worn out from a pretty crazy day, we headed to bed! Especially as we had a 4:30 am wake up call to get back to the airport. Which, by the way nearly gave us all a heart attack as we had said we didn't need or want one, so when the most awful phone ring tone went off at 4.30 you can imagine the shock and confusion!

All in all though, it worked out, so seems like it was worth the tears after all! ;-)
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