The aggravations of flying PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 20 November 2011 16:13

By REMEDIOS F. MARMOLEÑO

Phnom Penh, Cambodia – I am back again in the country which is widely believed to be among the poorest in the region but whose streets in the capital city of Phnom Penh is full of the high priced Toyota Lexus cars. Some of my readers are probably asking why I am so hung-up on the Lexus thing. I am not really hung up, just wondering how to reconcile the popular image of poverty in this country and the sight of so many of this high priced car running around here. We can be so poor!

While I was waiting for the PAL flight from Zamboanga to Manila I struck up a delightful conversation with a friend of so many years with whom I had not talked with for some time. It was good to see her so full of zest and enjoying her involvement with an organization. She is a good example that there is life after retirement. It was from her that I learned that our plane would be landing in Terminal 3 while my flight for Ho Chi Minh would take off from Terminal 2. It was not greatly worrisome but it did require some initiative to find out what the airline would do about passenger like me. PAL provided a free shuttle to Terminal 2 but the vehicle travelled  there on the regular roads rather than inside the airport. I could not help wondering what would happen if the shuttle is caught in a traffic jam while traveling to the other terminal and one has a connecting flight to catch like I did. The good thing for me was that my outward flight was still 3 hours away so I need not bite my nails in jitters. My choice of my itinerary was simply coincidental; I could have been the passenger who had a nervous breakdown in the airport.

When boarding time came  there was no PAL employee at the counter. It is not unusual to experience a late take off but not to get any explanation as to the “why” of the matter is not something to be taken for granted. I noticed many foreign looking passengers going now and then to the lone employee who finally came to man the counter.  It was very possible that these people were flying to Ho Chi Minh to catch a connecting flight to somewhere else and arriving late in Vietnam could wreck havoc on their flight skeds.

I have taken the PAL flight from Manila to either CHM or Bangkok many times and in spite of the usual complaint about the food served I have never had reason to make a serious complaint. Perhaps I just have an uncultivated palate, unlike the others who complain. This time though the food was not the usual quality and instead of being served in a tray in their individual containers,  the food was served in a small flat box. So much for class. Forget those ads of other airlines showing the mouth- watering food served to their passengers. When I hit the jackpot in the lotto I shall book me a first class ticket on any of these ritzi  airlines to  somewhere.