Making the best of a bad situation

Seeing red: People checking the flight information display system for scheduled flights at Kota Kinabalu International Airport in Sabah. Many listed were in red, showing that they have been cancelled, leaving many stranded following the volcanic eruption. — Bernama

KUCHING: Hundreds of passengers were stranded at the Kuching International Airport following flight cancellations due to the volcano eruption in Indonesia, but most took the disruptions in their stride.

In fact, some were ready to make the best of a bad situation.

Azlan Hateem Abdollah, whose flight was cancelled, said he was unsure if he and his wife could get another flight to Kuala Lumpur before Sunday as they were informed by Batik Air that flights on Friday and Saturday were all full.

“It’s a bit troublesome because it affects our work schedule. We came back for Raya, so it looks like we will have to continue our Raya celebration,” he said.

Former Mas Gading MP Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe, who was supposed to fly to Kuala Lumpur for a meeting, was among those stranded but he supported the airline’s decision to cancel flights.

“When I went to the counter for my boarding pass, I was told the flight was cancelled. It’s a natural disaster so we cannot say anything.

“We cannot take chances,” he said, adding that his meeting was now postponed to May 2.

Mohd Amirul Othman said he was disappointed by the cancellation of his Batik Air flight to Kuala Lumpur but added that safety came first.

“This is a natural disaster that we did not expect. I wouldn’t dare to fly now. I understand the risks,” he said.

Other passengers faced long queues and uncertainty in trying to reschedule their flights.

Najwa Illiana, who came back to Kuching for Hari Raya, said she does not know when her family of five would be able to get another flight.

“Our flight was supposed to be at 1.55pm but we found out after arriving at the airport that it was cancelled,” she said.

Opar assemblyman Billy Sujang said his son’s cancelled flight had been rescheduled to Sunday.

“We knew about the cancellation early this morning. It affects a lot of people. We can see a lot of passengers waiting at the airport to reconfirm their flights,” he said.

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