I love traveling, especially that happy feeling when having a transit at a nice airport and going window shopping. My favourite one so far : Changi Airport. Been here dozens of time before. And never in my 24th time going to Singapore, I felt less than happy. Fell on my butt while walking on the travellator and being laughed at? Check. Saw last-call-people being wheeled on a buggy? Check. Saw those funny-looking men using the free massage chair and looking so damn happy? Check. Almost missed our flight and had to ran all the way? Check. But last Sunday might be the worst day I have ever had. It was my first time flying with AA airline, a low-cost carrier. Me and my mom went back to Singapore again in less than two weeks to attend my cousin’s wedding party. It was a little bit sudden and the invitation arrived when mom and Kevin were in India, so my cousin booked us all the necessary accommodation. They often travelled with AA airline, and the other low-cost carriers were much worse than AA so we oked it. Our flight to Singapore was delayed from 25 minutes to 70 minutes to finally a little more than 1.5 hours. Supposed to arrived in Singapore at around 9 to arriving at 11 pm. And the hotel we stayed at was in Bugis, an unfamiliar place as we rarely went there much less stayed there before. Upon arriving at the hotel at around 1 am (we had a quick bite at the airport) what I really wanted was a warm shower and a good night sleep. It felt like doing a night shift as I was also having a cold.
Going back home, we arrived at the airport 3.5 hours before departing. We loved having lunch/dinner/teatime at Bakerzin in Terminal 1 everytime we found ourselves here in Singapore, but after it closed down a while ago, we’ve been going to Ippudo Express in Terminal 3 the last couple of visits. And since we flew with AA airline, our gate was located in Terminal 1, not the usual Terminal 2. Went to gate C26 quite late as we had to do some last minute shopping. We had to wait for about 10 minutes before we were allowed to board the plane (it’s already 25 minutes prior to departure). The queue was chaotic, so we had to stepped back a little to avoid being hustled away. Inside the plane was more chaotic, and only then that I realised that there’s no curtain to separate the different cabin classes, it was just a single aisle with less than 35 rows of seats. There were a lot of huge luggages in the middle of the narrow aisle and people trying to force-fit their luggage into the overhead compartment. Me and my mom were seated on the window seats, me in 30A, her in 29A (not sure why even though we checked in together, we got separate seats). Upon reaching our seats, a flight attendant told us that we need to put our luggage in the front’s overhead compartment because the back’s overhead compartments were already full. My mom insisted on bringing our luggage to our seats first and see if there’s any vacancy, but then the flight attendant impolitely explained that there’s no more spaces. We ignored him. And because there’s already a passenger occupying my 30A window seat, we ended up seating at the aisle. Mom at 30C and me in front of her. Not long after we were seated, the plane was being pushed back already. Mom was still holding our luggage and there’re like 3 other wheeled luggages that’s still blocking the aisle. As I was in the process of putting my bag under the front seat and wearing my seatbelt, the passenger next to my mom (across the aisle) shouted loudly, I turned to see him holding a whiskey bottle and thought that it almost fell down and he’s angry. But when I turned to see my mom, she’s bleeding on her forehead. I panicked. Like seriously, THIS kind of thing just don’t happen. Ever. I shouted, I grabbed my tissues and searched for a bandaid (yeah I know, should have checked her ABC and vital signs and stuffs, but I panicked. Stupid stupid me.) I tried to look at the wound, it’s quite deep and dark red blood oozed out. I got more panicky as the plane was still moving and the flight attendants didn’t try to do anything. After I put on the bandaid a flight attendant apologised to my mom (YES they apologised instead of trying to stop the bleeding or give my mom some water or tried to applied their medical training.) I wanted to disinfect the wound but the first aid kit was inside my luggage. After a couple of minutes, me trying to persuaded mom to get off the plane and basically trying to think clearly, she finally agreed as she started to feel dizzy. The plane finally headed back to the gate (thank goodness we hadn’t taken-off yet) after mom forced them to (a flight attendant pleaded to my mom to get the treatment needed when we arrived which is 1.5 hours later. Seriously??) Upon exiting the plane there’s a wheelchair already in the airbridge. But no, they didn’t immediately wheeled mom to the doctor, we had to stay there for around 10 minutes for the flight attendants and the ground staffs to get their report done or something. At the gate, a lady in blue scrub met us and said that we needed to clean the wound at the clinic. Before we even move, a doctor then ran to checked mom and made sure she didn’t fell unconscious (thank you, dr. Lee!) He wheeled us to the clinic using the buggy. Luckily I already asked mom some basic questions as mom sat in front with the doctor and she’s not feeling like talking, so I could answered some of the doctor’s questions. Turned out mom needed stitches and the doctor announced her unfit to travel. We’re stuck. The doctor needed to check her again the day after to made sure everything’s fine. They checked us in at Crowne Plaza hotel, helped us to bring our checked-in luggage to our room and bought us dinner. I did not sleep well that night, I needed to check mom’s vital signs every couple of hours and I started to think lots and lots of scary traumatic brain injuries (and that I had PBL on Monday morning which I cannot missed). And Kevin’s not there, I’m basically alone and I panicked easily, I cannot think clearly under pressure. I felt like dying. I even saw the doctor cleaned the wound, gave her adrenaline injection and sutured the wound, which made me more paranoid.
After the doctor declared mom fit to fly (she had a CT done the next morning), the people from AA finally agreed to change our flight to another airline (they first offered us another worser low cost airline to which I declined). To be honest the CEO and the others who helped us were really helpful (thank you!) (except of course you, the man in blue 😤), they made sure mom’s okay and all. This accident reminds me that sometimes, the higher ups should not only care about their company’s financial report and neglecting the ‘small’ stuffs that actually mattered (like how your employees do their job, how they treated customers, whether they really apply their training or no). It might be a good thing to see how your employees doing every once in a while, no? (Like being a passenger for a day, maybe?)
But everything happens for a reason. This accident also teaches me to study not only for the sake of getting good grades, but also for practicing it in real life. If (I hope not!) something’s like this ever happened to the people around me, I should do better. But never again seriously will I travelled with AA airline. Worst service, worst medical training, worst safety precautions. They really should not underestimated their training just because the passengers pay less.