16th June 2008
This is my fourth trip to Tawau on official duty. My first trip was way back in 1979 when I was a teacher at SMK Kota Marudu, on the northern part of Sabah West Coast. That was when I was a coach for Pantai Barat Utara and the journey was from Kota Marudu – Kota Belud – Ranau – Sandakan – Lahad Datu – Tawau by land. However due to the bad condition of the road I took a flight back to Kota Kinalabu after the MSSS meet. Then again I came back to Tawau in 2006 to conduct a course for the Navy at Tanjung Batu Navy Base. Followed by another course in the same year at Institut Perguruan Tawau. This year I come back to Tawau for the same reason.
My flight was at 9.20 and I left my house at 7.00 in the morning. I did not expect that there were many passengers because it was the first day of the week. Upon arrival at KLIA, I saw there were quite a queue at the self check in machine. All but one the terminals had a line of at least 6 person. So does that mean Malaysian Airport should install more machines since MAS is promoting the self check-in.
To make things easier I think Malaysian Airports and MAS should install more machines not only at the airport but maybe at the Petronas Petrol Station after the KLIA Toll. With the availability, passengers can self check-in at the station before reaching KLIA and that gives more alternatives to passengers instead of crowding at the KLIA terminal.
Compared to the normal check-in, using this self check-in passenger have to queue up two times. Firat to check-in and get the boarding pass. Then have to queue again to check-in the baggage. I saw there are two baggage check-in counters. I took about 45 minutes from the time I arrive at self check-in machine and checked-in my baggage.
The picture below tells another story. This is the first time there is a long queue before passengers can enter the Departure lounge. Usually the line is just less than 10 metres or no line at all. The picture below shows how far I was before reaching the security check to enter the departure. Found out that there is only one security personnel checking the boarding pass of passengers before being allowed into the Departure Lounge.
After about 10 metres away a group of ladies just walk up to the gate beating the queues and I think they reach the scanning machine without any check by security personnel. Reason? Only one security personnel, a lady, and she is busy with the long line before her. Even though there is no security problem arise, it should send a message to the airport authority that security is a bit slacking.
This is the new look inside the cabin. Well, maybe it has been there for sometimes, but its the first time I saw this brightly coloured seat casing. It is more vibrant compared to the normal seat covers.
I think this The Natuna Islands. I was on 27 F, the Starboard seat, which is my favourite seat from Kuala Lumpur. But if you fly from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur, then take the portside seat to be alble to see the island.
A close-up picture of the island showing signs of inhabitant and the presence of a landing strip.
Below: This Departure Information Board display the wrong gate for my flight to Tawau at first. It show flight MH 2173 to Tawau as Gate A4. I saw the passengers waiting at A4. However when I asked the personnel manning the counter, his answer did not show MH (Malaysian Hospitality). There is not a smile and did not even bother to see the inquirer. If there are many passenger ask the same question, then he as a staff should be alert that the departure information board bust give the wring information. This happens at the new wing that was completed at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Urghhhh…….Malaysian Hospitality. Or is it because all the passengers are locals, they does not need Malaysian Hospitality.
The new wing that has been completed.
Above: Tawau Airport seen from the air.
Tawau Airport. Ahh……landed safely.