Because the world hates me, I was forced to Bali on Virgin Australia. I expect it to be worse on the way home – I have to fly Jetstar. You can probably hear my sobs of misery already.
I’m off to Kendari in SE Sulawesi for work. No diving or surfing on this trip, just work. Such is life. The flight schedule means that I have to transit in Bali and Makassar. First flight from Perth to Bali is on Virgin Australia.
I got our work travel agent to put in a VGML request for me, but to nobody’s surprise, Virgin Australia doesn’t offer that – even for an additional cost. There is no option for a special meal request on Virgin Australia at all apparently.
Guess why I have such complete and utter loathing for Virgin and Jetstar – and all other low cost carriers?
Anyway, at least I knew about it in advance, and prepared for the flight accordingly. Obviously I did a run to the grocery store before heading to the airport. Still frustrated about being forced to pay for a meal on Virgin that I can’t eat. Jetstar I get to a certain degree because you have to pay extra for the meal, it’s an optional extra. But when Virgin changed their business model to include food and still didn’t offer the option of a special meal? Not impressed. I know Virgin Australia is trying to re-brand itself as a full service airline, but it’s kind of not. Although marginally better, it’s still in the same basket as Jetstar, as much as they try to convince everyone otherwise.
I console myself with the fact that this is probably the last international work trip I’m going to be taking from Perth. I’m looking for positions back on the east coast and if all goes to plan, will be relocating in September. The pathetic state of the international flight options ex-Perth will no longer affect me. Huzzah!
The trip started as well as predicted. Being forced to fly economy with no status on Virgin meant lining up for check-in with everyone else. Not the first time and won’t be the last…That being said, the world hates me. I was lined up behind a large group of very, very drunk people. I was thinking “I’d be surprised if they even let them board the flight” for a while. Loud, obnoxious, rude, and for all intents and purposes, the reason I hate Bali so much. I know lots of people in Australia joke about Bali Bintang Bogans, but these people are honestly the reason Australians have such a horrific reputation in Bali. When I finally got to the check-in desk, the poor Virgin staff member was so rattled by the others that she was about to tear her hair out. I asked politely for a window seat, and she managed to get me as far forward as she could. She actually thanked me before me thanking her. I suspect she was just grateful for someone who wasn’t demanding the world when paying a pittance for their airfare. Also, I wasn’t drunk, loud, rude, or obnoxious. It’s sad that I get thanked for just acting like a decent human being.
Perth International Airport (T1) has undergone more renovations since my last trip a month ago. There’s now even less shops. Even less food options. There’s the always overcrowded Dome where you can’t get a table before immigration, and the always nasty Eagle Boys pizza after immigration. No other food options, they’ve all shut. This is where I reiterate – I’m glad this will probably be my last international flight out of Perth. It was already pretty bad, this just takes it to a whole new level of pathetic.
Boarding was a mess, as it always is in economy I suppose. No worse than any other economy boarding, except for the rude and obnoxious drunk people on their way to get even drunker in Bali. They were all making it abundantly clear that was their reason for going. To drink cheap booze. Why do people bother? I mean honestly, if all you’re going to do is travel somewhere to go to the bar and spend the rest of your time sleeping off a hangover, why leave home? You can do that just as well at home as you can in Bali, and save yourself the airfare – and spend it on more booze.
Got settled in my seat and lo and behold, I’m seated near the drunk people. Off to a fantastic start? I had my stash of food from the grocery store due to the lack of a VGML option on board, so I just plugged in my headphones and spent the rest of the flight ignoring everyone. At just over 3 hours, I figured it was the best option.
I got offered the option of lamb korma, or a vegetarian enchilada during the flight anyway. Turned both down for obvious reasons. Based on what I saw on my other people’s trays, it came with a bread roll, butter, and a tub of chocolate mousse. Got myself a Coke Zero and tucked into my stash of nuts from the grocery store. Boring, but edible.
My neighbour found it bizzare that I refused the meal, telling me “...but it’s free!” Well, yes. I also don’t want to die. I explained it after the meal was over since they asked. Turned into me explaining how serious allergies can be. He thought the worst that could happen was throwing up if you were allergic to something. A commonly held belief in my experience. At least he learned something new today I guess? I have no problems explaining myself to people who genuinely want to understand my dietary restrictions 🙂
Disappointing flight food wise, but it was expected.
In the interests of not being totally negative, there was one massive upside to the flight…One of the cabin crew was absolutely drop dead gorgeous! I’m not obnoxious enough to say anything out loud about it or hit on someone who’s just doing their job, but damn, eye candy!
Tomorrow morning I’m off to Sulawesi. Hopefully my VGML request on Garuda Indonesia will come to fruition…