I seem forgetting about traveling-with-baby mess quickly. Remembered how I consciously wrote few months ago said that I wouldn’t have the courage to do another long haul flight(s) with the baby until certain limit of time.
Tickets issued just two months after the oath. Even crazier, with longer flights. I must have been insane.
This is not on my bucket list. I have been there twenty years ago and have no intention to go back again, unless something really forced me to or something made me have to or someone asked me desperately, free of charge. Then, count me in.
So, this trip is actually not about me, but more about other members of the trip.
The last Paris trip was very memorable till I had little regret that my father didn’t join us. We offered of course, but he refused. I enjoyed it a lot and often thought about him a lot when I was there.
My brother is currently pursuing his master degree in UCL. After lots of scholarships hunting, for two years, he finally made it. So, after went back home, I urged my father to go and visit my brother in this city.
He surely refused and said what he should do there alone. I was jokingly said I could be his companion if all expense would be on him. He frowned😃.
Nevertheless, I kept searching the cheapest ticket possible. Continously, daily, on every airlines possible. I was checking certain websites regularly.
I always checked the price for three adults and one child. Why? Because my father wasn’t interested in traveling alone, while I also couldn’t go alone. I had to bring this little baby and the consequence, another adult had to go with me too. Who else other than the baby’s father?
It is surely so tempting for a hard core liverpudlian like him when Anfield is just few hours by train from there. So, these four unseparated and tangled people should travel together, for their own reasons and motive.
It started with ticket hunting of course and it was such a painful thing to do. It was really heart-breaking seeing the price they offered for our travel squad. The Paris trip expenses all together equals to tickets cost to this city only. That was too cruel.
But, it didn’t stop me. I kept searching daily and religiously. One day, in a fine morning after subuh, I tried MAS website and had a light heart attack watching the price they offered for 3 adults and 1 child. They offered half price from others than I regularly checked.
I had checked MAS before continously since it was one of the most possible alternatives and the offer had never been that shocking. Slightly cheaper than other yes, but with less advantages, such as less agreeable schedules.
I told my father about this price but I didn’t receive a proper response from him. It was surely quite a lot of money, but it was also a very good deal, if the price was the only thing we considered important.
I checked the price day by day until it’s really gone and left me with something. What’s that?
It turned out that the regret of not bravely taking the offer was bigger than I thought. I kept thinking about that day and night. I also conveyed this to my father. As a result, it caused more tense ticket hunting than before. My leisure time mostly spent on those airlines websites, every single day.
I had certain preferences. After flying with TK twice and considered its service was just okay, I prefered other middle east airlines. It’s either QR, EK, or SV would be fine. I flew once with EK to Manchester and really impressed until I still could remember it even after twenty years later.
But then, all those three prices were totally out of reach. No matter how many times I checked their websites, it hadn’t changed much.
During the interval of my search, I found two which had promo at that time : GA and THA. It was pretty similar to MAS promo, few millions more expensive, but still within reach. The MAS promo price became my anchor price.
Fortunately, both GA and THA were not that convincing for me. GA might be good for domestic flight but I didn’t trust them enough for international flights. Seen quite a lot of complaints related to lost/missing baggages. That was one. Another one, their schedule were not comfortable, especially when you travel with a baby and a parent. Thirteen hours straight return flight sounds scary. THA was once being considered. But, after reading some reviews, it wasn’t that recommended.
So, I let both go. This time, without any regrets.
I had tried every airlines possible. Literally EVERY AIRLINES. Name it, I had tried it. No result. Even some of them had very irrational numbers.
Then, I forgot when, an idea came. Instead of departing from Jakarta, I chose Kuala Lumpur. Turned out KUL flight offered a very very reasonable price. Almost every middle east airlines offered almost half of the price that they did in CGK flight. Of course the price was displayed in MYR, but it was truly agreeable.
I didn’t tell my father in an instant. I kept doing my research and continous checking daily. Since it was from KUL, so I also had to find flight from CGK-KUL as well. It became more and more researches.
I kept QR and EK in my list. Both had similar price and schedule. It was uncountable how many times I counted the total price of both offers. Reading as many as reviews that I could, comparing those two. I also did sounding this to my father.
Finally, in a Friday morning, I checked both websites once again and felt this should be executed as soon as possible if I didn’t want to keep searching without result.
I told my father before he went for Friday prayer. Told him to execute this.
I guessed the regret wasn’t only on me when I let previous MAS shocking offer go. My father seemed regret about it too. Maybe not much, but he surely had it. When I mentioned the KUL flight offer on that Friday, without too much hesitation, he said yes.
Even after he said yes, I didn’t book it directly but doing more and more reading and comparisons between QR and EK. I also added CGK-KUL flights cost.
The total amount of CGK-KUL-LHR return flights for three adults and a child was very very agreeable. We had of course longer trip and more transit than direct flight from CGK. But, with such millions rupiahs differences, which could be used for other expenses, I guessed (and desperately hoped) it was really worth it. More, it would be those two best middle east airlines we would fly with. There would be no hope if I decided to wait until their price went down for direct flight from CGK.
So, with many times of repeated bismillah, the deals were made. It was scarier than clicking the Paris tickets since I did it with my father’s expense.
We came to an agreement that tickets would be on him while me and le husband would be on transport and Airbnb. The rest we go dutch.
Done with tickets, another hectic thing to do came : visa. It turned out the visa is a lot more headache than Schengen. About the visa, flights and Airbnb, each separate post will do.
Hopefully we will have a good journey this time. I have one ultimate wish for this trip : I would be very happy as long as my father enjoys this trip.
It turns out that this trip also becomes my second Ilana Tan’s tetralogy trip after Autumn in Paris last October.
Which one is that?
To Spring in London we go!
A whisper heard from a far, “keep calm, mum. Lower your expectations. Done? Have it a bit lower again, please. Enjoy your trip”.
Bismillah, 24 hours trip to the west we go!