Upon our arrival at the airport, I went to check with one of the airlines representatives for any possibility that we can change our flight to 8:55 am or 11 am next morning instead of 12:55 pm. We had 18:55 hours layover in the transit. A woman behind the counter responded instantaneously to my request and said that I would have to pay in order to upgrade. I, on the other hand, was not looking for the upgrade but just requesting to adjust the seats with the ones that were not taken. Her response was flat “NO”.
I just don’t understand why they would fly with empty seats rather than allowing someone with little kids take early bird flight that was, anyway, flying with some vacant seats. That forced us to book a hotel room for the night. Thus, we couldn’t avoid such a long layover in the airport.
Unlike my last trip to Nepal in Qatar Airlines, this time, it was more gratifying. Airlines didn’t comply with our request to put our seats together with kids while booking online. One of my kids’ seat was in the next aisle; I was placed at the window seat. I asked if my son could exchange seat with a Nepalese migrant worker. He was quick to help with moving to my son’s seat. Beside my window seat, a man with his little daughter sat, but his wife with an infant had a seat behind my seat. So, I offered my seat to the woman and I moved to her seat. Now, that couple with their two children were together; however, that separated me from my family. I was happy for the couple, regardless of how I was not able to get a seat closer to my family. At least, they got seats together to take care of their kids in that 5 hours long flight.
Other Nepalese migrant workers who were coming back to Nepal on their leave to be with family for Tihar or Diwali were watching all those reshufflings of our seating saga. A gentleman from the other side of the window seat offered me his seat so that I could be closer to my kids and wife. That was a great relief!
This trip was quite different than the other ones because of the willingness of our Nepalese brothers and sisters to help each other during flight. Some passengers were even trying to soothe other whining and wailing babies on the flight. There was no rowdy crowd as opposed to my previous trip. Six years ago, I felt that I was not flying but riding a public bus. Booming music was playing from their cellphones. Some were constantly bugging flight attendants for no obvious reasons. Some were totally drunk and wasted. For all those reasons, I have to admit that this time, my family had a delightful flying experience.
Nepalese migrant workers have learned to behave on the flight, I guess.