*This article is an opinionated rant – I usually don’t write my personal preferences and opinions, but in the light of the United grievance, I took it upon myself to write my experiences living and traveling abroad.*
First and foremost, I would like to say I love living in Springfield, Mo. This place is awesome. I can walk my daughter to and from school without the fear of someone kidnapping or robbing us, traffic jams are nonexistent here (at least when you compare it to some SE Asian countries), and I really REALLY enjoy earning US dollars and traveling back to Malaysia rather than earning Malaysian Ringgits and traveling back to the United States. This place is, for lack of a better word, great… and I mean both America and Springfield, Mo.
A little background info – I am an American citizen, born and raised in Southern California. I moved around a lot as a child and finally ended up going to middle and high school here in Springfield, Missouri before heading out to Las Vegas for flight school, and eventually Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where I spent almost a third of my life. In fact, it was the one town I stayed and lived the longest!
While in Kuala Lumpur, or KL as locals call it, I met a man and made a baby – a beautiful Chinese-American girl who, while born here in Springfield, grew up in KL. She literally spent three months of her life here before we flew back to live in SE Asia. After spending her entire life in Malaysia, and getting to travel to various other countries in SE Asia and even frequenting China for a bit, I decided I wanted her to experience her American roots. So, in May of 2016, she moved back to Springfield, Missouri with me, and the rest is history.
Again, I love this country, but in the light of the recent United Airlines opprobrium, I felt a call to highlight some of the differences between flying around in SE Asia and flying around in the United States. Beware, the opinions written below are mine only, and I do not mean to offend anyone reading this.
Differences Between Flying United States Airlines versus the Airlines of SE Asia
I love flying around SE Asia. Some of my favorite airlines include Emirates, EVA Air, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Air Asia, Firefly and China Air to name a few. I have been blessed to complete two passports due to the amount of travel I have enjoyed. In many cases, it is cheaper to fly roundtrip country-to-country around SE Asia than it is to fly from Springfield to Chicago…one way.
Since living in Malaysia, my one goal was to travel someplace new each year. In early April of 2016, my daughter and I flew to Bangkok Thailand for a girls’ holiday with my bestie and her family who lived there. The roundtrip flight, totaling a little over an hour, was around $80 for both me and my daughter – and no, I didn’t have to pay an additional $50 per suitcase that needed to be checked in. That was included in the cost.
When flying from KUL to SGF airport, I always thought it was interesting how flying roundtrip from KL to Japan to Dallas is approximately $1100 (depending on the time of year, when you buy the tickets, etc), and flying Dallas to Springfield, Mo roundtrip is anywhere from $300 to $700.
This is the difference between an hour and a half trip and a 20-hour trip. Keep in mind, I am not charged in Kuala Lumpur a $50 per suitcase like I am in Dallas.
Another interesting observation – I have experienced many American flights OVERBOOKING their flights – perhaps you will recall the United Express Flight from Chicago to Louisville, KY whereby a doctor was forcibly removed from his seat, which he had paid for in full.
Did you know airlines do not make the majority of their money from the coach class but from those flying business and first class?
Check out this video…it’s food for thought.
I’ve had flights canceled in the States due to there not being enough people on the flight…mainly because the airlines try to fill up the coach section as much as possible… by at least 80% according to an article by the L.A. Times. Talk about inconvenience.
According to a forum here, I am not the only person who has noticed this. Granted, many have their own experiences and I honor and respect that – these rantings and observations are from my own experiences, and I understand others have had different experiences.
All in all, I love the United States, and I love Malaysia and SE Asia. I consider myself as having two homes, and each has their pros and cons…but when it comes to airlines, I am biased towards Asian airlines. They are amazing. Their customer service, the way their host and hostesses present themselves and their ability to check in two suitcases per person for an international flight WITHOUT a $50 surcharge per bag makes me feel happy in my heart and in my wallet.
Watch out next week for Airline Ticket Hacks – Getting Cheap Flight Tickets. This is sure to come in handy during those summer months!