Tag Archives: Malaysia



An airline ground crew member who checked passengers in at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport for the doomed flight MH17 has made an emotional post on Facebook, recalling sending off holidaymakers, children and grandparents with wishes for “a pleasant flight”.


Renuka Manisha Virangna Birbal recounted her memories of the passengers


She wrote

A smile, a greeting, a happy face ..

At the transfer desk, I get two football fanatics, one is checked in and the other not, “can you check me in Love”. They were not seated next to each other in the business compartment , “would you like to sit together sir?” Any doubt,, I want a few hours of rest joked the other one. ‘’cheers’’

A loving family of six with their 10 pieces luggage that I had to put in the system. “After long time we’re returning home”

It was busy at the check in desk, so I went there to help my colleagues.
A child smiling and waving at me.

They thank me for my help so she could sit together. excited children “mom when do we see our luggage again?”

The crew running towards me waving and signalling.  They were ready to drop their luggage at the odd size belt.

A man who is about to start a new life in Malaysia.

A family get dropped off by their grandparents, kids first holiday far away.

Grandma makes photos of how her children and grand children check in. This time I do not mind that I am in the picture.

Arriving at the gate G03 a young man asked if he has time to buy something quickly. “Of course, sir, if you only ensures that you are back here at 1130”

My colleague helps an elderly woman inside, all the way to her seat in row 21, she had difficulty walking and traveling alone. The lady had the same name (one letter difference) as the son of my colleague and said that she would remembered the name.

I appeal to everyone to go to the toilet before they enter the gate because there are no toilet facilities at gate G03. A few passengers went back out of the line.

A woman traveling with her husband and her mother still asks her mother a few times if she had to go to the toilet, the elderly lady has a bladder problem. I allowed them to wait outside and they can come inside the priority line when their ready.

A newly married couple, on the way to their honeymoon.

A beautiful little girl hold by her mother, her father behind them pushing the stroller. What is she beautiful, a half Dutch half Malaysian with beautiful big eyes. She kindly smiled at me.

A man who could still join the flight to be on time for the funeral of his mother.

Grandchildren traveling with their grandparents.

Suddenly I see a familiar face, it is our colleague from the MH ticket counter

He proudly shows me his son, wife and daughter. With a big smile he waved “See you soon”

A woman want to go out of the gate unable to go to the toilet, unfortunately, we have already begun boarding and nobody can go out. “May I board first then?” of course.

I walk quickly along with the last two passengers who may eventually join the flight, and what are they happy …

A final farewell to the crew, till next time!

And then we removed the bridge.

Passengers traveling for business, on the way home, on the way to family, on the way to their holiday, on the way to a new beginning …

Group travel, families, couples, individuals, infants, children, grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, partners, uncles, aunts, colleagues, friends, neighbors, acquaintances.

The last time I saw them, talked to them and wish them a pleasant flight the passengers of flight MH017 on 17jul14.

One last smile, one last salute, a happy face …

+ Rest in peace dear passengers & crew +

On behalf of the ground handling agents of flight MH017 on Thursday 17-07-2014




We may never know the truth about MH 370

Malaysia's prime minister Najib Razak announces MH370 crashed
Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak announces MH370 crashed

Yesterday the Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak broke the news that the families of flight MH 370 didn’t want to hear – but that the rest of the world was expecting.  That the Malaysian flight, missing since the 8th March is now considered to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean with no hope of any survivors. The facts still remain pretty scant and will remain so until…well, in truth, who knows when we will find out the truth? Any floating wreckage and bodies may be able to rule out possible causes such as an onboard fire, but the honest truth is no one really believes that to be the case anyway.

Looking for signs of flight MH 370
Looking for signs of flight MH 370

It’s funny how the events of September the 11th 2001 have completely change my perspective on what is and is not likely to have happened.   I reference 2001 because as I watched those planes crash in to the Wold Trade Centres, I was on the 29th floor of a building in central London – looking at (what were at the time) massive 40 inch TV screens.

United Airlines Flight 175
United Airlines Flight 175 09:03 2001

I remember thinking that it must be some navigational fault with the plane(s) – seems a bit silly to have thought now.   It didn’t cross my mind that someone or a group of people – could hate others so much that they would want to terrorise and kill other people en mass.  Strange when only a couple of generations before me had fought in the bloodiest and most brutal of wars the planet has seen.  How quickly we forget!

Casualties from WWII
Casualties from WWII

2001 came off the back of the late 90s which after the Labour election of 1997 had been so optimistic.  Between 1997 and 2001 I really did have the feeling that anything was possible and that my lifetime could be projected on a chart – it would feature a straight line pointing up! But that was not to be.   The world changed in 2001 – like it had at the end of 1945.   When stories that MH370 may have been caused by a suicidal or pilots – I’m simply not surprised.  Pre-2001 I would have been shocked – post 2001, I’m resigned to the fact that people will do this to other people.

Malaysia Airlines MH370
Malaysia Airlines MH370

We do not know what drove the people in charge of the plane to switch off the transponders and change course.  Maybe they were overcome by intruders.  Maybe there was cabin pressurisation problems causing them to make irrational decisions.  We may never know. Actual floating wreckage is yet to be found.  I dare say the remains of the plane will be found – but it will take years – long after the media circus that has been feeding off the grief of families has packed up and move on.


They may never find the black boxes.  They may find the black boxes and find that those, like the transponders were disconnected or if the cabin suffered decompression as some think, due to the length of time the flight remained in the air the boxes would have recorded over themselves – with silence. We may never know the truth about MH 370. The families of the victims deserve so much respect.  Not because they have endured so much over the past 2 weeks – but because of what they will have to endure for the rest of their lives. The only thing worse that knowing that a bad thing has happened to someone you love – is not knowing what actually happened.  What started out as a one plane disaster – has quickly turned into 239 individual disasters. The airline industry must now act to prevent something like this happening again.  As shocking as this air crash is, 2001 showed that anything is possible.  The fact that pilot suicides are rare doesn’t mean they do not happen.  The airline industry, ever mindful of their bottom line – could and should ensure that no plane is left untracked and unfound for this length of time again.  And if they don’t want to.  Let’s make them. 450x299_q75