Reflecting on MH370, MH17 and the most that matters in life

Yesterday (or rather, this morning)’s news about MH 17 has left me struck dumb. Planning to go to bed before then, I sat down, constructed my initial thoughts, then wrote them down here. I could sleep last night (due to tiredness and not indifference), but I sat under my covers last night thinking. Thinking about a few incidents that relates to this.

I’ll start with my new thoughts of MH 370. However I’ll keep my thoughts brief, as my main concern isn’t actually this right now (though I’m still really damn concerned about all onboard MH 370 and the family and friends of all onboard). My old post entitled “Does everything have to be looked up the dark side?” was downright ridiculous, now that I think of it. Over the months, sympathy for the family and friends of all those onboard and guiltiness of ever thinking about such an ordeal in a lighthearted way has grown on me.

Back last November a Filipino friend of mine heard the news of Typhoon Haiyan messing up her hometown, Tacloban, and, worrying profusely about her children, she literally didn’t eat for days. The fact that she didn’t know if her children were dead or alive was truly terrifying her. We bought her a boarding pass back to the Philippines, where thank god her children were all right.

However the family and friends of all onboard MH 370 are still in the “pending” situation. That could drive them crazy.

But in second thoughts, flying can’t drive you crazy. Flying is so f^&*ing safe. All along I thought that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was a “ultimate fatal safety flaw” (using “one-off” I know is really offending to most) and both the airline and the 777-200 are perfectly safe.

But after the MH 17 incident, as much as I love the airline, I wouldn’t unhesitatingly take a flight to Kuala Lumpur on Malaysia Airlines. I would, but I’d be sure to notify any family that wasn’t travelling with me, and maybe even telling them to wish me safe travels.

That’s because life is all about people.

After the news of MH 17, I’m totally devastated. I know it’s not the airline’s fault, but people are still blaming Malaysia Airlines for the incident. We don’t know if the Buk missile hit MH 17 causing it to fall, but it might as well have been true.

I’ll just share three things I’ve learned about travelling from now on.

  • We’re going to do our very best to travel as a family. My dad will refuse to take a flight that’s any more than ten hours without any actual good cause, so we were actually planning to go to Berchtesgaden without him sometime. And we might. But after this incident I’m going to at least plead my dad to come along with us (even if it means we have to tailor the trip to suit his work vacations, which aren’t much more than a week).
  • We’d rather not show up for something important instead of put one of us in the family on another flight. When Cathay Pacific Flight 734 was delayed by five hours on April 21st and we were on the flight, the ground crew offered a ticket for my dad on Cathay Pacific Flight 716 in Economy (as he had to be in Hong Kong for an operation early the next morning). The only reason my dad didn’t accept the offer was because Cathay Pacific Flight 734 was then scheduled to depart at 9:15 (which meant without switching to a flight without us he could still get to work on time), but next time this happens I’ll assure we stick on the same flight in case something happens to either flight. If one person gets stuck in an accident, I’d rather we die together than have to bear the feelings of losing someone (or someone have to bear the feelings of losing us).
  • If we can still fly without being scared, we should be able to fly Malaysia Airlines or the 777-200 without hesitation either. It’s not like I don’t care about safety. I’d cancel my upcoming Japan trip for these people’s lives back, I’d not fly another mile and drop this blog just for these people’s lives. But it just doesn’t work that way. Flying is still the safest way to travel. Just because there have been two major incidents with Malaysia Airlines’ 777-200’s doesn’t mean they’re a terrible airline. Having several major incidents doesn’t make an airline bad, the airline’s just going through a few hard times.

Keep in mind, MH 17 isn’t even MH’s fault. It’s so heartbreaking when I hear so many people say “Malaysia Airlines is terrible!” or “Never fly Malaysian”, because they’re such a nice airline (maybe not world class, but they’re still really good). While I haven’t actually taken the airline, I had a visit to the Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge in Kota Kinabalu and had a great time and while I myself don’t remember, my mom’s still commenting on the great service (I hope it’s still great in 2014, as I visited in 2006). I believe that it was a Buk missile that shot down the plane. And so many others think so, Putin decided to take action and blame Ukraine (to be honest, they both have faults for fighting over Crimea).

map

Path of MH 17 (DOK = Donetsk, where MH 17 crashed)

On a slightly aviation-unrelated note (though still related), in a school speech about Crimea, I said, “Crimea could be worth fighting over, but definitely not worth lives.” This is just another example of that. I can’t imagine how the families and friends of all those onboard feel right now, and it’s the “elephant in the room” in my brain right now.

literally can’t get MH 17 out of my thoughts now, and I don’t really have anything more to add to the incident, except that I’m sending the best luck possible to all the people with family and friends on the flight.

I can’t imagine what I’d feel like if I lost a friend or family in a similar situation. The point I’m trying to make is, flying is still safeMalaysia Airlines is not to blamestop fighting and make peace (though we’ve been making that point for a long time), and fly as a family whenever you can.

For those lucky enough to not be on the flight (especially those who got rebooked and are sweating about what would happen if you didn’t), give everyone you’re close to a big hug and tell them how much you like/love them. (Yes, I’m kind of inclining towards Lucky’s thoughts again, but I can’t help but shed a tear whenever I read his thoughts about these incidents…I mean, just read this post.)

Safe travels everyone.

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