Our first destination is Kuala Lumpur, which is located less than an hour away from Singapore by plane. Unfortunately, there is no direct flight from Zurich to Kuala Lumpur, so we chose to fly via Bangkok. And then, in order to save some money, we booked the flight from Milano via Zurich to Bangkok instead of flying directly from Zurich. A ridiculous concept from Swiss Airlines, I am going to explain this below. While Ilinca and I arrived well in Bangkok and later on in Kuala Lumpur, unfortunately Ilinca’s backpack did not even make it to Bangkok, and hence also not to Kuala Lumpur.
Saving money by flying from Milano
As mentioned in the introduction, it can be a lot cheaper to start a long distance flight with Swiss Airlines in Milano and then use a Swiss connecting flight and fly from Milano to Zurich in order to catch the very same plane that I would also have caught in Zurich. In our case, the flight tickets were around 30% cheaper than if we had flown directly from Zurich. While for Economy Class, the savings are not so big because of the additional transport to Milano, for Business and First Travels it really makes a difference.
One thing I don’t get is that these practices are allowed. Everybody is speaking about reducing CO2 emissions and governments are making laws in order to enforce these goals, at the same time airlines like Swiss are allowed to encourage people to cause even more CO2 emissions. I understand the economical aspect of this as Swiss wants to get more Italian customers to fly via Zurich instead of flying overseas directly from Milano, and the only way of doing so is by being cheaper, but I still think this practice should be forbidden.
Nevertheless, we took advantage of this discount and therefore were flying from Milano to Zurich prior to boarding our plane to Bangkok. And in order to get to the Milano airport in time, we spent a night in Como, close to the Swiss border and the airport and celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary.
Stretching the legs in business class
Every now and then, Swiss offers special deals on business class flights, and combined with the discount by flying from Milano, we allowed ourselves to fly business class for a very low price. Of course economy class would still have been cheaper, but flying business class is always an experience and being able to lie flat on your seat increases the chances for arriving relaxed at the destination.
In addition, the quality and choice of food is a huge difference compared to economy class. It is however a bit ironic that I started having stomach problems during the flight to Bangkok. I don’t know if it was from the Sashimi I had as an appetizer or from the lounges in Milano or Zurich, but I know that it prevented me from sleeping well on the plane, despite the possibility of lying flat in the seat.
Missing luggage in Bangkok
After a bit more than 10 hours of flight, we landed on time in Bangkok and proceeded quickly through immigration to get our luggage in order to check it in again for our connecting flight with Malaysian Airlines. Because that flight is on a separate ticket, we could not simply forward to luggage to Kuala Lumpur and had to go through immigration twice in Bangkok.
Bad surprise when we arrived at the luggage claim in Bangkok: No sign of Ilinca’s backpack. It seemed to not have made it to Bangkok, but none of the staff at the airport could figure out where the luggage is. This is especially bad as we continued the same day to Kuala Lumpur, and with a different airline. After filling out the paperwork, we received $200 of compensation in order to buy some emergency clothes and toiletries, and we also received a reference number with which we can check the status of the luggage and they promised us to forward the luggage to Kuala Lumpur… If it ever gets found… I will keep you updated.
Arrival in Kuala Lumpur
After a not so comfortable flight from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur and a bit more than half an hour of queuing at the immigration, we took a bus to the city of Kuala Lumpur and were happy to reach our Airbnb-room. Tomorrow will be about buying the most important things for Ilinca so she can at least enjoy the first few days here in Kuala Lumpur, but tonight we only went for a quick dinner and then to sleep after a very exhausting trip after all.