Malaysia Airlines flight 370

How the mystery of the vanishing Malaysia Airlines flight is giving travellers the jitters

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 March, 2014, 4:46pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 March, 2014, 4:46pm

Reluctant air travellers are booking flights with some trepidation following the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines jet more than 10 days ago.

While passengers are still filling seats, it is clear what is on their minds.

Seats on Malaysia Airlines flight 433 from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur on Monday night were only half-filled, with turbulence rocking the cabin as it followed the same flight path to the capital as the ill-fated MH370.

I would have thought twice about flying to Malaysia

While some stretched out across vacant rows and managed to snooze during the short-haul flight, others were keen to share their thoughts on the mystery that has gripped the world.

First-time Malaysia Airlines traveller Alan David King, 65, a Canadian investor on business in Kuala Lumpur, said: "It doesn’t make me feel any safer about flying when a plane disappears. For someone to take a big plane, an airline with that many people, is frightening.”

"I would have thought twice about flying to Malaysia but I've got business to do," he added.

Krishnan Ramachandran, 48, works for a major multi-national company based in San Francisco’s Silicon Valley. He flies twice a month, accruing more than 250,000 air miles a year.

"It's very mind-boggling. I mean, how a large plane can disappear off the earth. Nobody has a clue," he said.

Mr Ramachandran admitted he had thought twice about boarding a Malaysia Airlines craft, but had not wanted to delay the trip for an hour to fly with Cathay Pacific.

He said he would make a decision on whether to travel with the carrier in the future when the truth finally emerges.

As a father paces nervously up and down the aisle soothing his young daughter, a mechanical engineer who says he flies with the airline some four times a year says he knows the company’s safety record is not in question.

"It's ineptitude at the highest level of government. This plane going missing is one small issue of a host of problems in this country," said the traveller, who wished to remain anonymous.

After touching down there is a slight shift in the atmosphere - a palpable sense of relief.

Minutes later passengers spill into the arrivals hall and line up in front of surly security personnel.

An immigration officer barely glances at the Post reporter's face as he scans a biometric airport, face locked intently onto his computer screen.

He speaks only once, asking the reporter to scan both index fingers.

It is clear what has happened to flight MH370 has had an effect on those on the ground as well as those in the air.