Tag Archives: Airport

Raiders Plane in Malaysia??

NFL to Asia??

One of the big challenges about traveling are the things you miss from home. My New York Jets (American football) were in the playoffs, but I was in Malaysia!  I was excited to learn that my NY Jets playoff run took them all the way to the AFC Championship game.  Unfortunately, I was set to arrive in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, one day before the game. It’s a region of the world without any NFL fans. None!

KL is a major city, so my plan was to investigate if there’s any tiny sports bar that might have it (spoiler alert – there’s not). So I was thinking it would be a challenge, but imagine my reaction as we landed right next to this:

Air Asia, proud sponsor of the Oakland Raiders! That’s puzzling to most people because american football isn’t remotely popular in Malaysia, and they don’t even fly to the U.S.

That’s right – This is an Air Asia plane, with a custom Oakland Raiders wrap/paint job. At first I thought it was just Raider colors, but a closer look revealed that the side of the plane featured the name, the logo, and even images of the Raiderettes!
Why would a discount Asia carrier have a jet that’s decked out in Raiders colors?  My first fleeting thought was hopeful, incorrectly thinking perhaps there’s a small NFL fanbase here that they’re catering to. There’s not. They don’t even fly to the United States.

As it turns out, Air Asia’s trying to break into the U.S. market, starting with Oakland. This WSJ article explains the situation best.
This could be GREAT news for the U.S.! I’m a big fan of Air Asia. Good experience at a cheap price. Yes! The airlines in the U.S. are lackluster, so perhaps this could push them to step it up a notch. Air Asia, we’re rooting for you!

The Least Helpful Major Airport in the world

Welcome to Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan – the least helpful international airport I’ve been in.  The tourist “information” booth didn’t have any information.  His English was quite good, but he couldn’t answer ANY of my questions, which were rather basic.  This is the biggest airport in Jordan, and their only non-Arabic map they had was in Russian.

Welcome to Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan - the least helpful international airport
Welcome to Queen Alia International Airport – the least helpful international airport

Also, I had booked a rent-a-car through the Budget Rent-a-Car airport office, which didn’t actually exist. The guy at the information booth had no idea what I was talking about when I asked about it. One of the vendors said he knew them but that he hadn’t seen the Budget guy since the morning, so my best route is to just wait and hope he comes back.  Apparently they don’t have an office; it’s a guy with a clipboard, credit card machine, and keys.

Hours later I finally found the guy, and after filling out some paperwork he took me to the car. They leave the car in long-term parking; he said the guard knows him and wouldn’t charge me, but that wasn’t the case. The security guard said he knows the Budget guy, but the new renter always pays the bill. So your total cost is actually dependent on how long ago the guy before you left the car.

Off to a great start…

[note – after a week of traveling through Jordan, I found Jordanians to be among the nicest of anywhere I’ve been. Quite the contrast! I’ve explained in this linked posts]