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A Surprise Birthday Party at 34,000 feet

9th November, it is that time of the year once again. On this day, (not-that) many years ago, I was born. After turning big 3 last year, I had planned for a much quieter celebration this year with my better half. As my birthday falls on a Friday followed by two nearby public holidays, we decided to do our year-end trip a bit earlier this year and Sri Lanka was picked as the destination. Coincidentally the only available date for an affordable flight ticket was on 9th Nov itself!

It is almost impossible to sleep well before a trip mainly due to excitement and last-minute preparation so we arrived at LCCT quite early for our 11am flight to Colombo.

Check in was smooth and I was delighted when the friendly check in agent at row S18 immediately wished “Happy Birthday En Azuan” the moment she saw my date of birth on my passport
“Nak celebrate dekat Sri Lanka la ni?” and I just nodded and smiled. I thanked her for the birthday wish and moved on to the clean and nice LCCT international departure hall while tweeting about the little but sweet touch shown by the AirAsia check-in agent. I should have written down her name!

Flight AK1267 to Colombo departed on time. It was an almost full flight and the 4 flight attendants were all occupied from the beginning of the flight. So occupied that I was given quite a cold shoulder when I said “hi“ during boarding.

The first part of the flight was quite routine; my pre-ordered Nasi Lemak Pak Nasseer was delivered on time although the crew still gave me a cold treatment while they served. I was in a good mood so I just assumed it was a busy day for them, thankfully the Nasi Lemak tasted good.

“Bring-Your-Own” in-flight entertainment works well for me. My own choice of movie & games and a much better screen than the usual in-flight screens.

With 120 minutes to go before arrival, I took a nap as the Airbus A320 cruised above the ocean heading towards Colombo. Suddenly I was wakened up by a special announcement from the lead crew Mr Ryan Shanker announcing that the flight has been chosen by the AirAsia Fun Team to host some in-flight games and activities.

It was a brilliant way to kill time during the 3 hours 40 minutes flight and the games were quite fun. Three volunteers were chosen on the first round with all of them winning prizes for answering some simple questions on AirAsia.

One cool guy even sang an almost full version of the famous Sri Lankan folk song “Surangani”.

I was enjoying the show when suddenly one of the flight attendants came to me…

“En Azuan, it’s your turn”

I looked at my wife and she was smiling and laughing and at that point I knew that she’s out to plan something ‘evil’ for my birthday. Not wanting to be a spoilsport, I went upfront thinking that I can easily answer those aviation-related questions.

Little that I know that the whole “ignore me” and “cold treatment” earlier along with this “En Azuan, it’s your turn” thingy have all been pre-planned between the AirAsia Fun Team and my better half. And yes, there was no such things as an easy question for me, together with 2 other lucky (or unlucky) volunteers, I was asked to perform the AirAsia A320 safety demo in front of all 150+ passengers. I wanted to just back out but the other passengers and the crew kept insisting for me to try and not wanting to let my wife down, I gave it a try!

I did quite OK in a way that I can remember 1-2 things BUT still as a regular traveller I shall pay closer attention at those safety procedures and less attention on the person doing the demo. As much as I was laughing during the demo, it is a serious thing to actually know how to place the oxygen mask and use the life jacket properly. Pay attention the next time you fly.

Thanks to the favourable show of hands, I was announced as the best among three ‘volunteers’.

As I was about to return to my seat, Mr. Shanker announced that it was my birthday and they had a surprise for me. I got confused for a while thinking that asking me to come forward was the surprise part. And from the galley my wife – Jiji and two other crew members walked towards the front part of the cabin carrying a cake while almost all the passengers sang the birthday song. It was one of the moments that I cannot easily described with words. I am touched by the trouble that my wife and the crew went in getting this things planned.

When asked to say a few words I can only thanked my wife and candidly asked “do we have to pay for the cake?” All in the name of fun 🙂

A souvenir from the crew. This will definitely go into my aviation display at home.

I’ve compiled some scenes from the flight to best showcase the memorable birthday celebration. Enjoy the video at HD for best viewing experience.

A special thanks to my other half, the crew of AK1267 – 9th Nov 2012, AirAsia fun team, Mr Faisal and all the passengers for making the flight a very memorable one.

34 Comments

  1. farrah November 16, 2012 at 3:22 am

    do they do this to ALL travellers who travelled on their birthdays?

    if yes, i am SO gonna buy ticket this coming 27th! hahaha! so much for a free cake 😉

    anyway, happy belated birthday! so sweet la your wife!

    • azuan November 16, 2012 at 8:50 am

      Hahah i think it is by request and coincidentally the flight was chosen to have some in-flight fun activities so the ambience was there for such celebration.

      The cake? Yes we had to pay for it but we got the whole cake which we shared with everyone since it would be tricky to bring it with us.

      • Hanith October 16, 2017 at 12:02 pm

        Good day Bro,

        I would like to plan a surprise for my friend. But i wont be travelling with her. Do you have any clue?

  2. eyriqazz November 16, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Happy belated birthday bro..bestnya kije bro,ble melancong je selalu…

  3. adam November 16, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Now Everyone can celebrate their birthday in the air ! Hahaha. And now everyone can pretend to give cold treatment and later on ask them to do safety demo ! Hahaha. Happy Birthday (again) 🙂

  4. Farah Nadiah November 16, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Wow, a sweet wife you have there Azuan. Comel gila Jiji plan all those tricks on your birthday dgn Airasia Fun Team. Sgt sweet!! Hope you two had a blast on your trip to Sri Lanka.

    p/s: Send my regards to Jiji. Excellent birthday plan. Hahaha. Next time sky dive dari Airasia flight pulak kot.

    • azuan November 16, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      Thanks Farah 🙂 Memang sangat terkejut and sangat terharu with the surprise. Caught me of guard.

      Will sampaikan salam to Jiji and NO i’m not gonna do skydiving any time soon! hahaha

  5. Kak Ila November 16, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    so sweet of her..
    best tak Sri Lanka kot2 nak masuk dlm plan next year trip..:))

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  7. Ryan Shanker November 16, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Hi Mr. Azuan, thank you so much for the compliments. On behalf the Air Asia Fun Team, its a real Honor for us to celebrate you, on the returns of your day esp on board 34,000 feet above. By the way, the safety demo is actually a part of my game plan which I will always implement on my inflight events, as it is for the guests, to go about on the importance of safety awareness on board while having fun. Anyway the photo shots is awesome, My best regards and God Bless..

    • azuan@mobile November 16, 2012 at 7:23 pm

      thank you Sir! the best birthday celebration ever for me.

      and kudos to you fo creating awareness on the importance of safety demo through your reative inflight events.

      thank you thank you thank you!

    • Irfan Chek November 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm

      hai Ryan Shanker, we have met before on a flight from AOR-KL 13/10/12.
      remember the guy that ask about use of aerobridge when raining just before take off. that is me. thanks for the great hospitality, hope to meet u soon on the next flight or maybe at LCCT hahaha

  8. Zamari bin Samsudin November 16, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Happy belated birthday and you know what, my birthday was also on 9Nov, so happy birthday to me too…ha ha

  9. Zara AB November 19, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Happy Birthday Azuan! Lucky you! 😀

  10. zulia November 19, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    happy birthday!!! that’s really an awesome surprise!!!

  11. DJ Andy November 21, 2012 at 4:54 am

    Glad you enjoyed your birthday and the flight. I’m terrified of flying!!!

  12. cathj March 2, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    hahaha… that is fun bro… 🙂

  13. tahid May 6, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    woow… kerenn kerennn..ha..ha..,

  14. Asyrof - Blogger Tanah Arab June 4, 2013 at 5:25 am

    SubhanAllah. Maha Suci Allah.

    Murah rezeki ada isteri yang sangat kool & sweet.

    Woww, bestnya … Tahniah…

    Didoakan semoga terus sukses. 🙂

  15. Melissa January 18, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    Very sweet of Air Asia……… but hmmm…… isn’t their name mispelt on the cake?! I seem to see it as Ari Asia, instead of Air Asia! And it’s a bit strange that the cake bears their name, as if they presented it to you FOC, but then they charged for it?!?

  16. eileen February 28, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    Hey hi,

    May i know how did u arrange with the team for this surprise celebration? I’d like to plan one too for my mum. Thanks in advance!

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