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[JAKARTA] An Indonesian family of 10 said on Monday they had a miraculous escape when they arrived too late to catch AirAsia Flight QZ8501, which went missing shortly after take-off en route to Singapore.
Christianawati, 36, said the 10 of them, who included her family, her mother and her younger brother's family, were heading to Singapore to celebrate New Year.
The six adults and four children were originally booked on the 7:30 am flight but AirAsia moved them to Flight QZ8501 scheduled for two hours earlier.
"They emailed and called us on December 15 and 16 to inform us but we missed those calls," Christianawati said.
"So we arrived at the airport to check in for the 7:30am flight but were told our flights had been rescheduled to 5:30am and we were late. Of course we were angry," she said.
"While the new tickets were being reissued, we heard that the earlier plane had crashed so we cancelled our flights immediately," she said.
"I was shocked to hear about it and cried. Maybe it is all God's plan that my family and I were not on the flight. It was a blessing in disguise," she said.
"I hope that the plane is found and everyone is safe." Christianawati said she would be switching airlines.
"We travel to Singapore twice a year and always by AirAsia. We consider it a safe airline ... but now our confidence in AirAsia is somewhat shaken and we shall just stick to Garuda Indonesia," she said.