MH370: 'No one took airport banter seriously'

MH370: 'No one took airport banter seriously'

PETALING JAYA - On the night before Patrick Francis Gomes was to leave for work as the in-flight supervisor on MH370, he "pleaded" with his family to send him to the airport.

"He said 'Okay, I will offer anyone RM120 (S$47) to take me to the airport'. We thought about it and jokingly said that it wasn't enough," said his wife Jacquita Gonzales, recalling their family bantering that night.

Gomes, 56, left for the KL Interna­tional Airport in a taxi, she said.

Jacquita, who once worked as a cabin crew for Singapore Airlines, and her husband were childhood sweethearts.

"Patrick is committed to his job. He will fly until they say he can't fly any more," said Jacquita, who tea­ches at a daycare centre.

The 52-year-old is used to seeing her husband leave at odd hours for his job. And the night before MH370 went missing was no different.

"Patrick was sitting out on the porch playing on his iPad with our three-year-old grandson Raphael," she remembered.

"The rest of us were having dinner, laughing and chatting away. He had his flight schedules stuck on the refrigerator so we knew where he was going. In the air, Gomes is a straight and narrow man, who is always pleasant to his cabin crew members," said Jacquita who flew with him several times.

"I am an emotional wreck. Some days I'm okay and at other times I'm not. I'd be driving and a song Patrick and I listened to would come on, and I'd just have to stop the car because I can't stop crying," she said.

For Nicolette Gomes, 27, the worst part of not having her father around was to see how much Raphael missed his grandfather.

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