PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Dutch cyclist Maarten de Jonge cheated death twice after he made last minute changes to his tickets for Malaysia Airlines flights MH370 and MH17.
The 29-year-old cyclist who is a member of the Terengganu Cycling Team (TSG) told Dutch televison station RTV Oost that he had to change his MH17 ticket to another date because he wanted to save money by getting cheap airfare.
De Jonge, who comes from Oldenzaal, also said he was supposed to board Flight MH370 on March 8 for a competition in Taiwan but changed to another flight to avoid transit.
"It's hard to believe. I grieve for the passengers and their families but I'm grateful that I escaped the flight," according to his website.
He also said that he will take MAS to return to Malaysia via Frankfurt and has no worries about it.
De Jonge also said he was overwhelmed by the number of responses that he got after news broke out that he changed his flight.
"What happened is terrible, so many victims, that's a horrible thing.
"I am happy for myself and my family after these two incidents. However, my story is ultimately nothing compared to the misery faced by the families in this tragic incident.
"Attention should be paid to these families. I wish everyone affected by this disaster to be strong," he added.
Flight MH17, carrying 298 passengers and crew, was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it went down in Ukraine.
Ukrainian authorities believe that the plane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists.
Beijing-bound Flight MH370 with 239 people on board last communicated with the Inmarsat satellite before it went missing on March 8, after taking off from the KL International Airport.