PIA improving?

February 05, 2019


THE reason I had given up travelling on the national flag carrier for international trips 10 years ago. The reason was their shoddy service both in the air and on the ground, dirty cabins, toilets and frequently delayed flights.

Recently some friends strongly suggested that I review my earlier decision in light of reports about the airline’s all-round improvements due to which I decided to give it a try.

I travelled on PK 757 from Lahore to London on Jan 29 and was pleasantly surprised that the business class (now renamed premium economy for some reason) cabin was clean and so were the toilets. The crew was professional and efficient. The seats adjustments functioned and the meal services were all nice and adequate. The flight departed and landed on time.

The only two issues were that the entertainment system was out of order and the baggage of both classes was mixed up resulting in an extra 20-minute wait at the Heathrow baggage carousel.

The return flight, PK 758 on Feb 2, was another story. My seat adjustments (and the seat next to mine) did not work resulting in manual adjustment by the crew.

The entertainment system never worked for the entire cabin. My overhead and seat reading lights also did not work. How does one spend eight hours if you cannot rest nor read nor watch a movie? When I complained to the cabin crew all they had to say was that other people were responsible while they have to take the brunt from the passengers.

Upon arrival at Lahore the baggage mix-up happened again resulting in delay in the arrivals hall. Needless to say that however much we would like to patronise and promote our country’s airline, it has to provide at least a decent level of service to earn it.

I am thinking about giving up PIA for another 10 years hoping that by that time it might improve under private management.

Babar Agha

Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2019