LHR-KHI PK788 23 SEPT. AP-BGG 747-300

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queerpakistani
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LHR-KHI PK788 23 SEPT. AP-BGG 747-300

Post by queerpakistani »

its kind of confusing as you apprach pia's business plus check-in counter. its sandwiched between, gulf , qatar and couple of other airlines. the lady was neutrally pleasant!!! i was given seat 2A. though i oved to 11A, since the rear half of the business+ was completely empty and all 12 pasengers sittings together in the front part.

the servisair executive lounge at Heathrow for PIA business class is also used by air china, Biman, MEA, Ghana airways, Ethiopion, MS, IR, RJ, members of the institute of Directors (IOD), diners club, priority pass, and off course paying guests. the atmosphere seemed ok, not very chic (like JAL louge next door or AA admiral and regal lounge right underneath)

Boarding was very smooth, there seemed hardly anyone at the gate. later on i was told there only 100 people on board. as you enter the aircraft, you feel there are too many cabin crew members wandering around. very hospitable, polite, obedient kind of gestures!!! however you feel there is this commotion on board amongst the cabin crew. the towels are being given (with an optiono clogone), at least 3 cabin crew members are giving away newspapers in a rather small business plus cabin, they seemed to be bumping into each other. calling each other's name from far away. i happened to make a mistake of asking for a glass of water, and i could hear the messgae bieng sent across the cabin from one purser (a very queenie one indeed!!!) to another female attendent to another male attendant... i did get my glass of water. perhaps no one can beat the hospitality that you get to received in the business plus. far better and personal touch than anyother carrier can offer. unfortunately the economy tends to be quite the opposite, which is such a shame.

2 things that annoyed me most on this flight: 1) the food was not served till 10:30 i.e. 2 hours into the flight. though the cabin crew tend to start serving the dinner at: 9 pm but each course takes 30-45 mins to be served. most of the time i just sat there lookijg at them (crew) huffing around. the trolley are taken out, the trolleys are pushed back, the noise and the clinkinfg of plates and cutlery, in and out. i had a long day at work, i have skipped my lunch rushing to airport, i need my dinner well before midnight!!! so that i can sleep and have enough hours to rest and be fersh for the next day as i arrive in karachi!!!! alas, that doesn't seem to be understood by PIA busniess class. on another PK busniess plus flight to ISB (PK300) the whole 100 mins were consumed in breakfast being served.

2) the leg rest on this aircraft 743 is so pathetic. it hardly reclines. its possible that you wake up with more pain in your legs and ankles.

we finished the dinner by 11:30 pm london time (3 hrs into flight). and the funny thing is just hardly 3 hours of sleep the most courteous flight attendent woke me up if i would like to have a light continental breakfast, before we land. the light cointinental breakfast comprised of all sorts of croissants, danish pastries, eggs/omelettes, chick peas curry!!! (but a simple piece of bread). oh yeah there was a small bowl of fresh fruit salad.

i resigned to have a cup of coffee ahead of a supoosedly busy day on arrival in karachi. i was given a sachet of ground coffee and hot boiling water in a cup!!!!!


despite all these complaints and criticism one gets the feeling the the cabin crew, though pretty insensitive to your needs and expectations, is genuinely nice and hospitable. this sense of their being around you to provide comfort and attention prevailed dring the whole flight.

few days later i flew to ISB on PIA Business Plus and decided to return on Air Blue.

air blue business class is defintely a preferred choice, provided your main aim is not to have bhuna qeema, chick peas curry or sheermaal for breakfast.

cheers.

adnan


queerpakistani
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Post by queerpakistani »

sorry to be so be so critical. but it is rahter funny, that PIA does give this Menu card for meals. on my return flight i realised that the a lot of stuff that was on the menu was not really there on the trolley. esp. the fish was comletely diffent than what printed on the card. similarly mutton was replaced by beef. however the replacemnets were very delicous and sumptous and generoulsy offered. do we really need a menu card if we are not sure that itrs going to be the same on the trolley? i brought the menu card as a funny souvenier and its lying on our stuyday as i share my experience with you guys.

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B777240ER
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Post by B777240ER »

Did u take any photos?

How was the food?

queerpakistani
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Post by queerpakistani »

no, i did not not take any photos.

pakistani food was very good. "international selections" as it was mentioned, was just pathetic. bread was pretty bad so were the desserts. however on return flight "loki ki kheer" (marrow pudding) was just delicious. for vegetarians, you are stuck with daal and some boiled vegetables. similarly they serve excellent green tea, but pathetic coffee!!!

good or bad... its a very pakistani oreinted service in business plus. if PIA is targeting a very local (pakistani or pakistani origin) for an executive/comfortable travel calss, then perhaps they have the sort of right approach. i dont see many international and particualry business travellers (if there are many to pakistan nowadays!!) would find PIA business+ useful for their travels.

a rather more pragmatic suggestion for the cabin crew (esp. for business plus) and economy in general would be to have more exposure of non-pakistani clientele (again if they think there is a need for such improvement). perhaps PIA can send its keys senior flight attendents to tarvel on some key international routes (LHR-JFK/LAX/SFO/ORD, FRA-SIN, CDG-JNB, HKG-NRT to mention a few).

i am being more tempted to share the experience in air blue business class from ISB-KHI.

thanks

adnan ali

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B777240ER
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Post by B777240ER »

Go ahead Adnan.

Waiting for the Airblue expierence.

Nasir
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Post by Nasir »

PIA service, although quite sincere (at least in B+, but even in Y), lacks professionalism. We definitely need to send our boys and girls to some skills training (either in-country to a charm school, or off-station)

pk757
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Post by pk757 »

hmm interesting report there thanx , anyways u didnt mention anythin about the flight plan, duration, altitude e.t.d plus on the cabin appearence cABIN CREW AppeRENCE AND STUFF B.T.W who was in command of your flight i.e captain?

queerpakistani
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Post by queerpakistani »

no idea about the captain's name. on the way out LHR-KHI, the PA system was barely audible, at leat in the Business cabin. i remmebr going to the loo and listening to the anouncemnet crystal clear !!! lol. on the return flight (PK 787) the PA system it was perfeclty fine. the a/c was AP-BAK (Much better seats and the leg rest). i am afraid i dont remmebr the routing or the altitude that was mentioned during the flight.

as usual the female cabin crew was wearing multi-layers of makeup. the male cabin crew (boys/men/old-men!!!) were rather shabbily dressed up. i alos observed this lack of idea of carrying yourself. e.g. i could see many crew members rushing (if not trttoing) in the cabin. there was this strange/comic 'hulchul'.

it deosn't make feel joyous to be critical of PIA, but eg. news papers on board in Business class... i took 2 PIA flights originating from KHI PK 300/PK787 . each flight had approx 25 business class passengers, with only 2 copies of DAWN (karachi based newspaer). hello!!!!! it costs only 10 rupees!!!! these minute details can be petty to discuss.. but they do leave an impact on your journey.

the bath rooms were pretty clean and basic. the ineterior of cabin, nothing spectular, though clean and fresh. pakistan has abig textile industry and i guess PIA can afford to have better balnkets if not duvets!!!

chaklala
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Post by chaklala »

Hello Everyone,

I have been browsing this forum for some time and this post brought back memories of the most awful journey on PK787 from Karachi to London. The plane in question was a 74M.

My first flight was on a PIA Viscount in 1964 and ever since that day I have had a fondness for our national carrier.

I still remember standing on the garage roof of 13C, Sattelite Town watching the first PIA B-720 (or was it a 707) circle over the Margalla Hills and land at Chaklala. It was really big news for days. Then the national grief when an airliner was lost at Cairo, especially as the legendary Momi Gul was on that flight. I also flew London Paris on the PIA 707 which had set a record between New York an London I think. It ended up with Malta Airways and was finally used to train fire crews!!

I digress. The flight in question started badly as we had to queue for half and hour IN the air bridge. Then the usual delay and arguments between crew and certain passengers re seating.

About an hour afetr take-off all the toilets except one stopped functioning. BTW I still had not recieved the DAWN newspaper I had requested before take-off.

Then the food arrived, ostensibley described a chicken curry, it looked more like road kill scrapped off Drigh Rd the previous morning. It, quite literally, made me puke.

Added to this the seat did not recline and then we were informed taht the entertainment system was also not available.

The only positive factor was the fact that a very pleasant attendant allowed me to take a peak of the cargo hold. The older crew members were generally ok but the younger ones seemed quite disinterested.

However I must add that the flight from Heathrow to Lahore was quite excellent, amybe as the plane was a half empty 743.

A clean aeroplane, friendly crew, especially the ladies. I arrived in Lahore refreshed and smiling!!

PK777
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Post by PK777 »

Very interesting reading your reviews, thanks for sharing them.

It seems from queerpakistani review that PIA is getting worse in the LHR-KHI sector with the gulf airlines already driving many passengers away. However given that the aircraft was a B743 im quite suprised that the service was still bad....

Also, chaklala do you have any photographs from your recollections ? Love to see some classic shots of PIA !! :wink:

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Post by chaklala »

PK777,
I only have one, of the Chinese football team posing on the steps of a Viscount.

I remember when the Air Base and PIA station were one. I just wish I did have photos of the old Bristol frieghters, DC-3's and the arrival of the
C-130's. I also remember a lot of USAF planes, mostly props. Height of the old war you see and The funniest was when as Pakistan was still a member of CENTO etc. Then during the floods of '73, the Americans initiated a huge aid program and I remeber the awe of seeing a C-141 suddenly appear over the hill while I was walking with my father near New Lalazar.

Also bombed by the Indians. They missed totally but ironically, totalled a whole herd of cows!! Way to go IAF!! The noise was incredible, with the red ack ack shells flying everywhere.

The funniest was when one evening one of the servants came rushing into the house in a state of panic shouting that a plane was on fire. Turned out to be the strobe lighting on a DC-10!!

It was the first to land in Pindi and since no one had seen such a thing, there was wholesale panic.

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Abbas Ali
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Post by Abbas Ali »

chaklala,

Welcome to forum. I really enjoyed reading your memories of PIA. If you have any photos of PIA from past or present please do share them with all of us here on forum. You can also e-mail their scans at historyofpia@yahoo.com and I will put them on website and its forum with full and proper credit to you.

Thank you.
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chaklala
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Post by chaklala »

Abbas Sahib,
My pleasure. I will go through all the old photographs next time I am in Lahore (probably Basant).

I think we should also organise a meet of all the members in Pakistan. I know it is difficult with the ASF lurking around every corner but let us give it a try.

Funnily enough my father was posted to Peshawar in '71. Guess what? We had another visit from the IAF on Dec 4th. This time they were not so lucky. I saw a dogfight where I saw (I think it was Sqn Ldr Changezi) blow one (of two) of them out of the sky.

Some idiot decided to provide me with a very gruesome souvenir of that day. Charrred pieces of the dead Indian's map. Just don't ask me how he got hold of it.

I also have tales of certain 'Shahzada' captains of the 60's / 70's. We sall of course discuss it privately!!

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Abbas Ali
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Post by Abbas Ali »

chaklala,

Thanks for your reply, I do look forward to see the scans of PIA photos in your collection whenever it's possible for you.

Very interesting to read your memories of 1971 war!! I think an F-86 Sabre flown by Sqn Ldr Changezi in 1965 war is on display at Lahore Air Base.

Adnan,

Thanks for sharing very detailed trip report. We also look forward to read your trip report of AirBlue flight.
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PK777
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Post by PK777 »

Thanks Chaklala for the reply. Waiting patiently :wink: