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“From one of the best in the 80's to now one of worst airlines the world, a sad decline.”
Review of Pakistan International Airlines


Reviewed August 29, 2018

I have to fly (don't have a choice in the matter) with these folks nearly every year, and the experience is either just tolerable, or bad, it's just never good. With the videos and photos I have taken, I will eventually, if I have the time, write a blog on this.

Here's a brief list of my recent experiences:-

Entertainment systems turned off with screens flashing for seven hours, so no chance of sleep, that the staff won't or can't turn off completely. Taken care of by shoving a safety card over it. The boxes for these are under the often under the seats, so restrict the already meagre leg room. If you're lucky, the screens are off, or it's crashed showing you a Linux command line screen with the Linux Penguin in the corner.

The ramshackle seats, nearly all worn or broken in some way, a cup holder that won't close, a snapped off edge of table etc.

Food, tiny portions of food, that isn't actually usually that bad. But it's put luck, the breakfast on my recent flight was more like some form of pre-mummification ritual for the passengers, every item was dryer than the next, so much so it felt like was stuffing some form of dehydration pastry into my mouth and eventually gave up. That's just an example.

Insects in various tray items, a whole fly was embedded in the wrapping along with my plastic fork.

Oh and bookings? Change a ticket date and they'll do something clever, they'll quote you a price. So you go on your flight day, and they'll just deny that price and set you a new higher one. If you argue, they'll tell you sit and wait. When you realise the dirty game their playing, and that they want you to panic as the check-in will close soon, you then ask again, and they now raise the price even higher, they managed get to £80 out of doing this the last time I needed a change.

It all about squeezing every last bit of cash they can from you. Here's a good one, I need to leave the country early so turned up ready to pay to do so. So they had the seats, but quoted an exorbitant price, however if I came back the next day, it would be 1/3 the price. They were banking on it being too difficult for me to come back to the airport, but miscalculated as another day for the three of us was not an issue, we elected for the following day.

However, the next day it turns out the re-issued tickets were wrong, they'd made two for me, and one for one of the other passengers, ignoring the third. This was fixed after a fashion, but not before rebuking me for not paying attention when buying the tickets, odd considering I handed over the three the day before to be modified for the present date, to a PIA official; it was his mistake.

In flight it's pot luck, you can have polite cabin crew, and on one occasion I even had a good conversation with one. But it's become progressively worse to the point of crew being openly hostile. It is after all the flag carrier of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, so one would think that praying wouldn't be an issue. If one can stand, for ten times the amount of time it takes pray, outside one of their dirty (they nearly always are) toilets, then praying for a few minutes isn't a safety issue or anything, KLM (their staff praised me for observing my religion quietly!) and Emirates don't mind. However on a recent trip what looked like chief purser became extremely hostile and angry, and when I said KLM didn't mind he shouted back 'well fly KLM then!'. It is hate an anger that he had to a simple request that shocked me, and with a few flights to Britain, I was flying back home too) having been escorted by fighter jets/diverted due to passengers/staff arguments over the past few years, I decided to quietly pray sitting in my seat and avoid the crew. My knee was rammed by a host's trolley later in that flight in what appeared to a deliberate act of retaliation, it left my leg so sore that when I took a photo of the swelling a day later it was still visible, but realised that any action against them would just be a waste of time.

Oh check-in? This incident I reported to Manchester Airport, they palmed it off saying, tell the airline, which meant give up. My wife has a bad back, and usually needs assistance in lifting her suitcase onto the check-in conveyor belt. However I went to park the car whilst my wife queued. On returning I asked the chap manning the head of the check-in queue if I can help my wife, he was the same demographic as me, born to Pakistani parents, but Rochdale/Bury accented, yes I know the difference, he told me stand aside, and wait, so I said in exasperation, 'ok so you want to interview me, fine', and waited. After some time when I asked if I could help now that my wife was now at the check in desk he said no, 'I'm banned then?', I asked, he goes yes. So I asked him where his station manager was, and he pointed to him, so I went and asked him. The chap stood there and listened, but looking past me into the distance, this is part of a dehumanising trait common in Pakistan if someone has more influence, social status, and/or money than you. To experience it in Britain was quite disgusting. He eventually said I could go and help, I thanked him and went. Now I was just being polite and at airports if you're certain type of person, largely based on skin colour, one needs to be extra cautious. I could have just gone around form where people were exiting with no issue. Now I if I need to be there to help a relative, I just print off an extra ticket, as the chap or chapess manning the head of the queue can't check a tickets validity, and in my case it was a chap with a Napoleon complex, a receptionist who thinks he own the building.

There's so much more, but this will do to tell any hapless traveller, avoid this airline at all costs, pay extra, and travel Emirates for example, I did for the first leg of my journey with them and it was quite good. Don't bother with Etihad, they code share with PIA!

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
Thank Ahmad A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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29 - 33 of 256 reviews

Reviewed August 28, 2018

Check in and boarding was easy.takeoff was ok.food was egg and 4 chicken pieces , jam and butter.I dont know why there tea makes me sleep.landing was poor.but what I am frustrated about is that my carton is lost.i asked them but they were so rude that they said to only register a complain.only a complain . In that carton were important things like meat. Please tell me something that to do. this is not the first time its happening.

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
Thank HARAM N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 27, 2018 via mobile

A terrible experience. It was worse than what I was warned about this airline.
Nothing works, the entertainment screens do not work and have been out of order for over a decade. This brought about great disruption on the flight. Kids were screaming, crying and shouting and also just running all over the place I’m sure a working entertainment system would take care of this chaos. The attendants were absolutely shattered.
The food was absolutely disgusting.

Thank Thair A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 26, 2018

Everybody says that PIA the national flag barrier of the country is not delivering what it was famous for in the past. The Flight is no doubt the worst now because of many reasons. No communications between the service providers and the customers if in case it is delayed. The flight attendants are much tired because of the unrealistic schedule by the airlines. The aircrafts are not up to date. The service centers don't provide any information regarding the issues.
The food was amazing.

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
Thank kgurmani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 23, 2018

Average in every regard. I've flown with them several times and never had an issue. I did appreciate the Captain allowing us to enter the cabin to see K2 on or way to Skardu.

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
Thank Ricogu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC