Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Travelling on PIA from Karachi - Dubai - Karachi. Its not the airline, its the people who travel make the difference.

In february 2014, I happened to travel to Dubai from Karachi.

This time around, I had to choose to fly from Pakistan International Airline (PIA)
The journey from Karachi to Dubai was pretty fine. The flight was on time, the service was fine, some what similar as you would expect from PIA.

AS soon as the Karachi to Dubai flight landed in Dubai, you could expect the urgency in the people to get to the gate of the aircraft and get out of it at the soonest. We see this sort of action in almost all sort of pakistan flights, where people want to get out of the plane at the soonest.

While this act can be highly foolish. AS dubai airport is pretty big, and it takes almost 20 - 40 mins to reach to the baggage claim, that is also after passing thru immigration, and not to forget the long walk towards the immigration counters.

Dubai airport is not a small airport as karachi airport where you could reach the immigration and baggage claim counter with in 10 mins.

This was the only hicup in the dubai bound flight.
The main action started in the Dubai to Karachi flight.

Dubai to Karachi on PIA Flight

The main action was on dubai to karachi flight.
Since karachi airport is a small airport and if you show some running skills and urgency you can reach the immigration counters and baggage claim area with in 10 minutes of getting out of plane.

This is the reason, many pakistanis when travelling to pakistan tend to carry small handbags, rather than a big suitcase so they can take the handbag in the airplane as cabin baggage and can swift thru the immigration process and come out at the soonest.

I noticed lots of people carrying handbags, some of them even carrying 3 handbags, and lots of them were over sized.

The flight was delayed, as it did not arrive from pakistan, so we had to wait a long while for the flight.

While we were waiting, the PIA staff came and asked several people to have their handbags tagged so it will go in the luggage and not in the cabin baggage. This caused a lot of argument between people and the PIA staff as almost everyone of them wanted to take cabing baggage and not give it in the luggage.

Everyone claiming that the bag has some important documents, or fragile stuff etc.

While all this was going on , the flight from pakistan arrived, which was about 4 hours late.
When boarding the plane the airhostess once again requested people to give their handbags in the luggage and not to take it in the cabin as the cabin baggage compartments are all full and have no place.

This again caused lots of arguments, some people even telling that they will keep the bag in their laps as they cannot give the baggage in luggage due to the same reason: it has fragile items, it has some important documents.

Soon the tunnel leading to the aircraft was giving a look of a local Karachi W11 bus, where everyone had some sort of extra size baggage and did not want to give it in the luggage.

The airhostess, who was from Czech republic, as the planes were operated by PIA under a lease agreement from czech, gave up on the argument and let the people take their baggage in.

When people when in, it was another fuss.
All the baggage compartments were full and there was no place to keep the hang baggage. Some people argued that the compartment above their seat is tobe used for their baggage only and not by any other.

So they started removing the baggage from the compartment above their seats, and started placing their own.
This caused another mayhem and argument and heated exchange of words.

It took some good while for people to stop arguing, settle their baggage, and some voluntarily let their hand baggage to be taken to the luggage compartment.

The flight took off. MAny people were happy that they get to keep their handbags with them, so once they arrive at karachi airport, they will just zip thru the immigration and go out of the airport.

During the flight

The airhostess started to serve refreshments. She was half way thru the plane, when a person sitting in the front seats came up to her and asked for some thing. The coversation continued for some two minutes.
The airhostess seemingly refused the person some thing, and he was not happy with it.

So he walked back to his seat, and threw a napkin in her direction which was meant to hit her.
However, it missed her and the napkin landed on another passengers lap.

This caused another argument in the plane, which was short lived, but yet shows our mentality and our behaviour.


The flight landed finally at dawn in karachi. As soon as the flight landed, people started to stand up and make ques so they can get out of the plane at the soonest. Everyone seemed to be in a hurry to reach his destination.

The opening of the plane door, took a bit more than longer and the people started shouting "challo , kholo ..challo" ( hurry up , open the door, hurry up)

Some one's baggage was bumped in another passenger, and this again caused an argument .

Finally the door openend, and people hurried out of the plane and some of them ran past each other to make it to the immigration counter at the soonest.

Once the immigration was done, we had to go to the baggage claim section.
It took a long while for the baggage to arrive and we had to wait some 30 - 40 minutes for the baggage belt to start and I could see that same people who were showing a lot of hurry in the airplane and not giving their handbags were standing , waiting for the baggage.

The baggage belt started in some 40 mins and finally the luggage arrive and people started making way out of the airport main building.

This attitude of our people puts a lot of question mark.
- Is it really worth to argue so much , just for the same of argument ?
- is it really worth showing so much urgency, when you know it will take time in immigration and baggage claim and you have nothing to do and no where to go unless the baggage arrives

This brings me to the conclusion - May be the airline is not the prime airline, but the people travelling in it are not much sane.