Before, I begin my trip report, I would like to inform all readers, that, whatever has been compiled in this trip report is nothing but the truth. So be warned, if you appear to be, a bit on the harsh side !
Arrived at Manchester International Airport at 7.30 am, with my dad, who dropped me off. After loading my luggage on the trolley, we walked into terminal 2, which looked rather occupied, for the time.
I noticed the PIA check-in-desk which read PK 718 to Islamabad-Karachi. There were only a few passengers infront of me in the line and after a few minutes, I checked in my luggage. It came to 47kg, although they only allow 40kg max. I asked the check-in assistant whether I could have a window seat in the upper deck, but he replied, by saying that Business Class was situated upstairs, with full passengers.
He handed over the boarding card, which read seat no: 52 A, boarding time 8.30 am.
This particular flight was arriving from New York-JFK and yet had to arrive into MAN. Before making its onward journey to Pakistan.
By now it was 8.00 am, and thought I'd make my way to passport control. I said my final good bye's to my dad and made my way to passport control.
Entered into the departure lounge, where it was bustling with activity. Being, the morning time, many transatlantic and far eastern flights, depart at this time. There I could see SQ 747, DL 777, BY 767, AF A320. Walked into Boots, for a final browse and then made my way to the gate.
To my surprise, the 747, was at the gate, with its side cargo door fully open. From, where I was stood, it appeared to be a car, which they had just loaded, into the plane. That too a black Merc ! I overheard the handling agent, who was talking about a McClaren which, was loaded last week.
There was an engineer on the ground, who appeared to be carrying four fuel filter type objects. He stepped onto a step ladder and placed one of the filter objects into the engine.
By now it was nearing towards, 8.30 am. The New York passengers had been offloaded and given transit tags. I could see a whole group of them hurdling towards us, in the departure lounge. By now, there was a good 200 passengers waiting at the gate.
People were becoming, very impatient and fussy. After a few minutes wait, the pilot, gave the thumbs up, for boarding. I dived down the airbridge, to the entrance of the plane, to be greeted by a grumpy air hostess. She didn't even assist me in my seat. I walked towards the bottom of the cabin and found that seats ended at row 48 !
I looked at my boarding card and thought to myself, excuse me, but where is seat 52 A. I saw an air hostess, who had her back towards me. I said "excuse me, I need help in finding my seat". She turned around and gave me this "who are you asking, kind of look". She said, 52 A is upstairs, in the upper deck. I ploughed my way through the passengers who were boarding and walked up the stairs, to find another economy class cabin. No, this was no business class !
Seat 52 A. Surprisingly, not occupied. It was the last window seat at the end of the upper deck. (P.s. look at the pic above and you will see where)
There were no passengers on the other two seats beside me. Until a guy with his wife and kid showed up. They asked the air hostess to, transfer me, downstairs, so that they could sit together. The air hostess, came upto me and said " excuse me, would you kindly give your seat to this gentleman". I paid no attention and just replied with a big NO !.
She turned away and managed to accomodate them together in the lower cabin. She offered orange juice, which was nice. By now, all passengers had boarded, cargo loaded and re-fuelling nearly complete.
It was nearing towards departure time and I didn't think we were going to make it, for our 10.30 am slot. Announcement was made by the captain, that traffic was very busy (airspace). We were going to be departing at around 11 am.
I had a look through PIA's inflight magazine "HUMSAFAR", which didn't really interest me at all. Due to its stale content.
We finally moved at around 11.05 am, push backed and the captain powered all four engines, before moving forward to taxi towards the 2nd runway. Safety procdeures were played on this pathetic projector, which made no sense. Taxied past the viewing park and saw all those avid photographers and enthusiasts.
Carried on past the first runway, until reaching, the start to, the second runway. The pilot, pulled all four engines to full power and off we were, like this big mean machine. We didn't actaully lift off the ground until we reached towards the bottom of the runway. Suppose, due to heavy load. It needed the full stretch of runway to take off. The pilot mentioned we were going to be cruising at the alt of 10,xxx metres. The take off seemed very steep and powerful.
There was this really unusal sound appearing from the engines, which frightened me. So did the passengers, who looked puzzled with the sounds.
Air hostess served, light lunch. Which contained an omelette, bun and a salad. Very mi-nute and basic indeed !
One thing I noticed which was very regular, was the fact that many of PIA's planes are old and grumpy. They are falling to bits both inside and outside. PIA maintenance have no choice, but to stick thick tape on overhead bins, to keep them together.
Food was just appaling. At the end of the day, I'd paid to get from A to B. Food doesn't really bother me, while flying. But, tasting PIA's offerings just didn't tantalise my taste buds at all. There was this weird smell of plastic, which filled the cabin. After, looking at my tray, I just turned away. World War 2 style cutlery and hospital food....tops it up.
Inflight entertainment- the less said the better. The air hostess, gave out these pathetic headphones, which were designed to be used on their 747-300. No wonder the jack, wouldn't fit into the socket ! To top it all, the picture quality, on the projector blind, was like pirated quality.
Inflight music was brilliant, I have to admit. Especially the PIA Instrumental music.
Kaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12176 posts, RR: 35 Reply 1, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2888 times:
Other than that, it was okay then?
Seriously, though, thanks for the report. AP-BAT, if I am not mistaken is one of the factory delivered aircraft, which makes it 25 years old. I wonder if PIA will take advantage of the current downturn to park some of these older aircraft? Apart from the -300s and the A310s, their fleet is becoming quite long in tooth. The A300s are not in the full flush of youth either.
KHI747 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 1613 posts, RR: 1 Reply 3, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 2824 times:
GF-A330....... are you serious they flew a Mclaren to Pakistan .....dam that is amazing...did it go to Islamabad or Karachi? For those who dont know what a Mclaren is....... its the fastest car and price is $1.1 million dollars.
Can you tell me which Mercedes it was since you saw it.
BA747-436 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 1259 posts, RR: 12 Reply 6, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2778 times:
Yeah nice report, never realy wanted to fly PIA and now i don't think i ever will anyway!
I was on a Gulf Air A340 from London and i saw them loading 3 Mclarren F1's jet black into the hold. It took them the best part of an hour or more to do it. Guess you cant rush things like that
TUP 154 From Netherlands, joined Nov 2000, 49 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 2679 times:
i was going back,frome dubai to ams.whit klm.but my flight was cancelled.so the put the passengers on different flights.the peopel before me,where flying whit emirates b777-300.to london.when i was ready the check in.there where no seats anymore on that flight.so the put me and some other peopel on the pia flight to london.also whit the b747-200.when whe where on the plane.the captain say that there was a delay,because some problems whit one of the engines.the take about 3 hours to repair it.all the time whe where on the plane,whit nothing to drink.when whe where on the air,whe get are food.the got fish,and chicken.but the stewardes,say.dont take the chicken,because whe frome europe,wil get problems.i dont have to say,what cind of problems.so i take the fish.that also whas not so good.when whe where flying,the cabin crew.where walkin thrue the plane whit air refreshers.o man it realy needed a asparine than.o my poure had.i dont now what the use.but you dont want to now.its thrue,that the plane looks not so good to me also.a lot of noice.this whas my first,and my last flight whit pia.and i even ask fore it.it whas the only flight to come home.i even have send a letter to thank the klm.fore putting me on the pia flight./*^$$#
Airmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 372 posts, RR: 2 Reply 14, posted (12 years 2 months 1 week ago) and read 2644 times:
Your report sounds similar to my experience with Philippine Airlines on a Karachi-Frankfurt-LondonGatwick flight in 1990, it was a 747-200, delayed by three hours, dirty from outside, chipped furnishing inside, bad food catered to quite obviously by PIA's flight kitchen as could be made out by all the Pakistani manufactured condiments, moody crew, one stewardess in particular who was very warm suddenly turned cold for no reason, bad entertainment, horrid picture quality of projected movie, again music was not so bad, and all this in "Mabuhay Club" class to which we had been upgraded from economy, I wonder what economy on this leg was like, the return journey which we took in Economy class was not bad at all, everything was good except that the movie was extremely boring and the picture quality was worse, come to think of it PK and PR sound like twins, maybe it ahs something to do with the letter "P", because even Pan Am fell to a miserably low state before going bust, as did other airlines whose names started with that letter, U.S carries Piedmont and Peoples Express
GF-A330 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 1643 posts, RR: 3 Reply 19, posted (12 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2501 times:
We had reached the required altitude for the flight. I had a look outside the window and saw a beautiful blue clear sky, which was awesome. I guess we were flying somewhere over Europe, but weren't too sure where. Complimented by a scruffy PIA wing, which looked tired and exhausted.
All the passengers in the cabin decided to take a nap. Without anyone noticing I pulled out my camera, and took a pic of the beautiful scenery outside.