akhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2421 posts, RR: 53 Posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 25419 times:
Merhaba fellow A.netters,
Towards the end of January, I got more and more the feeling that our summer trip to Indonesia still would be way too much ahead. I just could not bear waiting that long for flying again. So I started looking for a short getaway around the Easter. This fact got however outdated after my spontaneous short trip to Barcelona
I got inspired by fellow A.netter Eric (aka Airbuseric). When he told me that he would be visiting Istanbul again in April, I thought, “Why don’t I just follow his example and go there myself?”
When I expressed the idea to my partner, he did not really rise to the bait. He got a bit uneasy about my mother-in-law since it had been a long time having her coming over and we were not there for her during Christmas and The New Year’s eve. He just was of opinion that we could not leave her again for another trip and had to spend our time with her somehow.
“Well, in that case, Why don’t we ask her to go with us to Istanbul?” I suggested.
My partner was not quite sure whether my mother-in-law would get interested in that kind of visit, but he let me convince her anyway.
Well, I did barely take pains as my mother-in-law had surprisingly always wanted to visit Istanbul herself. She said straightforward ‘yes’ to my invitation. Not expecting such an enthusiasm from my mother-in-law, my partner hit upon an idea to bring along my sister-in-law as well since she has been in Istanbul many times before. Hey, how about that? It had not even crossed my mind. All great ideas just came together! My sister-in-law however needed time to think.
Then the most entertaining part came. That was making a decision on which airline we should fly with to IST. Well to be honest, it was me who made the decision.
I dropped a hint to Eric earlier that we were eyeing IST. He suggested flying there with Swiss or Malev. Well, I would love to experience LX once again. MA otherwise would be great too as I have never flown with this airline. But since we would be traveling with two other people who were not into changing flight if not necessary, our choices were limited to airlines offering nonstop flights to IST like KLM or Turkish Airlines.
However, one airline was conspicuous with its advertisement about the route. It happened to be Pakistan International Airlines!
Somehow, they spoked to us.
And they talked us into it.
As PIA is not aligned with any frequent flyer program which my partner and I have already got the membership of, I decided to enroll us with PIA ‘s own frequent flyer program, PIA Award Plus. Their online benefits are not that extensive in comparison with other FF programs like Miles & More. But hey, it did not mind us and besides an enrollment would not harm anyway. So what is done is done.
During the member application process, I found out that the supporting engine had not been fully developed. Upon submitting the application form, PIA Service Center replied with a new enrollment reference number for each of us and notified that due to a high volume of applications, processing could take up to seven working days. We were not in hurry, but what if some people would wish to fly and apply for a membership within that seven working days? However within two working days, our memberships were confirmed.
When my sister-in-law eventually notified us that she would be joining the party, we could make our travel preparation. I thought it would be better to book directly with the airline as it would be less hassle than booking through a travel agent so I visited PIA website to do the online booking. Well, it did unfortunately not turn out as I had expected!
Somehow the AMS-IST segment did not appear on the drop-down menu of the online booking‘s destination list. I just had to find a way to insert our booking inquiry. Strange enough, with a detour through momondo I managed to quote our return flight anyway.
Proceeding to the next page, I had to fill out an extensive booking form with all the passenger details like passport number, issuing country, country of residence and so on. As there were four of us traveling, it was quite a lot of work to complete it. The online form itself was quite impressive actually as you would be able to pass on your preferences like special meal, advanced seat selection and even smoking or non smoking!. Unfortunately, this nice impression did not last long.
Upon the verification of my credit card, the booking process was abruptly terminated due to the fact that the quoted prices were somehow not available anymore. I tried to return to the previous page and to my displeasure, I were thrown back to the very beginning of the booking page! Oh my God, I had to start the whole procedure all over again and none of the inserted passenger details were retained at all!
I reluctantly dragged myself throughout the system again until the credit card verification page appeared. With my fingers crossed, I got the verification started once again and hoping that things would work this time. Well, no way! My credit card could not be processed this time since the name spelled on the card did not match the passenger name. In other words, the booking engine somehow could not match my first name in full with the initials on my credit card! What the hell! I then tried several combinations to get through. First jotting my first name in full as it was supposed to have been published on my credit card, and when it failed, switching the positions of my first name and surname. As a result of these actions, my credit card got blocked and I got more and more desperate! Seeing me getting het up, my partner let me use his credit card. Unfortunately, it did not work either! Not even with the similar combinations I had tried earlier with my credit card. My partner’s card did not get blocked though.
Frustrated, I consulted a particular online travel agent which had PIA tickets on offer. To my relief I could finally book our tickets there. Our E-tickets were not yet issued as the agent still had to inquire the seat availabilities with PIA. By that time I was just hoping so much that this agent could save our situation. Thank God, our booking got confirmed the following day.
Traveling with both my mother-in-law and sister-in-law meant that special meal had to be ordered. So I contacted the Dutch PIA office by e-mail to order bland meal and lacto-ovo vegetarian meal respectively. Unfortunately, a confirmation had never materialized even after I sent a reminder later on . Four days before our departure, I decided to make a phone call to the PIA office in Amsterdam. As I thought, the PIA office lady told could not find any special meal booking in our itinerary. But she proceeded to arrange it. It was not a big deal, but I wondered why PIA did not bother returning my e-mail.
Anyway, despite some issues, one thing I liked very much was, once we got our PNR-number, we were entitled to pre-select our seats. We undoubtedly made a grateful use of it. I must say that this had made up everything in my perspective and for sure, I were looking forward to experience another firsts of mine. First time with PIA and first time on board of an Airbus A310!
SCHIPHOL SMART PARKING
As there were four of us traveling, we decided to book Schiphol Smart Parking. This arrangement turned out to be cheaper than the total price of four return train tickets. Another advantage was that we could collect my sister-in-law on our way to Schiphol.
Our journey started at Park & Travel 3 where we caught the dedicated bus to the terminal which runs every seven minutes around the clock.
The bus ride took less than ten minutes. We got off at the second stop in front of Terminal 3. At 12.05, we reached the check in desk in row 20.
Since PIA does not offer online check-in facility, I wanted to make sure that our advanced seat selection would be granted. So we complied with the minimum three hour check-in time.
There were three check-in desks available. The right side was the J one. We queued in the middle row and were number three in sequence. There were eight other passengers before us.
PIA check-in desks
. Our check-in desk
A line was forming behind us. As there were no J passengers showing up, the agent proceeded to attend the Y passenger in order of sequence. Suddenly, I heard some humming behind us and a man I did not see earlier made his way to the J desk. A security guy who were in charge for the check-in, stopped him while the check-in agent verified whether the man was traveling J. As it was not the case, the man got turned down and sent back to where he came from in the queue. This man had apparently some arguments with other passengers who showed their disapproval of him being pushing forward. Some people…
It took less than ten minutes for our turn. The guy who attended us, acted correctly by confirming the special meal orders for both my mother and sister-in-law while checking us in. At the end, he handed over our boarding passes and some carry-on luggage labels.
“You have to tag on your carry-on luggage. PIA supervises these sternly as some of their passengers happen to bring along too many things with them on board. But for the rest, it is a nice airline,” he said.
“I hope so. It is our first time flying with PIA,” I replied.
The check-in guy wished us a pleasant flight and we proceeded to the passport control.
My boarding pass
The whole process was actually a breeze. We were airside within less than half an hour after we got off the bus.
As PIA is a dry airline, we decided to get our well deserved alcohol before boarding.
At 13.50 we made our way to our assigned gate G5.
Date: 30 March 2010
ETD/ATD: 14.50 / 15.07
ETA/ATA: 19.10 / 19.28
Flight number: PK 762
Plane: Airbus 310-308
Delivered: First delivered 11 May 1994
In charge: Captain Muzfer Tlpur
While entering the G-finger, we passed by an interesting gate advertisement.
. Our gate
Just like at the passport control, we passed the security quickly. It would not have been too surprising afterwards regarding the today’s load.
Somehow the gate screen showed from about 14.25 that the gate was closing, but nothing happened yet.
In the meantime, a TK A320 docked at the adjacent gate. Interesting to see that two aircrafts were both heading to Istanbul. Except that we were off to IST and TK to SAW instead.
Finally, a common boarding call was made at 14.40. Everyone just got up and proceeded to the aerobridge. We were among the last to go onboard and I noticed that the holding room ran empty within five minutes. Even though, our flight were running late.
Inside the aerobridge
THE PIA EXPERIENCE
”Namaste,” I said to two cabin attendants who greeted me at the door and ushered me to the right aisle. My seat 23L is located in the forward Y cabin before the emergency exit seat. This section was supposed to be Economy Plus, but PIA sold it as Y.
. Legroom with reclining front seat
Seat control unit
The seat pocket content
. Safety card
. Duty free guide
. In-flight magazine
Service on the ground
Cabin attendant Nazar approached my mother and sister-in-law to verify the special meal order after they got seated. When Nazar left, my sister-in-law got up and tried to take a picture of me and my partner. She had some difficulties to find the right angle and apparently blocked the aisle. When she eventually noticed Salahuddin, another cabin attendant, waiting patiently behind her and stepped aside, Salahuddin just said, “That’s OK. Take your time,”
Wow, I was impressed. It was tremendously different from what I experienced with Vueling last time.
Nazar appeared again holding plastic cups and a large bottle of mineral water.
“Do you want some water?” he asked.
“Oh, yes please,” both my partner and I replied.
A welcome drink! Even it was only water, but still a nice touch!
Noaeen, another cabin attendant, appeared at our seat row holding newspapers. “Do you want some newspapers?” she smiled.
Even after I declined politely, she gave me the only English newspaper she had anyway. Well again, impressive!
At around 15.05, the cabin preparation for take-off got started with a prayer. It was followed with an announcement that our flight time would be three hours with an altitude of 11,000 meters. Pushback were conducted about three minutes later. The whining noise of the engines started to fill the cabin. Soon we made our way to Kaagbaan.
Martinair B763 in retro livery
Somehow we followed a strange pattern. Firstly we entered the displaced threshold of the Kaagbaan and then vacating through the upcoming high-speed taxiway to return to the threshold. We were the second after KLM B733.
KL B733 roaring
Entering the runway
KL B73H in retro livery
White Vueling A320
The engines spooled up and we thundered on the Kaagbaan. Finally lifting off at 15.25.
We leveled off at 15.30 and the cabin crew was released. Our routing would be Amsterdam – Frankfurt – Cologne – Budapest – Arad – Istanbul.
Noaeen started to hand out headphones. In the meantime, the heated food aroma started to fill the cabin.
The special meal were served earlier before the regular meal.
Lacto-ovo vegetarian meal
I thought it would take long before the attendants commenced the regular meal serving, so I paid an obligatory visit to the toilet.
Forward Y lavatory
Well, Noaeen was already on her way to serve the regular meal when I finished. Luckily, she could let me through. I was curious about what I was about to get.
Warm spicy triangular pie
I was a little disappointed actually. I was hoping to savor a typical Pakistani curry dish, but unfortunately it did not come out. The whole tray was not substantial either, even after Noaee distributed the pie. The dessert however, I could not really figure it out, was delicious. Moist and not too sweet, really to my liking. Noaee took the charge of the tea round. I must say, the PIA tea was delightful.
The meal trays were cleared up at 16.00. Soon enough, the duty free sale got started. Salahuddin wandered through the aisle with the duty free guides in his hand. I could not really understand the need of it as each seat pocket contained a similar booklet. Ten minutes later, Jamil, another cabin attendant, passed by with the duty free cart. He soon disappeared towards the aft galley. Noaeen appeared again to distribute blankets. The task was soon finished in the forward Y cabin.
The main screen broadcasted “Post Grad”. But I was not really into it, so I went out discovering the Y cabin.
Forward Y (Plus) cabin
. After Y cabin
Most passengers were sleeping. I then decided to pay a visit to the galley and met up Nazar and Noaeen. I asked them if I could ask some details about the flight.
“No problem. But if you need some technical details, you just have to ask the flight officer,” Nazar said.
I replied that there was no need to as I just wanted to spell the name of the captain correctly. I engaged a nice conversation with Nazar and Noaeen about my first flight with PIA and that I was impressed with their service so far. I was wondering why there were so few passengers on this flight. Nazar said that the aircraft was full on the way to Amsterdam. He hoped that more passengers would get onboard from Istanbul. At the end, I asked whether they would mind having a photo with me. I was pleased to hear them saying “Yes, of course”.
Nazar proceeded to ask whether I would bother filling out the feedback card. Of course I said yes.
I returned to my seat and got dozed off. I woke up at about 18.35 when the descent was commenced. The cabin attendants started distributing landing cards and health statements.
Apparently, the wrong landing cards were distributed as those were published in Turkish. My sister-in-law notified a cabin attendant about it. She called in Nazar to clarify it. But both of them could not figure it out either. Nazar’s colleague said that she would inquire it further. Unfortunately, she never came back. My sister-in-law told my partner and me that she never had to fill out landing card and health statement before, so we decided to let those forms pass.
Full brakes were applied after touch down at 19.17 on 18L/36R runway. We vacated the runway towards the parallel taxiway next to 06/24 runway which apparently is being reconstructed.
Privately owned Turkish A321’s and an unidentified white MD80
Construction on 06/24
We said goodbye to Nazar and Noaeen and proceeded to the terminal.
From the aerobridge
I must say, I was impressed with the airy construction of IST terminal. As we made our way through the long corridor to the passport control, I could feast my eyes.
After buying 90 day multiple entry visas at 15 Euro’s each and withdrawing some Turkish lira’s, we proceeded to the passport control. Despite the horrendous arrival of intercontinental passengers, we were within minutes waived through.
Arrival duty free shop
We did not have to wait long for our checked luggage and made our way to the exit.
abrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 4999 posts, RR: 55 Reply 2, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 25303 times:
Quoting akhmad (Thread starter): Somehow the AMS-IST segment did not appear on the drop-down menu of the online booking%u2018s destination list. I just had to find a way to insert our booking inquiry. Strange enough, with a detour through momondo I managed to quote our return flight anyway.
= Aah ... PIA . I have had similar experiences and gave up.
Sounds like PK is advertising heavily - hopefully the make-over will be the first step towards an actual overhaul of the product. However, as long as it is run by the Govt. of Pakistan, I am not really optimistic. I have worked with the GOP a little too many times to know their capacities. The airline does have some gem individuals though like the ones you encountered on board.
I am surprised the food was so "western" and mediocre. Usually, airlines such as PK have good food.
Thanks for sharing a wonderful report. I don't think a PK AMS-IST leg will be covered for a while.
airbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4125 posts, RR: 51 Reply 3, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 25177 times:
yes, now I remember again your looking for tickets for IST. Nice choice, the A310 of PK. Something special, that's for sure, and good service received. I flew SV last year, and received also a good service and complimentary upgrade even. It's nice to see these airlines from the Islamic countries treating us so well. I really would like to fly them more.
PlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6505 posts, RR: 79 Reply 5, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 25073 times:
great report about a very special flight. I cannot remember having seen a PIA A310 report yet. Good to hear you had such a nice crew.
Quoting akhmad (Thread starter): However, one airline was conspicuous with its advertisement about the route. It happened to be Pakistan International Airlines!
PIA was the right choice. Much more interesting than LX with its standard A32X aircraft.
Quoting akhmad (Thread starter): ”Namaste,” I said to two cabin attendants who greeted me at the door and ushered me to the right aisle. My seat 23L is located in the forward Y cabin before the emergency exit seat. This section was supposed to be Economy Plus, but PIA sold it as Y.
The seats are nice and the cabin seems to be in good shape.
Burj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 894 posts, RR: 5 Reply 6, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 25045 times:
Great trip report! Glad to see one for PIA! I was fortunate to get to fly them long ago as a child when it was a truly great airline!
I'm sorry to hear it was such a hassle to actually buy a ticket! In North America and Europe it is usually easier (and cheaper) to buy PIA tickets from a travel agent... Any of the "ethnic" neighborhoods in any major city will have A LOT of these travel agents/offices....
Quoting akhmad (Thread starter): ”Namaste,” I said to two cabin attendants who greeted me at the door and ushered me to the right aisle.
Did you really say that? It is actually an Indian/Hindu greeting....it is something you would never hear/use in Pakistan...
AI151 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2009, 303 posts, RR: 17 Reply 7, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 25004 times:
Hi Suryo a great TR. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it and firstly I didn't realise the PK fly this route! What was the price like compared to other airliners?
Besides the problems you seemed to encounter on their website it seems as if PK is generally good. Service sounded good and the flight attendants sounded lovely especially when helping you out regarding the details.
Am i right in saying that there is a Premium Economy section on the A310? Looking forward to the return report.
KHI747 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 1613 posts, RR: 1 Reply 8, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 25005 times:
Well done and congrats.I was absolutely riveted to your TR.Not every day do we find TR's on PK - and that too on a 5th freedom route.
The Y+ seats,now sold as Y,do look quite a bit roomier then the seats in the back.Im curious where did you come across the advertisement of PIA because that looks like a local one targeted towards its home market? But it goes to show how much PIA can capitalize on 5th freedom routes within Europe and specially from Europe to USA only if they advertised heavily.I genuinely hope they do this with their upcoming BCN-ORD service as they can offer some really competitive J class fares compared to European and US airlines.
Last but not least my friend,next time your board a PK aircraft please dont greet them with the word "Namaste"! Thats is not a Pakistani or an Islamic greeting.I would be curious to know how the flight attendant even responded to that
Save for the food,im glad you had a good experience onboard PK and you enjoyed some good old fashioned Pakistani hospitality.
ronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1642 posts, RR: 53 Reply 9, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 24951 times:
What an amazing surprise! .. I also had no idea PK did this route, but of course similar to KE, you are just the person who will enlighten us!
The interior of the A310 looks quite flawless, and the Y+ seats seem like a real treat! ..
Now i have a little more confidence flying PK because it seems that they had little to no issues with your picture taking! .. haha
EXCELLENT report! Thanks a lot for sharing!
A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
Excellent TR! It's been a loooong time since I've flown on an A310 (EK to Pakistan actually). I'm glad to see a trip report on the PK A310. I think PK should fly the A310 to ORD (rather than the B777) like they used to back in 2003. The B77E will be just too big for the route....IMHO.
I'm going to try to fly on PK's A310 on some route as well...just for the sake of flying on an A310 again...its one of my favourite Airbus planes.. .
Reifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1264 posts, RR: 1 Reply 12, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 24723 times:
Now this is a special report! Great, I didn't even knew PIA was allowing passengers to fly between AMS and IST. Is it ok if I ask you how much the ticket costs? I would love to do this as well. The Economy Plus area seems very nice, while the regular eco seems not so comfy. But flying an A310 is definitely something special.
I find it strange that they distribute landing cards for Turkey. Never got some when flying from Germany. I was surprised that Dutch people need to pay for an arrival visa while German people can just take their national ID and that's it...
"Namaste (Sanskrit: नमस्ते, Hindustani pronunciation: [nʌmʌsˈteː], from external Sandhi between namaḥ and te) is a common spoken greeting or salutation used in Nepal and India."
You don't say? Thanks for the correction. Glad to know that I did not really insult anybody.
Quoting Burj (Reply 6): Thanks for writing the report and for taking such good pictures!
You are welcome.
Quoting AI151 (Reply 7): Hi Suryo a great TR. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it and firstly I didn't realise the PK fly this route!
Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it.
Quoting AI151 (Reply 7): What was the price like compared to other airliners?
We paid 245 Euro's each. It was not the cheapest option though as we could have flown less with Pegasus to SAW. But the combination of the aircraft and the airline came first.
Quoting AI151 (Reply 7): Service sounded good and the flight attendants sounded lovely especially when helping you out regarding the details.
Definitely. A truly contrast with my previous experience with Vueling.
Quoting AI151 (Reply 7): Am i right in saying that there is a Premium Economy section on the A310?
That's correct. But AFAIK, PK doesn't sell Premium Y to AMS.
Quoting KHI747 (Reply 8): Well done and congrats.I was absolutely riveted to your TR.Not every day do we find TR's on PK - and that too on a 5th freedom route.
Sukhria (I hope I have it written correctly)...
Quoting KHI747 (Reply 8): Im curious where did you come across the advertisement of PIA because that looks like a local one targeted towards its home market?
Through PIA website. The same advertisement was published on the last winter timetable of AMS as well.
Quoting KHI747 (Reply 8): Last but not least my friend,next time your board a PK aircraft please dont greet them with the word "Namaste"! Thats is not a Pakistani or an Islamic greeting.I would be curious to know how the flight attendant even responded to that
How embrarassing. That's why the attendants did not really return my greetings. I refered to this link on Wiktionary. Can you please tell me what I should have said?
Quoting KHI747 (Reply 8): Save for the food,im glad you had a good experience onboard PK and you enjoyed some good old fashioned Pakistani hospitality.
Definitely. I was impressed.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 9): I also had no idea PK did this route, but of course similar to KE, you are just the person who will enlighten us!
Thank you for your kind words. You make me blush...
Quoting ronerone (Reply 9): Now i have a little more confidence flying PK because it seems that they had little to no issues with your picture taking! .. haha
flightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1078 posts, RR: 5 Reply 14, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 23997 times:
It's really great to see a trip report on PIA, and that you found the service satisfactory!! You don't really see too many PIA reports. I'm really proud to see the Cabin crew were very good in their service. Maybe next time I go back to Pakistan, it would be sensible to actual try out the country's flag carrier. And now nonstop from Toronto there should be no hassles at all. I'm almost as excited to read this trip report as Ryanair was about my "Tale of two SQs" some weeks back.
Quoting akhmad (Thread starter): ”Namaste,” I said to two cabin attendants who greeted me at the door and ushered me to the right aisle.
That is one of Pakistan's leading daily newspaper. I grew up reading that and still enjoy reading it whenever I visit Pakistan. It was founded by the Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, who was also the Founder of Pakistan. (The top of the newspaper indicates that)
Nice to see those PIA cups still going strong! That design remains unchanged since almost twenty years. I guess you didn't see the silver jug that dispenses water too lol. Looks like they make their regualar water rounds, not with glasses on a tray but large bottle in hand!
Quoting akhmad (Thread starter): I was hoping to savor a typical Pakistani curry dish, but unfortunately it did not come out. The whole tray was not substantial either, even after Noaee distributed the pie.
I would have assumed when you said the heated food aroma filled the cabin, "Biryani" was being heated at the back lol. I guess due to the duration of the flight they just served that. Remember that flight was continuing on to Pakistan, so the full meal might have been on that sector. I still remember the food I had on PIA years back and it was great.
Quoting akhmad (Thread starter): The dessert however, I could not really figure it out, was delicious. Moist and not too sweet, really to my liking.
What you ate looks like "Habshi Halwa"...It's delicious!! I'm sure if you look in the Pakistani stores in Amsterdam you will find it. It's sold in round circular tins. (My cousin in Amsterdam says you practically get everything now there). It's sinfully delightful like most Pakistani sweets, but you have to be careful and eat in moderation. (Most sweets are cooked in Ghee also known as clarified butter.) If you liked that then you'll love "Gajar Halwa" a carrot based dessert which is also heavily cooked with Ghee...(okay enough with the Pakistani gastronomic course lol)
Quoting akhmad (Thread starter): Noaee took the charge of the tea round. I must say, the PIA tea was delightful.
Pakistani tea is steeped not the "dunk the tea bag" kind of tea, which feels and tastes like dishwater to people used to drinking regular tea in Pakistan. What you should try is boiling your tea bags in milk (on moderate heat though) , preferably tea from South East Asia, and then drinking that lol. (I can't believe i'm suggesting this to you here on airliners.net...Hilarious)
gardermoen From Australia, joined Jul 1999, 1520 posts, RR: 1 Reply 15, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 23933 times:
Interesting report with nice pictures. How lucky you get to fly these exotic carriers on your trips!
I'm interested to know about the make up of the load from AMS? Mainly Pakistani immigrants heading home or Dutch? And do the Turkish community in Netherlands use this servic much? Also, I wonder what sort of a market is there between Turkey and Pakistan?
akhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2421 posts, RR: 53 Reply 16, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 23812 times:
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 14): It's really great to see a trip report on PIA, and that you found the service satisfactory!!
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 14): I'm almost as excited to read this trip report as Ryanair was about my "Tale of two SQs" some weeks back.
Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it. I think I have overlooked your report. I will look at it.
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 14): What you should have said was "Asalam Walaykum pronounced "Us-sah-lam Wah-lay-koom"
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 14): The next time you leave the aircraft say "Khuda Hafiz" pronounced "Khoo-dah Hah-fiz"...That will surely get a reaction from them next time!! Khuda Hafiz means "Goodbye"
"Sukhria" for this.
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 14): That is one of Pakistan's leading daily newspaper. I grew up reading that and still enjoy reading it whenever I visit Pakistan. It was founded by the Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, who was also the Founder of Pakistan. (The top of the newspaper indicates that)
Good to know.
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 14): I guess you didn't see the silver jug that dispenses water too lol.
No, it would have been interesting to see it.
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 14): I guess due to the duration of the flight they just served that. Remember that flight was continuing on to Pakistan, so the full meal might have been on that sector.
That makes sense. But PK should have considered the Pakistani sandwiches instead of the western ones.
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 14): What you ate looks like "Habshi Halwa"...It's delicious!! I'm sure if you look in the Pakistani stores in Amsterdam you will find it. It's sold in round circular tins. (My cousin in Amsterdam says you practically get everything now there). It's sinfully delightful like most Pakistani sweets, but you have to be careful and eat in moderation. (Most sweets are cooked in Ghee also known as clarified butter.) If you liked that then you'll love "Gajar Halwa" a carrot based dessert which is also heavily cooked with Ghee...(okay enough with the Pakistani gastronomic course lol)
I love gastronomic course!
Quoting gardermoen (Reply 15): Interesting report with nice pictures. How lucky you get to fly these exotic carriers on your trips!
Thank you. I indeed prefer the fifth freedom flight option if available.
Quoting gardermoen (Reply 15): I'm interested to know about the make up of the load from AMS? Mainly Pakistani immigrants heading home or Dutch? And do the Turkish community in Netherlands use this servic much?
Most passengers are Pakistani. We were among the few Dutch passengers. I could not notice any Turkish passenger from AMS.
Quoting gardermoen (Reply 15): Also, I wonder what sort of a market is there between Turkey and Pakistan?
Can any fellow Turkish A.netter help us with this one?
Anyway, we had arranged a pick-up service from the airport by our hotel in Istanbul. Let me tell you more about this particular hotel.
EMINE SULTAN HOTEL
Since it would be our first visit to Istanbul, we based our hotel choice on the recommendations on TripAdvisor. We chose Emine Sultan Hotel due to its top five ranking and location in the neighborhood of the sights.
Cheerful Özen, the owner of Emine Sultan, replied the following day after we sent an inquiry for our visit. She seemed genuine and reliable with her price details and booking conditions so that we were confident to confirm our stay with her. The following day we received our booking confirmation from Özen. She was grateful with our decision and enclosed a to do list and the city highlights as well. Impressive, I must say! .
Upon arrival, we got offered a welcome (non) alcoholic drink on our choice. My mother and sister-in-law ordered butter milk and water respectively. Both my partner and I decided to have beer instead. The front-office guy was really charming. After checking us in, he handed us some city maps and the hotel brochures while explaining that we could count on him for any inquiry. As we did not have dinner yet, we asked him whether he was familiar with a fish restaurant which my sister-in-law had picked out. It was not the case, but the guy still proceeded to call the restaurant to make a reservation and arrange a complimentary pick-up service for us. In the meantime, we were directed to our rooms.
The hotel lobby
. Free internet
My partner and I got allocated room 103.
. Complimentary wine as welcome drink
There were a range of toiletries inside the pink box on the right side of the dresser.
Emine Sultan Hotel only offers breakfast service which is located on the fourth floor.
. The buffet guardians
Fruit and juice corner
We were staying here for three nights. For the last night, my partner and I got assigned another room, number 101.
Just like the twin room, there was a box of toiletries.
Our hotel is located within walking distance to the sights. Allow me to share some impressions of places we have visited there.
airpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 936 posts, RR: 27 Reply 18, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 23616 times:
Wow, what a unique opportunity! Thanks for sharing this jewel of a trip with us. PIA reports are rare indeed, and to be able to catch them on an intra-Europe flight, even rarer. Is the AMS-IST sector a legacy of the old days? I seem to recall my parents telling me of a 707 flight they took on PIA (many decades ago now I guess!) from KHI to LHR and they mentioned transit stops in DXB, IST and AMS along the way!
FlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1705 posts, RR: 41 Reply 20, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 23222 times:
Very interesting report with tons and tons of beautiful pictures. I'm exhausted just going through 2/3rds of it
I had no idea PIA services this hop with fifth freedom rights as well, plus a very interesting equipment - something to consider for myself as well. I only knew of the OSL-CPH route they do twice weekly, but tickets for that service are not particularly affordable (but it is on a triple seven, though). Is it ISB-IST-AMS-IST-ISB or just some sort of triangle variation like ISB-AMS-IST-ISB?
Those landing cards are required for Pakistani citizens, I assume.
The booking process sounds like my experience with Ethiopian last year, some of these airlines from the lesser developed parts of the world have not really grasped the world of e-commerce that well yet...
Your hotel looks quite cozy, you seem to have a tendency for picking great hotels for your journeys.
MIAspotter From Spain, joined Nov 2001, 2516 posts, RR: 25 Reply 21, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 23186 times:
Thank you for sharing this report and one with an airline not covered here that much.
I see PK ocassionally here in BCN, if I was feeling adventurous I could hop on either the A310 or the 777 and fly them to DXB... Should really look into it, although we have QR starting services to BCN as well... hmmm which one!
I am going to IST towards the end of may, I will be flying Spanair into SAW and returning with TK from Ataturk, I am looking forward to this trip so much, IST looks like a truly fascinating place to visit!
chepos From Puerto Rico, joined Dec 2000, 6097 posts, RR: 11 Reply 24, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 22810 times:
Thanks for sharing, very interesting.
PIA, I remember flying through Houston a couple of times and looking at the tarmac and noticing their 747-300 (when they flew there). Uusally the departures board had a long delay posted for the flight, good to know you didn't experience anything like that. Yeah, the sandwich you were served, was kind of sad looking, what were the contents of the special meal???
Fly the Flag!!!!
25 ba319-131: Hi Suryo, Great TR! I never knew PIA operated this route, so well done for being brave enough to book it and share your experience with us. - Double r
26 akhmad: @ Burj: Thank you for the extensive language course and for dropping by again. @Airpearl: You are welcome. Glad you enjoyed it. It won't be surprising
27 ojas: Hi Akhmad! A beautiful TR once. PIA was a surprise choice on AMS - IST run. You might want to try their new B777s as I believe offer a better product
28 akhmad: @Ojas: Thank you. I am happy to hear that. Who knows? Shall we? The Turkish PIA office told me by e-mail that the minimum check-in time for our return
29 akhmad: Dear fellows, Somehow, the whole layout got screewed up and I cannot restore it. Please allow me to repost the missing part below. . More KL Asia heav
30 ba319-131: Hi Suryo, Very nice return ride, did enjoy. - Wow, never know there was a terrace there, despite the picture, any good for spotting? Food looks much b
31 akhmad: @Mark: Thank you. Airside you willl have a better view on the tarmac from the gate itself. You are welcome. Nice to hear that. Dear fellows, I am sorr
32 vandenheuvel: Hi Suryo, You didn't dissapoint me with this second part of your journey. Did the PAX from pakistan remain on board or did they come of at IST? Most o
33 directorguy: Hey Suryo! Glad to know you got to try such an interesting route like that on PK. Makes me miss those old 'milk-run' style routes, only airlines like
34 airbuseric: Suryo, great continuation of the trip. Your pics from the city bring back good memories. Did you take a boattrip on the Bosphorus of down the Golden H
35 Contact Air: Hi Suryo, Fantastic report with lots of nice details and great pictures. Flying from AMS to IST on PIA isn't what comes to your mind first, but it was
36 akhmad: @Tim: Glad to know that. They remained on board. Just like on the outward ourney actually. I forgot to mention that. Thank you. I think it was just th
37 Burj: Again love the report and the pictures! The safety card picture is great...I've never seen one where they've shown a pax CRAWLING in the aisle using t
38 The777Man: Very nice report with very nice pictures! Nice to hear something about a carrier when don't see many trip reports here on Airliners.net! I had a great
39 flightsimboy: Glad you finally got to eat the biryani. Just curious but was there any potato in it? . And you had another great Pakistani dessert the rice pudding,
40 ryanair!!!: Hello Suryo... I did it for a party of 8 on two airlines to Vietnam once. I have an old TR about it in the forums here, here and here. And yes... this
41 akhmad: @Burj: Thank you. I am happy to hear that. Hey, you are right. It did not strike me earlier. @Lars: Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it. The PIA crews are
42 akhmad: Fellows, I still owe you this picture of KLM B737-9K2 from before our take-off from IST.
43 NZ107: Hi Suryo, Great TR! These widebodies within Europe are great - something I'd like to be able to do sometime. In the meantime, you can continue to fill
44 OA260: Great second part . Really nice photos. Yes well my Dad is Indian/Guyanese so we were brought up on Curry and dodgy Indian movies LOL... I eat Biryani
45 akhmad: @Nicholas: Thank you. It has been a pleasure to share it with you. The booking engine was that time not that easy to use unfortunately. I do not reall
46 akhmad: Dear fellows, Although I have put my trip report into conclusion, I still want to let you know that there are other places in Istanbul definitely wort
47 vandenheuvel: Suryo, You will never post too many pictures of such a great place. Your views on Istanbul are great. I think I have to visit Istanbul sometime. Most
48 BasilFawlty: Hi Suryo, Fantastic trip report, my compliments! Great idea to use PK to IST. The service looks very good and the A310 is a rare aircraft type in Euro
49 akhmad: @Tim: I am happy to hear that. We did not take the tram unfortunately. Could you be in honour? @Jeroen: Thank you for your kind words. Do it! You won'
50 ryanair!!!: I agree... Non-aviation pics in an aviation trip report somehow "completes" the entire write up. Keep them coming, I say!
51 akhmad: Good to know that. Allow me to share you some interesting ornaments you will be able to see inside The Harem. Ceiling Window . Wall Of course, there