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Merhaba Istanbul Return Trip With PIA  
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 27015 times:

INTRODUCTION

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 This fact got however outdated after my spontaneous short trip to Barcelona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.


RESERVATION

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.


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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.


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FIDS


CHECK-IN

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.


Row 20

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


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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.

Lounge 3

.

.




As PIA is a dry airline, we decided to get our well deserved alcohol before boarding.


My pint

At 13.50 we made our way to our assigned gate G5.

Tarmac view

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FLIGHT STATUS



Our itinerary:
Route: AMS-IST
Date: 30 March 2010
ETD/ATD: 14.50 / 15.07
ETA/ATA: 19.10 / 19.28
Flight number: PK 762
Plane: Airbus 310-308
Registration: AP-BEU
Delivered: First delivered 11 May 1994
In charge: Captain Muzfer Tlpur


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Marc Riedel
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Dimitri Steendijk




While entering the G-finger, we passed by an interesting gate advertisement.


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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.

AP-BEU


.



Somehow the gate screen showed from about 14.25 that the gate was closing, but nothing happened yet.


Holding room

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.

My seat


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Legroom


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Legroom with reclining front seat


Seat control unit

The seat pocket content


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Safety card


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Duty free guide


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In-flight magazine

Seat view


Neighbor view


Main screen


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Ceiling


Raining outside


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.

In-flight service

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.


Regular meal


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


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After Y cabin


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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.

Landing

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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


Cargo terminal


Passenger terminal

Docked

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.


Emirates B777


Qatar A321


The corridor

Welcome greeting

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 hall

Arrival duty free shop


Baggage belt

We did not have to wait long for our checked luggage and made our way to the exit.


Public area


TO BE CONTINUED


Friends forever
51 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineoa260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26854 posts, RR: 58
Reply 1, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 26958 times:

Great report always wondered what that service was like. Great to get on a A310 and PIA !!

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
spicy triangular pie

Its a Samosa , Its a shame they didnt give you some Biryani , now that would have been cool. I guess maybe J class got the full curry dishes?


Thanks for the report.

OA260


User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5076 posts, RR: 55
Reply 2, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 26899 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.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4253 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 26774 times:

Hi Suryo,

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.

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
Except that we were off to IST and TK to SAW instead.

The single SAW flight. All other TK flights between Istanbul and AMS are from IST (Ataturk).

So aside from the trouble upon booking, this PK was a pleasant experience. I hope to read your return journey as well then.

btw, Istanbul is among the most beautiful cities of Europe. Heading out to that place again in 3 weeks from now, flying LX of course. I'll make sure to make a report also.

Regards,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From France, joined Sep 2003, 5138 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 26750 times:

Hey, Suryo,

PIA, thats for sure something special here and also for me, well done, good to read.
And also the A310, not that easy to catch that type nowadays.

It seems PK offered correct service on you´re flight, always some issues with these abroad companies
during booking.

Looking for the return now.

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: How to deliver a present in style!.
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6716 posts, RR: 77
Reply 5, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 26670 times:

Hi Suryo,

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.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineBurj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 26641 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...

To quote wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namaste

"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."

It isn't a big deal, more amusing...kinda like walking onto Lufthansa and greeting them with a "Bonjour!"

Thanks for writing the report and for taking such good pictures!


User currently offlineAI151 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2009, 303 posts, RR: 16
Reply 7, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 26600 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.

Sandeep (AI151)



Modern Vision. Timeless Traditions...
User currently offlineKHI747 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 1615 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 26601 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.


User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 26547 times:

Wow Suryo!!!

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!

Regards,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 60
Reply 10, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 26386 times:

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
INTRODUCTION

Merhaba fellow A.netters,

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..  .



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlinevandenheuvel From Netherlands, joined Dec 2008, 495 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 26324 times:

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
It happened to be Pakistan International Airlines!

You haven't told me that when mailing about your trip! Thats one great looking bird though, definitaly one of the nicest carriers to see at AMS.

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
waiting patiently behind her and stepped aside

That is so great. I wanted to refer to your Vueling experiences. But you did already.

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
she gave me the only English newspaper she had anyway.

It's nice they have an english paper on board. The woman on it looks like a KLM FA  
Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
The special meal were served earlier before the regular meal.

Luttace and a 'rijstwafel' don't look like a full meal to me. Especially since it's not just a short euro hop.

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
Nazar proceeded to ask whether I would bother filling out the feedback card. Of course I said yes.

They always ask the satisfied pax about this  

Thanks for the great report. PIA service looks great. I'll get back to you after reading the second part.

Tim,


User currently offlineReifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1329 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 26319 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...


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 26107 times:

Hi all. Thank you for the replies so far. I really appreciated it.

@Philip:

Quoting oa260 (Reply 1):
Great report always wondered what that service was like. Great to get on a A310 and PIA !!

Thank you. I was indeed pretty excited to get onboard of PIA A310.

Quoting oa260 (Reply 1):
Its a Samosa

Thanks for the information. I assume Pakistani food is one of your favorites?  
Quoting oa260 (Reply 1):
Its a shame they didnt give you some Biryani , now that would have been cool. I guess maybe J class got the full curry dishes?

I unfortunately did not know what J class offering was. In any case, I would have more appreciated any other Pakistani option than the Western one.

Quoting oa260 (Reply 1):
Thanks for the report.

You are welcome. Glad you enjoyed it.

@Alex:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 2):
I have had similar experiences and gave up.

So did I. Only I was too eager to fly with them so I went out searching another booking option.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 2):
The airline does have some gem individuals though like the ones you encountered on board.

Absolutely. The attendants were really great people to fly with, just like their slogan.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 2):
I am surprised the food was so "western" and mediocre. Usually, airlines such as PK have good food.

The food was one of the main reasons why I wanted to fly PK.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 2):
Thanks for sharing a wonderful report. I don't think a PK AMS-IST leg will be covered for a while.

You are welcome. Glad you enjoyed it.

@Eric:

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 3):
Nice choice, the A310 of PK.

Glad to hear that.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 3):
I flew SV last year, and received also a good service and complimentary upgrade even.

Weren't you with fellow A.netter BasilFawlty? Correct me if I am wrong.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 3):
Heading out to that place again in 3 weeks from now, flying LX of course. I'll make sure to make a report also.

I am looking forward to it.

@Markus:

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 4):
PIA, thats for sure something special here and also for me, well done, good to read.
And also the A310, not that easy to catch that type nowadays.

Thank you. Glad you liked it.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 4):
always some issues with these abroad companies
during booking.

I have learned that I just have to take it easy. Just make some compromises and everybody is happy.  

@PH:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
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 PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
PIA was the right choice. Much more interesting than LX with its standard A32X aircraft.

Thank you for your kind words.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
The seats are nice and the cabin seems to be in good shape.

I have experienced the most comfortable legroom in Y ever with PIA. Definitely recommendable!

@Burj:

Quoting Burj (Reply 6):
Great trip report! Glad to see one for PIA!

Thank you.

Quoting Burj (Reply 6):
Did you really say that? It is actually an Indian/Hindu greeting....it is something you would never hear/use in Pakistan...

To quote wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namaste

"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.

@Sandeep:

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.

@Sheikh:

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.

@Roni:

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

I know. It was a truly relief.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 9):
EXCELLENT report! Thanks a lot for sharing!

You are welcome.

@Jacobin777:

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 10):
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.

Thank you. It makes me happy to hear that.

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 10):
The B77E will be just too big for the route....IMHO

Well, the B777 is not that bad.

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 10):
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.. .

I will be happy to read your TR on that.

@Tim:

Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 11):
You haven't told me that when mailing about your trip!

I did it on purpose.   

Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 11):
I wanted to refer to your Vueling experiences. But you did already.

Never mind. We both have the same thoughts about it and know how to deal with.

Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 11):
The woman on it looks like a KLM FA

You say it.  
Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 11):
Luttace and a 'rijstwafel' don't look like a full meal to me.

It wasn't. My sister-in-law still left hungry after the meal.

Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 11):
They always ask the satisfied pax about this

I will always be happy to cooperate as a satifised passenger.

Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 11):
Thanks for the great report. PIA service looks great.

Thank you.

@Reifel:

Quoting Reifel (Reply 12):
Now this is a special report! Great,

Thank you.

Quoting Reifel (Reply 12):
Is it ok if I ask you how much the ticket costs?

That's fine with me. I paid 245 Euro's for a return ticket.

Quoting Reifel (Reply 12):
But flying an A310 is definitely something special.

  

Quoting Reifel (Reply 12):
I find it strange that they distribute landing cards for Turkey. Never got some when flying from Germany.

There was no need to do that for EU passport holders.

Quoting Reifel (Reply 12):
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...

Turkey doesn't seem to have a common visa rule for EU countries. I know that for instance Finnish people don't require visas either.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1238 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 25593 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

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.
Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
Can you please tell me what I should have said?

I can imagine the reaction or the lack thereof when you said that lol. What you should have said was "Asalam Walaykum pronounced "Us-sah-lam Wah-lay-koom"

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
We said goodbye to Nazar and Noaeen and proceeded to the terminal.

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"


Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
she gave me the only English newspaper she had anyway.

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)

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
A welcome drink! Even it was only water, but still a nice touch!

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):
In the meantime, the heated food aroma started to fill the cabin.
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):
Warm spicy triangular pie

That's a Samosa. But you get larger ones too.

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)



Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
I just wanted to spell the name of the captain correctly.
Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
In charge: Captain Muzfer Tlpur


Not sure if that was a typo but it's probably Muzaffar Talpur.


[Edited 2010-04-03 21:42:17]

[Edited 2010-04-03 21:43:15]

User currently offlinegardermoen From Australia, joined Jul 1999, 1520 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 25529 times:

Hi

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?


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 16, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 25408 times:

@flightsimboy:

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! 

@Joe:

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.

Reservation

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!  .

Arrival

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.

Hotel exterior

.


The hotel lobby

.

.

.
Chandelier

.
Free internet


TWIN ROOM

My partner and I got allocated room 103.

Twin beds

.

.

.
Complimentary wine as welcome drink

Room interior

.

.

.

.

There were a range of toiletries inside the pink box on the right side of the dresser.

.

The bathroom

.

.

.


DINING ROOM

Emine Sultan Hotel only offers breakfast service which is located on the fourth floor.

Buffet

.

.

.

.

.

.
The buffet guardians

Fruit and juice corner

.

.

Dairy corner

.

Coffee corner

.

Interior

.

Window view

.


DOUBLE ROOM

We were staying here for three nights. For the last night, my partner and I got assigned another room, number 101.

Double bed

.

.



Just like the twin room, there was a box of toiletries.

.

Bathroom

.


ISTANBUL

Our hotel is located within walking distance to the sights. Allow me to share some impressions of places we have visited there.

Arasta Bazaar

.

.


The Blue Mosque

.
Façade

.
Inner courtyard

.
Interior

Hagia Sophia

.
Exterior

.
Ground floor

.
Left side upper level

.
Right side upper level

.
Iconic painting

Grand Bazaar

.
Entrance

.
Interior

Lunchtime

.
Me having iskandar kebap



TO BE CONTINUED


[Edited 2010-04-03 23:39:12]


Friends forever
User currently offlineBurj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 25338 times:

Quoting Reifel (Reply 12):
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?

This is a good website that has audio files so you can hear them:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/other/guide/urdu/key_phrases.shtml

As it points out the proper way to great someone:

Assalam-o-Alekum...and they will probably reply with the proper formal reply:

W'alekum Assalam

When using "Assalaam-o-Alekum" (since it is proper/formal greeting) you say it directly to the person...it isn't something you just say in passing as you walk past them while boarding...

A shorter, simpler "Salaam" (with a little wave) is more normal if you are boarding and walking past them while you are talking...

However either one will probably be appreciated...it is more about you making the effort that will impress them...

Love the Turkey pictures and the hotel pictures!


User currently offlineairpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 943 posts, RR: 26
Reply 18, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 25212 times:

Hi Suryo

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!

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
PIA ‘s own frequent flyer program, PIA Award Plus

I see you're going in for the long haul with PIA   Didn't know they had a FFP.

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
This section was supposed to be Economy Plus, but PIA sold it as Y.

How different is this seating from regular Y? I presume it's just slightly more legroom?

The pics of Istanbul are great too. Lots of trip reports like your these days make me want to pack my bags and "really" travel again, as opposed to going on work trips. This is one cool pic  

Thanks again for sharing!

Cheers,
airpearl


User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1846 posts, RR: 42
Reply 19, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 24837 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Hi Suryo, terrific report! Never knew they offered the AMS-IST leg. This might be my chance to get on a "classic" airbus!

Thanks for sharing!

Martijn



Fly DC-Jets!
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 20, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 24818 times:

Hi Suryo,

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.

Anyway looking forward for the return journey!


User currently offlineMIAspotter From Spain, joined Nov 2001, 2740 posts, RR: 25
Reply 21, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 24782 times:

Hi Suryo!

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!

Look forward to the return journey.

Cheers

MIAspotter.



I think, therefore I don´t fly Ryanair.
User currently offlineLYChemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1170 posts, RR: 3
Reply 22, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 24457 times:

What a lousy meal. I can not believe it.

You would have gotten a nice meal on Turkish. As to the water before take off, on Air India I got orange juice, I don't know though if they still do that as it was a long time ago.


User currently offlineMHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1105 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 24447 times:

Wow, what an exotic TR on PK.

But oh my god, the lengths you went to book a flight on PIA! No wonder their loads are so low, how can they expect a non-a.net member to actually go through the trouble to book a flight with them?

I also feel bad for the people who have paid extra to fly in that alleged Y+ seat... It should at least be 2-3-2 in my opinion.

Other than that, I'm sure it was a special experience flying on the A310, and PK is a fascinating airline with all of their 5th freedom flights.

Awesome Trip Report, thanks for sharing.


User currently offlinechepos From Puerto Rico, joined Dec 2000, 6207 posts, RR: 11
Reply 24, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 24406 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???

Regards,

Chepos



Fly the Flag!!!!
User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8507 posts, RR: 55
Reply 25, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 24391 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

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.

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
First time with PIA and first time on board of an Airbus A310!

- Double result!

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
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

- Hmm, I too though it might have been a nice curry or something, a bit too western this meal IMO.

All in all looks like PK are pretty decent, the A310 looked in excellent shape from your pictures.

The hotel looks pretty decent too, somehow you always manage to find a good not chain hotel, lots of Trip Adviser research?

Looking forward to the ride home.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 26, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 24431 times:

@ Burj:

Quoting Burj (Reply 17):
Love the Turkey pictures and the hotel pictures!

Thank you for the extensive language course and for dropping by again.  

@Airpearl:

Quoting airpearl (Reply 18):
Thanks for sharing this jewel of a trip with us

You are welcome. Glad you enjoyed it.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 18):
Is the AMS-IST sector a legacy of the old days?

It won't be surprising. But I don't really know the details.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 18):
How different is this seating from regular Y? I presume it's just slightly more legroom?

That's correct and it comes with better head support.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 18):
This is one cool pic

Thank you.

@Martijn:

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 19):
Hi Suryo, terrific report!

Thank you. I am happy to hear that.

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 19):
Thanks for sharing!

You are welcome.

@FlyingFinn76:

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 20):
Very interesting report with tons and tons of beautiful pictures.

Thank you for your kind words.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 20):
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).

You can consider their FRA-AMS leg with B777 as well.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 20):
Is it ISB-IST-AMS-IST-ISB or just some sort of triangle variation like ISB-AMS-IST-ISB?

It is the first one.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 20):
Those landing cards are required for Pakistani citizens, I assume.

If it was the case, it would make more sense to distribute on the flights originating ISB, not AMS. Or are there many Pakistani citizens traveling from AMS to IST?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 20):
Your hotel looks quite cozy, you seem to have a tendency for picking great hotels for your journeys.

I just check TripAdvisor beforehand. That's all.  

@Christian:

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 21):
Thank you for sharing this report and one with an airline not covered here that much.

You are welcome. I am happy to hear it.

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 21):
hmmm which one!

I would say both. I will be flying QR myself this summer.

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 21):
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!

I can only recommend it. It is definitely worth a visit.

@LYChemsa:

Quoting LYChemsa (Reply 22):
What a lousy meal. I can not believe it.

I was disappointed at that time. But PIA has made it up on the return flight.

Quoting LYChemsa (Reply 22):
As to the water before take off, on Air India I got orange juice, I don't know though if they still do that as it was a long time ago.

Fellow A.netter Abrelosojos had still got a welcome drink on his ultra longhaul Y flight with AI in 2008.

@MHTripple7:


Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 23):
But oh my god, the lengths you went to book a flight on PIA! No wonder their loads are so low, how can they expect a non-a.net member to actually go through the trouble to book a flight with them?

I know what my partner would have done if he had taken charge of arranging the flight. PIA should indeed improve their online booking facility. At least prevent

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 23):
Other than that, I'm sure it was a special experience flying on the A310, and PK is a fascinating airline with all of their 5th freedom flights.

Definitely.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 23):
Awesome Trip Report, thanks for sharing.

You are welcome. Thanks for reading.

@Jose:

Quoting chepos (Reply 24):
Thanks for sharing, very interesting.

You are welcome. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading.

Quoting chepos (Reply 24):
Uusally the departures board had a long delay posted for the flight, good to know you didn't experience anything like that.

Well, stay tuned for the return flight.

Quoting chepos (Reply 24):
what were the contents of the special meal???

I think filled ice waffles and a vegetable skewer.

@ Mark:

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 25):
Great TR!
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 25):
so well done for being brave enough to book it and share your experience with us.

Thank you for your kind words. It has been a pleasure.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 25):
lots of Trip Adviser research?

Bingo!  wink 


Cheers,
Suryo

[Edited 2010-04-04 08:14:53]


Friends forever
User currently onlineojas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2963 posts, RR: 24
Reply 27, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 24469 times:

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 on them.

Once again thanks for adding those pictures of Turkey, it is always a nice touch.



A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 28, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 24469 times:

@Ojas:

Quoting ojas (Reply 27):
A beautiful TR once. PIA was a surprise choice on AMS - IST run.
Quoting ojas (Reply 27):
Once again thanks for adding those pictures of Turkey, it is always a nice touch.

Thank you. I am happy to hear that.

Quoting ojas (Reply 27):
You might want to try their new B777s as I believe offer a better product on them.

Who knows?   

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 3):
I hope to read your return journey as well then.
Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 4):
Looking for the return now.
Quoting AI151 (Reply 7):
Looking forward to the return report.
Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 11):
I'll get back to you after reading the second part.
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 20):
Anyway looking forward for the return journey!
Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 21):
Look forward to the return journey.
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 25):
Looking forward to the ride home.

Shall we?




The Turkish PIA office told me by e-mail that the minimum check-in time for our return flight would be at 09.30. So we took a taxi to the airport and arrived at 09.05.


.
Airport portal

.
Entrance

IST apparently has an advanced security control before the check-in area. It is basically the same as the airside control but without enforcing the liquid limitation. This first control was surprisingly smooth and efficient. In the matter of minutes, we were in the check-in area.


.
A and B rows

.
D and E rows

.
Ticketing offices

Strange enough, the FIDS did not indicate the check-in desk for PIA yet.


.
FIDS


CHECK-IN

About ten minutes before the advised minimum check-in time, FIDS finally assigned E11 for PIA. When we reached the check-in desk, there were a couple waiting already. We were number two in sequence. The desk was manned by an outsourced PIA representative and a local agent.





For some reasons, we were ushered to adjacent check-in desk couple minutes later. By that time, we found out that our flight were delayed to 12.45.





In the meantime, a queue was forming behind us.





For some reasons, the check-in agent had difficulties to conduct the first check-in procedure. The PIA rep took out his mobile phone and started making phone calls. A third and not much later on a fourth person appeared to intervene. My partner and I overheard some mumblings, “The system does not work anymore…”, “I have logged in too many times that my account has been blocked…” . The PIA rep kept talking on the phone while striking the computer keys together with the agent. At the end, they got through just couple minutes before ten o’clock.

Another problem cropped up as the couple had baggage overweight of 14 kilograms and the lady of the couple had her name misspelled on the ticket. It was finally our turn after another fifteen minute wait. Luckily, we got issued our boarding passes and luggage tags within five minutes.
“I am so sorry for the delay. We have experienced some problems with the system,” The PIA rep said afterwards.


.
My boarding pass

.
Number three being attended

We made our way to the passport control. One striking thing is that while waiting for your passport being scrutinized, a photo of yours is being taken. All four of us were airside after ten minutes.

Airside

.


.


.
FIDS

.
IST Duty Free fontain

My partner and I went upstairs to the Terrace. My partner for a quick smoke, me for a quick spotting. Unfortunately, this is what I got.





It is better to snap some photos from behind the glass.

Before the gate

.
Turkish A321

.
TK B73H

.
Turkmenistan B73H

Later on, a gate change was announced.





After twelve o’clock, we made our way to the gate.


.
Gate signage

Shopping arcade

.

.


.
Farewell

Gate 220 is located on the left wing of the terminal.


.



FLIGHT STATUS



Our itinerary:
Route: IST - AMS
Date: 2 April 2010
ETD/ATD: 11.00 / 13.25
ETA/ATA: 13.20 / 16.05
Flight number: PK 761
Plane: Airbus 310-308
Registration:
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Ruud Brinks
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Terence Salesman




We reached the gate at 12.15. But it was not opened yet until ten minutes later. The queuing was civilized, but unfortunately a female passenger holding a TK boarding pass had the urge to interrupt and inquired whether this was the gate for her TK flight. The lady kept pointing at the gate number printed on her boarding pass. The PIA gate agent tried to explain her that she was at the wrong place because there had been a gate change. She persisted in inquiring where she should have to go to and eventually left after realizing that she would not get what she wanted.   

The security was again a breeze. Not surprising as I counted 28 people in the holding room. While others were catching some sleep or doing some puzzles to kill the time, I went on spotting.

At the gate

.
Interior

.

.
TK B77W

.
Onur MD88

.
TK B73H’s

.
Icelandair B75F

.
TK B73H in Star Alliance livery

.
Azerbaijan B752

.
Delta B763

Déjà vu

.


.





Boarding was finally announced at 13.10. The gate agents interestingly just advised it without using the intercom.

From the aerobridge

.


.


.


THE PIA EXPERIENCE

Service on the ground

Two cabin attendants greeted me at the door. As you may have expected, I did the wrong greeting. But they just directed me to the left aisle. A senior female cabin attendant was standing in the aisle and made sure that the boarding went orderly. Unfortunately, I could not get her name as her name tag were covered with the scarf the whole time.

When my sister-in-law was stowing the hand luggage of my mother-in-law and hers, this senior cabin attendant approached them, “May I help you with that?”
“I am fine, thank you,” my sister-in-law replied.
Wow!   .

My seat

.


.
Legroom

Seat pocket content

Only the in-flight magazine was missing. Others were the same as on the outward journey.


.
Inside the safety card

Seat view


.
Cabin view

.
Neighbor view

.
TK B77W

At 13.15, the cabin preparation for take-off got started with a prayer. But hey, I was missing something here. What about the water run? It was just because we got onboard on an intermediate destination? I can still not figure it out. And how about the delay? I would have appreciated more information about it. Should I have been more proactive in figuring it out?

Pushback commenced about ten minutes later. The whining noise again, I am loving it. Soon, we were underway to runway 18R/36L.

.
TK A321’s

.
ATC tower

.
Best Air MD82 and .
KLM B739

.
TK B73H

.
TK B73H Star Alliance

.
Cargo terminal

.
Buraq B73H

.
Royal Jordanian E195

Our turn would be after our former gate neighbor.




We proceeded to enter the runway as TK was roaring further on.


.





There were three others in line behind us.

.
TK B73H

.
Singapore B773

.
TK A31F

.
Alitalia A321

The engines spooled up. Before I knew, I was experiencing a short and most powerful take off with this Airbus. We lifted off at 13.50.


.


.


.


.


.


.

We made an U-turn passing over IST.


.


.


.



In-Flight Service

At 14.00, the cabin crew were released. Earphones were then distributed. As we leveled off five minutes later, the fasten seat belt signs were switched off.


.
Above the clouds

Before the meal serving, I paid an obligatory visit to the lavatory. This time the left forward one.

.





Interestingly, passengers with special meal did not get served first. Instead they just started the regular meal round subsequently. It was around 14.15 Turkish time or 13.15 Dutch time. Further in this report, I refer to the Dutch time.






When the attendant arrived at the row of my mother and sister-in-law, she got notified about the special meal order. She went back to the galley and returned, “Your meal will be served soon. It will not take long,”
She proceeded to the row of my partner and me.


.
Looks promising

.
The Biryani!!!

After I got the first taste of the Biryani, oh boy, I was hoping that this experience would never end. Absolutely delicious with full of flavor! PIA, you made my day. I gladly accepted the offer of my partner who was completely stuffed to take his share. And what about the rice pudding? Truly heaven!

The cabin attendant kept the promise and appeared with the special meal.


.
Lacto-ovo vegetarian meal

.
Bland meal and other unidentified meal option

Unfortunately, the special meals were not really to the taste of my mother and sister-in-law. The senior cabin attendant emerged from the galley and asked whether they wanted some rice. I did not know whether they accepted her offer.

The thee and coffee round followed soon. I took a cup of tea.

At 13.45 the trays were cleared away. I could hear the cabin attendant asking to my mother and sister-in-law, “Do you not like it?”
I could not catch their reply, but noticed a pitiful look of the cabin attendant towards them.
When she cleared away our tray, I said, “That was delicious,”
She was a bit surprised, gazed at a shelter inside the trolley and turned to me again, “Do you want some more?”
“Oh, no thank you. That is very kind of you. But I am completely stuffed,”
What a nice gesture of her!

The same attendant came back later on to my mother and sister-in-law.
“Do you want to eat anything else? No? Are you sure?”
She then left again. I must say, PIA attendants were really caring. I just could not help getting of my chairs, coming to the galley and thanking them personally for the fact that they took a good care of my mother and sister-in-law.
The senior cabin attendant said, “Is she your mother-in-law? Alright, I will go to see her if she needs anything else,”
  .
Apart from this, all the cabin crews were responsive and wandered frequently through the cabin in case the passengers would need anything.


IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT

A film of Shalieed Rafique (I have jotted the name of the producer, but I cannot read my own handwriting anymore, so please correct me on this one) was broadcasted on the main screen. I was not really into it. So I entertained myself with some window views and interior photos. This time I took the cabin photos mainly from the left aisle.

Window view

.
Snowy mountains

.
Fuselage reflection

Forward Y (Plus) cabin




The cute little girl on the picture was unfortunately a little too overactive to my feeling during the whole flight.


.


Aft Y cabin

.


.


Aft left lavatory

.
Slightly bigger than the forward lavatory

We commenced our descent at 15.20. The newspapers were recollected from all over the cabin which apparently had been distributed in Islamabad.


LANDING

At 15.45, the fasten seat belt signs were illuminated. Our landing pattern this time was over the Ijsselmeer and North Holland.



.
Overijssel

.
Ijsselmeer

.
Marken on the island

.
Monnickendam

.
Zaanstad

.
Kinderdijk

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North Sea Canal

.
Amsterdam harbor

We touched down at 15.57 on the Zwanenburgbaan.

.





We vacated the runway and made our way to G5. While taxiing, two cabin crews settled down each near the emergency exit. Interesting, I did not notice it on the outward flight.


.
KL B744

.
KL B734 and Aerlingus A320

.
KLM heavies

We docked at 16.05.


.



ARRIVAL

We said goodbye to the cabin attendants and proceeded to the passport control.

Snapshots

.
Business Plus seat

.
From G5

.
JAT B734 and .
More KL Asia heavies

The passport control was a breeze. But however, it took another twenty minutes for our luggage to arrive. As we assumed that we would stick together, we collected our checked luggage randomly. I got the checked luggage of my mother and sister-in-law and the hand luggage of both me and my partner with me.



.
Baggage belt


And to add up the delay, I got the pleasure to be selected for a random control as I walked after others in the group. My partner, my mother and sister-in-law were allowed to proceed to the exit. The agent inquired me to follow him for what happened to be a drug control. After asking questions about my originating and outward destination, the purpose of my trip et cetera, he asked me to open the luggage.
“I am sorry. I do not know how to open it. This luggage belongs to my mother and sister-in-law. And they are outside now.” I said.
“Can you call anyone of the group to return?”
I grabbed my mobile phone to ring my partner. But then, I realized that it would not work as his mobile phone was actually inside the hand luggage.
Anyway, fast forwarded, they were satisfied with the control and allowed me to leave. The custom agents were not unpleasant actually and I was cooperating completely, but somehow it left a bitter taste.

I made a last shot form Park & Travel 3 of

Friends forever
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 29, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 24391 times:

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 heavies


I made a last shot form Park & Travel 3 of .

Friends forever
User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8507 posts, RR: 55
Reply 30, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 24358 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi Suryo,

Very nice return ride, did enjoy.

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
My partner and I went upstairs to the Terrace. My partner for a quick smoke, me for a quick spotting. Unfortunately, this is what I got.

- Wow, never know there was a terrace there, despite the picture, any good for spotting?

Food looks much better on this leg, as does the load.

I have to say I'm quite tempted to looking at a jolly on this route, thanks for the inspiration.

Kind Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 31, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 24291 times:

@Mark:

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 30):
Very nice return ride, did enjoy.

Thank you.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 30):
any good for spotting?

Airside you willl have a better view on the tarmac from the gate itself.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 30):
I have to say I'm quite tempted to looking at a jolly on this route, thanks for the inspiration.

You are welcome. Nice to hear that.


Dear fellows, I am sorry for the inconvenience. Something seemed to go wrong everytime I was trying to edit my post. Below, the missing apart and I will stay away from editing.

I made a lost shot form Park & Travel 3 of AP-BEU at 17.10. The bird departed five minutes later.


.
AP-BEU on the right

With the photo, I put my trip report into a conclusion. You have probably noticed that I have posted each parts of the trip report without starting a new topic. Please let me know whether you like this kind of posting or should I better split the outbound and inbound journey in different threads. I would certainly appreciate your inputs.

THE END



Friends forever
User currently offlinevandenheuvel From Netherlands, joined Dec 2008, 495 posts, RR: 2
Reply 32, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 24162 times:

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?

Quoting akhmad (Reply 28):
Neighbor view

Most of your photos contain some great birds. This T7, together with the Jordanian Embraer are fantastic.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 28):
The cabin attendant kept the promise and appeared with the special meal.

That special meal looks so great. Too bad it wasn't.

Again a great report from you. PIA looks great. Especially the economy plus cabin. It just looks like European FA's don't care about there passengers too much anymore. Something like helping out with your bag can no longer be expected. It's great to still find this service on airlines like PIA.

Tim,


User currently offlinedirectorguy From Egypt, joined Jul 2008, 1652 posts, RR: 11
Reply 33, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 23911 times:

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 PK still have them. Of course, they have a bunch of other interesting routes like FRA-CDG, originating in either KHI or ISB (777 though).
Turkey is one helluva country, glad you enjoyed it there as I did went I went! Some great pics as well, well done. Glad to know it was sunny up in AMS.
Regards,
DG


User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4253 posts, RR: 51
Reply 34, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 23753 times:

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 Horn? Our hotel was near the Sultanahmed Camii also. We had a view on the Marmara Sea though.

Actually you mentioned the PK FRA-AMS flight. It can't be booked as far as I now. You have any options for this flight? It's operated by B777-200LR, at least since it came for the first time last week...

Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 14
Reply 35, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 23736 times:

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 definitely a good idea - I would have done the same. PIA seems to be a really classic airline (in a positive sense) with great service - the meal on the return flight looks very good indeed. Your pictures of Istanbul are great as well - make me to visit the city, too (unfortunately I have never been there).

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
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.

Booking this segment seems to be really complicated. Good to hear that you were able to make it in the end.

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
A welcome drink! Even it was only water, but still a nice touch!

A very nice touch indeed.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 28):
Not surprising as I counted 28 people in the holding room.

So not many passengers boarded the flight at IST which isn't too surprising regarding the complicated booking. Obviously they concentrate on the long-haul passengers and seem to be not too interested in selling many AMS-IST tickets, one can assume.

Regards
Christoph


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 36, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 23693 times:

@Tim:

Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 32):
You didn't dissapoint me with this second part of your journey.

Glad to know that.

Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 32):
Did the PAX from pakistan remain on board or did they come of at IST?

They remained on board. Just like on the outward ourney actually. I forgot to mention that.

Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 32):
Most of your photos contain some great birds. This T7, together with the Jordanian Embraer are fantastic.

Thank you.

Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 32):
That special meal looks so great. Too bad it wasn't.

I think it was just the matter of taste of my mother and sister-in-law. Apparently, they were quite picky.

Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 32):
Again a great report from you. PIA looks great.

Thank you.

Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 32):
just looks like European FA's don't care about there passengers too much anymore. Something like helping out with your bag can no longer be expected.

Well, the Vueling cabin attendants on my flights did actually help passengers stowing their luggage in spite of being rigid to the photography inside the cabin.

@Omar:

Quoting directorguy (Reply 33):
Glad to know you got to try such an interesting route like that on PK. Makes me miss those old 'milk-run' style routes,

Nice to hear from you again. The PK routing just fit our plan perfectly. And for sure, I am glad that the route still exists.

Quoting directorguy (Reply 33):
glad you enjoyed it there as I did went I went! Some great pics as well, well done

Thank you.

Quoting directorguy (Reply 33):
Glad to know it was sunny up in AMS.

Unfortunately only until our arrival day. We are having rainy periode in the whole Easter weekend.

@Eric:

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 34):
Suryo, great continuation of the trip.

Thank you.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 34):
Did you take a boattrip on the Bosphorus of down the Golden Horn?

Unfortunately not. We had too little time and it would have been too cold anyway.  
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 34):
Our hotel was near the Sultanahmed Camii also. We had a view on the Marmara Sea though.

Really? At which hotel were you staying again?

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 34):
Actually you mentioned the PK FRA-AMS flight. It can't be booked as far as I now. You have any options for this flight?

Unfortunately not. Basing on Schiphol's April timetable, I tried to make a dummy booking by several travel agents with no result.

@Christoph:

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 35):
Fantastic report with lots of nice details and great pictures.

Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it.

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 35):
Flying from AMS to IST on PIA isn't what comes to your mind first, but it was definitely a good idea - I would have done the same.

We think a like. I assume that there are more fifth freedom flying opportunities from Germany than Holland. Think about LA to MAD and KU to GVA (ex-FRA) or SQ to MAN (ex-MUC).

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 35):
Your pictures of Istanbul are great as well - make me to visit the city, too (unfortunately I have never been there).

Just do it. You won't regret!

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 35):
So not many passengers boarded the flight at IST which isn't too surprising regarding the complicated booking. Obviously they concentrate on the long-haul passengers and seem to be not too interested in selling many AMS-IST tickets, one can assume.

But still. Even SQ or LA offer a sophisticated online booking facility for their fifth freedom segments. There is always a room for improvement.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineBurj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 37, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 23619 times:

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 the emergency lighting to find the way out!


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6503 posts, RR: 55
Reply 38, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 23607 times:

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 flight on a PK 777 a few years ago ORD-MAN and found the crew very friendly and helpful as well.

Istanbul seems very interesting as well and I'll try to go there sometime.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1238 posts, RR: 4
Reply 39, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 23382 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

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, called "Kheer". You should also try and taste this dessert called "Shahi Tukhray". I had it on Emirates from Karachi to Dubai, and it was to die for. They had the Kheer on the inbound which was equally delicious. Pakistani sweets and desserts so indulgent yet one has to be careful. Have you ever tried "Gulab Jamun". Since you don't mind a gastronomical course I'm taking the liberty to introuduce these desserts to you lol. You look like somebody who could eat these and still remain lean and healthy!!

And as they say in Pakistan, "Shukhriya" for the trip report. I'm glad you've learned that word too. Your comments about PIA have been nothing but positive, and that in todays world of high flying carriers, it's great to see PIA has some really dedicated cabin crew. They seemed to have really wanted to make sure your mother-in-law and sister-in-law did get to eat something and not remain hungry on the flight, unlike flights here where unfortunately it's either take it or leave it.

Just one thing about doing both reports in one, had I not opened all comments I would have missed reading the return. Maybe if you plan to start your reports with both the inbound and the outbound, then title the heading that way, so one can know what to expect. Nevertheless great effort with this!


User currently offlineryanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4751 posts, RR: 26
Reply 40, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 23204 times:

Hello Suryo...

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
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.

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.

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
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!

And yes... this happened to me too!!! Gosh I almost wanted to bash up the computer screen and my partner and I almost ended up fisting each other's faces. Hahahahaha... It was with Pacific Airlines, the predecessor to the present Jetstar Pacific.

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
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.

Hmm... why bother to have an email address then? It is one of the most essential way of communication especially when you are a service provider, no?

By the way, I love that turban you were wearing during lunch.

[Edited 2010-04-04 22:57:54]


Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 41, posted (4 years 3 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 23196 times:

@Burj:

Quoting Burj (Reply 37):
Again love the report and the pictures!

Thank you. I am happy to hear that.

Quoting Burj (Reply 37):
The safety card picture is great...I've never seen one where they've shown a pax CRAWLING in the aisle using the emergency lighting to find the way out!

Hey, you are right. It did not strike me earlier.

@Lars:

Quoting The777Man (Reply 38):
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!

Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 38):
I had a great flight on a PK 777 a few years ago ORD-MAN and found the crew very friendly and helpful as well.

The PIA crews are charming indeed. Have you posted a trip report of your flight? I am just curious.

@flightsimboy:

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 39):
. Just curious but was there any potato in it?

Actually no, does biryani come with potatoes?

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 39):
And you had another great Pakistani dessert the rice pudding, called "Kheer".

Good to know. It was so yummy. I finished my partner's one as well. 
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 39):
"Shahi Tukhray".
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 39):
"Gulab Jamun".

I'll keep them in mind.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 39):
You look like somebody who could eat these and still remain lean and healthy!!

Well, you should have seen me fifteen years ago.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 39):
it's great to see PIA has some really dedicated cabin crew. They seemed to have really wanted to make sure your mother-in-law and sister-in-law did get to eat something and not remain hungry on the flight,

I can only praise the PIA crew.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 39):
Just one thing about doing both reports in one, had I not opened all comments I would have missed reading the return. Maybe if you plan to start your reports with both the inbound and the outbound, then title the heading that way, so one can know what to expect.

Thanks for your advice.  

@Ryan:

Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 40):
I have an old TR about it in the forums here, here and here.

Thanks for the links. I'll check them out.

Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 40):
And yes... this happened to me too!!! Gosh I almost wanted to bash up the computer screen and my partner and I almost ended up fisting each other's faces. Hahahahaha...

How surprisingly! My partner and I reacted nearly the same way. 
Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 40):
Hmm... why bother to have an email address then? It is one of the most essential way of communication especially when you are a service provider, no?

Exactly my point. Could my email have been dumped into the spambox?


Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 40):
By the way, I love that turban you were wearing during lunch.

Thank you.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 42, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 22649 times:

Quoting akhmad (Reply 28):
KLM B739

Fellows, I still owe you this picture of KLM B737-9K2 from before our take-off from IST.




Friends forever
User currently onlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6408 posts, RR: 38
Reply 43, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 22086 times:

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 the void for me!

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
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.

What a process.. Sounds rather complicated!

Quoting akhmad (Thread starter):
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

Justifiably so.


Those Y+ seats look so much more comfortable than the Y seats! Was it something to do with joining up with their FF programme?

The pictures were great.

Quite a few differences between the flights.. Rather inconsistent. But it was good to see you got a hot meal out of IST and it did look tasty, much better than the outbound one! Also with the serving of special meals.. But it doesn't look like too bad of an airline to fly on!

Thanks for the taste of PIA!

Regards,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26854 posts, RR: 58
Reply 44, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 22063 times:

Great second part . Really nice photos.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Thanks for the information. I assume Pakistani food is one of your favorites?  

Yes well my Dad is Indian/Guyanese so we were brought up on Curry and dodgy Indian movies LOL... I eat Biryani at least twice a week and love it so much. If Air India do decide to hub at DUB my flights to the USA will be with them for the food lol..

Quoting akhmad (Reply 28):
The Biryani!!!

FAB!! well done , made up for the lack of it on the outward. I agree with you that Pakistani/Indian crews are some of the best when it comes to looking after passengers. The last time I got offered a second meal was on an Iran Air flight and they were excellent also. There is something about the culture of the Southern Balkans all the way to the Indian Subcontinent that we love our food  

I really need to get on some more Asian/Arabian carriers.

Thanks again for this unique report.

Philip


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 45, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 21793 times:

@Nicholas:

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 43):
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 the void for me!

Thank you. It has been a pleasure to share it with you.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 43):
What a process.. Sounds rather complicated!

The booking engine was that time not that easy to use unfortunately.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 43):
Was it something to do with joining up with their FF programme?

I do not really think so. I think that every passenger is entitled to do the pre seat-selection once obtaining a PNR.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 43):
The pictures were great.

Thank you.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 43):
But it doesn't look like too bad of an airline to fly on!

At the end, PIA did not disappoint me. I would hesitate to fly them longhaul. Though some booze would be nice. 
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 43):
Thanks for the taste of PIA!

You are welcome.

@Philip:

Quoting OA260 (Reply 44):
Great second part . Really nice photos.

Thank you for dropping by again. I am happy to hear that.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 44):
we were brought up on Curry and dodgy Indian movies LOL... I eat Biryani at least twice a week and love it so much.

What a happy childhood! 
Quoting OA260 (Reply 44):
If Air India do decide to hub at DUB my flights to the USA will be with them for the food lol..

In my case that would be AMS and CGK or PER.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 44):
There is something about the culture of the Southern Balkans all the way to the Indian Subcontinent that we love our food

You mean the culinary route? I think it goes further down to Southeast Asia.   

Quoting OA260 (Reply 44):
I really need to get on some more Asian/Arabian carriers.

Well, you have got EY and GF to choose from. From AMS, we can finally fly EK next month.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 44):
Thanks again for this unique report.

You are welcome. Glad you enjoyed it.

I have got another pic of incoming AP-BEU in IST.




Cheers,
Suryo

[Edited 2010-04-06 12:36:33]


Friends forever
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 46, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 21030 times:

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 worth visiting. Allow me to share you some more impressions and please do let me know if I have posted too many non aviation pictures to your liking so that I can take it into account for my next installments.

Thanks, Suryo.

.
Blue Mosque taken from Hagia Sophia

Topkapı Palace

.


.


.


.


.


Inside The Harem:

.





A visit to the neighborhoods on the other side of the Galata bridge is also recommendable.

A tram in Istiklal Street

.
Galata Tower

View on Hagia Sophia from the Galata bridge



Friends forever
User currently offlinevandenheuvel From Netherlands, joined Dec 2008, 495 posts, RR: 2
Reply 47, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 20813 times:

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 impressive is your photo of that tram. It looks great. Must be a pleasure to ride one of those.

Tim,


User currently offlineBasilFawlty From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 1316 posts, RR: 1
Reply 48, posted (4 years 3 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 20337 times:

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 Europe. I'm considering a flights to IST now because the A310 is still missing in my log.  

Thanks for sharing!



'Every year donkeys and mules kill more people than plane crashes'
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 49, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 19911 times:

@Tim:

Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 47):
You will never post too many pictures of such a great place. Your views on Istanbul are great.

I am happy to hear that.

Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 47):
Most impressive is your photo of that tram. It looks great. Must be a pleasure to ride one of those.

We did not take the tram unfortunately. Could you be in honour?   

@Jeroen:

Quoting BasilFawlty (Reply 48):
Fantastic trip report, my compliments! Great idea to use PK to IST.

Thank you for your kind words.

Quoting BasilFawlty (Reply 48):
I'm considering a flights to IST now because the A310 is still missing in my log.

Do it! You won't regret.

Quoting BasilFawlty (Reply 48):
Thanks for sharing!

You are welcome.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineryanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4751 posts, RR: 26
Reply 50, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 19320 times:

Quoting akhmad (Reply 46):
Allow me to share you some more impressions and please do let me know if I have posted too many non aviation pictures to your liking so that I can take it into account for my next installments.
Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 47):
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.

I agree... Non-aviation pics in an aviation trip report somehow "completes" the entire write up. Keep them coming, I say!



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 51, posted (4 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 18821 times:

Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 50):
Keep them coming, I say!

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 are a lot more. Just go on discovering it yourself.  Smile

[Edited 2010-04-15 10:26:36]


Friends forever
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