Review: Pakistan Airlines Business Class 777 Manchester To New York

Introduction: An Insane Week In The Sky
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Review: Pakistan Airlines Business Class 777 Manchester To New York
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We arrived from Jeddah at 8:35AM, while our connection to New York was at 12:45PM. I thought it was just Heathrow Airport that really sucked, but Manchester Airport does as well.

We arrived at Terminal 2 and our flight also departed from Terminal 2, though somehow there wasn’t an open transit security checkpoint in Terminal 2. So as transit passengers we had to take a bus to Terminal 1, go through a security screening there, and then take the same bus with the same driver back to Terminal 2, where we were let in a different door given that we had been “screened.”

That process took over 45 minutes — how ridiculous! On top of that the security folks weren’t any friendlier than the last time I was in Manchester

As it turns out, Pakistan Airlines doesn’t have a transit desk at Manchester Airport, so we were told just to go to the gate about an hour before departure. In the meantime we used our Priority Pass membership to access the Escape Lounge (which Pakistan International Airlines apparently uses for their passengers anyway), located in Terminal 2. We also visited the Swissport Lounge. The lounges were so crowded that I couldn’t practically get pictures of them. As a result, I won’t be reviewing them.

With our flight at 12:45PM, we started walking around the terminal at around 11:30AM. We saw the same Saudia 787-9 we had just taken from Jeddah — she’s a beauty!

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Saudia 787-9 Manchester Airport

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Saudia 787-9 Manchester Airport

Our flight was departing from gate 212, and we got there at around 11:45AM. While I figured the interior of the PIA plane wouldn’t be very nice, the exterior was pretty spiffy looking.

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Pakistan 777 Manchester Airport

There was a security checkpoint at the gate, so when we approached the security officers we explained we still needed boarding passes, since we hadn’t yet checked in. They told us to wait for a while, and that eventually we would be fetched by one of the PIA agents.

About 15 minutes later the PIA agent took our passports and issued our boarding passes. Based on the number of passengers with transit cards in their hands, it seemed like we were among the only passengers originating our travels in Manchester (which isn’t really surprising, given that PIA only operates this flight in one direction anyway).

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PIA departure gate Manchester Airport

At this point the crew was still sitting at the gate. PIA supposedly has one of the very worst employee to plane ratios in the industry. I was confused about how that could be, until I saw the gate area. There were six (!!!!) PIA pilots in uniform at our gate. Now, I’m not sure if they were all working or what, but that’s a lot of pilots!

Finally at 12:25PM boarding was announced, starting with business class.

Pakistan 721
Manchester (MAN) – New York (JFK)
Tuesday, August 3
Depart: 12:45PM
Arrive: 2:55PM
Duration: 7hr10min
Aircraft: Boeing 777-200
Seat: 3J (Business Class)

We boarded through door L2, where we presented our boarding passes and were pointed left towards the business class cabin.

PIA’s 777s feature a total of 35 business class seats, spread across five rows in a 2-3-2 configuration. The seats immediately looked familiar — they’re the same that United used to have in first class on their “Premium Service,” and also the same that Singapore Airlines used to have in their business class, back when it was called Raffles. Talk about a blast from the past!

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Pakistan business class cabin 777

At first glance the seats didn’t seem to be in horrible condition. As we entered the cabin we were snapping pictures like crazy, and it was pretty clear the crew thought we were crazy. Best I could tell we were just about the only passengers not of Pakistani descent, so we stood out quite a bit.

We were approached by one of the nicer (older) female flight attendants, who greeted us with a warm smile and invited us to take all the pictures we wanted. Meanwhile moments later one of the male flight attendants standing behind business class screamed “NO PICTURES” at us. Fortunately he never appeared in business class again, and since the business class crew was fine with our picture taking, we continued.

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Pakistan business class cabin 777

We had assigned ourselves the aisle and window seat on the right side in the third row.

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Pakistan business class seats 777

The legroom was quite good, though the seats were angled, which I wasn’t looking forward to, given how tired I was.

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Pakistan business class seats 777

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PIA business class cabin 777

Also, since there are seven seats per row, there’s a middle seat in each row, which I wouldn’t like to be stuck in on a longhaul flight.

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PIA business class cabin 777

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PIA business class cabin 777

On the seatback was a small personal television, as well as a pocket with magazines, the safety card, etc.

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PIA business class legroom 777

Due to how these seats are angled, your feet can essentially “push” against a small area at the bottom of the seat when fully reclined.

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PIA business class legroom 777

In the center section was a compartment where shoes could be stowed.

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Pakistan business class show storage compartment

The seat controls were on the aisle-side armrest, and were easy to use (not that the seat has that many functions). The armrest was in bad shape, as it was wobbly and almost felt like it could be ripped off without much effort.

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PIA business class seat controls 777

Also on the armrest were the old school seat controllers.

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Pakistan business class entertainment controls

Between seats was a reading light, headphone jack, and a power port. Unfortunately my power port didn’t work, though at least Matthew’s did. A lot of pressure was required in order to stick anything in it, though.

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Pakistan business class reading light, power outlet, and headphone jacks

As we sat down, the flight attendant quickly said “oh, you’re not in transit, right? Let me get you a different blanket.” I’m not sure if they reuse blankets for transit passengers, or what…

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Pakistan business class pillow & blanket

I was surprised that business class stayed mostly empty throughout the boarding process, until about 10 minutes before the door closed, at which point a couple dozen business class passengers showed up. I’m not sure if they were stuck in transit security, or if the lounge boarding call was only made pretty late.

As boarding finished up, Kiran, the flight attendant taking care of “our” aisle, came around with pre-departure beverages. She offered us apple juice, mango juice, or water.

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Pakistan Airlines business class pre-departure beverages

We spoke to Kiran briefly, and she explained that they were on a 10 day trip, as they were flying from Lahore to Manchester, had a four day layover, then had a three day layover in New York, and then flew nonstop back to Lahore. Gosh, that’s a long trip for three flights.

Kiran was an absolute delight. As she hung Matthew’s coast she said “are there any valuables in your coat?”

He said “yes, but that’s fine.”

She responded with “well don’t worry, your coat is valuable to me.”

Before flying PIA, people had warned me that the odor in the cabin is horrible. There was definitely an odor, which can best be described as a combination of baby powder, body odor, and flatulence. But it wasn’t as strong as I was expecting, based on what people had told me.

By shortly after 1PM the business class cabin was mostly full, including two pilots in uniform seated in row one. I was surprised by the number of women traveling with multiple small kids. There were probably eight young kids in the cabin.

Seated in the center section across from us was a mom with her two young sons (they seemed to be American, but of Pakistani descent). They were maybe four and six. The kids were so cute, though I found some of the conversation to be hilarious. One kid wouldn’t stop talking.

“Mommy do you think I’m cool?”

“Yes.”

“Mommy I’m a bad boy. Are you a bad girl?”

Alrighty then…

At around 1:15PM the captain made his welcome aboard announcement and apologized for the delay, apparently caused by not having enough service items for the number of passengers onboard, whatever that means. He informed us of our flight time of 6hr30min, and hoped we’d still be in New York on-time.

At 1:20PM we began our pushback, at which point the safety video played, along with a travel prayer, but in song form.

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View from Pakistan 777 at Manchester Airport

Our taxi to the departure runway took about 15 minutes, and once again I loved looking at the variety of planes, ranging from a Jet2 757 to Thomas Cook A330.

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Jet2 757 Manchester Airport

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Thomas Cook A330 Manchester Airport

We crossed runway 3R…

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Crossing runway Manchester Airport

At 1:35PM we made it to runway 3L, where we were immediately cleared for takeoff.

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Taking off Manchester Airport

Our climb out was smooth, and the seatbelt sign was turned off about five minutes after takeoff. As we climbed out the lead flight attendant made an announcement apologizing proactively that many of the seats and entertainment systems were broken, and that they’re working on updating their fleet with more modern products. It sounded like a scripted announcement, so I’m guessing it just reflects the state their planes are in.

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View after takeoff from Manchester

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PIA 777 business class cabin after takeoff

Shortly thereafter the crew closed the curtains between the galley and the cabin, and then distributed headphones. I’m guessing these are the same headphones they offer in economy. For what it’s worth, there weren’t amenity kits or menus on this flight either.

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Pakistan International Airlines business class headphones

I explored the personal television, starting with the airshow. As you can see, the quality of the video was very grainy.

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Airshow enroute to New York

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Airshow enroute to New York

On the plus side, at least the entertainment was on demand, rather than just having looping channels. The number of western movies and shows was limited. I counted fewer than a dozen Hollywood movies.

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PIA business class entertainment selection

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PIA business class entertainment selection

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PIA business class entertainment selection

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PIA business class entertainment selection

There were also a few TV shows.

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PIA business class entertainment selection

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PIA business class entertainment selection

About 30 minutes after takeoff the meal service began, starting with tables being set.

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Pakistan business class lunch service — table setting

I loved the PIA salt & pepper shakers, though there didn’t seem to be much consistency with them, as only one of mine had the PIA logo on it, while neither of Matthew’s did.

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Pakistan business class lunch service — salt & pepper shakers

Pakistan offers plastic cutlery in business class, which is pretty disappointing. If this is due to some Pakistani regulations, it’s still unfortunate that they use this quality of plastic cutlery, since it was the cheapest and flimsiest type imaginable.

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Pakistan business class plastic cutlery

All the service was done by cart, so the crew first offered the choice of three types of salad, including what was described as fresh, greek, or waldorf.

I selected the fresh salad, which was served wrapped. They didn’t have any dressing for the salad, so it was very dry.

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Pakistan business class lunch service — salad

Also on the cart was a selection from the breadbasket. I selected some garlic bread, as well as some of the oddly packaged wheat bread (I thought it was strange that it was served in such a way).

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Pakistan business class lunch service — bread

Pakistan is also a dry airline, so once the salad and bread were served, the crew came around with a tray that had three types of soda on it. No glasses or anything were offered, but just the can directly. I sort of felt like I was at a pre-teen’s birthday party.

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Pakistan business class lunch service

After that the mains were rolled out. While some might not like the aluminum trays in which the food was presented, in general I love the buffet-style presentation, where you can pick and choose what you want. The food looked incredible, and Kiran did a great job describing everything in detail.

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Pakistan business class lunch “buffet”

I asked for a little bit of everything, which she plated beautifully.

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Pakistan business class lunch main course

I was also offered more bread with the main course.

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Pakistan business class bread

Once the main course was cleared, the dessert trolley was rolled through the cabin. The choice was between a brownie and the Pakistani dessert, which I didn’t catch the name of. Now that I’m Googling it, I’m guessing it was kheer?

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Pakistan business class lunch dessert options

Anyway, the Pakistani dessert was incredible. It was possibly the best dessert I’ve ever had on a plane. While it was a big portion, I had every last bite, and would have licked my plate if it were appropriate. Matthew agreed with me on how good it was.

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Pakistan business class lunch dessert options

After that a trolley was rolled through with fruit and cheese. The cheese was packaged, while most of the fruit was whole.

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Pakistan business class lunch cheese & fruit

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Pakistan business class lunch cheese

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Pakistan business class lunch fruit

I ordered a coffee with the fruit and cheese course, though it was pretty clear it was powdered. It was nasty, as you’d expect.

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Pakistan business class coffee

The meal service was quite efficient, and done about 90 minutes after takeoff, as we were south of Iceland. I had very mixed feelings about the meal service.

On the plus side, the dessert was incredible, and the main course selection was great as well. Furthermore, Kiran, our flight attendant, was so warm and hospitable.

However, everything else about the meal was rather underwhelming, ranging from the super flimsy plastic cutlery, to soda cans being brought around without glasses, to food and bread being served wrapped, to salad being served without dressing, to the cheap packaged cheese they offered, to the powdered coffee.

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Airshow enroute to New York

The only other unique thing to note about the flight up until this point is that the guy in the center seat in the first row seemed to have sort of serious medical condition, as the two people seated on his sides were his caretakers, and he had all kinds of tubes hooked up to him. Every so often the guy to his left (who seemed to be a doctor) would rub his head and back.

After lunch I headed to the lavatory, one of which was located behind the cabin.

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PIA 777 business class cabin

The lavatory certainly wasn’t in great shape, but it wasn’t in horrible condition either.

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PIA 777 business class lavatory

While the seats were angled and not especially comfortable, we were so tired at this point, so I managed to sleep until we were woken up for the pre-landing snack, about 90 minutes out.

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Airshow enroute to New York

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Airshow enroute to New York

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Airshow enroute to New York

I’d note that the seats were in pretty bad shape in terms of the motor, as they had to manually reset Matthew’s seat after his nap, and that seemed to be the case at a few different seats.

This isn’t an especially long flight, so the pre-landing snack simply consisted of small chicken sandwiches and some sort of cheesecake.

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Pakistan business class pre-landing snacks

I had a glass of mango juice to accompany it.

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Pakistan business class pre-landing snack

The chicken sandwich was horrible. The chicken couldn’t have been lower quality, the pineapple was dried out, the bread was stale, and the cherry on top was a bizarre touch.

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Pakistan business class pre-landing snack

The cake was fairly good, though nothing compared to the Pakistani dessert I had with the first meal.

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Pakistan business class pre-landing snack

After lunch I napped for about 30 minutes longer, until finally we began our descent and the seatbelt sign was turned on, at which point the cabin had to be prepared for landing.

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View approaching New York

Our approach into New York was gradual and smooth.

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View approaching New York

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View approaching New York

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View on final approach to JFK

At 3:05PM we had a firm landing at JFK.

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Taxiing JFK Airport

From there it was just a short 10 minute taxi to our arrival gate at Terminal 4.

PIA 777 business class bottom line

I think it goes without saying that I had low expectations going into this flight.

Overall PIA’s cabins are outdated, and even worse, aren’t properly maintained. It’s one thing to have a bad hard product, but when you have a bad hard product and the seats don’t work, that’s when it starts to really suck.

The meal service was both a pleasant surprise and underwhelming. The Pakistani dessert was incredible and the main course “buffet” was good, while most other things were quite underwhelming.

But what positively surprised me about PIA was the service. Our flight attendant, Kiran, was an absolute treasure. If the service hadn’t been good I would have walked away with a very negative impression of PIA, though somehow thanks to the warmth of our flight attendant, I sort of found the whole experience charming.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the post, Ben!

    I would love to try out this route, given that it’s operated by a unique carrier (not American nor British). I would love to try out PIA one day, although I don’t think I’ll have chance to visit Pakistan in a near future.

    About the meal service, serving buffet-style main dish seems super nice, although it can slow down the speed of service (I don’t want two or three hour meal service on a TATL flight…) if the cabin’s full.

    Plastic cutlery is probably due to safety concerns. Some airlines still give their premium passengers plastic cutlery for flights to higher-profile nations like the US or the UK. Given that Pakistan’s internal affairs sometimes get volatile, I do understand why. But as you said, PIA could’ve used some nicer plastic cutleries. The ones on KLM economy class are pretty nice.

  2. Sorry Ben,

    I think you’re being far too generous. This is not an inspiring product at all. Thanks for taking one for the team!

  3. It is so important to provided excellent customer service in a situation where things are not very good otherwise. I can imagine what this review would be like if you did not have wonderful Kiran looking after you.

  4. @Lucky-Great review. This has to be the highlight of the trip report. I don’t think Heathrow is that bad, but Manchester is just…just…awful.

    I have a very important question:

    Have you flown from any other UK airports, like Gatwick? If so, how did you find them?

  5. Wow, I have so very much enjoyed reading your reviews of all the more unusual airlines. I live vicariously through your blogs and photos. Thanks, Ben!

  6. Why any westerner would fly a muslim airline by choice is beyond my comprehension..

    No alcohol and increased risk of terrorism or hijacking

  7. Thanks for this Ben. An incite-full review. I often find that good service can override lots of negative feelings about other aspects of a flight. I doubt I will get the opportunity to travel on PIA. Being a dry airline being a factor. I like my alcohol too much. Who said ‘lush’?

  8. The Pakistani dessert is Firni/Kheer… The are different and from the pics it looks like Firni … But yes, the essence is that of milk, rice (usual ingredient) with touch of cardamom or saffron or some nice spices!

    So based on this and Air India (although AI was F), any preference off the two? I think you should try AI soon too

  9. Thanks for this review Ben…That dessert was really “kheer”. It is a kind of rice pudding and is much liked in Indian Subcontinent.

  10. Uggh, these trip reports are getting depressing. I’m quickly compiling my own “No Fly” list from your recent postings. Started with the smoking flight deck crew on China Eastern to the fart powder cabin odor of PIA . Your last trip was bad, bad, bad….

  11. “Increased risk of terrorism” have you forgotten 9/11 you dumb shit and the recent bombing atempts on airlines from america?
    Some people are just plain ignorant.

  12. @Donna: LOL! Depressing is right: dreary Manchester, dreary PIA, dreary, dreary. Seems Lucky’s recent batch of flights has him scraping the bottom of the barrel of commercial aviation, and there’s still many more to try out – better him than me. That’s actually a good thing in that it gives us the ability to firm up a ‘no fly’ list, and PIA is added, along with many other first, second and third world carriers, e.g. First World: Spirit Airlines, EasyJet, RyanAir. Second World: Serbia Air, Bulgaria Air. Third World – this is easy: every single last one of them.

  13. Kudos to you Ben, while I may one day book a Saudia flight (if I stay out in the sun too long) you’d have to pay me to fly PIA 🙂

  14. @Pat S: those would be included to my no-fly list which already includes UA, AA, and DL…although I wouldn’t classify them as a “First” world airline if a first world airline is supposed to provide high quality of service and reliability

    I find it funny that people still use “first,” “second,” and “third” world to describe the socio-economic status of countries (they are condescending and rather outdated terms to define the socio-economic status for foreign nations).

  15. I agree with Donna! This trip has been extremely entertaining, but definitely not airlines that are high on my list. Thanks for being up for the adventure, Ben. 🙂

  16. @Dan Palagino: Uh, sorry for the ‘micro agression’. Not. Rush for the safe space for counseling. Having visited many dozens of countries (on every continent) the past 40 years I believe the use of the terms is appropriate (an anti-PC writer here btw) to this very day. There is even a fourth world level (the ultimate hopeless basket cases of failed states), e.g. Haiti, Congo. It’s not funny, just a fact, reality of life on the planet. Not all are equal, and Lucky’s posts prove that when it comes to airline quality. And the use of the terms not only refers to socio-economic status, but is referencing the status of the everything from garbage disposal, building codes, lawlessness, disorganization, lack of safety, , etc.. For example, having visited Communist China several times I’d place it at the bottom of the second world, nearer the third, despite the skyscrapers, hotels, infrastructure. Why? Filthy air, corruption, lower standards of hygiene in food preparation, etc. Parts of Italy, Greece would rank in the second world, as would a city such as Detroit, USA. And finally, multiple international organizations do such rankings: the U.N., OECD, and even the U.S. government, as do the large international financial institutions. In a PC age where every child is a winner, where everyone is a genius, every country, every airline is Swiss, truth becomes that much harder to take.

  17. This is a joke. As the comments note, anyone who would willingly fly PIA is out of their mind. So why a review, we know its horrible. Stick with Asian and some European airlines, and avoid Mid East, US, and low cost airlines. There, the reviews are complete.

  18. I’m betting on the dessert being Ras Malai. I think I see some malai floating up there. Also Ras Malai is easily my favourite sub-continental pudding.

  19. I see that the Trumpettes have wormed their way over to OMAAT. I suppose their infestation was inevitable.

  20. I think Id rather take a steam ship across the North Atlantic in February then fly PIA the shape that jet was in wow

  21. @Phil

    Taking a steamship across the North Atlantic in February would be too awesome. I would forgo Air France La Premiere for a berth on a freighter.

  22. @Pat S – Seems like I depressed a nerve there.

    Not sure what you are trying to claim by stating that you have traveled to many dozens of countries. For the record, lived in 17 and traveled to over 110 and counting. It’s funny you bring up the UN and the OECD rankings considering I work for the UNDP.

    The fact remains that “first,” “second,” ” third” world countries are outdated terms and not used since they are loose terms which have very little objective measures for classifying countries. You may want to look up the origins of these classifications following WWII. There are many metrics which would shift the US to a 2nd world country by the evolved definitions (guess which permanent UN sec member was in favor of changing terms??) http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/judy-bachrach/has-america-become-third-world-nation

    On the other hand, a fourth world country is not an actual country, but a state that would be characterized as Least Developed but does not have national recognition or primarily consists of an ethnic group.

    The main reason why the terms were dropped is because they don’t actually provide any specification of what qualifications a country needs to meet to be included nor were they designed for those classifications.

    I do find your comments amusing – albeit senseless.

  23. @Samantha – I use one of my personal biz jets – a charter jet company I inherited from my family.

  24. I flew the same route previously. My experiences were not good. The cabin climate control wasn’t operating properly so it was hot on the tarmac and freezing in the air. An elderly woman fainted while on the ground and we had to deplane her for medical assistance. In this case, I got a refund from PIA.

    Similar events took place last year on a DL flight from MSP to AMS. I was surprised that airlines are even allowed to fly in such situations (granted the ACs were operating but unable to maintain a comfortable climate). In this case, DL did not provide a refund even though every single passenger was enraged.

  25. Heh, interesting that you posted your review of PIA on Pakistan Independence Day 🙂

    The dessert looks like kheer to me, though it could also be rasmalai. The difference is whether it’s made of whole rice (kheer) or rice cakes (rasmalai). The syrup is basically the same, a combination of condensed milk, cardamon, and saffron. FYI, if you’re wondering about the powdered coffee, keep in mind that residents of the Subcontinent are positively OBSESSED with instant coffee. Some of the best and strongest filtered coffee recipes in the world can be found in India, yet chances are, if you walk into an Indian restaurant either here in the U.S. or in its native habitat, you’ll be served Nescafe. My relatives used to beg my mother to bring cans of Maxwell House to India during our visits because they found it even better than Nescafe!

  26. Good ole Dan is a sweetheart hey? If he works for UN no wonder he’s a snob, it’s the most corrupt organization on the face of the earth. @Pat you’re the man enjoyed your reply to “I’m better than you Boy” aka @Dan.
    Lucky I have the greatest respect for your willingness to take one for the team. This has been one of the best comment sections I’ve seen in a long time

  27. Well one thing I do know is Manchester Airport is HORRIBLE. Their security makes our TSA seem angelic! (I greatly dislike the TSA)

  28. Have to agree with the first post from David, not inspiring at all. Lucky was so right during his review of Saudia, which seems to apply here and for which i am paraphrasing: if you are going to be dry, which is fine, at least offer a kick-ass product.

  29. Wait a minute……just because you couldn’t take photos of an empty lounge, there is no review? Not some sort of commentary? Maybe Ben secretly works for the UN.

  30. I think your comments in the other thread about Manchester are a tad unfair…

    Pretty much every uk and european airport I’ve been through (Dublin, London Gatwick, Heathrow, Birmingham, Hannover, Budapest, Manchester) has enforced the clear plastic 100ml security measures. There’s always one (we refer to them as ‘spanners’) getting their bag pulled and having to explain the rules. It’s not specific to Manchester in any way, and making it out to be is not only unfair, but a tad embarassing on your part…. It was shown on big signs, and repeated by the staff throughout your approach to security….

    And yes, this does mean on connecting flights, having to pull out the liquid contents of your amenity bags and stick them in the clear plastic. Oh, “the humanity”.

    I’ve had more issues with always being asked to take shoes off in US airports. Never had to do that in the uk. But I do it, and don’t complain. Well, apart from there… 🙂

  31. Ok. Since obviously it’s hard to get answers to relevant questions now a days without capturing attention without a diatribe – here goes attempt 2.

    @Julia: Ever heard of the internet? Do some research and it is apparent that the company Mr. Dan refers to was founded by his father and sons TOGETHER (aka Mr. Dan). What started as a regional airline back in the 70s with a single leased old jet has now grown to a global chartered biz jet company. Do some research before making stupid comments. Some ppl do get lucky (aka Trump) and some people just work hard.

    @Dan: Why are you even wasting your time responding to posts here? Most of the public in our country (the US) and even our leaders have displayed little intelligence, tact or general knowledge (welcome to a large fraction of the comment participants on OMAAT now a days). While I agree with what you have written and presented, this is hardly the forum – especially given the insignificance on the global scale of most of the individuals here. It just makes you sound elitist in a world where generally speaking that’s a term used for anyone who does not fit the qualities of the general public.

    Now, getting back to my original question: Does someone have an inkling of where PIA will be flying its leased A330s from Sri Lankan? This is valuable information for my colleagues and I, who are medical aid workers, and have to fly on a budget to troubled areas of the world but with comfort (aka biz class). Sometimes the flat bed on an airline over the 24 hours of flying is the only comfort and rest that we get over a two month deployment. Also, we cannot afford the “premium” airline costs which could be better spent on medicines, food, shelter and resources. So, any idea on where PIA will fly its new A330s? I have posted this question on askLucky and no response either. I would appreciate a response to my actual question before the criticism, etc.

  32. @Emily – so far the only news that I have read quotes that London-Islamabad is the first route. The others are yet to be announced.

  33. @Emily Blackburn: Ever hear of a sense of humor? Apparently not, given how far it seems that rod is lodged up your oh-so-tight @ss.

  34. Great TR Ben…always wondered about their flights now. We actually flew PIA back in 1980 on a 747 to Germany…..That dessert you had looked like fernee….was it a custard with pistachios on it?

  35. @Emily Blackburn

    I provide free-of-charge travel and carriage for AID workers and NGOs regularly as part of the company’s global social services commitment. Some of the charities that we serve are Red Cross, Medical Sans Frontier and Engineers Without Borders. Visit the website to find out if your organization is listed – if your’s is not listed, we can get it registered with some paperwork. We have aircraft for services to difficult parts of the world with sophisticated protection suite, in-flight comfort and cargo capacity for disaster relief. We do this regularly with great pride and with zero cost to the AID organization. Contact me on my personal, located on my company’s website (which you have found).

    Keep up the admirable work.

  36. Ahhhh, 5th freedom rights flights. Is there anything better?

    I flew PIA on a 5th freedom flight from NRT-MNL way, way back in the early 90’s. This was when the yen was relatively strong against the dollar and getting anywhere out of Japan cost an arm and a leg. So a buddy and I found the fare on PIA and jumped on it. Around $250 one way if I recall correctly.

    We flew an ancient, ancient PIA 747 out of NRT that was mostly empty. We were sat way down the back with a good view up the interior fuselage. All I can remember was the absolutely incredible shaking of the entire plane with bins popping open and seats shaking as we roared down the runway at NRT on takeoff. Crazy! Cannot recall the service other than it was there. No booze tho!

    Fun times!

  37. @Willy – I flew that same route in 89! We had to do an e-landing in NRT 30 min into the flight because they observed a cabin pressurization instability caused by an orifice in the cargo hold seal. On that occasion, I boozed myself up while we had to deplane 😛 Thought was if we go down might as well be riding the high…

  38. @Dan: Thanks a lot for your interest and your offer to help. If we can work something out, it will be a huge contribution to our work and getting help to those in need around the globe. Travel costs are excessive with 20 personnel and over 2 tonnes of essential supplies.

    @Samantha: Thank you for the vital info!

    @LUCKY: Thanks a lot to OMAAT for making such connections possible!

  39. Mr Palangio: Looks like you are among the privileged very few. Bleed not for “out dated” terms. Meanings are the same. Possibly your ancestors called present day African Americans, negores, coloreds, blacks or the n word ! Names change underlying entities do not. Yes quite fashinable to be politically correct when you have “arrived” !

    BEN thanks for reporting, although if you had asked me, I could have told you so…..even though I have never flown PIA and never will ! Know too much about Pakistani ways.

  40. @Pat Amazing – you have just tried to justify that calling someone with the “n” word is the same as calling them an African American! Something is seriously ****ed up with you. Here’s some non-PC language that you would understand: you are a retard and it’s great that Ben didn’t ask you anything because of your mental disability. This explains the current state of the US elections.

    Best response of the day goes to Dan for not responding to your idiotic comment or as I would like to think: https://cdn.meme.am/instances/500x/53445558.jpg

    With love from New Zealand!

  41. As Dan’s self-appointed and deluded BFF, gatekeeper, confidante, alibi, and fall guy, I proudly support and encourage his company’s noble and dedicated service to assist aid workers’ transportation needs to various and sundry not-so-nice-places in the world to make them better. I do similar work with a fleet of Jetta, (yes, it is just one now…and it is a two year old Volkswagon, not a misspell of “jet. Look, don’t get all high and mighty, we give where and how we can!). I will occasionally ask a drunken, I mean, incapacitated neighbor if they need anything. Mixers. Marachino cherries. Pre-cut lemon wedges. You name it, I’m there! Mind you, I don’t think I would fly PIA for any relief effort considering I have to be pharmaceutically altered to get into a NYC cab with a Pakistani driver. (Don’t start unless you too have experienced glancing off the Pearly Gates en-route to Penn Station with just such a driver who’s a bit bitter because his neurosurgeon credentials back home don’t quite align with requirements here.) And that’s where you come in, Dan. There is a wonderful resort in Palm Springs that… Oh no, I think I’ve just oversold… Now I know what American Airlines feels like. At least offer some push back and I promise to upgrade my pitch for more wiggle room. Dan. …Dan!!!! …Darn, bumped again. We all can’t be Lucky all the time. (P.S. Just offered for some light chuckles… Safe and happy continued travels everyone.)

  42. @Aleks Stojanovic

    Dude, I am not even sure I understand what you have written… but please share with me whatever it is you have been smoking….

    On a more relevant note, honesty cannot say that the flight reviewed here was any worse than my flight between CDG and CVG last week on DL.

  43. You spelt Jetta correctly, but I am pretty sure you spelt “Volkswagen” incorrectly 😛

    Love the puns – not really sure how it’s exactly directed though – sarcasm I assume?

  44. @Gerard & @ Samantha… sadly, nothing was smoked, drank, or endured as a head injury to create my diatribe. All it took was a slow afternoon at work, reading Lucky’s latest posts, (now my favorite travel blogger,) being challenged by how to spell my car manufacturer’s name correctly, and a sadly embarrassing attempt to become Dan’s best friend so that I could ride on private planes for free. I failed at both the car manufacturer’s spelling and being the person Dan calls to go bowling with… in Vienna, Mumbai, or Sydney. I should have just humbly written VW and that I was planning on doing great charitable efforts helping to teach unfortunate people how to work Velcro in desolate parts of the world that just happened to have five-star hotels. Four-star? Oh…come on! Let’s be reasonable! 😉

  45. @Aleks – sadly but truly that’s what I am doing right now at work – reading travel blogs (well actually the comments :P)

  46. @Aleks Stojanovic

    I enjoy your humor. While I don’t go bowling and don’t enjoy being in big cities and resorts, I am always looking for fun individuals to share my hobby of fishing, hiking and camping out in the country. If you ever stop by Vermont, contact me with another of your hilarious comments and I don’t see why we cannot meet up.

  47. David – people like you should not fly internationally. Horribel racist-smelling comment so STFU.

  48. @Petter: Better to just ignore. The blog is a nice cover for everyone to write what they feel like without any consequence. It’s like a fire. If you don’t add any more fuel to it, it will extinguish. Anyways, there are more kind people in the world than the alternative even though it’s the alternatives who draw the attention. If you acted against every racist comment on this blog or the muted racism in the articles, it could be a full time employment. Take solace in the fact that these people will probably never cross your path – or if they did, they wouldn’t have the guts to act as they portray here.

  49. This report sums up the problem with PIA and Air India, the two large public sector airlines in the subcontinent. Over the past 40 years both have gone from being well run airlines (AI was once a spectacular carrier), to clunky, Third World public sector entities exhibiting all the graft and labor issues rife in the public sector of both countries. Contrast both with Jet Airways’ polished and superb long haul J Class product, and you can pinpoint the problem – the public sector has no business being in the service sector. AI seems to be getting better in fits and starts, in part because it’s competing with far better airlines domestically and with 50+ carriers internationally; PIA, however, competes mostly with the Gulf carriers on its international routes, and does so primarily on price. So, there’s no real reason to innovate and improve.

    The Pakistani food looked very good, however. I sometimes wonder why they even bother with supposed “international service standards” like bread, salad, cheese, etc. The mostly Pakistani-origin pax don’t really care if it’s there or not, and Western travelers aren’t about to be impressed by stale rolls in plastic, roughage under saran wrap, or Kraft cheese on a china plate. Pakistani food is replete with fabulous appetizers, desserts, breads, etc., that can be showcased and presented in a way that makes the travel experience unique and enjoyable.

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