PK369 ISB-KHI 13:00 – 14:55
PK896 KHI-KUL 16:30 – 01:30 (+1)
Here is my review of one domestic and one international flight operated by Pakistan Airlines which I had taken recently.
After seeing that the past three flights of PK369 were cancelled, I was quite worried that my flight today (9 Sept) would be cancelled at the last minute and I would be stranded in Pakistan.
I had planned to leave my host house latest by 10.30am, but due to the car breaking down on the hills, we were stuck there for some time, so I only left the house around 11am. I arrived at Islamabad airport, strange thing is that taxis cannot enter the airport compound so the driver had to drop me outside. I had to walk a distance to the domestic terminal where there were several people crowded outside. With 65 minutes to spare, I managed to check in at the domestic counter. I went to the business class counter and told the staff that my flight was departing in about an hour, so they kindly helped me to check in while the economy class queue was still quite long. The bag was tagged to KUL, but the person told me I had to self-collect the bag at KHI.
The shuttle bus took us to our plane, where I was surprised to see a VietJet A320 aircraft waiting for us. Apparently PIA does not have enough planes and they have to lease from VietJet. It was a partial lease as there was one VietJet air stewardess (dressed in the airline’s red blouse and checkered hat) and the rest were made up of PIA staff. One of the pilots was also Vietnamese.
PK369 departed on time and it took about 1h 45min to reach Karachi. From the air, Karachi looks really densely populated and I don’t think I would enjoy visiting the city. Being in the southern part of Pakistan, the weather is very hot and it is also has the largest population in Pakistan. A small snack of sandwich and chocolate cake was served on this short flight.
I thought I could quickly transfer to my next flight because I only had one and a half hours layover. Even though I was seated fourth row from the front, this lead was diminished as I had to wait about 15 minutes for my luggage to come out on the carousel.
I rushed up to the international departures hall at Karachi airport and then had to wait around 10 minutes for the scanner machine to start working before I could enter the airport. The nonchalant attitude of the security staff irked me as I told them I had a flight to catch, but they just told me to wait.
After reaching the PIA checkin counter, the staff told me that checkin for KUL flight had closed. I kept my calm and I showed him my boarding pass and said that I had to spend time waiting to collect my luggage from Islamabad, before he allowed my luggage to be checked in. Anyway, the luggage tag had already been tagged to KUL (with a notice on late bag arrival) so the staff just placed my bag on the conveyor belt and whisked it away.
Next, I rushed to the immigration counter and luckily the queue was not so long. Boarding had already started for PK896 and I managed to board it. The flight took off punctually to my surprise. The aircraft as an old Boeing 777-200ER where the entertainment was not touch screen.
A snack was served shortly after takeoff, which consisted of a sandwich and banana cake, with juice and beverages. Flight time is 5h 30min. About two and a half hours before landing, dinner of chicken briyani was served. The rice had a peppery taste which was nice but I wished there was more chicken. The cake was a tad too sweet and the natural yoghurt balanced off the sweet taste.
During the flight, I was bitten by some mosquitoes or bugs in the seat as I started scratching non-stop. I tried to have some sleep but the itch was unbearable.
PK896 landed at 01:30 at KUL and I have a six hour stopover to catch before my next flight. I also have to transfer from KLIA to KLIA2 as my next sector is a budget flight on AirAsia. It was my first flight with Pakistan Airlines and I don’t think I will take it again.