PIA passengers with confirmed tickets refused seats

Published: October 22, 2014
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PIA told passengers of PK-319 that they would be accommodated on a flight on Wednesday morning. PHOTO: REUTERS

PIA told passengers of PK-319 that they would be accommodated on a flight on Wednesday morning. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: As many as six passengers of a Pakistan International Airlines flight were left fuming when the airline refused to honour their confirmed tickets for a Karachi bound flight in Islamabad on Tuesday evening.

Passengers carrying tickets for PK-319 from Islamabad to Karachi had reached the Islamabad airport on time. But, as they checked-in and waited for their boarding passes, they were told by PIA officials that their tickets did not exist, before claiming that the passengers were late and would have to pay a penalty when they return for a flight on Wednesday morning.

However, the passengers, including a woman, her two children and a journalist, contended that their paper tickets were pre-confirmed and that they had arrived well in time for their 10pm flight.

On this officials withdrew the demand of the penalty, but maintained that the passengers will have to return on Wednesday morning for a flight since the current aircraft was full.

However, when the passengers protested that there was still time for the flight’s gates to close and that they should be accommodated on the same flight through their valid tickets, the authorities refused to budge, instead offered to adjust their tickets for a Wednesday morning flight – sans any penalty.

Passengers flying to Abu Dhabi stranded

At the same time, as many as 20 passengers flying to Abu Dhabi via PIA flight PK-219 scheduled for departure at 9pm were told that their flight would depart on Wednesday evening with an alternative a flight to Dubai via Lahore on Wednesday. This prompted protests from the passengers.

Passengers said they were due to depart at 9pm but PIA first delayed the flight to 11pm but later said that the flight would depart on Wednesday evening. When the passengers protested this, PIA management said they could either take the delayed flight or they could be transferred to Lahore where they could be accommodated on a flight to Dubai on Wednesday. From there, those passengers wishing to travel to Abu Dhabi, would have to arrange their own transport.

This prompted passengers to stage a protest and forced the PIA ticket and reservations counters to be closed.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • Jadugar
    Oct 22, 2014 - 1:01AM

    Left PIA 20 years ago and nothing seems to have changed. PIA administration and staff refuses to take responsibility for their passengers. True service is only provided to the VIPs and this has become the corporate culture. As rightly said by someone ” PIA = Perhaps it’s Arrived”

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  • Parvez
    Oct 22, 2014 - 1:10AM

    Privatise PIA tonight if possible……….it will save the government exchequer billions BUT our corrupt politicians / bureaucrats will keep pumping money into PIA for selfish reasons.

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  • leostb
    Oct 22, 2014 - 1:25AM

    Passengers said they were due to depart at 9pm but PTI first delayed the flight to 11pm but later said that the flight would depart on Wednesday evening.

    Its PIA & not PTI..:p

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  • Salman Hasan
    Oct 22, 2014 - 1:30AM

    Fruits of democracy as the two parties PPP and PML-N continues to appoint their supporters in PIA and destroying the national carrier once and for all. Nothing but disgraceful service from PIA. Airline might have given those seats to VIPs. That’s how things are done in Pakistan.

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  • Akbar Khan
    Oct 22, 2014 - 1:35AM

    Thanks GOD………For some reason, I always had feeling that flying with PIA is just too risky as it i meant for the thieves of PAKISTAN (sitting in Parliament and their family members).

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  • Azi
    Oct 22, 2014 - 1:38AM

    Just another nail in the nearly sealed coffin of PIA. Every few months they appoint someone new to wave a magic wand and fix the airline’s performance but they fail to realize their problem. I.e. they treat people like dirt…..Unless those people are the so called “VIPs”.

    We should all just stop using PIA and let this business die. It has done on one any good.

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  • Ehsan
    Oct 22, 2014 - 1:41AM

    I suspect that PIA might have handed out the tickets to some VIP MNA / MPA from PML-N or PPP.

    Politicization of PIA is destroying the once excellent airline.

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  • Naeem Khan
    Oct 22, 2014 - 1:51AM

    What is it with this airline, they are losing money and still can not improve their services. It seems the airline is full of political flunkies and don’t know or unable to know how to run an airline efficiently, passengers are the ones who are paying their salaries and yet they have been mistreating the customers for decades. I say shape up or ship out and find yourself another job.

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  • numbersnumbers
    Oct 22, 2014 - 4:33AM

    Wonder which VIPs/PIA relatives were GIVEN those seats??????

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  • Ali Pakistan
    Oct 22, 2014 - 4:42AM

    The only solution in reforming these organizations is to appoint people on merit. PIA has been ruined by nepotism and politicizing of the institution.

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  • Watchman
    Oct 22, 2014 - 6:57AM

    Any thing possible With PIA operation. Please understand that they work in a such difficult situation.

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  • Oct 22, 2014 - 8:18AM

    The PIA personnel had, again, resold, the booked confirmed tickets at
    a higher price to make some money for themselves. Money must have been
    split 4 or 5 ways among the PIA thugs.

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  • FrequentFlyer
    Oct 22, 2014 - 10:11AM

    The way PIA handled the passengers concerns was very unprofessional however I don’t see any problem with confirmed overbookings which is the norm in airlines all over the world including leading carriers such as Emirates, Qatar and Etihad. Airlines generally tend to overbook to account for any noshows that happen on every flight. Unfortunately for these passengers, there were probably no ‘noshows’ on this flight for which they were refused seats despite confirmed tickets.

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  • khurram
    Oct 22, 2014 - 10:24AM

    Though Pakistani people are famous for having a conspiracy theory behind any story, but here in PIA case the theory stand correct. A major group is conspiring to commercially destabilize PIA so as to have it sold at throwaway price.

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  • Akbar
    Oct 22, 2014 - 2:31PM

    Let’s see be honest PIA is not only mis management our whole country mis manage. If your leaders in stream line then obviously corporation working good. So when your leaders will be honest and sincere then corporations also working in well manner. If privitization is the only solution then what about our heavy financial losses in last many years? think it?

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  • unbelievable
    Oct 22, 2014 - 8:13PM

    Who would want to buy 1/3 of this airline? Nobody – which is one of the reasons why the govt is procrastinating on selling it.

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  • Zubair Beyg
    Oct 24, 2014 - 3:11PM

    This just not surprise me. My parent always fly middle eastern airlines as they come every year to visit me in UK. This unfortunate year they bought PIA tickets from ISB.Their flight was delayed for 4 hrs from ISB in august this year and then the nightmare started on their return journey. At Heathrow, they were told their flight was two days earlier. When asked for details PIA printed bogus records saying it was their travel agent who cancelled the flight. They demaned £75 each or to go home. After several arguments they were not agreeing and we had to pay £150. I was furious and disappointed as I myself never travel on PIA but told myparents never ever to fly this PIA. I couldnt believe when another passenger told me the same story. GOD BLESS Pakistan but this airline is going towrads being tagged worst airline of all times.

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  • Feb 21, 2015 - 1:44PM

    Very bad serviceRecommend

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