From London to Lahore: Qissa Ek Flight Ka

Last year, while flying from London to Lahore I made the following observations:

The Senior Purser, the man in charge of the cabin crew, was quite an older man – perhaps in his late 50s. May be it was the classic “naukar-shahi” attitude, may be it was sheer fatigue of traveling at his age, or may be the classic Pakistani chauvinism; he spent most of the flight sitting down and ordering young cabin crew, mostly female stewardess, around. The stewardesses were visibly tired and weary towards the end of the entire journey, and understandably a bit agitated.

But it was not just their boss who was ordering them around. I was in the section of the plane that directly faces the cockpit. And the cockpit had the cabin crew bringing them water, tea, sandwiches, meals, dessert (once Nirala’s ras malai) throughout the entire flight. Seriously, I was flabbergasted to see the cabin crew spending more time serving the cockpit crew than the passengers. Every fifteen or so minutes the cabin staff would be knocking at the cockpit door to take dishes out and bring something else in. It felt as if there was a party going on in the cockpit being catered by the flight stewardess.

Someone I know who has been working with PIA for the past 26 years told me that more than 250 directors run it. Even Wasim Akram was one of the directors. Most of money earned are used to make those directors Happy and Live Safe. The amount of money spent on the directors can better be spent buying a couple of new aircrafts for PIA fleet each year.

Don’t know how true this story is but if you fly any large carrier like Virgin Atlantic, United versus PIA, you are amazed at the difference in the size of crew. Our cabin crews, especially on domestic flights are much larger. In other leading airlines you will notice that there are only 3 cabin-crew members that staff the entire cabin for an Airbus 318/319 or a Boeing 737.

Over the years, I have flown thousands of miles and have never seen that level of “abuse” of the cabin crew by the pilots and flight engineer that I observed on PIA flights. You will notice that the older members of the crew do not serve anyone. You will seldom see the Senior Purser of Purser around in the cabin. They basically sit around or stand in the corner and “observe”. Not sure what is their real role at that point. The younger more energetic member of crew is basically running around doing all the work, while these guys are basically just waiting for their retirement benefits to kick-in en-route!

3 Comments so far

  1. virk (unregistered) on July 20th, 2006 @ 2:47 pm

    Very well written, I think you should publish this in some PK local newspaper or at least fax it to Tariq Karmani (PIA CEO) or PM/President office


  2. DisTraKtinGLy_BeauTiphul (unregistered) on July 20th, 2006 @ 4:18 pm

    A very good read, very informative.


  3. pariya (unregistered) on July 20th, 2006 @ 4:52 pm

    i totally agree with you. there service is so discusting. in sortwords pia is shit.



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