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With PIA’s City Check-In facility, passengers can obtain their boarding passes as early as 72 hours before departure. The airline states that such customers can then arrive at the boarding gate as late as 30 minutes before the flight. The service is only available to those passengers travelling without checked luggage, and City Check-In facilities are available at Lahore, Karachi and Faisalabad airports only.
Those travelling with only hand luggage can check in at special No Wait counters at airports such as Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore.
Check-in via kerbside counters is available to Economy-Plus passengers on domestic flights within Pakistan that are travelling with only hand luggage.
For travellers flying between the two destinations within a 12-hour time period from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, Return Check-In is available. This means that such passengers can obtain boarding passes for both destinations in advance.
Hand luggage: Economy and Economy Plus Class passengers are allowed one free item of hand luggage weighing up to 7kg (15lbs) and with maximum dimensions of 38 x 22 x 55cm (15 x 8 x 21in).
Checked: On domestic flights within Pakistan, passengers are allowed up to 20kg (44lbs) of free checked baggage in Economy Class and 25kg (55lbs) in Economy Plus. For most international flights to/from Pakistan, Economy class passengers are allowed 30kg (66lbs) of free checked baggage. On flights between Pakistan and America/Canada however the piece concept applies, and passengers have an allowance of two pieces of checked baggage with a maximum weight of 28kg (61lbs) each.
Excess: Contact the airline for specific information on charges.
In Economy Class, passengers are likely to have a seat pitch of 81cm (32in). In Business Class this rises to 155cm (61in).
Seats are assigned during check-in.
Name changes are not permitted. Reservations must either be cancelled or rebooked. Contact the airline for more specific information.
Lap infants (under two years of age) may fly for 10 per cent of the corresponding adult fare. Seats may be booked for them at 75 per cent of the adult fare. Children of two to eleven years of age may fly for 75 per cent of the corresponding adult fare also.
The airline offers a discount of 10 per cent for passengers of 65 years and above on international flights. Tickets booked in the lowest Economy and Business Class fare categories are not valid for the discount, which is available through PIA agents and offices. The airline also requires proof of age.
Animals may not travel in the cabin but instead must be stored in the hold. Animals that the airline will accept include cats, dogs, birds and reptiles. Pets must be properly crated and accompanied by all necessary documentation such as entry permits and health certificates. Charges apply for transport of all animals apart from service animals. Contact the airline for more specific details.
Passengers can book additional seats for fragile or valuable musical instruments that exceed hand luggage size or weight limits.
PIA’s in-flight entertainment offerings include a selection of movies and TV programmes including comedy, drama, documentaries, sports and more. A range of games and audio channels are also available.
PIA Awards +Plus. Miles are earned from PIA flights as well as by being a customer of its A+ partners.
Membership has three tiers: Emerald (entry level), Sapphire (available to those who’ve taken 25 trips or accrued 30,000 miles in a year) and Diamond (available to those who have taken 50 trips or accrued 70,000 miles in a year).
Privileges that A+ Sapphire members are entitled to include checking in at the Awards +Plus counter at the airport and a greater baggage allowance on some flights.
Additional A+ Diamond member privileges include kerbside check-in in Pakistan, access to Business Class lounges and access to Pakistani airports’ fast-track immigration counters.
See photographs of Pakistan International Airlines’ in-flight meals taken by fellow flyers and read reviews at airlinemeals.net.
Humsafar, an Urdu word meaning “travelling companion”, is the name of PIA’s in-flight magazine. It contains articles on a range of travel and lifestyle topics and was first published in 1980.
PIA is not a member of a major airline alliance. However, it has partnerships with several carriers. These include Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Aerosvit Airlines.
Based at Jinnah International Airport in the city of Karachi, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is Pakistan’s national airline and flag carrier. The airport is its main hub, and its others include Lahore’s Allama Iqbal International Airport and Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad.
The airline was formed in 1955 and its first flight took place that year between Karachi and London. Today, PIA serves more than 20 domestic destinations in Pakistan as well as more than 30 international destinations across Asia, North America and Europe.
PIA boasts many firsts, including being the first Asian airline to land in Norway, the first airline from a non-Communist country to land in China and the first airline in Pakistan to operate a flight with an all-female cabin and cockpit crew.
The carrier’s slogan is “great people to fly with” and it is a popular airline for those taking religious pilgrimages from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia, with more than 130,000 passengers flying with them to Jeddah and Medina for the Hajj per year. It was awarded a shield by Saudi Arabia’s Civil Aviation Authority in 2010 in recognition of its services to hajjis.