Unable to book PIA Business Class

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SalamPaks
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Unable to book PIA Business Class

Post by SalamPaks » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:03 am

I normally book PIA tickets via American Express Travel, mainly because of the 5 Membership Reward points per dollar earning rate but also because their service is second to none. For instance, whenever things have gone tits up with a PIA flight, Amex has always been able to get them to move me to another carrier. However, for an upcoming trip, PIA didn't come up as a Business Class option on the routes YYZ-KHI-LHE-LHR and LHR-KHI-LHE-LHR no matter what dates I tried on the Amex site, and their agents couldn't come up with anything either.

I also tried the PIA website and couldn't find any Business Class availability even when putting in one way flights. To be clear, Economy and Executive Economy is wide open on all flights but Business class shows as SOLD OUT. I tried several dates from next week through as late as May with no luck. Meanwhile, all of my local Dallas and Houston Desi travel agents are refusing to make any bookings on PIA. I personally think it's a glitch in PIA's reservation system and I wouldn't be surprised if they've loaded Business Class inventory as Executive Economy but I've got no way of finding out for sure. I know there's a few travel agents on this site so if you are able to help me out with this booking I'd really appreciate it. Thanks in advance. :)


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Abbas Ali
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Re: Unable to book PIA Business Class

Post by Abbas Ali » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:01 am

PIA is ending Business Class, according to news reports:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=27284

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SalamPaks
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Re: Unable to book PIA Business Class

Post by SalamPaks » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:27 am

Thank you. That thread clears things up. I like PIA's timings and their non-stop flights, and I just want to fly on my own country's airline to and from my country, but I don't like economy class seats so I guess it's goodbye to PIA for the moment. I hope they come back with a stronger business class product in the future.

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Re: Unable to book PIA Business Class

Post by huma » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:33 pm

I recently flew with PIA from Manchester to Lahore on Premium Economy (in December) - I am guessing that is the same as Executive Economy and that this is what used to be Business Class. The seats allocated to Premium Economy were the same seats that used to be Business Class. I have never flown Business Class before so I don't know if the service I got would have been different to Business Class. It was different to Economy class though because I got to go to the Business class lounges (both at Manchester and then at Lahore on the way back) and the service on board was different to the service in Economy class.

The service on the plane certainly was different to the service I have experienced in Economy class when travelling in that class in the past. The food was brought round on a trolley with a selection of different dishes to choose from. The seats had plenty of leg room and could be reclined to almost lying down position so I was able to get some sleep. I had a really good flight and would fly PIA again. I think for me, now that I have tried Premium Economy, it will be difficult to go back to Economy class.

Also, there are only 5 rows in this class and the seating configuration is 2-3-2 which you probably already know if you have flown PIA Business Class before. When I went to Lahore, all of the window seats were taken and there were a few other passengers in the other seats. However, there were still plenty of empty seats (going to Lahore and coming back to Man as well).

I think the reason PIA are finishing Business Class is because they were probably most likely flying with these seats empty and if a plane flies with empty seats, then it's losing money.

When I booked my flights, I did pay a lot more for my seats than I would have done if I was flying Economy class. I would advise you to find out what exactly Executive Economy is because it would be a shame not to fly your own national airline.

Hope that helps.

Huma
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Ammar
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Re: Unable to book PIA Business Class

Post by Ammar » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:45 pm

huma wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:33 pm
I recently flew with PIA from Manchester to Lahore on Premium Economy (in December) - I am guessing that is the same as Executive Economy and that this is what used to be Business Class. The seats allocated to Premium Economy were the same seats that used to be Business Class. I have never flown Business Class before so I don't know if the service I got would have been different to Business Class. It was different to Economy class though because I got to go to the Business class lounges (both at Manchester and then at Lahore on the way back) and the service on board was different to the service in Economy class.

The service on the plane certainly was different to the service I have experienced in Economy class when travelling in that class in the past. The food was brought round on a trolley with a selection of different dishes to choose from. The seats had plenty of leg room and could be reclined to almost lying down position so I was able to get some sleep. I had a really good flight and would fly PIA again. I think for me, now that I have tried Premium Economy, it will be difficult to go back to Economy class.

Also, there are only 5 rows in this class and the seating configuration is 2-3-2 which you probably already know if you have flown PIA Business Class before. When I went to Lahore, all of the window seats were taken and there were a few other passengers in the other seats. However, there were still plenty of empty seats (going to Lahore and coming back to Man as well).

I think the reason PIA are finishing Business Class is because they were probably most likely flying with these seats empty and if a plane flies with empty seats, then it's losing money.

When I booked my flights, I did pay a lot more for my seats than I would have done if I was flying Economy class. I would advise you to find out what exactly Executive Economy is because it would be a shame not to fly your own national airline.

Hope that helps.

Huma
Thanks for the detailed analysis.
Did your ticket allow access to Fast Track security/immigration, especially at MAN?
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Re: Unable to book PIA Business Class

Post by huma » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:28 pm

My ticket allowed me to fast track through security and I was also able to jump the queue to board the plane - sorry I don't know if that's what you were asking.

It was a different situation at Lahore though: I got there really early and there were four international flights due to go including mine so there were loads of people there. I was waiting for ages at the Business Class check in desk to get checked in because there were ignorant people who had booked Economy class insisting that they be allowed to check in at that desk so they didn't have to wait in the other long queues. However, the guy at the desk finally asked all economy class passengers to queue up in the right queues.

I didn't get fast tracked coming back from Pakistan even though I did get to go into the lounge.

Hope that helps.
Huma
Huma

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Re: Unable to book PIA Business Class

Post by amjid84 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:48 am

SalamPaks wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:27 am
Thank you. That thread clears things up. I like PIA's timings and their non-stop flights, and I just want to fly on my own country's airline to and from my country, but I don't like economy class seats so I guess it's goodbye to PIA for the moment. I hope they come back with a stronger business class product in the future.
They're ending Business Class and rebranding it as Executive Economy - its the same Product as Business (Seats, Food and non-working IFE :lol: ), but given its quite a dated 'Business Class' product - its probably more palatable and easier to sell as Executive Economy (kind of like Premium Economy).

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Re: Unable to book PIA Business Class

Post by amjid84 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:51 am

huma wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:33 pm


... "because it would be a shame not to fly your own national airline."

Hope that helps.

Huma
No shame if the service is no good and a better product is available for a similar price.

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Re: Unable to book PIA Business Class

Post by huma » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:00 pm

Well I disagree with you - the service is fine. I was very well looked after on my flight by the flight attendants. Pakistanis just want to complain about everything. I was thinking more from the point of view if you fly PIA, then you are supporting your own national airline - if we can't do our own little bit for our own country, then who else will?
Huma

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Re: Unable to book PIA Business Class

Post by Abdulrafeysiddiqui » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:50 am

huma wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:00 pm
Well I disagree with you - the service is fine. I was very well looked after on my flight by the flight attendants. Pakistanis just want to complain about everything. I was thinking more from the point of view if you fly PIA, then you are supporting your own national airline - if we can't do our own little bit for our own country, then who else will?
Agreed. We all have to understand this that at the moment of difficulty for PIA, we are the only ones who can support it little by travelling with them keeping our need of good quality product aside for a while. We only say this but can't act upon it. Irony!

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Re: Unable to book PIA Business Class

Post by SalamPaks » Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:30 am

Thanks for the replies... much appreciated. It appears, as noted by others that the business cabin and standard of service has indeed been rebranded Premium or Executive Economy. That works for me since I value the 7-8 hr nonstop greater than the service afforded by true business class products on my UK to Pak flights, and all I really want is to be able to lie down and sleep for 5-6 hrs on a flat bed (though these are angled flat beds). The only thing I really miss out on by flying PIA is the lack of inflight internet.

Unfortunately I’m already booked in Qatar Business Class to Pak but will probably refund the return leg and switch to PIA Executive Economy Coming back.

Btw if anyone is interested in pics from previous PIA and other airlines first and business class flights, you can find them on my Instagram, j_flyer

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Re: Unable to book PIA Business Class

Post by amjid84 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:31 am

huma wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:00 pm
Well I disagree with you - the service is fine. I was very well looked after on my flight by the flight attendants. Pakistanis just want to complain about everything. I was thinking more from the point of view if you fly PIA, then you are supporting your own national airline - if we can't do our own little bit for our own country, then who else will?
Patriotism does not always equal success. I'll give the example of QF in Australia - they were sold in the 1990's (still owned 51% by Australians) and they face stiff competition, including making heavy losses in 2016 & 2017 - but they spent money on rejuvenating fleet; improving service & IFE; and cutting routes to only core-money making destinations. Then forged an alliance with EK. Still they only fly Australia to Asia (BKK,SIN,HKG,NRT,PEK); NZ LHR & 3 USA Cities. The rest are all code-share. They started to see early signs of tightening of revenue a few years earlier and made changes then. PK has been loss-making for 10+ years and there has been no major changes. Each new manager comes in, lines their own pockets and allows PK to bleed more...

PK need to overhaul their fleet and some 20K staff (including senior personnel). They need to only focus on the UK; Middle East (DXB;JED;MED) & YYZ routes and code-share all others, for the next 5 years. They can make a lot more money firstly by having daily frequency to LHR /MAN and having IFE that works. Deploy B777's from KHI/LHE/ISB to UK & CAD only. Use A320 for all Middle East and Domestic Routes. No need for Intl services from smaller cities - use feeder routes to KHI,LHE & ISB - this will fill planes and better utilise resources. If they feel the need to operate KUL & BKK, this must be daily as singular route, or don't bother.

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Re: Unable to book PIA Business Class

Post by huma » Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:50 pm

amjid84 wrote:
Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:31 am
huma wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:00 pm
Well I disagree with you - the service is fine. I was very well looked after on my flight by the flight attendants. Pakistanis just want to complain about everything. I was thinking more from the point of view if you fly PIA, then you are supporting your own national airline - if we can't do our own little bit for our own country, then who else will?
Patriotism does not always equal success. I'll give the example of QF in Australia - they were sold in the 1990's (still owned 51% by Australians) and they face stiff competition, including making heavy losses in 2016 & 2017 - but they spent money on rejuvenating fleet; improving service & IFE; and cutting routes to only core-money making destinations. Then forged an alliance with EK. Still they only fly Australia to Asia (BKK,SIN,HKG,NRT,PEK); NZ LHR & 3 USA Cities. The rest are all code-share. They started to see early signs of tightening of revenue a few years earlier and made changes then. PK has been loss-making for 10+ years and there has been no major changes. Each new manager comes in, lines their own pockets and allows PK to bleed more...

PK need to overhaul their fleet and some 20K staff (including senior personnel). They need to only focus on the UK; Middle East (DXB;JED;MED) & YYZ routes and code-share all others, for the next 5 years. They can make a lot more money firstly by having daily frequency to LHR /MAN and having IFE that works. Deploy B777's from KHI/LHE/ISB to UK & CAD only. Use A320 for all Middle East and Domestic Routes. No need for Intl services from smaller cities - use feeder routes to KHI,LHE & ISB - this will fill planes and better utilise resources. If they feel the need to operate KUL & BKK, this must be daily as singular route, or don't bother.
Yes, PIA need to have a major overhaul, and you are right in everything you said above, but we as customers can still do our own little bit.
Huma

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Re: Unable to book PIA Business Class

Post by umar744 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 7:07 pm

Hello last year I flew Air Canada's new brand Boeing 737 Max 8 gave me seat number 4F Premium Economy plus = Y+ seat when full Economy class but there NO business class on 737 Max 8 international from London to St. John Newfoundland Canada then I flew Business class from St. John to Toronto after I got off & collected bag and checked in domestic gave me business class seat number 4F same B737 Max 8 on domestic. Most other airlines changed / upgrade new Premium Economy plus class will have Business class and Economy class because very difficult sell First Class & half / reduce / less Business class. I flew American Airlines Business Class empty only Bodyguard Air Marshal security and me only in Business class and full seat in Economy class from London to Chicago because very expensive business class ticket that why passengers heart attach cannot afford business class except business person and rich people. My friend bought $1,500 ticket Economy class from Chicago to London to Chicago in Summer high season but Business class cost $6,000 more.

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Re: Unable to book PIA Business Class

Post by SalamPaks » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:43 pm

That's awesome! Thank you Umar. :thumbs_up: