Thursday, September 6, 2012

Flying to Pakistan

For the first time in my life, I flew to Pakistan.  Previously, because I was in India, my main option was to cross the border by land because there are only limited numbers of flights that go between the two countries.  But this time, being that I was coming from Bangladesh, there were several flights going to Pakistan, so I was able to book a flight and not have to go through the time-consuming, though straightforward process, of passing through the border.

Line-up at my gate in Dhaka
Anyway, no matter what method of transportation you choose in this part of the world, it will always be an adventure.  I was not impressed when I got to my gate to see a huge long line-up of people.  Like Indonesia, you clear security right at the gate, so all these people were in line to clear security and then head into the seating area at the gate.  I didn't know about this process, so I had been shopping nonchalantly in one of the stores there before heading to the gate because I had arrived there quite early.  I was confused that there were no ladies in the line-up, just men.  However, I did spot one lady going through security, and I wondered if I had missed a special line for them or something.  So, I decided to wait in the line-up, unsure how all these people would get processed in time for departure, and hoping that someone would come along and tell me to go to the front of the line.

That very thing happened.  Turns out they prioritise ladies, children, and the elderly, and I was really happy about that process.  Finally, a time when it pays to be a female!  But the funny part is that at the gate in Dhaka, when they announced that women, children, and the elderly go through first, they told other people to sit down, and this airport guy was just screaming at people, yelling at the them to sit down if they decided to stand up.  It was the funniest thing!  I like that no-nonsense style of boarding since in India, people just line up willy nilly, and there's no order at all.  These people made sure there was order!

Luckily, I was seated in business class the entire way, though I'm sure I only paid for economy.  Regardless, on PIA, it seems to make no difference other than that you get some extra leg room and are perhaps seated with a more educated seat mate.  The food and service were no different.  I guess that makes sense considering the business class seats on PIA are only about $100 more than the economy seats, and you will always get what you pay for, right?  At least it gives me funny stories to blog about!

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