I’m finding it difficult to summarize my experience on Pakistan Airlines today from Manchester to New York in business class. On the one hand, the FAs displayed incredible Pakistani hospitality and the buffet-style main course was really delicious — perhaps the best meal of the trip. On the other hand, the PIA business class product is not competitive in nearly every other way.
The seats, though not primitive, are non lie-flat and poorly maintained (or perhaps just too old). They rattled and were tattered and had to be manually adjusted at different points in the flight when the motorized system failed.
The IFE was a very early version of AVOD (audio-visual on-demand) and featured a dated collection of movies and TV programming.
The overall service was just strange — cutlery was all plastic, there were no menus or amenity kits, flimsy economy class headphones, no salad dressing for the salad (which was the only appetizer), no nuts or canapes, and a disgusting pre-arrival tea service: imagine a stale piece of bread with a rubber slice of chicken in between a pineapple slice and maraschino cherry.
The main meal service consisted only of a small salad with bread, main course, Pakistani dessert, and fruit/cheese. I have always liked Pakistani food and truly enjoyed the main course. The spices were just right and though the food was only served lukewarm, it still tasted great. And this dessert was absolutely exceptional:
Though the ticket was only about $900 and I do not regret the experience, I do not have plans to fly Pakistan Airlines again anytime soon, though there are intriguing rumors concerning a business class refresh.
The ironic thing is that I slept more on this flight than any other flight the entire trip — certainly I was exhausted after 48 hours of continuous travel without a hotel room, but it is indeed possible to sleep on the seat if you are tried enough…