Guys. Look. Flying commercial, and especially in coach, can be harrowing. Passengers behave badly, flight attendants are overstressed, and delays are de rigueur. But next time you're moved to complain about your experience, you'll want to think about this.
Reports have emerged that an overbooked Pakistan International Airlines flight forced seven passengers to made stand in the aisle.
The flight was on its way to Saudi Arabia, and the extra passengers were given "hand-written paper tickets" in lieu of proper tickets as there were no seats left to officially sell according to the BBC. It was a Boeing 777, with a seating capacity of 409.
Pilot Captain Anwer Adil admits he was alerted to the extra passengers by cabin crew but after takeoff. He took off anyway, stating that turning back later would have wasted fuel in a move that was not cost effective for the airline.
In addition to raging discomfort, the scenario could have resulted in disaster: Experts told the BBC that first of all, there would be people in the way during an emergency. And even worse, there wouldn't be enough air supply if it were needed. Unfortunately, planes don't have seven extra air masks to drop down in the aisle.
They added that this is the first known occurence of an airline allowing extra passengers on board.
The Guardian spoke with the airline, and rep Danyal Gillani denied all claims: “It is not possible for anyone to travel like that in an aircraft, regardless of the duration of the flight." He added that the crew and pilot were disciplined. But why were they disciplined if it never happened? Hmm.
Dawn, which first reported the news, did an intense investigation, which turned up that flight attendant Hina Turab claims she did tell the pilot before takeoff but was told to find a solution herself.
Evidently, the staff was also responsible for ensuring that the passengers had computer-generated boarding passes and that nobody should have been allowed on the aircraft with manual passes — but it happened anyway.
The airline is no stranger to bad press and conflict: A tragic plane crash killed 48 onboard in December. In 2013, a pilot from the airline was caught trying to fly more than 150 people while drunk. The airline is also about $3 billion in debt.
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