Stories about plane

“I hate materialistic people, beta, but I love my designer clothes”

Whilst travelling from Doha to London, I had a 60-year-old Pakistani aunty sitting next to me on my flight. To be honest, it was a rather pleasant surprise to find another Pakistani on board. What came next was a surprise, but not a pleasant one. She began talking to me. Incessantly. Without any breaks. She started off by telling me that she is from a rich business family in Karachi and handed me her husband’s business card right after. She went on to tell me that her only son, who lives in England, recently got divorced. She let me in on the nitty-gritty details about how ...

Read Full Post

In defence of the ‘fat person’ sitting next to you on a plane

The hardest thing to do is to empathise with a person who is causing you inconvenience; to contain your righteous anger, with a self-reminder that the person doesn’t intend to bother you, and is probably as uneasy about the situation as you are. Some time ago, Rich Wisken wrote an acerbic letter to the airline company, Jetstar, complaining about being made to sit next to an obese gentleman on a flight from Perth to Sydney. He’d spent the duration of his flight periodically arguing with the flight-attendants, and heaping insults on the passenger next to him. In his letter to the company, he referred to ...

Read Full Post

Comic history: There’s a hero in all of us

Since the advent of literary print there is one word that comes to mind whenever you hear of comics: superheroes. Superhero comics burst onto the scene with the introduction of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman in the late 1930s. Superman represented the hero we all wanted to be: someone who had the power to move planets, and yet, chose to do good for the world and its people. Batman portrayed the humanistic flaws; how our tragedies and mistakes could be used as motivation to become a hero. And Wonder Woman, who was a symbol for feminism and political hierarchy. These formed the trifecta of DC comics, along with Marvel, and they ...

Read Full Post

You realise you’re in a Pakistani flight when…

The sky is dark and you’re airborne, eyes transfixed on the entertainment system. Suddenly the plane takes a gravitational drop downwards, and then picks itself up a second later. The lights in the airplane go up, and the seatbelt sign appears. The flight attendant, passing through the plane, requests all passengers to remain seated, pull up their seats in an upright position and avoid heading to the lavatory for a few seconds. Most of the passengers follow none of these instructions. Welcome to an international flight carrying Pakistani passengers. Air travel isn’t the most comfortable thing in the flight, especially over long distances, unless of ...

Read Full Post

Mayday mayday, our daredevil pilot wants to fly through a thunderstorm!

Thai Air may have a very good air worthiness record both for their fleet and the flying staff. Being a Thai Air passenger on several occasions I have had no bad memories until I flew back to Islamabad on March 17th, 2014 from Manila via Bangkok. Thai Air is probably one of the few foreign airlines that still maintain daily flights from three cities in Pakistan; all western airlines including Singapore Airlines stopped flying into Pakistan for various reasons, almost a decade ago, Thai Air has been providing that necessary bridge to keep Pakistan connected to Asia. By making a code-share agreement ...

Read Full Post

I hope MH370 has been hijacked to Pakistan

Speculations that MH370 had been hijacked to Pakistan hardly surprised me. Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney appeared on Fox News to explain how he believed the missing airplane could’ve landed ‘safely’ and ‘intact’ in Pakistan to be used for terrorism in the future. I had, in fact, been waiting for the media to start questioning whether the Taliban had played a role in the disappearance of the plane. And since Pakistan is globally considered synonymous with the Taliban, it was only a given that the media started wondering whether the plane had been hidden there. Even when the Tehreek-e-Taliban spokesperson denied ...

Read Full Post

Air travel: Royal treatment only if you are not Pakistani

I have realised of late that flying is no longer as enjoyable as it used to be, especially transit travel or stop-over flights. This realisation hit me recently when I travelled from London to Islamabad and had a stop-over in Dubai. The journey began well with the flight from London to Dubai well-equipped with the latest gadgets and gizmos; the air hostesses were polite and smiling; and there was a general aura of comfort and relaxation. However, this comfort did not last long and there was a world of difference in the connecting flight from Dubai to Islamabad. The plane itself was ...

Read Full Post

Did the KGB kill Zia?

This year marks the 24th death anniversary of General Ziaul Haq. His airplane called PAK-1 (Model C-130 Hercules) crashed on August 17, 1988 about five minutes after taking off from Bahawalpur (Zia had flown there to witness a US M1 Abram’s tank demonstration). Zia, due to the geopolitical circumstances, was afforded a long list of possible enmities. To put things in perspective, he had been targeted on at least six previous occasions including an especially close save form a missile fired at his plane. The broad spectrum of his enemies ranged from the Bhutto family domestically to the Red Army fighting in Afghanistan. In ...

Read Full Post

Satisfied with TV coverage of the Bhoja Air crash?

As the Bhoja Air plane went up in flames on Friday evening, so did tempers within the Pakistani social media crowd. Along with the “RIP all victims of Bhoja Air crash” status updates on Facebook, there were angry tweets questioning why television channels aired the passenger list and why images of the crash site were being aired. It seemed that it was easier for people to direct their fury at the media for being “sensational, insensitive and unethical”. Some from the media circle, however, defended the coverage and retaliated by saying that the reporters were doing their jobs. This brings to light a few ...

Read Full Post

Bhoja Air crash: We are accessories to murder

Please refrain from shedding tears or feeling remorse for the unfortunate victims of the Bhoja Air crash. As painful and heart wrenching as this episode is, I’m afraid we have no right to feel sorry or pity for the departed souls and their loved ones. This may seem harsh, but it is the truth; we are all culpable in what is brazen murder. We are the ones that are allowing these airlines to operate within our borders; we are the ones that are tolerating unethical business practices that all too frequently imply cost cutting at the expense of the public ...

Read Full Post