Islamabad, A leading Pakistani daily Friday suggested that national carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) should use as an advertisement an incident in which a woman slept through her passage to Paris and returned to Lahore on the same flight.
A tongue-in-cheek editorial in the Dawn said: “Around the world in 80 days? That is old stuff.”
“How about Lahore-Paris-Lahore in the blink of an eye or even less? Doing the first sector alone would be a dream flight for some. Doze off during take-off, sleep through the flight, wake up after landing.”
In the case of a traveller on a PIA plane to Paris, she failed to disembark at the destination, apparently sleeping through the two-hour stay at Charles de Gaulle, and returned to Lahore as the plane completed its round trip.
“PIA is not averse to offering those who fly it similar round-trip services without them having to get off, even if mostly on domestic routes. But this journey was long, and involved something as tedious and inescapable as immigration.
“Given the distance and the undeniable charm of a Parisian reception, this could well serve as yet the strongest vindication of the Lahoris’ claim about the magnetic powers of their city: once you are here, there is no running away from Lahore,” it said.
The daily said that the only matter “this leaves us to deal with includes the mundane details about an instance that the cliche-happy must describe as a ‘wake-up call’ of some sort”.
“PIA has been prompt in announcing that, apart from voluntary alighting whenever possible, a subcontractor is responsible for disembarkation at Paris. It managed to resend the returned passenger by another airline and says those found guilty of the oversight will have to foot the bill for the extra Paris-Lahore leg,” it said.
“That’s all okay but with a bit of imagination, the national carrier could use the incident as an advertisement for greater business.
“Which airline in this highly competitive and often bumpy world is so caring and comfortable that it makes the travellers go into a deep slumber that they don’t want to come out of too soon?
“No prizes for guessing.”