PM Nawaz Sharif’s family’s protocol is never ending. It was faced with an embarrassing situation on board a flight to London on September 16, 2014 when the captain of the aircraft refused to allow one of their maids to be bumped up to Business Class from Economy.
The incident took place on the Lahore-London PIA flight. One also wonders as to why Maryam Nawaz was going to London. One can only hope that not to attend the UN General Assembly meeting in New York as she has no concern with that meeting.
A maid was travelling along with Maryam Nawaz and her family to London. The maid’s ticket was purchased for Economy Class, but, once on board the aircraft, the premier’s daughter had the flight crew bump up her up to Business.
Following directions, the PIA cabin crew seated the woman in Business Class. The person sitting next to the maid was a senior Pakistani bureaucrat — and the official protested (initially not knowing that the maid worked for the premier’s family’s entourage) and approached the aircraft’s captain to complain when the cabin crew did not move the woman back to Economy. Ironically, the senior bureaucrat himself had been upgraded from Economy to Business.
When the matter reached him, the captain disallowed the move, despite it being the premier’s daughter. Interestingly, the senior bureaucrat was not sent back to Economy.
When initially approached to comment on the incident on Wednesday, PIA spokesperson Mashhood Tajwar said that no such incident had taken place.
The incident follows close on the heels of the dramatic expulsion of two parliamentarians from a Karachi-Islamabad flight by angry passengers. The passengers had faced a long delay and believed that the delay was due to the flight being made to wait for the VIPs’ arrival. Footage of the incident was uploaded by some of the passengers and went viral on social media.
PIA and the parliamentarians both held that the delay was due to a technical fault.