It was a breakthrough when the ticketing and confirmation system of the national airlines was changed to an online system. This step was welcomed by common travellers. This process halted the unnecessary torture that included going to the booking office a day before and looking for someone who knows you so that you could get your ticket confirmed for the next day. As I was very happy with the changes in the system, I got a confirmed ticket for Gilgit from Islamabad a few months before my actual travelling date. Out of curiosity, I checked my PNR and was shocked to see that the PNR was invalid. My travel dates were tight and I was not in a position to expect anything like this especially when I booked the ticket a month earlier.
Driven by desperation, I tried to get a new ticket for the same date and called the airlines calling centre. The staff told me that not a single seat was available on the date. However, they kindly advised me to contact the booking office regarding my original ticket. I did as I was told and luckily had a confirmed ticket for the required date. I was happy and managed to board the plane for my flight to Gilgit. What shocked me was the fact that at least 10 of the seats were vacant. Maybe they were reserved for the agents who could get you tickets with some extra money. This happened in the month of August, which is considered to be an important month for tourism. The poor people of the area are tired of calling the booking office and being told that no seats are available. My request to the officials is to take notice of this situation so that public could get some benefit from our national airline.
Raja Shahid Ali (Danyor)