By: AMRAIZ KHAN
LAHORE: A cabin staffer of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) harassed a female passenger who was travelling alone from Manchester to Lahore, by getting her cell number deceitfully, however, on her husband’s complaint, the airlines management suspended the crew and started probe into the incident, a document available with The Nation revealed.
The husband of the female passenger, a resident of Glasgow, Scotland, wrote a letter to the PIA MD and informed him of the gravity of the issue. The letter speaks: “Dear MD, I would like to inform you and your company of the unbelievable and truly disrespectful manner in which an employee of PIA has behaved with my wife. On August 23, 2013, I drove my wife to the Manchester airport from where she flew to Pakistan (Lahore) on flight number PK-71O at 4:45PM. She was travelling alone and we preferred PIA as it is a direct flight and I thought it would be easy for her as she is not used to flying.”
The letter further says: “She landed at Lahore airport on time and everything was fine. On 26th of August at l7.4Opm, I received a message from a Pakistan number on my phone in the UK from a person who calls himself Irfan from PIA. He was asking me personal questions and it did not fit as I am a married man and have never spoken to him before. I have attached a screen shot of what he was saying as well as his picture which he had on his profile.
The letter adds: “I was in complete shock and anger, but at this stage I thought this was some sort of joke being played, so I dialled the number to check if it really was a male person. He responded and I began to get information from him as he thought he was speaking to my wife. He began to tell me how he saw my wife in the departure lounge and what seat she was sitting in. He also said he was unable to speak to her as he was in the business class section of the plane. The most worrying part of this is that he asked me, thinking that he was talking to my wife, when I will be travelling back to the UK so that he could be on the same flight. He also said that he does not know “me” (my wife) and has never met me (my wife) before.”
“I asked him how he got my number. The answer I feel is the most shocking. My wife was told to fill in a comment card, which she did. She did not mention her address and phone number on it, initially. The flight attendant returned to my wife and asked her to enter her address and phone number on the comment card. I think she gave our UK address and gave my phone number. Irfan from PIA then decided to take this information to use it for his own personal benefit. This is absolutely disrespectful and unprofessional behaviour from your employee. He has used the information, provided in confidence to PIA, for his personal gain. This is most shocking and has seriously dented my confidence in PIA and your ability to keep confidential and private information. As you are an international airline, this inability to keep personal information confidential must not be tolerated.”
The letter further says: “He went on to say that he resides in Iqbal Town, Lahore, is 30-year-old and wants to meet my wife in Lahore. It shatters trust of mine and my family in PIA. We cannot tolerate this type of behaviour and I am actually very concerned about this man being on the return flight after he said he would make special arrangements. I have also now checked with Emirates Airlines for availability as I do not want to take the risk of his being there.” The letter concludes: “In all honesty, sir, I have never experienced anything like this before, especially not when it happens from a company like PIA. I am truly disappointed and concerned about the safety of my wife on the return flight.”
The PIA spokesman said the airlines management had taken the issue seriously, suspended Irfan with immediate effect and formed an inquiry committee to probe the issue. The committee would report within seven days.