PIA collecting 'no-show' charges for late check - in

DUBAI — Passengers of an airline operating locally allege they are being charged a hefty sum for checking in late at the airport.

By Asma Ali Zain And Criselda E. Diala

Published: Fri 6 Apr 2007, 9:28 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:37 AM

Some of the passengers traveling to Pakistan on the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) have said they had been charged up to Dh250 for arriving later than the designated reporting time for check-in. The passengers were reportedly informed by the airline officials that this was a 'no-show'" charge.

However, an industry source with more 20 years of experience in the travel industry in Dubai, said the passengers could check in even an hour before the flight's departure as long as the airline’s check-in counter was still open.

The industry source added: "Most airlines require passengers to check in at least three hours before the scheduled departure so as to have ample time for baggage handling and other pre-departure procedures. But passengers can still check in as long as the counter is open. They need not be charged for checking in late," he said.

"I have been flying on this particular airline for a long time, but I have never had to pay any money for arriving late for the check-in," said Mohammed A, who recently flew to Karachi from Dubai.

"As long as the check-in counter remains open, I see no reason for any fine. According to my information, the 'no-show' charges can be implemented only after one misses the flight," Mohammed A pointed out.

Another passenger said that despite the "no-show" charge, their flight was delayed. "The officials claimed they were charging this money to ensure that the flight took off on time. However, the flight I was travelling on was delayed by an hour's time," he added.

When contacted, PIA officials said such charges were being applied by all major airlines in the region. An official of the airline said: "This is not a new rule as it has been there for the past one year. This is done because some people do not take the time factor into consideration. On our side, we have to undertake several procedures, including security checks and baggage handling so that the flight can take off on time," he noted.

The airline does try to take in as many passengers as possible before the departure, the PIA official explained. "But if the passengers check in late with loads of baggage, then we do not allow them to board the flight as this would delay the departure," he said.

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