Islamabad Airport

Customer Reviews

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Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 41 reviews
5/10
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Islamabad Airport customer review

Arrival at this airport was a fairly long and drawn out experience queuing for painfully slow officialdom to take place. Coming back home very much the same owing to Gulf Air flight delay had a five hour wait in a very uncomfortable lounge. A good tip though is to get in to the first class lounge next to the shop that sells the souvenirs. It costs about four quid is dark quiet and has lots of very comfy sofas to sleep on (it was 2am) flight info and even a cup of tea and some very nice cakes for breakfast. Other than that this airport is a total nightmare!
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Islamabad Airport customer review

I recently visited Islamabad airport after almost three years. I was hoping that things should have been improved a little bit over the past few years but I was disappointed to notice that nothing much has changed. Even we are in the 21century and every time I landed ISB airport I feel like I have travel back in time. Keeping in mind that ISB is the capital one would expect a better standard of facilities and services. This is the main contact point for the country with the outside world and the airport does not give a pretty picture for someone visiting the city airport for the first time. The airport building itself is so small that it cannot handle more than two or three flights at a time. I landed ISB airport late night. There were already few other commercial flights on the ground so I expected a rush inside the building. The minute we touch down the runway almost everyone switched on their mobile phones even the steward request clearly not to switch on the phones until plane is topped. As a result the whole cabin sounds like a mobile shop and customers testing their new toys. Eventually the plane stopped and we were taken to the terminal building in a bus. The bus drop you right outside the immigration lounge and everyone just run toward the door. I believe the main reason is that public knows how long it would take them should they decide to let everyone go first and that is the mistake I made. I was last in the immigration queue. Immigration officers have started taking USA style pictures at the counters before they stamp your passport and let you go into the next hurdle. I joined the existing queue and it took almost an hour before I could reach the immigration counter. Then everyone just rush to collect their luggage. There are not more than four luggage conveyer belts in total but only two were operational at that time. I managed to collect the baggage after half an hour and then it needs to be scanned again by the customs. It does not matter whatever the size of your luggage or suitcase they ask everyone to put their luggage on the scan belt. There seems to be no rules or regulations to follow and no one seemed to be interested to differentiating between passengers with just one hand luggage and a passenger with five suitcases. It seems that the immigration officer are not capable to judge that it is rather impossible to carry a TV stereo or any similar electronic item in a small bag. Eventually I came out and faced by people who wanted to carry my luggage including porters in uniform as well as taxi drivers acting as porters. One of them even pushed my bags without even asking me and expecting me that I would follow him to his taxi. Upon return to the airport same people try to push my bags and force fully tries to take luggage to the airport terminal. They will not even ask you to where I am flying? They just push luggage and expect me to take the lead once in the airport building. Passing through the security was simple but then I was welcomed (or should I say challenged) by the customs. The custom officer wanted to see inside my luggage without even asking me any questions. Once I pass though that then my luggage was put through the scanner and again another custom officer asked me to open my luggage again. If only I knew what they were looking for I could have told them. Then I get in the check-in queue. The facilities were not up to international standard at all as one would expect adequate level of service at an international check in desk. The whole set up is of poor quality as well as the building and surroundings are old and not very well maintained. Toilet facilities are not clean and up to international standards. People including staff shouting at each other across the terminal building. Most of the signs are in English keeping in mind that some of the passengers might not be able to read English. As a result passengers asking each other to which check in desk to approach and queue? Eventually I checked in my luggage and was sent upstairs in the lounge after passing through the immigration. Duty free is non-existent as compared to other international airports. The shops are of old style and looks like small stalls stuffed with local ornaments due to the size of the shop. The goods are over priced as compared to outside in the market. In essence there is no concept of duty free. There are waiters roaming on the floor asking passengers for tea coffee or sandwiches etc. I do not even get to see where the restaurant is? So cannot tell who is cooking what? And whether anyone is monitoring any standard of cleanliness in the cooking area? All in all it was an experience that I will remember for a while. Islamabad desperately needs another airport of international standard as the current airport was mainly designed to handle a small number of passengers with domestic flights. The airport itself gives a poor impression to any new passengers arriving to the Capital city. I heard that the Civil Aviation Authority are planning to construct a new airport building though I have also heard that works is yet to start!
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Islamabad Airport customer review

This is one of the most irritating airports I have ever been for a capital city gateway. Arrivals on an emirates flight from Dubai was efficient albeit using buses to the terminal followed by a slow sometimes torturous process of being checked through immigration. Each passenger seemed to take 3 minutes to process and there were over 100 people. The bag conveyer was extremely slow to progress to our bags so we had to endure the double irritation of waiting with the passengers from the flight which arrived after us until they had collected all of theirs. All of this at 2.30am. Customs was a matter of loading bags through ancient x-ray machines but we were waved through to the green channel. Outside was bedlam but with people to greet us we felt better for having survived the enduring entry process inside the airport. On Departures first comes the security check as soon as you enter. These guys don't have much of a sense of humour. Then you are allowed to check in. After this you through 2 security checkpoints before you reach the transit lounge. Expect these checks to be intensive. The departure lounge is barren - a lonely shop sits in a corner calling itself duty free but has all sorts of odd bits and pieces inside that it looks like more of a quaint village shop or a stall at a school fete. Passengers are expected to sit for two hours in this dismal hall but at least there is a tea and sandwich lady who comes around to sell you something to eat and drink. After this stint in the Islamabad isolation cell passengers are herded once again onto badly air conditioned buses for the trip to the plane. You certainly know that you are alive again once you are on board - it was a different world.
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Islamabad Airport customer review

Things must have got better since July 2005 certainly from a public relations point of view. I found the staff and my fellow passengers very friendly there was little in the way of queue jumping and there weren't any mechanical faults with the luggage conveyors. I'd agree that the Rawal lounge is worth spending the little bit extra it costs to use if only because it's the last call before you start your long journey proper and you may as well be comfortable as you face the seemingly inevitable delay in boarding times. The new airport will be a welcome addition to the city because this airport is tired and lacking in the sort of facilities that would normally be taken for granted in an airport of this size. All in all not the prettiest airport I've ever been through but certainly not the most inefficient or unpleasant.
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Islamabad Airport customer review

If you research inefficiency you can conduct the majority of your field research at ISB. Airline staff are frequently rude and non- caring good luck getting your frequent flier mileage credited (always check at your onward airport to ensure mileage credit when flying from ISB). Immigration and Customs have been good to me. Pakistanis seem to have no concept of a queue so it is often a mad rush to board and exit aircraft. Spend the extra ££ to use the Rawal Lounge it is well worth the expense.
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Islamabad Airport customer review

I have used Islamabad airport on numerous occasions and it is never fun. On arrival from abroad I find the immigration staff reasonably efficient. It is downhill from there. The luggage belts do not have the capacity to handle all the luggage from a full international flight. I have seen baggage falling off and the belt jamming. And of course every passenger just has to push anybody in the way. Having retrieved your baggage Pakistani passengers find that the Green channel is purely for "foreigners" i.e. those who appearance does not indicate Pakistani roots. I have never been able to go through without being stopped and asked to take the other route - where everything is scanned just in case you decided to bring a television or airconditioner in your suitcase. No one has ever checked my luggage tags to see if they match the luggage. You exist to be hustled by people eager to help you take your luggage to your car. I don't actualy mind this too much as they are poor. When leaving the city there are the inevitable customs checks whose primary aim appears to be cash generation. The check in queues are staff by the genetically slow (I have taken 2.5 hours to check in). One reason for this is that several international flights are scheduled within a few hours. This saves on the time that ground staff have to be paid but results in utter chaos for passengers. Even worse than the waiting is the tendancy for check in staff to let friends relatives and payers jump the queues. Complaining about this to a more senior person results in a piece of set drama where the counter staff is told off. Nothing actually changes though. Immigration and security are usually quite professional and the lounge is fine. In summary it is not so much the airport facilities that are the problem; it is the unnacountable staff. A new airport may help but will not cure the disease.
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Islamabad Airport customer review

I couldn't agree more with Mr Azhar. I spent more than two hours in the queue in the early morning after the flight from Dubai. The airport is messy and too small including the parking lot. One of the worst airport I have ever seen.
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Islamabad Airport customer review

The Rawal Lounge is really nice. Its cosy and tastefully decorated. I would definitely recommend it to passengers who have to check in 3 to 4 hours before their flight.
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Islamabad Airport customer review

At least once every three months I end up at Islamabad Airport as an international passenger. It is simply a night mare going through this airport. The size is not the problem it’s the people working and hanging around the airport. The new bigger airport will be bigger problem for the passengers. With correct education and management the current airport is sufficient. An immigration officer to stamp an entry stamp on Pakistani passport takes 1 hour to deal with 7 to 10 passengers as he/she is forced to use some sort of database. Their typing speed is about 1 character per 40 sec provided they are undistracted by relatives arriving same day. While departing for each passenger there is change over of 10 counter staff before you are issued with boarding pass. In simple words no point of building a new airport.
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Islamabad Airport customer review

The worst airport terminal I've experienced! and this is the nations capital! I was going on to Manchester UK and PIA had quoted me a four hour check-in and others 5 hours. From arriving to entering the departure lounge took 1 1/2 hours. Is it really going to be four or five years before the new terminal is complete?
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