Not many people who travel through Pakistan’s oldest national carrier are aware of their Awards+PLUS Frequent Flyer Programme because there hasn’t been much publicity from PIA recently. Even those who know about it do not avail this opportunity to fly for free or less and that’s because they book their flights through conventional travel agents and don’t really go into details of how this works.
I’ll just give you a few examples and explain why you should start earning every single A+ mile you can from your FFP (Frequent Flyer Programme).
How to subscribeUnlike most airlines all over the world PIA doesn’t have an automatic way of registering to their FFP. They’re still using old ways. You need to go to http://www.piaawards.com/pia/AddMemberNew.aspx and fill out a form. Once done, you’ll receive an acknowledgement on email with an enrollment reference number in it.
A Typical PIA welcome emailDear XYZ,
We would like to extend a very warm welcome to our PIA Awards +Plus Family. Thank you for taking the time to fill in our application form – your membership request has been received and is currently under process. Your new enrollment Ref no is xxxxxx. Due to a high volume of applications, please be aware that processing can take up to seven working days – your patience while we do our utmost to accelerate your request is much appreciated.
Then wait for their next email in which they’ll send you your FF number with a password that you can use to login and PIN which you need to verify your identity whenever you call PIA’s contact center to avail services against your membership. Once you login, you can see 500 miles as welcome bonus in your account. After your first travel activity you’ll get Emerald card posted to you at your registered address.
A+ TiersThere are three membership tiers depending on frequency of your travelling with PIA.
30,000/25MILES / TRIPS in calendar year
* not applicable on USA/Canada trips
70,000/50MILES / TRIPS in calendar year
* not applicable on US/Canada trips
Unlike registration process which is manual, you will be automatically upgraded once you have accumulated enough miles for certain tier. Once earned, a status is valid for minimum of one year.
Sapphire and Diamond memberships can be bought as well. You can pay Rs. 45,000 or USD 500 and upgrade yourself to Sapphire tier. For Diamond, you need to pay Rs. 90,000 or USD 1000. However, this is only beneficial for one who travels a lot and if someone is already travelling too much on PIA, he would earn these memberships by just flying.
Earning A+ Miles
A+ miles can be earned only through flying with PIA. Currently, there is no other way. PIA used to have a partnership with Standard Chartered where SCB was offering PIA co-branded debit card with following properties:
- upto 15% discount on PIA flights
- one A+ mile per Rs. 100 spending via POS transactions anywhere
- complimentary Diamond AwardPlus membership
However, when I called SCB to check, their CSR told me that it has been discontinued. They haven’t removed this from their website yet.
Number of miles you earn for specific flights can be calculated using PIA’s mileage calculator. Fill in the origin, destination and class, and it will show you the number of miles you would earn for each type of membership.
A+ miles can also be purchased if you fall short on miles required for your award flight. However, you must have at least 50% of required miles for certain destination. The balance miles can be bought at Rs. 1.50 per mile for Pakistani residents and 2.5 cents for overseas residents.
Redeeming A+ Miles
PIA has zone-based redemption and all destinations are divided into 5 zones. All domestic destinations lie in zone 1. Which means same number of A+ would be required for ISB-KHI and ISB-LHE flights regardless of distance.
A+ miles can be redeemed in three possible ways:
- Excess Baggage
PIA has increased the miles required for redemption of flights starting from 1st Feb 2017. The following table shows the latest redemption prices:
A maximum of 3 stop-overs are allowed in an Award itinerary. First stop-over is FREE, the second and third stop-overs costs 5000 A+ miles for International and 3000 A+ miles for domestic.
PIA defines a stop-over as a stay in certain city for more than 24 hours. This is an inexpensive way of covering more than one destinations in one ticket. For example, if you want to fly from Islamabad to Toronto but also have some relatives you want to meet in Karachi before you depart for Toronto, you may fly from ISB to KHI and then KHI to YYZ (Toronto) after spending a few days in KHI. The ISB-KHI leg would be completely free and KHI-YYZ would cost you 54,000 miles for oneway and 90,000 for roundtrip flight.
You can upgrade from Economy to Business class using miles, the table shows A+ miles needed for normal revenue ticket (classes Y, H, K and M). For discounted classes (N and T) 25% more miles are required and for deeply discounted classes (V, U, L, I and O) 50% more miles are required for upgrades.
Rather than paying extra cash for excess baggage, you can use miles to do that.
Terms and Conditions
No show charges
If you miss your flight for some reason after booking your flight using A+ miles, you can get your miles back after paying little penalty.
- 1000 miles or Rs. 1500 (USD 25) for domestic flights
- 2000 miles of Rs. 3000 (USD 50) for international flights
Changed planned destination? You can do that within same zone .after paying charges of 1000 miles or Rs. 1500 (USD 25).
A+ miles can only be credited for code-share flights if the boarding pass is issued by PIA.
Got questions or suggestions? Use comments section.