PIA’s New App is a Small Step in the Right Direction [Review]

Pakistan International Airlines has officially released stable versions of its smartphone apps. It aims to offer customers access to information while they are on-the-go.

The beta version of these smartphone apps were announced back in November last year and the developers have been hard at work to fix the bugs.

Let’s take a look at what the app offers and how it can be improved.

Design

While the app has clearly moved out of beta, the app icon seems like it’s from the 90s and the screenshots being used in the Play Store page are from older versions of the app. It’s a minor gripe but first impressions are important.

Once the app is opened, you are greeted with a splash screen followed by a login page. However, signing in is not necessary and users can log in as guests and continue using the app.

The apps interface is pretty straightforward. It doesn’t comply with modern design guidelines (like Material Design), but it’s still a functional implementation as everything is neatly placed at the app’s starting screen.

The hamburger menu more or less links to the same app pages that are shown on the main screen. We can’t help but think that it could have been better utilized though.

We did like the animations on the app, which are certainly a step up from what we usually see from similar official apps in Pakistan.

Features

PIA’s app is clearly targeted towards the customers who either need information on flights or are frequent flyers with the airline.

Using the app, customers can get information on:

  • Flight Schedules,
  • Prices,
  • Services,

Users can also use the app to manage their flights. Access to PIA’s rewards program is also available.

Passengers can provide feedback on their experience during a flight with the app. New users can use the apps FAQ section for basic queries as well.

Even though PIA’s app covers all the basics in terms of features, its implementation leaves a lot to be desired.

We noticed that most of the buttons on the apps lead to PIA’s website. Normally this is ok in many apps, given that those mobile URL links are perfectly optimized for touchscreen input. PIA’s app sadly lacks properly optimized webpage links for touchscreens. This could’ve been handled a lot better.

Download

The PIA app is available for download via the following links:

Google Play Store for Android,

PIA states that an iOS version of the app is on the way.

Concluding Remarks

Most smartphone users who fly often using PIA would certainly appreciate the airline’s move to launch its own app which can enable them to access information on the go. However, lazy implementation of the app’s user interface doesn’t cut it in this day and age. Especially considering that PIA is already losing customers to foreign airlines which have a much better presence online and on smartphones. Such small steps could help in increasing passenger loyalty.

One would think that after testing the app for nearly seven months, the developers would have ironed out all issues and made the app more usable following user feedback on the app stores. Clearly, not much effort was made in that regard.

We certainly hope the developers pick up the pace since the app has been officially made public now. All they need to do is present results in a more readable and manageable manner on smartphones.

He is the Editor-in-Chief at ProPakistani. Reach out at aadil.s[at]propakistani.pk


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