Kenya Airways performed a minor miracle last month! On a return trip to Mombasa both flights left on time! Was this just a fluke never to be repeated?
As always I checked in online the evening before and printed my boarding pass. The reason being that I think it is less likely that will get bumped off an over booked flight if I have already checked in and hold a boarding pass……..then again this is KQ.
I got to the airport with an our to spare before my 11.30am departure. Though the JKIA domestic terminal is still it’s old worn out self security checks were a breeze (is that a good thing?) and I was at the check in counters in no time only to find there was no bag drop for passengers who have checked in online. So I queued, though not for long as I was soon directed to the business class counter that was not too busy. I thought I would breeze through that until the check in agent told me I owed the airline 3000/- for changing my booking. I bit my tongue and calmly explained that I had gone to their sarit centre office and paid the penalty. He made several calls to some other desk, but the phone was’t picked up and seeing the growing frustration in me he waved me through………?
The departure gates have gone through a much needed face lift and more importantly there is plenty of seating available. I avoided buying my favorite coffee from the dormant stand for various reasons and this will be the subject of an up coming post on this blog.
On the way there one could not help noticing the brand new terminal that is being built to provide more passenger handling capacity at this over stretched 1970s era airport. It promises extra parking space (I can’t wait) and will also separate arriving and departing passengers ( apparently a serious security issue that prevents direct flights to and from the USA). The completion date is not too clear, but it won’t come to soon.
The 45 minute long flight was smooth and pleasant. We got our complementary tea and coffee and macadamia nuts. And soon descended into mombasa, bang on time.
Three days later days I checked in online again and printed my boarding pass. I arrived 90 minutes before my flight’s scheduled departure time of 4.40pm. The security checks were again breeze……..should we be worrying about this? Check in was slow and tedious and was no different to pulling teeth. Checking in online does not save you time on KQ.
The domestic departure lounge is large airy and functional. There is an over priced coffee shop kind of set up that is really daylight robbery, but this is the price one pays for being a ‘captive’ market. The real benefit is being able to see the few planes taxiing and taking off from Mombasa. And Ethiopian airlines did not disappoint.
We boarded the B737 flight back to Nairobi and were in the air smack bang on time, again! My previous experiences were simply awful and to enjoy a double on time performance from KQ was unbelievable. I wonder whether this will be maintained when I fly again in a few weeks time. Any one willing to make a bet???
At some point I had to arrive in Nairobi and when we did land at JKIA it was 5.30pm. The monstrous evening rush hour traffic was in full swing and waiting. By the time I got home I could have flown to Mombasa and back in the same journey time!