Review of Korean Air flight Seoul Nairobi in Economy

Airline Korean Air
Flight KE 959
Class Economy
Seat 51H
Aircraft Airbus A330-200
Flight time 14:10
Take-off 26 Jun 13, 21:20
Arrival at 27 Jun 13, 05:30
KE   #17 out of 141 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 123 reviews
CH
By 2963
Published on 9th December 2015
photo untitled
KE 959 ICN-NBO (Seoul/Incheon->Nairobi/Jomo Kenyatta)
DEP ICN 26 JUN 2013 21:20
ARR NBO 26 JUN 2013 05:30
Flight Duration: 14:10
Aircraft: A330-200

photo 1
Flight route map courtesy of www.flightaware.com

I had to get back to the states mid-June of 2013, so I looked for a best possible route that would enable me to stopover in Kenya and also be cost effective. I had some friends in Nairobi currently doing humanitarian works that I wanted to visit, plus it would be my first time ever being in Africa. I decided to use mileage from Korean Air to book ICN-NBO route and book separately through Emirates from NBO to JFK through DXB.
This itinerary would mark my first time in Africa so I was a little worried about my personal safety to be honest, but it turned out to be a fairly safe trip overall.
Korean Air flight KE 959, tonight's flight, would be departing from Seoul/Incheon Airport at local time 9:20PM, arriving into Nairobi/Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at local time 5:30AM. My friend who was currently living in the area came to pick me up from the airport when I arrived.

*As of mid-2014, this flight has been discontinued indefinitely by Korean Air. I suspect that poor load factor contributed to the airline's decision to pull out from the route. If you read through this trip report, you can see that my flight was not even 50% full.

photo 133
Since it was late in the evening, there weren't really a lot of people in the Seoul/Incheon Airport. This picture was taken on the Asiana Airlines side of the main terminal, because the passport control/security check points C and D (on Korean Air side) were closed at the time.
photo 134
I was headed straight toward Gate 24 where my Nairobi-bound flight would be departing from.
photo 136
Here is the A330-200 that would take me to Nairobi. This plane just came in from Changsha, China.
photo 138a
As soon as got to the gate they were readying for boarding process to begin.
photo 139a
Most of the passengers were tourists from Korea/Japan/China going to Kenya or other African countries.
photo 141photo 144photo 145
The business class section of the Korean Air A330-200.
photo 146a
Believe it or not, I was one of the last ones to board the plane. A lot of empty seats around here!
photo 147a
My seat was located at one of the last rows of this plane.
photo 149
Absolutely no one was seated here. I basically had the whole section of the plane to myself!
photo 150
My seat 51H, on the window side.
photo 151
The aircraft main entry door was just closed. Still no one. It definitely felt weird.
photo 152
See ya later Korea!
photo 153
14 hour 30 min flight to Nairobi.
I think this flight was one of the longest route with A330-200 before being discontinued.
photo 155
The flight tonight would be crossing over Chinese airspace for first third of the flight.
photo 156
During the safety information demonstration.
photo 157
Flight attendants eventually offered seats in the back section of the plane to the economy class passengers in the front.
photo 158
Taxiing toward runway 33R.
photo 160
Watching Wall-E.
photo 163photo 164photo 165
After taking off toward north, the plane immediately turned toward west.
photo 166
Peanuts and tissues were distributed. The flight attendant told me to take as much peanuts as I please, so I ended up taking five.
photo 168a
And the dinner service was started (and ended quickly).
photo 169
The choices were beef stew and Korean style seafood Bibimbap. I chose the beef dish.
photo 170
The beef was cooked well, but my favorite was the potato slices and the creamy sauce that came with them. The dessert was a carrot cake, and the salad contained mixed vegetables with ham slices.
photo 171
At that time we were crossing over Beijing airspace.
photo 172
The plane followed a typical route that followed the pattern of Korea-Beijing flights.
photo 173a
Kenya Immigration forms were distributed shortly after the first meal services.
photo 174
The cabin lights started to dim down and the interior eventually become dark.
photo 175
Perhaps in the countryside near Beijing?

The mood lighting of this plane reminded me of Boeing Sky Interior.
photo 180
I was hungry again after an hour, so I asked the flight attendant if she had any extra food to offer. She kindly replied if I wanted beef, the seafood or both.
I decided to go for the Korean style seafood, a common Korean dish called Nakji Bokeum (????), which contained octopus.
photo 181
She had to heat up the rice, so after 10 minutes, my Nakji Bokeum meal arrived.
photo 182
This would be my first time having this dish aboard Korean Air. Normally the airline would serve Bibimbap, but sometimes the menu get changed around according to seasons.
photo 183
The way to eat this dish is to pour all the rice and red seafood sauce onto the big bowl and mix 'em all up.
photo 185
Not a huge fan of an octopus dish, but this meal was actually pretty good! The sauce made up for it.
photo 191
The last scene of 'Django Unchained', with a badass ending.
photo 192photo 194
Around this time the plane was nearing middle of China.
photo 202
After sleeping for one or two hours, I woke up to a severe turbulence. We were just crossing over the Himalayas.
photo 203
Judging by the route map we were halfway there to Kenya.
photo 204
The turbulence was one of the most severe I've felt. It felt like the clouds were shoving/pushing the plane up and down 100 ft. Pictures and words don't do justice.
photo 205
There were lightening thunders everywhere.
photo 213
After passing through the clouds, the turbulence finally ended. The plane lowered altitude and raised the speed.
photo 237
And after taking another nap, I woke up again when the plane was about 2-3 hours from entering Kenyan airspace.
photo 240
We were flying over Yemen.

The cabin mood lighting brightened in time for the second meal service.
photo 246photo 247
2 hours and 18 minutes to landing.
photo 248
Hot towels are always provided before the second meal service on Korean Air's long haul flights.
photo 249
Thanks to the USB charger power outlet, I was able to charge my iphone.
photo 250
Korean style rice porridge 'juk' and omelettes were offered. I chose the latter.
photo 251
The egg omelette were presented with potato hash browns and breakfast sausage, which was laid on top of baked beans. Fruits, yogurt, and croissants were also served along the main dish.
photo 252
The baked beans under the sausage.
photo 254
After the breakfast services, I walked around the aircraft to stretch a little.

Cabin lights dimmed in preparation for arrival.
photo 264
Landing into the airport from the north would have enabled me to see parts of Nairobi but the plane instead flew a bit south of the city and approached Jomo Kenyatta Airport from the south.
photo 265
KE A330 skycam showing NBO runway lights.
photo 266photo 267
Flight attendants were making final rounds of check before being seated for landing.
photo 269
And Nairobi/Jomo Kenyatta Airport runway was clearly visible.
photo 272photo 273photo 274
We landed a bit ahead of schedule at 4:55AM local time. The weather outside was chilly.
photo 275
We taxied to the main terminal after landing.
photo 276photo 277photo 279
Kenya Airways' B737
photo 280
The plane arrived into Jomo Kenyatta Airport's Gate 9.
photo 284photo 286
Disembarking
photo 287aphoto 288
It took no more than 5 minutes for everyone to disembark the aircraft.
photo 289
Given the fact that the plane was so empty, I could've definitely snuck into one of the business class seats.
photo 290
First step on the African soil.
photo 291photo 292
There were some duty free shops with Korean writings on them.
photo 294
This is the Kenya Airport Terminal concourse from the inside.
photo 295a
Following the signs can take you to the immigration customs.
photo 296
And you can take this passageway toward the immigration customs building (which was badly damaged due to fire on August 2013, couple months after I was there).
photo 297
Passageway to Immigrations. This walkway reminds me of New York/JFK Airport Terminal 5 building.
photo 298
Immigration Customs Area
photo 300
There weren't really anybody here since it was early in the morning. A Korean Air agent was there to guide each passengers.
photo 301
I paid 20USD cash and received On-Arrival Visa here.
photo 302photo 304
Baggage claim area was downstairs after passing through customs.
photo 307
Baggage claim area, where taxi drivers were offering me to drive to Nairobi city.
photo 308
I went outside right after getting my bags, politely ignoring offers from the taxi drivers.
photo 309photo 310
I found my friend waiting for me outside.

Overall, it was an unique experience. I have never before ridden a wide-body aircraft long-haul flight that was basically empty. But the flight was nonetheless smooth and relaxing and I was excited to explore a new country for a couple days before heading back to the US.

Thank you for reading my trip reports!
More of my trip reports are available in my blog:
www.flightsinsider.blogspot.com
See more

Verdict

Korean Air

10.0/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi10.0
Meal/catering10.0

Seoul - ICN

9.2/10
Efficiency9.5
Access8.5
Services9.5
Cleanliness9.5

Nairobi - NBO

6.1/10
Efficiency6.5
Access6.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness6.0

Conclusion

Related

7 Comments

Login to post a comment.