1/ MRS – AMS: Air France, AF1820, Economy: no report 2/ AMS – LHR : KLM, KL1021, EBC (C), published here 3/ LHR – NBO : Kenya Airways, Premier World (J), you are here 4/ NBO – JNB : Kenya Airways, Premier World (J), coming soon 5/ JNB – NBO : Kenya Airways, Premier World (J), coming soon 6/ NBO – AMS: KLM, World Business Class (J), coming soon 7/ AMS – MRS: Air France, AF1807, Economy: no report
This sector represented my 3rd (well, 4th if you include AMS after the withdrawal of their 77Ws) intercontinental route on KQ's Dreamliner. I used to travel back and forth regularly a few years ago on KQ101/2 services in cattle class! So with a heart full of nostalgia ;-) i tried to find my way to the departure level ! I couldn't go through the automated self-service barriers as i don't hold a biometric passport ! Thankgod i deplanned first hence other lanes were deserted !
No need to go landside anymore for smokers
For next 2h15 - 2h30 lay over the plan would be like this :
* having an aperitif * Spotting at the new observation deck * Staying fit with yoga exercises ;-) * Sending some mails * Taking a shower * Enjoying a Clarins treatment
Apart from the spotting (At night and with amateur gears) and the yoga session others items were ticked off !
Lounge layout plan
Upon entering, i informed the cute Polish receptionist that i would leave and come back here several times in what she did agree. She advised to book the treatment right now even if there were many vacancies. 5:40 pm fitted perfectly in my schedule. In the mean time i went to check again the features of the greatest Skyteam lounge (Maybe the newest Hong Kong is on par with this one).
The upper level, smaller than the main one, was mostly occupied by venerable Kenyan Veterans of the World War 2 and the accompanying escort :
I guess the protocol welcomed the group here due to their respectable age as they did not travel in Premier World. The staff were running like headless chicken to deal with their requests !
Despite the time, many seats could be chosen from, moreover tasty cold and hot food on display was in abundance. However i kept my appetite for the dinner in flight !
I had to cancel the visit of the spotting deck due to a lengthy and interesting chat with a very tactful staff !
Looking towards the self service buffet
The TV lounge has replaced the Yoga room that doesn't exist anymore
A wine bar yes, but no champagne, just sparkling wine !
My minor rant is on the shower amenities where one can not find any (even basic) moisturising cream like it's widely available in the Star Alliance Lounge or elsewhere ! Fortunately when i shared the issue during the facial massage to Anaïs – a French lady from Brittany - she gave away enough Clarins Men Super Moisture Balm samples to rehydrate my dry skin until the next shower. Very thoughtful, merci beaucoup Mademoiselle !
A limited choice compared to the BA Elemis Spa
At 6:00 pm i made my way to gate 8 at a short distance where boarding was underway ! Inside the jetbridge a disappointing news invaded me. The journey would happen « again » with 5Y - KZA that i had nonetheless the pleasure to fly from Paris last year. 1 out of 9 chance - bu**er ! For the consolation it would be on a different seat lol !
KQ's first Dreamliner delivered in April 2014 – The Great Rift Valley
Greeted in Kiswahili for the first time by a well groomed male in his thirties i turned left at the door 2L. Arrived among the lasts, i could not stow my belongings on the overhead bins above my seat or at the first row because of the pilot rest area above the middle seats and the storage area used by the cabin crew for newspapers, pouches, blankets etc above the 1 A&C seat !
There are two business class cabins on this 787, the main one located upfront accomodates 18 travellers and the second behind the galley welcomes 12 passengers.
Here are some technical informations :
=> Flat bed with a length of 190 cm => Seat width 78,7 cm => Screen size of 39 cm with AVOD => Seat back can recline at 176°
The best selection could be a seat, not at the first row of both cabins as the touchscreen TV are smaller, not at the second cabin as upon boarding you may be bother by the Economy passengers walking down the aisle and staring at you !
The crew offered a welcome drink with a choice of Elexium champagne, Del Monte apple or orange juice and Dasani water and my seat mate ; a weird Nigerian business man appeared to be quite rude, as he was still on phone with his wife while we were taxiing !
The captain came into the blower for the usual talk and added that he and his team, on behalf of Kenya Airways, are extremely honoured to bring back home the Nationals Heroes and Veterans of World War 2. The entire cabin applauded at the end of the speech for having such living memories from a country where life expectancy is 65 years old for female (62 for male) !
Not long after, the cabin crew handed over the menu (why has the breakfast page vanished since on the menu one can now find a blank page before the end), some quality noise-cancelling headphones and we were given newspapers or weekly magazines like the Times. As usual The East African, will suffice for now !
A classic F-28 anyone?
Westerly take off on time in silence thanks to those GEnex engines. I've noticed over the time that KQ crew don't give a dam about switching on the route map on the wall mounted screens ! So pity especially at the first row !
At around 14 000 feet, over the Channel, an all Kenyan cabin crew began his customary duties:
* A hot and thick oshibori * The usual mixed nuts “Out of Africa” * A full bar service
Whilst we enjoyed one or a few rounds of drink, a cute F/A came to take the order also she frequently topped up the glass. The Nigerian dude dropped down by mistake his glass half full it but did not break up on the relatively new carpet. He did tardily apologize with a mere « sorry » and continued normally his game on the IFE!
The new champagne Exelium was fine, but not as intense as the Moet Chandom served in the old days ( visible on the drink menu… if you can notice the bottle… ;-) ) !
Hot oshibori with KQ logo
Mixed nuts served in a ramekin
KQ's intercontinental standard menu consists of :
- As starter : A fish or chicken option plus a vegetarian option - As main : a meat/fish/chicken option or light snack plus Asian specialties - To finish : Kenyan Farmhouse cheeses, a fruit platter and a cake/pastry
Let's check today's choice :
Fish platter : simple and tasty
The lamb rack was the best meal ever eaten on plane
These cheeses did not please my palate
I forced myself to tour the busy J cabin and discovered a visually good load factor, just 3 seats left in the main and 2 in the rear cabin ! ( 25 pax/ 30 seats)
Totally exhausted as the alarm clock went off at 5:30 am on that day, I fell asleep straight forward without watching any movie nor finishing my delicious wee cup of Kenyan tea.
(taken during another flight)
There are 2 versions of the amenity kit
All you need
After a good night's sleep, I only woke up during the breakfast service but quickly regretted this decision. Even a charming smile could not make up the sad looking cold tray !
A cold pastry
Sleeping travellers endured the traditional rainbow lighting to make sure they remembered which aircraft they were flying aboard ! For landing, we followed KQ466 and KQ117 .
Due to the humidity in the morning and high altitude, the windows get covered in mist so no way to list the vintage birds ( a Tristar, an engineless DC9, KQ 772, B732… to name but a few) at the maintenance apron or at the new T2.
We parked on to the jetbridge of the new T1A at gate 19. The crew let the Premier World passengers exit first. One bus waited for the Kenya bound pax who have to walk downstairs inside the jetbridge. There is no dedicated transport for premium clients. Connecting travellers like myself along with the entire crowd of other inbound flights went to the walk-through metal detectors …. at 6:45 am, the standard morning rush in Nairobi.
15 minutes wait before the Sky Priority access
London - LHR
Nairobi - NBO
Another great flight with KQ, enhanced by the ST lounge experience, the tasty dinner and the full flat bed! Next time though, i'll skip the symbolic breakfast !
Stay tuned for the smooth transit at NBO and the rest to JNB !
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