Review of Kenya Airways flight Amsterdam Nairobi in Economy

Airline Kenya Airways
Flight KQ117
Class Economy
Seat 29J
Aircraft Boeing 787-8
Flight time 08:15
Take-off 29 May 16, 20:40
Arrival at 30 May 16, 05:55
KQ   #46 out of 142 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 94 reviews
East African
Published on 10th July 2016
Hi Everybody,

The outbound trip started horrible and it ended worse, but long story short the price from CDG was 450 euro during over 1 month, but the thursday i received my Amex/AF/klm plastic and during the entire week end, ticket rose to nearly 750 euro on dodgy websites (Ebookers, Govoyages, Edreams and the likes).
Only 2 days later fares were lowered to 460ish euro on Kayak's same websites (maybe with a small surcharge for amex cards!) and the reliable Expedia or Tripsta ones… very fustrating since i've paid out 550 eur on klm.com!

Ticket itinerary:

1/ Brussels Midi Train Station (ZYR) – Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS), Thalys, 2nd class: no report
2/ Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) – Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta (NBO), Kenya Airways, Eco: now
3/ Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta (NBO) – Kigali International (KGL), Kenya Airways, Eco: click here
4/ Kigali International (KGL) – *via EBB* Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS), KLM, Eco: no report
5/ Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) – Brussels Zavanteem (BRU), KLM, Eco: no report


Despite no access to the Thalys lounge for Elite + travelling in Eco, the ride on train was quite pleasant, at AMS no need to walk ages to reach the CI counters where the BP were obtained in no time.

First time i go throught the automatic borders and it proves being very efficient thumbs up, so less than 15 min later, i'm sipping a glass of bubly ("Crémant de Limoux" TBH) at the KL Crown Lounge. As you all visited this lounge at leat once, i did not check the food buffet which, from memory, looked rather simple in the section i sat.


The wall covering: a "cheap" version of LX Zurich lounge
photo DSC00002_zps5f4sed4l

The very limited view, as i've learned from a French FR, to the airbridge to BA lounge
photo DSC03284_zpsmp45oumk

As the bottle indicated "Crémant de Limoux" and one of the two French newspapers available! The nearest food buffet was pathetic with only snacks, and too busy, i haven't checked the hot options at the newly opened area!
photo DSC03282_zpsy9mbuqrl


At the gate, a handful of passengers had yet to board when i beat the queue thanks the SP lane at 8:00 pm. KQ117 crew expected a full house (in Economy at least), so they asked travellers to refrain from changing seat before take off, which occured slightly delayed cause by late passengers, but nothing to worry about.

Taxiing and take off video:


Zambezi River at gate E18
photo DSC00005_zpszlfzhaos

Seats 29 HIJ with blanket, pillow and headphones
photo DSC00007_zpsc9srt9ix

Pitch of 32.2
photo DSC00009_zps6nqzuope

EI A320
photo DSC00012_zpsqmnolty9

AF & EK
photo DSC00013_zpsnqnnjc7k

Off we go, visible runway "22-4"
photo DSC00015_zpsqeasfzrv

General Aviation parking
photo DSC00016_zpsajuifyod

Planned route (screen size 10.6")
photo DSC00017_zpsbarrhfyi

Cloudy sky
photo DSC00019_zpsr9aylhz5

Condensation trail
photo DSC00020_zpswammo9mp

Inflight reading (including a "Chinese" health notice…)
photo DSC00018_zpspbstacnd

Useful infos (from BT 11/15)
photo Aguide2_zps5uq0yc9q


A cold towel and meal were served promptly, 3 choices incl. One veggie at 10pm. Hot drinks (tea/coffee) and duty free run concluded the evening service. As i have recently learned on a recent KQ FR, the airline does serve only these fizzy drinks Fanta Orange, Coke, Tonic and Soda Water, and as juices Tomato, orange and apple. That's it!

What you should get also…
photo DSC00074_zpsep50ns5v

And what you really get!
photo DSC00026_zpswxuwoyxg

Potato salad was ok
photo DSC00027_zpsleau7yq2

Chicken tasted great
photo DSC00030_zpsyzqbzwzf

Time to sample the other meaty option
photo DSC00032_zps20nxtsqh

Lamb kebabs quite dry inside
photo DSC00035_zpsmh7tbd67

Delicious pudding to go along with a coffee, no Amarula on stock but i could not care less!
photo DSC00037_zpsdvbsnzok

With 2 seat mates instead of "usually" zero i could not sleep well so playing games while listening some new tunes, made this flight short!

An interesting documentary about my least favorite sport haha!
photo DSC00056_zpsd8vlkisu

A perfect music selection, too bad KQ does not indicate the name of the artists
photo DSC00053_zpsjkohn7uq

A very busy 2nd cabin
photo DSC00039_zpsdfxoird1

Branded toiletries
photo DSC00058_zpsajwvpxxk

photo DSC00046_zpst10hsfwq

Where the Blue Nile meets the White Nile (Omdourman at the top, Bahri on the right and Khartoum on the left)
photo DSC00050_zpsng0fhjzc


The breakfast tray was ordered only for the purpose of this FR.

Cabin crew performing one of their duties
photo DSC00059_zpsgxqhrodh

I kept my appetite for the "hot" food at NBO!
photo DSC00065_zpsbd4o793s

Landing on time runway 6 the kind and smiling crew bade a good bye to Everyone.

Cabin prepared for landing and wall mounted screens were only switched on at this moment
photo DSC00066_zpsdfhwn1g8

photo DSC00069_zpstq4sr2bt

Cargo apron
photo DSC00073_zpsmaa5xued

Bye Zambezi
photo DSC00075_zps3m81ibea

Due to the humidity early in the morning that covers the windows, no more picture!
It looked like KQ117 arrived the first among the long haulers as the X Ray scan (with 2 lanes opened only) and the lounge were rather deserted.

Thanks for reading
See more

Verdict

Kenya Airways

8.5/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Meal/catering8.0

KLM Crown Lounge 5 - Non Schengen

5.9/10
Comfort6.0
Meal/catering5.0
Entertainment/wifi6.5
Services6.0

Amsterdam - AMS

7.6/10
Efficiency8.0
Access9.0
Services6.5
Cleanliness7.0

Nairobi - NBO

6.9/10
Efficiency6.5
Access5.5
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

I did manage to thankfully reach AMS (well ZYR first) on time to discover an automatized preflight procedure that saves a lot of time.

The lounge helped me to forget that an Y trip is hardly enjoyable when you're travelling alone!

The flight was absolutely packed and anyone can feel the cost cutting effects on the service – but hey i sincerely do wish KQ to survive – and looks like they are on the right tracks.

Early arrival and speedy deboarding, what else can you expect?

Information on the route Amsterdam (AMS) Nairobi (NBO)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 7 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Amsterdam (AMS) → Nairobi (NBO).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Kenya Airways with 7.5/10.

The average flight time is 8 hours and 7 minutes.

  More information

6 Comments

  • Comment 357085 by
    757Fan 585 Comments

    Looks like you had a nice flight with Kenya Airways! Thank you for sharing this report with us.

  • Comment 357090 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR!

    “The wall covering: a "cheap" version of LX Zurich lounge”
    - Isn’t this gone from the new lounge at ZRH?

    “Inflight reading (including a "Chinese" health notice…)”
    - The plane must have not been cleaned well before it’s last run to CAN/HKG.

    The catering does not look overly compelling by KQ on this flight. I think the dinner meal service looks fine, but the breakfast offering is very, very weak for a flight of this length. KQ seems to be mimicking the trend on TATL flights to where the breakfast service is essentially nonexistent. Maybe this is what you are referring to with cost-cutting.

    That said, the KQ hard product looks comfortable (I like their seat fabric selection) and the IFE looks pretty standard.

    • Comment 357455 by
      East African AUTHOR 1521 Comments

      Thanks for your feedback NGO85,

      You might be right, for sure the reference is made to a lounge at the schengen area

      "- The plane must have not been cleaned well before it’s last run to CAN/HKG."
      Yup, it means at least 2 legs, (to AMS and from AMS)

      "but the breakfast offering is very, very weak for a flight of this length." => for a flight lenght of 8h30 i do agree for the breakfast, but how many pax will get a proper b/f on the next flight, will stop by at the lounge or would not bother waking up for that tray...?

      "Maybe this is what you are referring to with cost-cutting." => yes that's correct ;-)

  • Comment 357315 by
    jish.b SILVER 285 Comments

    Thanks for this very detailed flight report.

    I think its the first one I have read featuring KQ's Y on the Dream)liner. Looks like a pretty decent hard product.

    Lovely pictures to go along with it, even the low light ones!

  • Comment 357456 by
    East African AUTHOR 1521 Comments

    You are very welcome Jish.B, thanks very much for replying!

    "I think its the first one I have read featuring KQ's Y on the Dream)liner." => Even if technically i could have been the first, a British reporter posted here the reverse route NBO-AMS ;-)

    "Looks like a pretty decent hard product." => yes definitely on par with other European carriers serving NBO

Login to post a comment.