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   #54 out of 95 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 113 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!

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
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The very limited view, as i've learned from a French FR, to the airbridge to BA lounge
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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!
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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
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Seats 29 HIJ with blanket, pillow and headphones
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Pitch of 32.2
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EI A320
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Off we go, visible runway "22-4"
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General Aviation parking
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Planned route (screen size 10.6")
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Cloudy sky
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Condensation trail
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Inflight reading (including a "Chinese" health notice…)
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Useful infos (from BT 11/15)
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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…
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And what you really get!
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Potato salad was ok
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Chicken tasted great
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Time to sample the other meaty option
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Lamb kebabs quite dry inside
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Delicious pudding to go along with a coffee, no Amarula on stock but i could not care less!
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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!
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A perfect music selection, too bad KQ does not indicate the name of the artists
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A very busy 2nd cabin
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Branded toiletries
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Where the Blue Nile meets the White Nile (Omdourman at the top, Bahri on the right and Khartoum on the left)
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The breakfast tray was ordered only for the purpose of this FR.

Cabin crew performing one of their duties
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I kept my appetite for the "hot" food at NBO!
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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
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Cargo apron
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Bye Zambezi
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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


Kenya Airways

Cabin crew8.0

KLM Crown Lounge 5 - Non Schengen


Amsterdam - AMS


Nairobi - NBO



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)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 7 avis concernant 2 compagnies sur la ligne Amsterdam (AMS) → Nairobi (NBO).


La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est Kenya Airways avec 7.5/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 8 heures et 7 minutes.

  More information


If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 357085 by
    757Fan 633 Comments
    Looks like you had a nice flight with Kenya Airways! Thank you for sharing this report with us.
  • Comment 357090 by
    NGO85 SILVER 2024 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 1597 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 283 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 1597 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

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