I mentioned in my previous report that DKR has been regarded as the 'world's worst airport'. I didn't think it was horrible on the way in, but on the way out, things were drastically different.
Not really knowing what to expect, we arrived at the airport at 9:00 (3 hours before departure).
As soon as you walked in the door, all of your bags had to go through a scanner and yourself through a metal detector, and your passport was checked by a police officer with a big gun.
Check in was next. It's hard to describe what it was really like. First, there was another security check where they opened up every single one of your bags and dug through it. Next, an agent asked each individual person questions. I found that the questions varied person by person. I was asked why I was in Senegal, where I stayed in Senegal, and where I would be going. My mom, however, was stricken with questions about her job in the U.S., if she was married, why she was in Senegal, etc. Another member of our group was simply asked what her final destination was and was waved onwards. Odd. Finally, you were able to drop your bags. I was given a boarding pass and was informed that there would be a 45-minute delay due to a late inbound aircraft. Woohoo. The whole process took about 20 minutes.
World's worst airport is becoming more appropriate.
After that mess, there was a passport check where the officer was literally having a conversation on his cell phone while he asked me to put my finger on the scanner and stamped my passport. The fingerprint scanner kept failing, and eventually, the guy just gave up and waved me along (while still on his cell phone).
The people at the security checkpoint couldn't be bothered to tell you what to do. There were no buckets to put your belongings in, and there was nobody to wave you through the metal detector. I just figured I would walk through. After I went through, I realized a) there were metal coins in my pocket b) I had forgotten to take off my metal belt and c) the detector hadn't even gone off!! I wonder whether it was even turned on.
Finally released into the main terminal area, there was a duty free store and a snack shop, but that was it.
There are 5 gates at DKR. Gates 1-4 are normal and gate 5 is designated for Delta and Air France flights only (more on this later).
Lots of seating, although most of the seats were broken in one way or another. Much to my surprise, there was actually free wifi in the terminal. It was almost unusably slow, but it worked.
Our plane, N712TW, and internationally configured B757-200 coming in at 19 years old, arrived around 11:00 (45 minutes late).
Soon after the plane arrived, everyone started queuing up to have their boarding passes checked. I was confused - the plane had just arrived, so they couldn't possibly be boarding yet.
After boarding passes were checked, there was a FOURTH security check! This, like the security questions before bag drop, varied in intensity. Only my bag was checked, but my mom received a full pat down, her shoes checked, etc. I honestly just think it depended on the person you got.
After that, we were directed up a staircase. I was baffled to find what was basically a lounge, specifically for Delta/Air France flights - for free! There was free snacks, a kids play area, TV in English, and lots and lots of chairs you'd expect to find at the SkyClub at JFK.
I'm not sure why there's NOTHING about this online, but it was great! It was also air conditioned unlike the rest of the terminal.
Boarding was finally called around 12:15. Obviously, it's a security thing, but it was a bus ride to the plane, although it could've easily been walked. The bus ride was literally 15 seconds.
I was very happy to find Delta's refurbished cabin inside.
My seat for today was 32A.
Legroom was plenty.
The TV. The problem with this is when the person in front of you reclines, you can't adjust the monitor so you can see it better. That being said, it was very good quality.
Waiting on the seat was a pillow and a blanket.
We pushed back at 12:59 and flying time was announced to be 7h25m.
Taxi began at 13:05. Nothing was seen except this Emirates 77W which I saw at the last second as I was distracted - apologies for the picture.
We back-taxied down the runway as there are no parallel taxiways at DKR.
The engines sprung to life and we sailed down runway 36R at 13:15 - 75 minutes late.
It took a while for the TV to figure itself out.
Eventually, it worked. Delta Studio is a great system with lots of options and content.
The crew came through at 14:15 and offered a drink (Sprite for me as always) and pretzels.
I couldn't decide which IFE was better - the window or a movie! I opted for both.
The crew came through again at 14:55 and offered either beef, chicken or fish. Beef is my go to on a flight like this so beef it was.
The tray as delivered.
Looking at the labels, it suddenly occurred to me that this was all Senegalese prepared food. Hm. This should be interesting.
The main consisted of beef, rice, carrots, and zucchini. The beef was pretty dry and didn't have much flavor, but the veggies were surprisingly good. 6/10
My mom had the fish which received similar comments to the beef.
I forgot to take a picture until I was almost finished, but this was the pasta salad thing. It tasted like nothing. Actually nothing. 1/5
My mind was clearly elsewhere because I forgot to take a picture of the fruit as well. It was good, but it was obvious that it had been sitting in some kitchen for quite some time. 4/5
Finally, an orange and chocolate cake. This was really good - the highlight of the meal. However, it's worth noting that it was packaged 8/8, my flight was 8/12, and it didn't expire until 8/30. Hmm. 5/5
Total meal score: 16/25 - not the best showing, but taking into account the location it was prepared and the airport it came out of, it could've been a lot worse.
I enjoyed the natural IFE and slept a bit.
Soon enough, we had made it to here. Delta's moving map is stellar, as is the flight info.
Mood lighting was in full swing. There was not a single open seat in all of economy.
I got up to use the bathroom, and it was really really really disgusting. I've never seen anything like this on an airplane before.
Having semi lost my appetite, I hoped the second round of food would be really good. The crew came through at 19:30 with a sandwich, OJ, and a snack box.
The sandwich was a big hunk of ham with a big hunk of melted cheese in between two big slices of bread. It was actually pretty good though. 7/10
Inside the snack box were chips and chocolate - you can't really complain. 5/5
Total meal score: 12/15.
Total score for meals on this flight: 28/40
We started our descent into NYC at 20:20.
Before landing - my notes on crew, seat, and IFE.
The crew was pretty meh. Nothing really stood out about them to me, but they weren't bad by any means.
The seat was great. It was super comfy and the legroom and width were more than enough.I definitely prefer leather seats over cloth.
Delta Studio is awesome. There's a huge selection of everything and the moving map is great as well.
We did a bit of an unusual approach and landed on 22L at 16:47 - 27 minutes behind schedule.
A short taxi over to T4, hooking up to the gate and off the plane by 17:00.
So long, N712TW!
After a 10 minute walk towards immigration, we were met with this sign. True to their word, it took exactly 20 minutes to complete the process!
That wraps up this report and this series! I know I'm way behind on writing reports - I have 4 more reports after this from this summer!
Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment - I love reading and responding to them!
Delta Air Lines
Dakar - DKR
New York - JFK
Dakar Airport - Living up to its title "worst airport in the world"
Seat - Super comfy, lots of legroom
IFE - Awesome system, lots of content
Food - Good enough, especially considering the location it was prepared
Crew - Nothing good, nothing bad
JFK T4 - Always a pleasure, speedy, clean
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