Flight-Report

Review of Kenya Airways flight Bangkok Nairobi in Business

Airline Kenya Airways
Flight KQ887
Class Business
Seat 1J
Aircraft Boeing 787-8
Flight time 09:05
Take-off 18 Feb 19, 01:00
Arrival at 18 Feb 19, 06:05
KQ   #38 out of 129 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 85 reviews
ThomasDutch
By SILVER 1462
Published on 22nd February 2019

Introduction


While I had another week of free time, I decided to hunt down for some tickets back to Thailand once again. The usual airliners that offer cheap tickets from Amsterdam to Bangkok were present once again like Qatar, Etihad, Emirates & Aeroflot. While I am not the biggest fan of taking them on economy flights, I noticed that there was an outsider offering very cheap flights too, which usually sells them for quite an expensive price.

This outsider was Kenya Airways and as I am not familiar with them, I decided to book my flight with them only two days in advance of my travelling date. Another good point of taking up this itinerary was that I would receive some generous mileage for my flying blue points. The downside however is that my trip was extended by an extra five hours compared to direct flights to Bangkok from Amsterdam. This itinerary however meant that I would finally be able to experience the Boeing 787-8 myself as I never had the chance to fly on it and I would finally be able to fly on a 747 once again from KLM to Nairobi as their 747 is going to be phased out by 2021.

To fully complete my schedule for the week, I had to book a return flight to Ubon to visit my parents-in-law and to meet up with my girl. This however meant that I had to choose between Thai Smile, Thai AirAsia, Thai Lionair or Nok Air. As AirAsia and Thai Smile did not really give me any flights on the times suitable for me, It was either a choice between Thai Lion or Nok Air…. That one was easily made for me, so Nok Air it was.

Find my complete routing below.



Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport


With about three hours left for my departure back to Amsterdam via Nairobi with Kenya Airways, I decided to grab a taxi. The first taxi we found was willing to bring us to the airport with it's taximeter, which would cost me around 250 THB instead of the usual 500THB a hotel would charge you for.


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Midnight to 1 am departures I am usually trying to avoid at all cost as Bangkok Suvarnabhumi is usually very crowded at those times due to the departure of many widebodies to Europe. Luckily enough I won the upgrade bid of Kenya for a mere 175 euros. Not too shabby I must admit and it did give me some extra perks like fast track.


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Kenya's check-in counters are located in the far aft and was not crowded at all as most passengers did board this aircraft in Guangzhou. I was second in line, while the African man in front of me had some issues with his booking. It took a while for him to clear with the issue still being unsolved.


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While the lady was checking me in, I received a fast track card and expected an invite to Air France-KLM's lounge. I was rather shocked when the lady gave me an invite card for the Miracle lounge, which to me is one of the worst lounges available in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi… While everything was cleared, Security and border control via fast track took less than two minutes and was left in the very crowded transit zone.


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It was now time to head my way to the Miracle Business Lounge which is located in front of Gate D5.


Miracle Business Lounge


Miracle has two lounges available. One for first class passengers which is located in front of D6 and is three times bigger than their business lounge. Unfortunately I am only qualified to enter their business lounge which I am most definitely not impressed with.


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I first locate myself in their dining hall, which offers a small buffet and noodle station with three different types of noodle dishes, but nothing to impress me.


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The food offering on the left side.


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The right side offers a buffet of warm dishes.

Creamy Corn Soup. 


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Some plain rice and a dish of Chicken.


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And vegetables mixed in a sweet-sour sauce.


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Eventually I ended up having a few bites of that corn soup, which failed to impress me. I had to pass on the puff pastries and sandwich after a bite as they were way too dry.


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The lounge itself offers a few shower facilities, but I did not use it as I did shower an hour ago in my hotel. I moved to the seating area which was very small and a lot of seats were occupied or simply not cleaned by staff. The lounge seemed to be understaffed. While I was seated in the left corner of the lounge in this photo, I was soon to be pushed away by my neighbour to the other side of this seating lounge as he decided to play his music quite loud. This section however offered a few bites too.


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Some of their drinking offers, but no liquor or spirits available. The only alcohol availabe was beer from the three biggest beer companies in Thailand. Chang, Leo and Singha.


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A vegetable soup was available here and some fried rice.


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Fruit, sandwiches and the pufff pastries were available here too.


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I went for a second time to return with a fanta, a cupcake and some fruit. Fruit could have been a tad fresher, but it was ok to enjoy.


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A boarding call was made in the lounge for flight KQ 887 to Nairobi. I packed my things and headed to Gate D3 with a horde of fellow business class travelers.


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Flight KQ 887


By the time I reached the gate, the ground staff asked me whether I don't want to spend my remaining time in the lounge.. I guess some miscommunication there as staff in lounge told us to head to gate. Plenty of seating available once again, but I don't like the way the seating is arranged as you are unable to freely move again after your boarding card is scanned.


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Even though it was dark and a lot of reflecting light, you could still see the shapes of the aircraft. Today's flight would be performed by 5Y-KZB. a 4.8 year old Boeing 787 who has solely been in service to Kenya Airways and was named after the Zambezi River. It was the 2nd Boeing 787-8 ever delivered to Kenya Airways.


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Boarding was called on-time and business class was prioritized for boarding. I headed to my seat 1J. A window seat in the first row and it definitely contained a thicker pillow and blanket compared to Economy class. The seat is a full-lie flat seat with a minor problem (in case you are about 1.82m (6 ft) tall)


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Legroom was very decent too with a footrest and some storage below.


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A pre-drink was delivered to you with a choice between some water or cold chamomile tea. I opted for the later one, but I found it a bit too sweet. Note that no alcohol is served until the flight is airborne. This specific drink was also brought by the Thai Flight attendant I had on my flight to Bangkok, but was now serving business class.


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Boarding was completed shortly and the female captain checked in with us that we would be pushing back shortly for an on-time departure to Nairobi and that our flight would arrive ahead of time in Nairobi. She also instructed us to pay attention to the safety instruction video which would start soon and wishes us a pleasant flight.


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Shortly after that video, the flight attendants came around to serve us the menu for today's flight, which I found rather confusing.


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A small explanation for you guys to understand. The meal served shortly after take off was the section between late night meal till breakfast. The choice you could make was whether you took their Prawn Dumpling, Chicken Calzone or Asparagus/Mushroom Quiche. Breakfast was going to be the entire breakfast section and a choice between the two meals of entree. More on that later and the last page contained a list of wines served today.


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Pushback was initiated exactly on departure time and were parked next to this 767 of JetAsia for our engines to start spooling. This airline was like twelve other airlines in Thailand grounded due to a new regulation of Thai Authorities. While K-Mile and MJets managed to secure a new AOC to resume their operations, Jet Asia has not managed to do so as of yet. 


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Second in line behind a departing THAI.


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Only 15 minutes after our original departure time, we were off the ground. That must be a record for Bangkok Suvarnabhumi!.


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An engine shot during our climb.


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Let's take a short look at the route we will be flying today. Unlike the route to Bangkok, we will now take a more direct route which would shorten our ride time by about 45 minutes.


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Shortly after take off at a safe altitude, the flight attendants appeared on scene to prepare our food. Food was still served from trolley and I opted for the Chicken Calzone. I, however was very very disappointed and shocked about the presentation and quality of this meal. It didn't really differentiate itself from the economy flight I took to Bangkok about a week earlier… pretty much the same and the taste was way below standards. The breadroll was very very dry that it became inedible. The pomelo salad tasted like a spoon of vinegar. The main meal was very very dry again with a very limited chicken filling. The pana cotta's? I took one bite and did not dare to touch it anymore….. Flight attendants came around to serve us coffee or tea and I asked her if she could bring me a cup of water as my mouth felt very very dry. Another thing I highly disliked was that the meal was served without any cutlery as the flight attendants simply forgot to deliver. Upon my request for cutlery, she apologized and quickly came back with plastic cutlery…. Plastic cutlery in Business? Seriously?


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After only a very few bites as I could not bring it up to finish, I found this text a disgrace to the beautiful country of Kenya…..


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Let's take a short look at what amenities are given to you during the flight.

An active noise reduction headphone was handed out, which was decent enough as the cabin of the 787 is already quite quiet.


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The amenity kit given to you, which had a rather basic look. Though the zippers came with a Kenya logo attached to it. 2nd photo displays the items within the amenity kit, which again was pretty basic.


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As I had the front seat, the IFE was stowed in my arm rest. The screen itself was just as unresponsive as in economy class by either touchscreen or remote control, which you could find in your arm rest too together with an adapter plug. The selection of movies/series did not change and was still limited. 


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I quickly headed towards the toilet, which was similar to the one in economy with no extra amenities.


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The cabin by night after meal service when it is time to nap. As the seats were able to transfer into a bed, I thought I had a comfortable sleep ahead of me…. I was slightly disappointed as I could not lie entirely flat on my seat as I was with my 1.83m (6ft) simply too tall for the seat in bedding format.


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I woke up when the cabin lights turned on for meal service with a pain in my neck which would last for the entire day. Excellent…


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The literature provided to you in business class does not vary in any other way to Economy.


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The first round of breakfast was served right now. Cereals and fruit. The pastries according to the menu were served in the left cabin and never made it to our side. I guess no pastries for the right side of the cabin….. At least real cutlery was provided this time.


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We had about 90 minutes to go for landing.


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The 2nd meal was cooked and served to you from the galley instead of the trolley, however me or my fellow passengers were never given a chance to choose a meal (as I would have liked the Fried Rice option). They simply dropped the other option on our table and disappeared. The meal itself was bad too. The egg and sausage tasted like a combined mix of plastic and rubber. The potato gratin and spinach were passable.


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Another look of the cabin when the aircraft was being prepped for landing.


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It was still dark upon landing as we were 30 minutes ahead of schedule in Nairobi.


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After a nice landing of the flight crew, we were waved off by one lady that did not serve our cabin while disembarking. A look to 5Y-KZB from the jetbridge and this specific aircraft happened to be the one that would perform my onward journey to Amsterdam too.


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It was now time to follow the signs of the circular building to the security check to be dropped off in the terminal once again.


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We were the first aircraft to arrive in Nairobi for a while and it was definitely visible as there were many security stations opened with no people as of now. 


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See more

Verdict

Kenya Airways

4.9/10
Cabin6.5
Cabin crew6.0
Entertainment/wifi5.5
Meal/catering1.5

Miracle Lounge

3.4/10
Comfort3.0
Meal/catering3.5
Entertainment/wifi2.5
Services4.5

Bangkok - BKK

7.5/10
Efficiency7.0
Access7.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Nairobi - NBO

4.2/10
Efficiency5.5
Access4.5
Services3.5
Cleanliness3.5

Conclusion

While I thought the flight to Bangkok in economy was pleasant, I found the return flight to Nairobi below standard. It just missed the important points necessary for it to be a nice experience. Flight attendants were friendly, but you would not receive that extra treatment you would expect from them compared to Economy. The meals were abysmal and the seat in bedding format was simply too short. Despite the cheap upgrade, I highly doubt I would try their business class again.

Information on the route Bangkok (BKK) Nairobi (NBO)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 5 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Bangkok (BKK) → Nairobi (NBO).


Useful

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

The average flight time is 9 hours and 5 minutes.

  More information

11 Comments

  • Comment 489843 by
    East African 1463 Comments

    Very nice report, I like it very much, along with your great photos (like before), is it an US fruit phone?
    "which I am most definitely not impressed with"=> Looking at where you've posted reports, KL Crown Lounge seems to be you benchmark...
    You got what you paid for - as simple as that (but even more with the loophole of 20XPs extra)! What else did you expect seriously???
    At 2 am ish, you were probably the one and only pax willing to eat properly by experiencing a 5 course style dinner (especially after visiting a lounge where you can also dine) 🤣🤣🤣
    " I could not lie entirely flat on my seat as I was with my 1.83m (6ft) simply too tall" => KQ's only weakness of this report - very true! 🙂
    "The literature provided to you in business class does not vary in any other way to Economy."=> It's an oustation, at the very best you would have received outdated (Kenyan) newspapers of the (previous) day... so what's the point?

    Can you please provide a link to one of your previous FRs where you really enjoyed the flight (long haul preferably), just to have a comparison with this one?
    Many thanks for sharing looking forward to more

    • Comment 489850 by
      ThomasDutch SILVER AUTHOR 291 Comments

      ** Very nice report, I like it very much, along with your great photos (like before), is it an US fruit phone?
      - Thanks, but I use a Samsung Galaxy S8. No way I'll be swapping over to that fruit brand.
      ** Looking at where you've posted reports, KL Crown Lounge seems to be you benchmark...
      - KL Crown Lounge was tedious too, however I haven't been in the updated one yet. I can't really judge it, though I'm sure it is still a lot to be desired.
      ** You got what you paid for - as simple as that (but even more with the loophole of 20XPs extra)! What else did you expect seriously???
      - I can't say I agree with you on that. What amount of money I paid for it is irrelevant, but I expect a better service in J class which they failed to do so. To me it is pretty clear as to why KQ is losing money.
      ** At 2 am ish, you were probably the one and only pax willing to eat properly by experiencing a 5 course style dinner
      - I never complained about the size of the meal and never expected a five course styled dinner. The point I made through my report was the poor representation and quality of the meal. Never ever did I make any statement that I was hungry.
      ** I could not lie entirely flat on my seat as I was with my 1.83m (6ft) simply too tall" => KQ's only weakness of this report - very true! 🙂
      - I guess it is pretty clear that our standards in regards of J are completely different by now :p.
      ** "The literature provided to you in business class does not vary in any other way to Economy."=> It's an oustation, at the very best you would have received outdated (Kenyan) newspapers of the (previous) day... so what's the point?
      - That's not really an excuse, isn't it? Many airliners are still offering local newspapers (English versions too) to read in case someone failed to read it for the day, which is absolute a possibility.
      ** Can you please provide a link to one of your previous FRs where you really enjoyed the flight (long haul preferably), just to have a comparison with this one?
      Sure, I have a report on a KL flight from Bangkok to Amsterdam in J, which I enjoyed as staff was pro-active, Presentation and quality was much better and I could lie entirely flat in those seats. The lounge of KLM in Bangkok is abysmal too, but the seating was more private and comfortable and the product they offered in that specific lounge were of better quality. https://flight-report.com/en/report/36133/KLM-KL876-Bangkok-BKK-Amsterdam-AMS ** It wasn't the best J experience I have had, but I never really gotten in flight reporting before.

    • Comment 490005 by
      Andyw 25 Comments

      East African said

      "At 2 am ish, you were probably the one and only pax willing to eat properly by experiencing a 5 course style dinner (especially after visiting a lounge where you can also dine) 🤣🤣🤣"

      That's the poorest excuse ever for defending an airlines terrible meals. You are saying, you should have eaten before hand. That's not how airlines should work.

      I'm not sure why you are supporting such a poor product. Do you work for them?

  • Comment 489856 by
    East African 1463 Comments

    "No way I'll be swapping over to that fruit brand."=> A good bet for sure man! 👍👍👍
    "KL Crown Lounge was tedious too"=> Interesting as a local, can you please elaborate?
    "What amount of money I paid for it is irrelevant"=> Yes, but also no ! because, as you might be aware, (but I stand to be corrected) Garuda offers a different product for regular J fares and upgrades. KQ management was thinking about this idea too a few weeks ago - not sure it was implemented though!
    " I guess it is pretty clear that our standards in regards of J are completely different by now :p."=> That's what a forum like FR is made for, sharing different opinions, btw what do you like the most in business class (long distance)?
    "Many airliners are still offering local newspapers (English versions too) "=> You are very right, I must admit that KQ failed in that sector too 👍. Would you have selected and then read it at this late time though? 😏
    " you would not receive that extra treatment you would expect from them compared to Economy" +> like what??? are you at least a Silver member? I was greeted twice on a regional flight with KQ recently...
    "KL flight from Bangkok to Amsterdam in J"=> Please allow me the time to read it carefully the biased answer oupss report - I will come back to you asap!
    Thanks for the quick response!

    • Comment 489861 by
      ThomasDutch SILVER AUTHOR 291 Comments

      - Everyone else did receive the same treatment as I did throughout the entire flight and I would have never paid for the upgrade if I wouldn't be treated the same way for my upgrade. It pretty much kills the experience of that upgrade in my opinion.
      - Regarding KL lounge? The product they deliver as lounge may be decent to good, however the lounge is way too overcrowded. You literally have to search a while to find an open seat. The food choices are limited too and you could easily wait for over a hour in for an available spot in one of their shower facilities.
      -Extra treatment? Well I would have loved the cabin crew to be more involved with their passenger. Engage with your passenger. Like in that report of KLM's longhaul, the purser for example came around twice to have a chat at the beginning of the journey to wish us welcome and once at the end whether we had an enjoyable flight and/if there was anything to report as feedback. The other flight attendants were very attentive too and loved to have a chat with their passengers. Yes, service may slow down a bit, but that's totally acceptable for such a journey.

  • Comment 489858 by
    ISTFlyer GOLD 181 Comments

    Hi ThomasDutch and thanks for sharing this report,

    -The Miracle Lounge in BKK is not attractive but even though they haven't given you a voucher, your boarding pass would admit you into the AF/KL lounge according to this link: https://www.skyteam.com/en/lounges/lounge-finder#!airportcode=Bangkok%20-%20Suvarnabhumi%20Intl%20(BKK). Similar to oneworld, passengers in alongside with alliance elites, premium cabins are also welcome to use other SkyTeam lounges during their travel.
    - However, the menu looks a bit complicated, thanks for explaining by the way, and I think that plastic cutlery in Business Class is unacceptable. In addition to that the first meal looks like those snacks served ( as a second meal ) on Qatar Airways on their 7-8 hour flight on Economy. Also, the breakfast doesn't look appetizing and it's really sad that they haven't asked for your choice.
    - Also, the amenity kit doesn't look that good as some airlines serve better amenity kits on their Premium Economy cabins.

    As KQ offers a 2-2-2 Business cabin and a non-solid Business product, it may not worth to buy a J class ticket from them but it should at least be worth the points that you earn on your SkyTeam FQTV account as it's a paid upgrade.

    Thanks again and looking forward for the next part.

    • Comment 489862 by
      ThomasDutch SILVER AUTHOR 291 Comments

      Hey
      * I know you could use the lounge of them, however with less than a hour (after security) I thought it was not worth the walk as that lounge would mean another 15 min walk on leisurely pace to my gate for tonight. And despite the known bad reputation of Miracle, I wanted to try them out.
      * The first meal felt like it was a meal bought from one of those fast food firms to be reheated by their oven.... Meal service was seriously lacking.
      * I highly doubt whether I would fly KQ again, but I am definitely sure that I would not try their J class anymore.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  • Comment 489863 by
    sotto 78 Comments

    Anyone who buys a ticket from such an airline or an Amrican airline is responsible. On both there is a service desert (in First, in Business or Economy Class).

    Nevertheless, I thank the tester sincerely. Otherwise, hardly any of this lousy service (compare also his report from the outward flight to BKK) at KENYA AIR. In comparison, AIR KOROYO may offer even more - albeit more primitive - service.

    • Comment 489864 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD 181 Comments

      Hi sotto,

      Even though I'm not the owner of this report and it's out of subject, I would agree with your statement about US carriers. They are even worse than Kenya Airways, however Americans 'in general' does not care about the meal quality that they get on premium cabins, they just eat it without complaining. Also, they don't complain so in most US domestic flights they serve snack baskets which consists Oreo's, Goldfish's, Kitkat's which does refer to Economy passengers. If an airline in Europe served a snack basket in Business on a flight from London to Amsterdam, probably no one, even companies, would pay them for Business. However, in this specific report I think that KQ should have chosen a better catering company and obviously their meals from their hub, NBO, is better.

    • Comment 489900 by
      ThomasDutch SILVER AUTHOR 291 Comments

      I'm an avgeek and I would definitely like to try new airliners I haven't flown before. Those new experiences could be great, but can be a massive disappointment too. At least the mileage I receive for my flying blue was one of the advantages.

      • Comment 489935 by
        East African 1463 Comments

        If you want a good mileage run deal, then the ADD-NBO-AMS-MXP-AMS-NBO-ADD in business class is for you 😊.
        It costs only €650 all in to get 120 XPs and some 12000 miles.
        You can change MXP for FCO, ARN or other European cities.
        Long haul segments can be flown with Kenya Airways, KLM or Air France's attractive J class (1-2-1) via CDG.

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