This flight report is about my homeward flight to TNR via NBO from BKK in May 2013. I invite you to join me on the first leg of the journey : BKK-NBO.
Let’s start this report with some photos shot during a cruise on the River Chao Phraya : Cat Tower hosts the French Ambassy in Thailand while the old building is completely being rebuilt.
His Majesty King Rama IX deified throughout the country.
Neighbouring the high towers, fragile houses built on piles.
Further up, on the right bank the former arsenals.
Khmer style Wat Arun, the temple of dawn.
The Chao Phraya River is Bangkok major waterway. Large boats and little skiffs are always close to collide. The traffic is generally slow except for the long-tail boat.
Royal palace roofs
Exotic street atmosphere on the road to Wat Pho.
The roof of Wat Pho. This temple is famous for its reclining Buddha, a very holy shrine, but also for its Thai massage school. Everyone can enjoy the benefit of a foot or body massage at a very reasonable price.
As my flight to Nairobi takes off at 12.35am, I will drive to the airport. Bangkok taxis are not that expansive and there is no risk of traffic jams at this time of the night. As I know there is no real chance for a spotting session, the following pictures of KQ B767 were shot earlier on the day I flew to HKG. My EK flight and KQ to Can were the closest neighbors.
Anyway, It is about 10.20 pm and it is time to walk to Row W where KQ check-in is.
Most of the PAX flying to NBO board in CAN. Guangzhou is the number one destination in China from Africa and Madagascar. All those services stop in BKK for a refill. The flight is fully booked tonight.
Thanks to the Fast Track, I am quickly airside.
A monumental statue tells the main Buddhist myths. Here is the fight for the milk churn.
The brands behind are not the official sponsors.
As I have no good to buy, I head to the lounge as I really feel like having a shower before this night flight. Usually KQ uses Skyteam lounge on the F part of the Terminal. But as we board from gate C9, we are welcome at “Louis Tavern” lounge. So I mourn over some cheese and some French press ? Let’s find Louis Tavern !
This lounge is also used by Asiana and other companies.
I show my invitation and ask for a shower. But there is none ! In fact, there are showers but not in this particular lounge. I shall find one in the lounge settled by the G gates. As I am both stubborn and always ready for a walk, I offer myself a 15 minutes trek in Suvarnabhumi.
Here is another Louis Tavern, but not the one with a shower.
Here I a mat long last !
This is my holy grail for tonight. It is clean and functional.
Nice and clean it is time to help myself with some food. And here comes the shock !
On the two following pics is the food offer in its entirety. It may be late but the lounge is 24/7 open.
It is even worse on the liquid side. The ST lounge may not be the ultimate reference in BKK, it is a thousand times more decent than this Louis’s crap. I emailed KQ for that but as you may have guessed I had no answer.
THE wine himself. Vinegar is its cousin. It helps keeping sober.
As I was really hungry, I had those few snacks.
I know there is a tradition at FR to show the bathroom. But I won’t as I do not want censorship to hit my FR as the bathroom was absolutely disgusting.
I ltake leave of Louis with no regret and start my 15 minutes walk to the gate C9, trying not to sweat ;-)
Welcome on board B767 KYV : It is not the usual 2-1-2 configuration but a surprising old-fashioned 2-2-2.
As KQ sells the 2-1-2 version, there are 5 free seats. The legroom is more than enough but there is no IFE. Has the aircraft escaped from the museum for an evening?
Safety card belonging to the plane.
Welcome drink. Moët et Chandon. Does anyone know why they only have half bottles ?
A classic KQ menu.
The menu is anglo-chinese as half of the PAX boarded in CAN and are Chinese. The work class flies in Y and the executive in J. A wink to Old Karl !!!
The wine list is the same on board all KQ flights.It may be boring for FT.
While reading KQ littérature, we are heading to the runway. Good Bye Suvarnabhumi.
In the outskirts of BKK.
We shall land at 6.14am after a 9.04 hours flight. The map design is antique !
A lion left its prints on the socks. Does it mean we fly to Africa ?
Service starts over Burma.
Sala dis so-so ; the lamb with thyme is a bit overcooked but tasty and tender. Pumkin, potatoes and tomato are OK. I drink a Shiraz with that dinner.
Fresh fruits and Pannacotta for desert. With the absence of entertainment, you feel the service lasts too long.
Once the table is cleared a mobile IFE is handed by the crew.
I will not use it as it is time to take a rest despite the slide-style seats. Those seats are KL’s as the Captain confirmed.Usually, KQ has full-flat beds. Anyway, I will have a good sleep.
I will open one eye over Somalia. It is breakfast time.
The breakfast offer is enough for me. I decline the hot meal. Fruits and cereals are ok, but the croissant is barely edible.
Early morning cabin atmosphere.
While descending to NBO, the sunbeams break through darkness. What a relaxing atmosphere !
We disembark 2 minutes ahead of schedule. I will make my way to the Simba lounge. As none of the sockets can fit with my APN and my laptop, I go upstairs in the newest Simba lounge, much bigger than the basement floor one.
Independent Louis Tavern
Bangkok - BKK
Nairobi - NBO
Take off and landing on time.
The comfort on board is very average. The absence of a decent IFE is a real bad point for KQ. Those old B767 should be retrofitted or replaced by modern aircrafts. That is the least you may expect from “the pride of Africa.”
The flight-attendants did the job correctly but without the will to be careful to the PAX needs.
The food tasted good even not looking so good.
The lounge in BKK was really an error. The service was poor and the bathroom was filthy. KQ should pay attention to the companies they hire.
I used to fly very regularly on KQ from 2008 to 2011. The planes are all the same and do really need some retrofit. In the meantime, Champagne has replaced South African sparkling wine. The food, the wine lists are nearly the same.
KQ price-quality ratio is good if you travel to/from Mayotte (DZA). It is robbery from TNR. Doesn’t KQ want to compete with MD on the TNR-CAN route and with AF on the TNR-CDG? It is possible. Ortherwise, there is no explanation to the fact a ticket bought in TNR is 40% more expensive than one bought from DZA.
Thank you for reading this report. I hope it may help opening Flight-report to the English speaking Eastern African residents.
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