In the same way you enjoyed the first ever Manchester-Kuwait report, do please enjoy the first ever Kuwait-Manchester report !
And so it was time to bid farewell to the State of Kuwait. My beautiful Kuwait Airways gift bag - preserved so nicely…..but will it stay that way ?! Find out later !
In the very early hours, I was surprised to find I had been auto assigned seat 14H but I had really wanted a seat on an A row so I may try to photograph the Kuwait Tower just after take off.
Imagine my joy when I was able to change to 14A with 2 sets free next to me just before I checked out of my hotel !
Although I got a pdf stating the proposed boarding pass is not a boarding pass !
I arrived at KWI at 0300am expecting huge crowds and endless lines as well as waiting for checkin to open at 0330am ( I presumed as this is KU’s homebase the 3 hour rule would apply ).
Instead and to my surprise, I was summoned immediately to desk 18 and checked in immediately in a very empty hall !No complaints there.
KU has a generous allowance of 2 x 23kg for economy – I had 1 case at 25kg and 1 at 14kg. The checkin agent told me I had to either pay for 2 kilos or repack as KU is strict about allowances.
He rang his Supervisor and was told the same.
I did meet the Duty Supervisor Mr Nawaf, a lovely and charming gentleman and 2 of his colleagues who politely confirmed the strict KU baggage policy. May I give a shout out to Shift A !
Even though I was well within my total 46kg allowance, I quickly repacked as the checkin was empty. But if it had been full of passengers I would have felt most embarrassed. KU really should “ pool” baggage together if it is within the allowance.
Never in my life have I been asked to repack, but hey. I got permission to take the photos at checkin.
Very nice to get an actual Boarding Pass - these will never go out of fashion for Avgeeks like me !
I then started making my way through departures and handed in my visa ( I had made a colour photocopy as a souvenier ! ) and getting my Passport Stamp ( of all the pages that I could have had my Kuwait stamps, they had to go on the most used page !
On hearing I am flying to Manchester,a friendly security officer asked the age old question “ United or City ?” ! I told him neither as I don’t like football.
The Souvenier shop here was fully unattended – there must be a lot of honest people in Kuwait or Kuwait Airport at least as anyone could make off with souveniers ! I had to go to the chocolate section further away and the salesman told me to pick my souveniers and pay for them at the other staffed counters.
My Passport and flight number was taken to ensure the “discount” was being claimed by a legitimate passenger and not anyone else( I am told ! )
My Purchases at KWI. The Kuwait Tins included Pistachio Nutty sweets plus decadent candied almonds !
Just noticed my Boarding Pass has a Kuwait Towers stamp - neat ! I am surprised that I am the 26th person ( as per my sequence number) to checkin as many passengers on the flight would have connected from India and some from Pakistan.
For some strange unknown reason, the night before, the KWI website showed that KU113 was departing from gate 72. After checking in I found it is actually D2 ? That is quite a difference !
I passed a Mcdonalds and Delmonte Juice bar ( shut) on my way to gate D2.
Gate D1 was being used to screen Heathrow bound passengers and they were having to do extra hand luggage checks. I am not sure why ? Gate D2 for Manchester was therefore completely closed off and Manchester and Heathrow passengers were all sat together in one area. The passengers for the Heathrow bound 777-300 were queuing from 0415am.
I asked a lady from Kuwait Airways at 0430am when the Manchester gate would open and she advised in an hour once the Heathrow flight has boarded.
I stood near the Manchester gate from 0430am until boarding !
At 0500am the call to prayer echoed throughout the terminal and was at a beautiful and comfortable tone. Gate D1 is to the left and you see the scanners.
At 0530am I was the first into the gate area. I had a lovely chat with the friendly gate agent Mr Kristian and he was most professional.
Even more so when a young male accompanied by a female and older gentleman, came up to the gate and asked the Captain’s name. Mr Kristian’s firm yet polite response ij declining was wonderful to see. It is possible to be polite and still get your message across so well done Mr Kristian !
More on this inquisitive passenger later.
At 0600am I made my way down the airbridge ready for the journey home. I was welcomed onboard by Mr Adel the Inflight Manager and the Business Class Airhostess Ms Mahtaab. I said that I had flown KU a week ago and was looking forward to today’s flight !
I entered the cabin to a smiling Steward named Hamdan who welcomed me onboard and even took my photo in the cabin which I found very kind. As boarding continued I was amazed to see Mr Adel appear by my seat with a coat hanger to proactively hang up my suit jacket ! Wow ! The crew all looked very smiley and happy. The cabin looked also looked immaculate and pristine. This aircraft had arrived from Medina(MED) at 0244am a few hours ago.
777-300 9K-AOJ "Al-Mesila" being readied for Istanbul later on. Boarding continued at a steady pace. At 0620am the last few passengers boarded before the Welcome announcement from the cockpit.
As I talked to Mr Hamdan, he asked me if I would like any drink. I was really in need of some water and a bottle appeared in no time !
Although blankets would be handed out after take off, Hamad brought me one during boarding and even opened it for me. Talk about super service !
Extension Seatbelt brought promptly by Mr Hamdan.
The Arabic " Al Kuwaitiyah" text looks so beautiful. A lot easier to say too as previous liveries carried Al Khutout AlJawwiya Al Kuwaitiyah !
In the Flight Deck announcement, we heard that we will be flying at 36,000 feet and the flight time will be 6 hours 50 minutes, Manchester was cloudy and that we would have turbulence over Turkey ( more on that later and glad I knew ).
At 0635am an announcement was made for all ground staff to leave the aircraft and the cabin crew performed a seatbelt check.
The Dua E Safar played ahead of the bilingual safety video which also included sign language.
Pushback was at 0640am as soon as the safety video had ended.
Pushing back for Manchester.
Kuwait Airport definately takes you on a scenic route during taxi - but it is worth it to see beauties like these !
0655am and we lifted up from Kuwait !
Very emotional seeing the Sharq district which was my base in Kuwait for the last week. Can you spot the Kuwait Towers ?!
Kuwait truly is an unforgettable gem x
Just after 0700am the Inflight Manager made a very informative announcement where he welcomed Oasis Club members onboard ( Frequent flyer programme of KU). He also promoted kuwaitairways.com, that shortly a hot breakfast service will commence and there will also be a prelanding refreshment. He asked that we remained seated with our seatbelts fastened.
He advised he is available at any time during the flight and mentioned the Balsam envelope in the seat pocket. Finally he advised that today’s Arabic,English and French.
Senior Adel was so friendly and attentive. And Mr Hamdan, well he was definately the star of this show as you will read throughout this review.
Business Class menu brought to me as a mementoe. I was offered anything I wanted !! Wow ! But sadly I would not have room !
For a bit of indulgent ? Embarrassing error on the menu. Although, past Kuwait Airways Business Class menus used to have Comic sans font so hey !
I chose the Omelette and Middle Eastern options and was brought two trays ! Woohoo !
The beauty and colour of the Middle Eastern Option. Due to the length of this flight, a plus point would be to serve the bread roll warm. Well done then to Turkish Airlines who served warm bread rolls at all times of the day.
The " I wish I hadn't chosen this" option ! I accidentally tasted the dripping of the omelette ( bottom right of the omelette) which put me off completing this option but I did have the hash brown and sausages. Both options were served with a pre packaged croissant and bread roll. On online reviews I note that Kuwait Airways usually serve a bread roll with a pitta bread. The Food and drinks offering onboard Kuwait Airways, means you do not go hungry in the skies !
The Most elegant Economy Class cutlery again ! The Middle Eastern option was decadent !
Apricot Jam - product of Spain but served onboard Kuwait Airways ! Although some trays had Orange Marmalade.
I don't know why, but I found the Kuwait Airways logo on the Orange Juice too cute for words !
Packet Contents. These should be inside the cutlery pack. The fresh yoghurt was a pointless addition as there is no fresh fruit or Muesli to go with it.
The butter spread so smoothly and the bread rolls was lush !
Trays were collected at 0810am and Hamdan asked me how my meal was which was a very nice personal touch.
Kuwait I miss you already :(
Exactly the same as the KU114 flight so I will just do an overview.
Our flight plan today would take us over Iraq,Syria,Turkey,Bulgaria,Romania,Hungary,Austria,Germany,Belgium before entering the South of England towards Manchester. Severe turbulence over Turkey would last a good hour.
Baazigar - not even part of a Classic Bollywood Selection but playing as part of mainstream IFE in 2022.
At last someone I recognise in the Kuwait Airways' IFE ! Hi Nadiya !
Never heard of even 1 of the obscure artists featured.
In fact I created and downloded my own mini playlist to my phone just to show what Pop and Dance music actually looks like !
Alice Deejay - Will I ever
Alice Deejay - The Lonely One
Backstreet Boys - Quit Playing Games with my heart
Corona - I don't wanna be a star (Lee Marrow Eurobeat Mix)
Fragma - I want more
Post Turkey Turbulence and all the way upto Germany I listened to Lewis Thompson feat Clementine Douglas and their massive hit "Enchante".
I only put the Bollywood movie " Ae Dil Hai Mushkil" on to see Ranbir Kapoor's iconic dancing scene where he shakes it down to "Baby Doll" !
I am sure Turkish Airlines are happy for the promotion that Kuwait Airways is doing for Istanbul !
My inflight care kit featuring Saudia's Atelier Cologne Grapefruit handcream which smells…oooh baby !
Soaring over Iraq.
Heading over Turkey.
Immaculately clean at all times - the crew are like JAL's cabin crew and take great pride in maintaining super clean washrooms !
The nickname given by global cabin crews to chatter that happens in the galley !
After exiting the washroom, I chatted with the crew in the rear galley and many people visited for water requests – I almost felt like taking a tray of water cups into the cabin and handing them out myself !
Porthole Photo over Turkey - a wow moment !. But not for long as 60 minutes of severe turbulence started and we had to return to our seats. That 1 hour of agony hurt my head for 3 days !
When the turbulence stopped, Mr Adel the Inflight Manager, kindly brought me a Lemon and Mint drink - very refreshing and calming !
Followed by Mr Hamdan bringing me fresh orange - all without being asked by the way ! Now this is Kuwaiti hospitality !
Going for a little walk to stretch my legs.
On hearing I am a KU fan ( who told him ?! ) the Captain wanted to meet me in the front galley. Captain Fahad told me has been to Badshahi Masjid ( Mosque ) in Lahore and is a keen photographer. I recommended the crew to eat at Walnut Persian Restaurant in Manchester.
This flight had a few passengers seated around me who are worth a mention.
From after take off to just as the turbulence started over Turkey, the guy behind me was reading aloud Religious passages. I do not understand how he did not realise he was affecting those around him. I asked if he might please close his window shade but it was stuck and the light was very bright from outside. The funny part is that he stopped his prayer chants when they were needed the most and fell asleep ! During the turbulence the aircraft was being battered heavily. Maybe this guy's prayers kept us alive ? God only knows.
Mr "Who is the Captain" was violently sick after Turkey, and the male and female with him comforted him and brought him sick bags. I collected sickbags from neighbouring seats to give to the lady and also gave my handgel. The smell of vomit was reasonably strong.
The guy that kept laughing out loud to whatever he was watching on his seatback video screen.
The mentally challenged girl who loudly said " Yeah" every 10 seconds from take off to right upto landing .
The last time I will see the trolley on this flight :(
Your choice of tea or coffee with a delicious butter cake with dried fried fruit pieces.
So relaxing and tasty ! Mr Hamdan offered me more cake but I had no room !
The prelanding refreshment was followed swiftly by a water service.
An hour or so before landing we received a hot scented towel from the lovely Ms Houda, nice touch !
Some Kuwait Airways branded gifts in a KU bag. Someone's hand luggage crushed my original gift bag. The hand luggage was the size of a headset case but took me considerable strength to move. If it had fallen out it would have caused serious injury. I later found it belonged to Mr Read aloud.
And we slowly begin our descent over Western Europe. Nice Camera view.
A sea of Sky !
Downward Camera View
And so…as Ferry Tayle would sing…The Way Back Home… I love this version of Airshow as it is so up to date and informative.
The cabin was secured 26 mins before landing and used blankets were collected.
Are we there yet ?!
Back to the cold of England ! 18 Minutes before landing, Arabic instrumental music began playing in the cabin which was a lovely touch !
We touched down in Manchester at 1042am, 3 minutes ahead of schedule and immediately felt the cold Northern air in the cabin ( the outbound KU114 went out late unsurprisingly).
She came from New York JFK and was being readied to go back there !
Thank You 9K-AKM ! But I genuinely hope we see the A320neo replaced permanently with at least A330 aircraft. We parked up at gate A3. A shorter walk for those on the outbound KU114 but still an annoying 10 minute walk for us ex 113 passengers to Immigration.
Despite this being a very early morning service, the cabin crew had an energy all through the flight. They really were tremendous in their efforts to make passengers happy and offer superior Kuwaiti hospitality.
They were polite,enthusiastic,friendly and very caring and professional. From dealing delicately with a Special needs passenger to politely asking someone to move their legs from sticking out in the aisle ( no joke ! ) to a real desire to provide excellent service, the crew were magnificent. Today’s cabin crew were Egyptian ( Inflight Manager) ,Lebanese,Morroccan and Iranian. It was heartening to see, that even with no Kuwaiti cabin crew onboard, the crew were still totally delvering service in line with true Kuwaiti hospitality.
Ms Mahtaab proactively brought me a Kuwait Airways writing kit as a gift which was a lovely personal touch and you may see it in the I LOVE KUWAIT AIRWAYS tab. But I have to give a special mention to my main man Hamdan !
From the time he welcomed me onboard to the time he bode me farewell, he was nothing but nice,friendly,caring,attentive and very service oriented. Nothing was too much trouble for him. I am sure he will easily become a Senior Crew member in the near future. Kuwait Airways you have a very good crew member here !
Like on KU114,all 4 Cabin Crew received a Thank You card from me as did Captain Fahad :)
On the 2nd December 2022, a little under a week after my flight to Manchester on the same aircraft, Kuwait Airways Airbus A320neo, registration 9K-AKM and flight KU204 to Kuwait City returned to Lahore for an unknown reason. The flight was scheduled to leave Lahore at 05:15 am.
The Maximum altitude gained by the aircraft was 8,000 feet. The aircraft flew a holding pattern near Phool Nagar from 05:20 am to 07:15 am before returning to Lahore Airport.
9K-AKM eventually departed from Lahore Airport at 22:28 pm as flight KU204 to Kuwait City with a delay of more than 17 hours.
Also, Kuwait Airways had been viewing me on LinkedIn ! Maybe a job is on the way ?! I wish !
Here is what I owned of Kuwait Airways before my first flights
And here is what I own now including the gift bag given at the KU 114 checkin - I love you Kuwait Airways !
The Silver pouch has a Kuwait Airways logo windscreen shade - no doubt to protect from the Arabian Summer heat ! The rest of the gifts speak for themselves :)
Kuwait Airways offer a solid inflight product. Very small tweaks are needed to really polish up the service. It was my absolute honour to fly Kuwait Airways and I genuinely look forward to flying with this amazing airline again !
Better connections to/from Manchester and improved IFE remain the two areas that need to be reviewed.
I foresee that,along with Saudia, Kuwait Airways will become a Premier" go to " option for Eastern travel in the coming years.