Nairobi Journals

Kenya-Getting There & Back. Airlines & Airports

A March 2004 trip to Nairobi by Harv_y

Quote: A Precis of Flights to & from Kenya with Airline, Airports, Travel Agents, Tour Operators & Useful Information Sites
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I first visited Kenya in June 2004 to meet my then-girlfriend's family and have made a few trips since then using different airlines, airports, and travel agents/websites. Having done a few trips I thought it might be useful to do a review of those that I have used.BRITISH AIRWAYSThe very first trip back in June 2004 was booked on April 29th on British Airways flying from Heathrow(LHR) T4 direct to Nairobi(NBO). The take-off time is a nice, sensible 10:20am with check-in from 7:20am. I had allowed time for the train (Piccadilly Line) to go wrong so, of course nothing untoward happened, and I arrived too early to check in so had a coffee at Costa, a cigarette or two—I've now quit—and the...Read More
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In June 2005, I flew to Kenya once more, this time from Heathrow (T4) to Nairobi via Amsterdam on KLM. The price was £398 and a few pennies, as usual. I had chosen the cheapest flight offered booked through Expedia.co.uk who, on this occasion, weren't using Etickets—wonderful idea. The only downside to flying with this early flight was that I had to make my own way to the airport as my brother was away on business, mother was looking after Grandmother, leaving my father to run the family business. Not much of an inconvenience, you would have thought, but I don't drive and, for my friends who do, Heathrow is the wrong direction for work, especially when your passenger needs to be there at 4:15am. So I...Read More
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Hurray! Hurray! It's a Holi, Holiday, October 2006. I've been married just over a year and haven't seen the wife in that time for various reasons. November is the dead month in the family business so I'd been able to "persuade" the rest that they didn't actually need me for almost a whole month. Almost a year later I'm still just as surprised. So in mid-October I attempted to book a flight on-line through Thomas Cook, the flight I was trying to book was from Heathrow (LHR)- Nairobi (NBO) Via Zurich (ZRH) on Swiss and returning Nairobi (NBO) - City - Airport (LCY) as this would mean to return home, all that was needed would be one bus ride to my part of London. However, it wasn't really available, so i...Read More
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So now we are waiting at a terminal the other side of Zurich Airport for a plane to arrive to take us to Nairobi and ooh look some people are going on To Dar-Es-Salaam. Now that I know I've got an hour's wait I decide I'd better text my wife and let her know the plane will be late. Unfortunately for me there is no signal for my phone where we are and after moving around to get a signal I decide it is a futile task and decide that I'll do this from a public phone that you can text from just like you would in Britain. Wonderful idea, not thought through properly -no Swiss Francs and no sign of an Exchange Bureau. No Problem - I know I'm going to get nervous whilst waiting for the plane so am bond to hav...Read More
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It's the 27th November and somethng like 5 O'clock in the morning. I've spent almost a month with my wife and due to the heavy rains have only managed to get to see Mother and Father-In-Law and those relatives that still live with him on the compound called Uholo (near a town called Ugunja). Its still raining and the taxi is a little late and Hooray! Hooray! It's a Holi, Holiday! is finally over and I have to return home to resume working to keep both of us in the style we have becme accustomed to! Due to the understandably strict security rules at Kenyan Airports my wife can't even come into the building with me so a little while back we reluctantly agreed there was no point in coming to th...Read More
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So we've had our fun from being in Kenya for a month and it's still looking like it's too expensive to get the wife to Tenerife for Xmas and I still haven't booked my flight there either so it's time to start looking for the Xmas flights to Mombasa ( I hate that duck-oops I mean I hate that airport or rather it doesn't seem to like me) because the costs to Nairobi are already too high. After a long search I find a possibility in the Mytravel site, unfortunately a couple of days later when my cheque clears it transpires the flight is sold out - fortunately I had a back up plan in using First Choice which is what I did. With a week to go I paid just under £300 for a flight to Mombasa (I hate that duck-o...Read More
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January 2007-After 2 weeks the wife decided she’d had enough of me and that it was time to send me home to Britain to earn her spending Money! (lol). We decided to stay at The Manson Hotel again as overall it had provided a reasonable service when I arrived. Due to the early check-in and having booked a taxi for some unearthly time in the morning we decided to book an early breakfast which we didn’t receive (see Journal Two 1 Night Stands).We arrived at Mombasa Airport (Boo, Hiss, Hiss!) with 3 and a half hours to check-in but in plenty of time to miss the horrendous queue that was sure to evolve a little later. WRONG! After the obligatory kiss goodbye I turned the corner to see th...Read More
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We’ve got to November 2008 and still no further with the “wonderful” visa people for all sorts of reasons. Having had a stressful year and not having seen my wife for almost a year I started looking for flights to Kenya, hoping to find a deal around the time of their General Election–27th December. Everyone thought I was mad! Unusually there were no deals to be had around the Boxing Day time which is when the flights to Kenya suddenly drop in price and this was consistent with dates through to the New Year. The best deal were with African Safari Club~(more on them in the summary). Unfortunately due to work constraints I wasn’t able to book them as I would get back to Britain a week too late ...Read More
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We're now at December 2007 and it's a repeat of '06 seen the family at Xmas and looking for a flight to Kenya for Just before the New Year
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After getting through Immigration I get to the customs man who surprise, surprise stops me and says he has to search my bags as well as asking If I had any presents for anybody, said no I was returning things to my wife. He asks me to remove things from my bag–I’m afraid I got a little angry and said “you’re the one paid to search people and discourage them from coming back, I’m not paid to search my bag–you are! When he realized that I was going to give no help to the search he let me through without searching my bags! (I paid for this good luck on the return journey) Once past what I thought would be my last obstacle, (I had forgotten about the need to speak to the First Choice Rep to say ...Read More
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So far in my trips to Kenya I’ve flown only from Heathrow and Gatwick (but have considered other airports at home and abroad) via Amsterdam, Zurich and direct from both Airports with several different airlines 1 of whom now uses a different name and also appear to be using one of the other airlines since they merged. I’ve used 3 different travel agents (2 on-line, both of whom I had to phone!) and one we had to phone and of course direct with a tour operator to get on the charter flights twice to Mombasa. I the course of finding the best flights for the various times I’ve been I’ve looked at many different travel sites both for advice and bookings so I will include them as well as it might well be hel...Read More
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As the precedent has been set I’ll stick to putting them in the order I’ve found them most useful or appealing or in the case of one of them so far back in the queue I’d like to put them further back than last place. Zurich Airport (ZRH) The downside to this airport is that you will almost certainly be delayed in your arrival at this airport, especially if arriving in the morning as you are likely to get fog - this is in the Alps you know. Fortunately so will all the other planes due to arrive and depart so you probably won’t miss your connection, mine was over an hour and a half late leaving. The other downside is you have to go down to the train to take you from arrivals to departure...Read More
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The AirlinesLONDON-NAIROBIThe first 7 airlines mentioned are the ones I’ve travelled with to Kenya. One has now changed names and has since merged with another one and they now use the others airline. I will put them in the order of preference as before with a very quick summary. The ones further down with no numbering are airlines that I/we might well use in the future in getting to Kenya.1] Kenya Airways (KQ)The more I think about this the more I come to the conclusion that of those used so far despite the ignorant chauvinistic male steward and that they should come in first, Only just though due to excellent food and service on board with the noted exception. The films were...Read More

Kenya-Getting There. The Summary IIIb

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

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The future?The Airlines to MombasaThe following airlines I have used for my 3 trips using MBA Airport which I always strive to avoid. I will also now strive to avoid First Choice airlines and anything to do with Thomson Holidays when travelling to Kenya, though I suspect we will have to use them at some time in the future.1 & 2] First Choice Airlines (FCA)I have flown with them from to Kenya twice now both times on the same on the LGW-MBA route. One was excellent and the other was atrocious. If their ethics, morals and business practices were better they would have been in 3rd place and that would only be because I don’t like MBA Airport (read the other parts of the ...Read More