"Nightmare transit through Nairobi" Kenya Transportation Tip by DesertRat

Kenya Transportation: 85 reviews and 69 photos

  This "concourse" is madness if it's crowded...
by DesertRat

My wife and I have just returned from a trip to South Africa with Kenya Airways, which, unavoidably, involved a change of aircraft in Nairobi. On the outward journey, we were an hour late leaving Dubai and had, according to the schedule, but 50 minutes on the ground at Jomo Kenyatta Int'l. We were assured that our Cape Town flight would be held, which was true enough as it turned out.

On arrival in Nairobi, we entered the terminal via an airbridge from our 767, were rushed through a narrow, crowded corridor to the Cape Town gate and their security (which was slipshod at best). Once inside, the whole experience took on the appearance of a Keystone Cop film:

"Where do we go?"
"Sit down anywhere"
Five minutes later. Flight's called.
"Where's the gate?"
"Go through that door."
"But that isn't a gate. Where is the gate?"
"Go through that door."
There were two directions we could go to get out a door.
"Which door?"
"Go through the door."
We went through "that door" and found ourselves walking down a long, shallow stairway that led to the tarmac. There were five 737s going to various cities including Cape Town, but there was no direction as to WHICH aircraft. Meanwhile, we were dodging luggage trains, inhaling jet exhaust fumes, and trying to communicate with one another through the din of engines. Finally, we saw a Kenya Airways rep in a red blazer and she pointed us to the correct plane. Had we not found her, we might have wound up in Kinshasa or Lagos or somewhere else equally appalling.

I SUSPECT the explanation for all this is that their air-bridges can't be lowered to the level of a narrow-bodied jet. But who am I to say??

Moral: Transiting Nairobi is to be avoided.

Mode: TO
Type: Airplane

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  • Updated Jan 19, 2004
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