Three years ago, I was on a Kenya Airways flight from Nairobi to Bangkok. I was booked in Economy Class and was hoping for an upgrade. Not a chance. Unfortunately, I happened to be travelling on the same flight as Kenya’s President, who was on an important mission. Here’s my Kenya Airways review.
How to travel like a President
The President’s entourage occupied all the seats in Business Class and the first two rows of Economy. Full fare Business Class passengers were being moved to other flights or downgraded. Can you imagine that happening anywhere else?
Non-VIP passengers were asked to board early and we waited on the aircraft for about one hour. The aircraft was then moved to the VIP entrance. The red carpet was rolled out and a voice over the PA system extended the President a warm welcome and a pleasant journey.
Never mind the rest of us.
I craned my neck to try to get a glimpse of the VIP traveller but I was stared at sternly by a couple of wide-shouldered burly men dressed in smart dark-coloured western business suits.
Men in black
The Kenyan secret service and a handful of reporters took their seats in the front rows of Economy. One of the reporters had an entire seat reserved for his enormous old-fashioned TV camera.
A meal was served but some of the locals had come prepared with their own food. The man sitting across the aisle from me turned down the meal offered by the flight attendant and pulled out a whole roast chicken from his hand luggage. It smelled good. I wish I had done the same!
Bring your own food
My tummy rumbled as I watched him tear open the foil bag and feast on roast chicken.
As soon as the meal service had ended, the lights went out. I was looking forward to a few hours of reading but the reading lights wouldn’t come on.
The entertainment system was out of commission. And the call buttons (to summon the flight attendants) didn’t work. Eventually, a flight attendant walked past and I stopped to quiz her about the condition of the services on board.
I was told she would investigate and get back to me. She never did. I guess everyone was focused on making sure the President’s trip went smoothly.
Although that particular flight aboard Kenya Airways was the worse flight I’ve ever been on it was also one of the most memorable ones. My biggest regret is I didn’t film it!
Kenya Airways Nairobi to Entebbe
Three years later, my flight aboard Kenya Airways Boeing 737-300 from Nairobi to Entebbe was less eventful.