Around The World In 21 Days: Kenya Airways Economy DXB-NBO-SEZ


  1. Introduction
  2. Delta Comfort+ ECP-ATL-JNB
  3. Hilton Sandton
  4. British Airways Economy JNB-PLZ
  5. Conrad Pezula
  6. Knysna and the Garden Route
  7. Westin Cape Town
  8. Exploring Cape Town + Penguins!
  9. British Airways Economy CPT-JNB
  10. Protea Hotel OR Tambo Airport
  11. Kenya Airways Economy JNB-NBO-DXB
  12. DoubleTree Hotel Jumeirah Beach
  13. Exploring Dubai
  14. Kenya Airways Economy DXB-NBO-SEZ
  15. Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort
  16. Exploring Mahe Island
  17. Kenya Airways Economy SEZ-NBO-BKK
  18. W Bangkok Hotel
  19. Exploring Bangkok
  20. Vietnam Airlines Economy BKK-HAN-NRT
  21. Back In Tokyo!
  22. Delta Air Lines Main Cabin NRT-DTW-ATL
  23. DoubleTree Atlanta Airport
  24. Delta Air Lines Comfort+ ATL-ECP
  25. Conclusion

As with all good things, my time in Dubai came to an end before I even knew it. I tried to cram much into that last night, including my visit to Barasti, but eventually that night I had to go back to my hotel to finish packing and then checking out. Much like my arrival into Dubai which was in the middle of the night, my departure would be the same – Kenya Airways turns around their aircraft here with minimal delay. That’s right, I would be flying Kenya Airways again, due to their excellent route network across Eastern Africa and of course being the only way for me to get to the Seychelles while being on a SkyTeam carrier. Really, my fate was kinda locked in because of my destinations, but these next two flights gave me even more opportunities to see what Kenya Airways was all about, and on this leg, get to try the other Kenya Airways lounge in Nairobi – the Pride Lounge.

Having used a taxi to get from the airport when I arrived, I figured taking one to get back would probably be best. Especially with some of the lost Uber drivers I encountered in Dubai (although to be honest, I’m sure they can all find the airport)…

I made it to the airport in relatively no time with my driver dropping me off in front of the terminal. Perhaps I thought the terminal would be a bit more grand, but I have to admit it was not as modern as I thought it would be. I’m sure the portion Emirates is housed in is, but those of us flying the ‘lesser’ airlines, it wasn’t a terminal to right home about.

Thankfully at the the least, I was able to get a luggage cart for my ridiculously heavy and awkward duffel; the one thing I had learned at this point on my trip was that backpack straps be damned, there’s just no good way to carry that bag.

The Kenya Airways counter was easy enough to find, being at the end of one of the rows of check-in desks, and I made my way into the Sky Priority lane. None of the lanes were moving exceptionally quick, but I was here plenty early so there wasn’t much rush. As it was my turn, I was dealt with quickly; bags tagged, boarding passes issued, and an invitation for the KLM Lounge. It was then through immigration and security which was quick and then I was on my way to the concourse and the lounge.

Kenya Airways Check-In Dubai

KLM Crown Lounge Dubai
Since Kenya Airways had issued me an invitation to the KLM Lounge, I had decided to head there. One thing I always find interesting is when airlines in the same alliance will issue an invitation to business class and frequent flier members for the purposes of the lounge that is run by another airline in the same alliance when in reality, I should be able to get in with my boarding pass or elite status alone. It was rather interesting back in 2014 where KLM had to issue me an invitation to visit the Delta Sky Club in Santiago when I was a Delta Platinum Medallion flying in KLM World Business Class back in 2014.

Before entering the lounge though, I made sure to stop by the airport branch of Emirates Post – the post office of the UAE. I send postcards back to myself in the US during my visits overseas as it makes for an interesting and cheap souvenir. During my stay though in Dubai, I had almost forgot to do this very important task! Luckily, the Post Office was open and it was also a good way to get rid of a few dirhams left in my pocket.

KLM Crown Lounge Entrance

Upon entering the lounge, I was greeted by the one agent working, who took my invitation and welcomed me inside. The lounge, I must say was on the small side, and at this point in the evening I was the only one in here. Actually, I would be the only person in here for quite some time.

KLM Crown Lounge

KLM Crown Lounge – Bar

As it approached closer to my departure time, I decided to go and walk the terminal for a bit, check out the duty free, spend a few more dirhams in my pocket before I made my way to the gate. I didn’t really find anything of very much interest, and only wound up buying a bottle of water, so that I would have one for my flight south.

Much More Modern Than The Ticketing Hall

I admittedly got the gate area much sooner than I probably needed to, and wound up hanging out in the gate area for about a half an hour before boarding. There were a few missteps when it came time to boarding – I think everyone was anxious to board as the minute someone came on the PA system, everyone stood up. Somehow I managed to make it on during the Sky Priority boarding group…

Kenya Airways #311
Dubai, UAE (DXB) to Nairobi, Kenya (NBO)
Saturday, June 13, 2015
Depart: 2:50AM Arrive: 6:55AM
Aircraft: Boeing 777 Seat: 12D (Economy Class)

Just as with the flight up to Dubai, what was supposed to be a flight on the brand new 787, turned out to really be a 777. And my seat wasn’t that much different either; I was in the same row as the inbound flight, but on the opposite aisle. That being said, there was no appreciable difference between the two flights in terms of comfort or in-flight entertainment. To be honest, on this sector, all I wanted to do was to do the impossible: sleep in economy class. I struggle with the sleeping while sitting up thing, but somehow I had managed to get a few hours of shuteye as we headed south. It probably wasn’t the best quality sleep, but it would let me keep on going! In fact, I think I even managed to sleep through the meal service!

On The Ground In Nairobi

Kenya Airways Pride Lounge
As with my other inbound flight to Nairobi we found ourselves parked at a remote stand and taking a bus from the plane to the terminal. The process was pretty much identical – disembark via stairs, cram on to bus, get dropped off, clear through security (was just as much of a breeze as previously), and done. With nearly 5 hours between flights on this leg of my trip, I made my way to the Pride Lounge, since I had previously visited the Simba lounge. The Pride Lounge, as I understand it, is the newer of the two and is most definitely much larger, much brighter, and has more amenities. Much like the Simba lounge, it’s on the level above the main terminal, meaning a short elevator ride up.

Kenya Airways Pride Lounge Entrance

Upon entering the lounge, I was quickly checked in and informed of the details of my connecting flight. I then made my way down the corridor to the main lounge to start scoping things out. Kenya Airways did a fantastic job with breaking up the space and offering multiple different seating areas. With places to lounge, an area with tables and chairs for eating, a quiet/sleeping room and other spaces that were more secluded that would be good for working they really did well with the space. Add in the fact that there is a ton of natural light thanks to the large windows lining the one side of the lounge.

Kenya Airways Pride Lounge

Kenya Airways Pride Lounge

Dining Area

First order of business was to get some breakfast! Kenya Airways had a pretty decent spread on display, offering both hot and cold options that surely everyone could find something to satisfy their hunger. I will admit though that the waffles were a little bit of a miss, but everything else was fairly decent. I will say that they also did a great job of making sure that everything was well stocked as well. I don’t think I saw any food that was ever completely out.

Food And Bar Area

Breakfast Of Champions

After I enjoyed my breakfast, it was time to move on to freshening up with a shower. Inquiring at the front desk, there did not seem to be a waiting list or otherwise for a shower. Basically, you have to catch the bathroom attendant and let him know that you’d like to take one; at least on the men’s side there were two shower rooms that were available. If one is available they’ll let you in, or in my case I was told to check back in 15 minutes or so.

The shower room itself is large enough and they provide you with everything you need. The one thing that did seem interesting is that it appears that they provide what must be the Business Class amenity kit in the shower room. I can’t think why I would need the socks though! Water pressure was decent, the temperature of the water was nice and hot, and the towels were fluffy. I pretty much can’t complain! It always helps to get that shower on these long international travel days – nothing refreshes you better.

Pride Lounge Shower

The Towels Were For The ‘Wrong’ Lounge…

After the shower, I made my way towards the quiet room to kick back while thumbing through my Seychelles guide book. Interestingly enough though, I did find an error in the book – I think Lonely Planet did a copy and past job for an element in a page layout, because the quick facts for the Seychelles actually matched up with Mauritius…

Quiet Room

Seychelles Or Mauritius?

Soon enough, as always my extended stay at the Pride Lounge would end and it would be time to head towards the gate of my next flight.

Flights Going All Across Africa

Kenya Airways #250
Nairobi, Kenya (NBO) to Mahe Island, Seychelles (SEZ)
Saturday, June 13, 2015
Depart: 11:30AM Arrive: 3:39PM
Aircraft: Embraer 190 Seat: 12J (Economy Class)

Having expected that the gate situation would be similar to my flight to Dubai, I decided to leave the lounge a bit later. Upon making my way to the lower level gates, I found that most of the gates weren’t actually miniature holding pens. Of course, since I left close to what was identified as the boarding time, I wasn’t going to spend much time there anyways.

The load heading out to the Seychelles was pretty light based on the number of folks that were in the gate area, and that is even taking into account that the flight was operated with an Embraer 190 aircraft. Once boarding was called, it was out to the bus, and then out to the remote stand…

Boarding For Mahe Island

Apparently, Row 12 and I are the best of friends when it comes to Kenya Airways, as on this leg I found myself in seat 12J; which is also an odd number/letter to see on an aircraft that size! I’m assuming that Kenya Airways has standardized seat numbers across all their aircraft, which is pretty smart. In this case, I had a window seat, as I had wanted to be able to take in Mahe Island as we approached, although for most of the three hour flight there isn’t anything to look at except the Indian Ocean.

With the light load on the flight, I was able to spread out a bit. Seat comfort was generally decent and legroom was about what you would expect as well. Not tons of it and not digging that deep into my knees.

Embraer 190 Legroom

Interestingly Enough, This Was The Boeing 777 That I Flew From Dubai On

It wasn’t long after take off that we were out over the Indian Ocean and above scattered clouds. From about this point, the flight attendants came through and started the service, which was done in the same order as on my Johannesburg to Nairobi leg several days prior.

At Cruising Altitude

The lunch was about as good as mystery meat can be – I believe they said that it was lamb, but you never really can tell with a lot of in-flight meals. Even being the mystery that it was, it actually wasn’t terrible and the cake for the desert was actually moist. In short, it was a heck of a lot better than the fish I had on my flight from Johannesburg.

Kenya Airways Economy Class Lunch NBO-SEZ

In-flight service was pretty decent throughout the flight with the flight attendants passing through the cabin a few times throughout. In the last several minutes of the flight, there started to be signs of life below. First boats and then followed up by the islands! The flight made a fantastic approach into Mahe, and I had correctly picked the best side of the aircraft as we came around the North side of the island and then entered the pattern into the airport on the East side of the island. I got a fantastic view of it all from above!

Getting Close!

Passing Over Northern Mahe


Once on the ground, I disembarked and made my way across the ramp towards immigration. Because I was on a flight from Kenya, they wanted to see proof of being vaccinated against Yellow Fever before I could proceed to immigration. While I technically didn’t need it as a result of having been a transit only passenger, I’m sure if I had not been vaccinated and didn’t posses a yellow card, it would have made things more interesting for me. Thankfully having that card meant quickly getting through the health inspection and to one of the immigration officers.

On The Ground In The Seychelles!

The good thing about the Seychelles is that nearly everyone can enter without a visa for short term stays. What this does mean however is that the immigration officers go into probably more detail than you’ll find in most countries. Make sure you have a copy of your itinerary and proof of when you are leaving, as when your passport is stamped (with their unique stamp, I’ll say), it will be annotated as valid only through your departure date and not a generic 30/60/90 days, as with so many countries. That being said, it really was relatively painless, and customs was a breeze as well.

After a quick stop at the ATM in the open air arrivals and departures hall, I found my way to the taxi stand to make my way to my residence for the duration of my stay – the Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa.

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