Home' Travel News : August-September 2015 Contents 26 travel news August-September 2015
August-September 2015 travel news 27
The new security regime at Jomo Kenyatta
International Airport (JKIA) is something
else. I’m all for a secure environment, but
this is over-kill, with due apologies for the
On arrival at the airport, more the entrance
to it, while still in your car, you are greeted
with what seems to be a state-of-the-art all
singing all dancing security apparatus – it
certainly looks very high-tech. Evidently it
does the business, it scans your car from
the underside plus there is a side-scan – it
is all seeing I’m told. However there is a
major fly in the ointment. Evidently it only
scans cars, their contents and the driver.
All passengers must exit, cross over 5-6
lanes of busy traffic to be hand frisked by
security personnel. You then re-join your
vehicle on the other side. Whole bus loads
of passengers together with your guests
traipse across causing more mayhem and
major back-ups on both sides of the car
screening. At night this is pretty scary, as
the area is not very well lit. An accident
looking for a place to happen guaranteed!
Tell me why the driver is good to
go without being frisked but the
passengers are not?
What do all our business investors,
tourists and the like think of this Mickey
Mouse scenario? I’m all for security,
but done properly and in an orderly and
Update....update....update: I just came
back from JKIA post-Obama, no out of
car experience for my passenger, just a
cursory flashlight check of the cars interior
before going into the screening process.
A blip in the system or the realisation that
the screening process is fully inclusive?
Talking of President Obama’s visit to
Kenya, the country of his father’s birth –
what a breath of fresh air! His speech to
the people of Kenya from Kasarani was
inspiring, hard hitting and in the main
factually correct. I was in awe, massive
delivery and a 40-minute address without
notes – what a presence!
Nairobi looked fabulous, all scrubbed up
and shining, flags-a-flying and no traffic –
everyone it seems stayed home or went
away for the duration of his stay in Kenya.
Just shows what we can do, when we
His visit will I’m sure, given its international
coverage, show the world that Kenya is
a progressive nation that is going places
and getting there at a fair clip. International
investors find the country an attractive
proposition, and from that will come the
return of our traditional tourist markets.
The migration has started and lodges and
camps in the Masai Mara are reporting
brisk business through until the end of
Those that know tell me getting Kenya
back into international tour operator’s
brochures is at best a two-year exercise
Lufthansa Group’s Brussels Airlines stops
flying into Nairobi from September to be
replaced by its owner with five flights
a week to/from Frankfurt using Airbus
A340-300 aircraft. Brussels Airlines will
however continue to serve Entebbe, Kigali
and Bujumbura. China Southern Airlines
has launched three weekly flights from
Shanghai to Nairobi, which in conjunction
with fellow Sky Team member Kenya
Airways offers massive capacity on the
Kenya – China route. Fuelled by the
massive Chinese adventure in Africa.
Going back to security at JKIA – on
departing from any of the international
terminal buildings (1A/B/C) there is a
security check, bags and self scanned
belts removed, thankfully not shoes.
You then proceed to baggage drop and
immigration. There is further screening
prior to boarding your aircraft, this is
because at JKIA arriving and departing
passengers are not segregated and this
poses a perceived security risk.
However in the new terminal 1A there
is extra security check just before you
go through immigration. This is no more
than 50-metres from the security as you
enter the terminal, with only the check-in
counters between the two.
What is this all about?
Crazy times, which led to a very frustrated
TCB dropping his laptop at the third
screening area of said terminal 1A. A few
choice words later, I fired up the laptop,
nada – the screen staring blankly back at
me. No worries I thought, I was on my way
to the big modern world. I was wrong. Mr.
Apple telling me that anything over 5-years
old is considered obsolete, they didn’t
want to know. Not something they tell you
when you buy one of their products.
Lucky dip on the Internet found me sending
the laptop to somewhere in the Manchester
area, Eccles to be exact, isn’t that the
place the cakes come from? Blind faith
without doubt, but driven by desperation
of it went, I half expected never to see it
again. Worse yet it would be hacked and
personal information used to empty my
meagre bank account.
Looks can be deceptive, it looked shady,
it felt shady, it even smelt shady (well, you
know what I mean). But it was impressively
efficient – screen replaced and returned
to me within five working days – the
most impressive part was the price. For
less than the price of a new replacement
screen online – I assume mine is second
hand, but who cares it flies.
So much more to say, so little space left.
Until next time.....
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