Home' Travel News : August-September 2016 Contents 36 travel news august/september 2016
august/september 2016 travel news 37
I’ve had the pleasure of arriving at both
of Jomo Kenyatta International Airports
(JKIA) new international arrivals facilities
recently. And I must say I was impressed.
They are sooooo much better than the
converted multi-storey car park used as a
stopgap for many years after the fire that
destroyed the original arrivals building.
Which in itself was a pretty remarkable
achievement post fire.
The first facility used was that in the Kenya
Airways and SkyTeam airlines, terminal
1A, all very professional with minimal line-
ups and incredibly quick baggage delivery.
One small problem is that meeters and
greeters have to stand across the road,
without shelter – which is not the best of
The road here is usually clogged with
important people, or those that think
they are, being collected by their minions
without a care in the world, causing an
almighty traffic jam.
Terminal 1E is where all other international
arrivals are processed. It’s basically right
across the road from the multi-storey car
park, which hopefully will be converted
back to its original configuration to resolve
the dire lack of parking spaces at JKIA.
Sooner rather than later. Again a hassle
free egress, all things being equal.
Once outside you are at the mercy of the
elements, no cover whatsoever and a
rather confusing passenger pick-up zone.
Those important people mentioned earlier
have scads of parking while us lesser
mortals are left to be picked up, at the
mercy of the boys in blue, on the main
But it is better, and hopefully can only
improve over time.
The terminal numbering at JKIA is
confusing for us evidently in the know,
probably even more so to infrequent
visitors to the airport. In a past life there
was a billboard on entering the airport,
which directed you to the terminal your
airline was operating from.
A quick re-cap: Terminal 1A KQ, KLM,
China Southern and other SkyTeam
member airlines, for both departures
and arrivals. Terminal 1B seems to be
a construction zone with only a few
indeterminable airlines using this facility.
Most other international departures
use terminal 1C, 1D as always is for
departures and arrivals for flights within
Kenya. Terminal 1E as previously alluded
to is for international arrivals and terminal
2 is the domain of Fly540, SAX and African
Express. A terminal connector bus service
is available to/from all terminals and distant
Before I leave JKIA, I have to comment
on the new fangled security facility we all
have to endure before entering the airport
What a shambles. Cars are x-rayed or
whatever it is that they do, with driver
onboard. Passenger are then expected to
disembark cross over many lanes of traffic
in all kinds of weather, and poorly lit at
night for a cursory scan before rejoining
their transport post x-ray. This point is often
heavily congested, as the facility is not fit
for purpose as it was designed mainly for
I’m told that the expensive equipment
installed is supposed to do the business
with all passengers in their vehicles.
There is little consistency, some
passengers are allowed to stay in their
cars, others not. I have been harassed
and asked by security for lunch money,
and admonished officers for checking my
cars insurance disc rather than checking
for weapons, bombs etc., as you’d think
they should be.
But here is the cruncher, the security detail
on this fancy apparatus is manned not by
the police, GSU or army as you’d expect
but by the young people of the National
Youth Service. Unarmed, untrained and
looking for a quick meal courtesy of us
taxpayers. Now there is a real worry.
We have been taken to task for publishing
letters from our readers that were less
than flattering to what used to be called
the ‘Pride of Africa’.
Our editorials over the past few issues
have been frank, honest and to the point
about the plight of our national airline.
To hear of another horrendous loss for
their last financial year, a plummeting
share price and a balance sheet burdened
with massive debt, does not bode well for
Their management seems to blame
everyone else but themselves, and that in
my humble opinion is where most of the
fault lies. The blame game as played by
KQ’s management reached dizzying new
heights when it was reported recently
that competition was one of their major
problems. Competition! Good grief!
Oh to have a business with no competitors!
Well, actually this little digital magazine is
one such business, which is now looking
for new owners, partners or investors to
secure its future going forward. If you are
interested or know anyone that might be –
please get in touch. Click HERE to email.
How do you like my head warmer above?
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