Home' Travel News : August-September 2017 Contents 40 travel news august/september 2017
august/september 2017 travel news 41
I was going to start this editions rumble
with tales of my travels to Europe over their
summer months, but more about that later.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport - Kenya’s
window to the world has done it again. It’s
hard to believe but here goes. Parking for their
customers has always been at a premium,
with ALL car parks being continually full, so
much so that the great and the good usually
travel by taxi to and from the airport.
The multi-storey car park opposite the new
international arrivals terminal 1E, never
opened as planned, as it became itself the
international arrivals terminal after the fire that
destroyed the original international arrivals
building. I hope I haven’t lost you. Now that
terminal 1E is up and running I noticed that
work had started to convert it back to what it
was originally intended to be.
I was told it was open, so I decided to use it
and found it open for business – but sadly
not for me, the customer. It seems that it is
for staff only. There is not a sign anywhere
that states ‘Staff Parking Only.’ How bloody
ridiculous can you get – staff first customers
second, it’s like those reserved parking bays
in town reserved for bank and insurance big
wigs and the like.
This is what Sam Walton the founder of
Walmart had to say about ‘customers first’
“There is only one boss. The customer. And
he can fire everybody in the company from
the chairman on down, simply by spending
his money somewhere else.”
There is a parking ticket payment device in
the multi-storey, but I was told that staff do
not pay, they enter with staff cards.
Surprising how many ‘staff’ have Range
Rovers, Land Cruisers and the like – equally
surprising there were no red number plates
which I might have expected.
I was offered the option of trying to find
parking outside the termini one’s or
alternatively going to the large (but full)
parking opposite terminal two, which is a
10-minute slog back to the airport proper.
There is a shuttle bus, but it seems
unreliable and is often out of order.
For the record I parked in the multi-storey. I
magically produced a decades old business
card from my days when I was with Air
Canada, that and a crushed note did the
Going back to the customer first scenario, I
notice that both British Airways and Etihad
here in Nairobi have closed their offices to
their customers, people to people comms
it seems are no longer important. Phone
if you are lucky enough to get through or
email are the only alternatives.
The former ‘world's favourite airline’ made
‘putting people first’ at the centre of its
culture – sadly all now gone to shareholder
value – the customer be damned.
Of course customer second is all our fault,
the travellers of the world – our demand is
such that service standards and cost cutting
by the worlds airlines goes not unnoticed
but if the price is right – who cares we buy.
That’s how the airlines see it, so giving
you more for less is not going to happen.
Instead look for less as the new more.
ABBA as we all know was a great Swedish
group, made even more famous by the play
and movie 'Mama Mia' – in the UK ABBA
has another meaning ‘Anyone But British
We flew to the UK via Muscat with Oman
Air; you might remember I won two tickets
at their Nairobi press launch. What a great
little airline, with all the high standards of
its Gulf neighbours. I’m told their fares are
über competitive and you get a standard of
service not experienced on most European
airlines. The connections from Nairobi to
Europe are not ideal but not impossible,
but if you are going east you’d be wise to
We’d never been to Manchester (an Oman
Air destination) so decided to stay a few
days and explore the city – I did my research,
and found not a lot to do. We asked the taxi
driver from the airport what there was to do
‘Not much’ he replied. But went on to tell us
that Manchester had the largest shopping
centre in Europe The Trafford Centre and
you could also visit the football stadiums.
We did neither, instead exploring the city
centre its restaurants, watering holes and
lots of people watching.
Flying to the south of France with easyJet
was a new experience, low cost check,
customer service levels as expected cheap
and cheerful but perfectly acceptable,
sardines yes but not as bad as I’d expected.
The way they turn-a -round their flights is
amazing, departing passenger are stacked
in the airbridge to the yet to arrive aircraft –
just so they are ready to board in an instant.
Once the aircraft arrives the passengers
disembark onto the tarmac. The airbridge
with all of us in it is then connected to the
aircraft an we are boarded – this all in
10-minutes. They have it down to an art
Like most European airlines you can buy
food and drink onboard. We bought before
we boarded, however the onboard menu
looked enticing and the gent over the aisle
ordered a hot bacon butty which looked
delicious. I felt like Mr. Bean staring at his
food, and wanting to stick my finger into it
to see I it was indeed hot. As you’d expect I
We stayed in an apartment in the foothills
of the Alps inland from the French Riviera
in a small hill village called Biot. The food
was excellent and more than reasonable,
the wine – well let me tell you that we set a
price limit of €2 a bottle, not at restaurants
obviously, but from the local dhuka’s. Many
bottles were consumed with only one that
didn’t meet our expectations, however low
they might have been. The weather in July
was brutal getting up to 36C and evidently it
was a little crowded but I didn’t really notice.
Best time to visit May/June or September/
October. We’ll be back sooner rather than
So much more to tell....like a bunch of
bankers and the government now the major
shareholders of our national airline – do
they have a clue – I think not. Please prove
Links Archive June-July 2017 October-November 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page