The workshop brought together Social Media influencers, traditional media practitioners from Ghana, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Gambia, Uganda and Kenya to brainstorm and share ideas on best practices for Social Media use in Africa.
My previous trips to Nairobi has always been with Ethiopian Airways due to their cheaper fares and easy transfers between Addis Ababa and Nairobi but this time, I decided to go with Kenya Airways since it was going to be a direct flight from Accra to Nairobi for a duration of 6-hours.
As you already know, Kenya Airways is a leading airline in Africa which flies to Accra daily and to 65 destinations globally including some African countries.
Check-In, Ground Crew and Boarding
My flight from Accra was supposed to depart at 2100 GMT on Friday but due to technical (crew change) issues, the flight got canceled and rescheduled to 0900 GMT the following day.
The Kenya Airways ground crew in Accra checked passengers into various hotels within the city so as to enable us board the following morning. I shared a couple of tweets about my displeasure with the flight cancellation. My tweets caught the attention of a friend who works for Kenya Airways and got in touch immediately.
It takes at least 6 hours in the air to get to Nairobi from Accra. 6 hours of crammed seats, sealed processed foods and the inevitable crying babies. But this time, because of some rants on Twitter and a sheer inexplicable luck, I was rescued from economy and allowed into the exclusive and elite world of the upper class.
Despite my many flights with KLM and being a holder of a Golden Frequent Flier card, I couldn’t help but smile at the opportunity of an upgrade on this journey.
When I got to the boarding gate 5 upstairs after waiting in a long queue during Passport Control, I was once again met with a long queue of passengers waiting to be cross-checked before granted access to the gate. When it got to my turn, I humbly produced my boarding pass and mentioned to the crew that, I was upgraded and needed to have a new boarding pass.
The gentleman looked at me from head-to-toe and quizzically bellowed:
“Who says so? Who upgraded you? As for me, I’m not aware of any upgrading oooo.“
He then turned to one of his colleagues to verify whether my name was on the upgraded list to and to his surprise, it was. My new boarding pass was already printed and waiting to be handed over to me.
Boarding was on-time and, as expected in true African fashion, it was very chaotic withÂ no priority boarding enforced. The process reminded me of my experience with struggling for trotros and taxis a couple of years ago until I managed to save for my car.
In-Flight Entertainment and Cabin Crew
As with all First and Business Classes, I was hoping for a personal In-Flight Entertainment unit but was disappointed to see the overhead IFE which had just a few Nigerian movies and Just for Laughs Gags on repeat.
Despite been disappointed with the IFE choice of movies, I managed to console myself with the free champagne and red wine.
On-board Customer Service
I had an excellent customer service from the cabin crew.
Amanda and Mbugua were very prompt and courteous. They both kept smiling the whole time while making sure we were satisfied with the service on board.
The crew took pride in their jobs, and this was most evident during the safety demo and meal choice.
Upon finding out that I was a technology and travel blogger, a couple of the crew came by to chat and talk about their trips and how they always feel safe in Accra.
They shared their experience visiting Makola market and buying some fabrics for their friends and families.
Duty Free & On-board Meals
Duty Free Shopping is available on Kenya Airways. You can find whatâ€™s available to purchase on the airlineâ€™s in-flight magazine called Msafiri Magazine.
Kenya Airways is a partner in the frequent flyer program called Flying Blue and they reward their loyal customers kindly.
I’m not always a fan of airplane food but I was so looking forward to this Business class experience on this flight to Nairobi. For Appetizer, I had Green Pea Mousse with Tomato Apricot Salad and Stir Fried Vegetables.
For the main course, I opted for Jollof rice with spring onions with Kelewele but was told that option was finished therefore, I had to settle for Green Thai Chicken Curry with Corriander Rice and Stir Fried Vegetables which wasn’t bad at all.
On Landing and Arrival in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
The arrival experience at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is probably the weakest point of the Kenya Airways experience.
Upon disembarkation from the aircraft, a 15-minute bus ride ensued taking us to a building resembling a car-park which is actually the International arrivals hall.
According to KQ staff, this is only a temporary measure until the main arrival hall gets rebuilt following the fire outbreak in 2014. Baggage delivery also took a further 20 minutes, so it was almost an hour from the time the aircraft arrived until I was outside the arrival hall.
Despite the above, I’m very impressed with the customer service I always received from the Kenya Airways Office in Accra.
Anthony Sarfo and his colleagues are very friendly, exhibit the best of customer service and are always willing to assist passengers with their requests.
Kenya Airways gives many European â€œfull-serviceâ€ airlines a run for their money, in particular with their cabin product.
Also given that, their extensive network of fifth-freedom flights within Africa, they are a solid and reliableÂ option for intra-Africa travel which can look intimidating and dysfunctional at times.
I am happy to recommend Kenya Airways to anyone flying from Accra or any of the major African countries to any part of the world for a guaranteed excellent customer service and a relaxing flight experience.
Kenya Airways flies direct from Accra to Nairobi and connects you to other African and International destinations around the world. Book Kenya Airways Flights now.
Kenya Airways is truly the Pride of Africa.