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Transfering between airlines at Nairobi airport

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San Jose, California
posts: 16
reviews: 87
Transfering between airlines at Nairobi airport

Hi, we are flying into Nairobi from London at about 9 p.m. on BA and flying out to Zanzibar the next morning at 7 a.m on Precision Air. We have pretty much determined there is no compelling reason to spend the money to leave the airport overnight.

If we have to retrieve and re-check our luggage (as I doubt BA will check it through another airline for us) does this mean that we will have to get a transit visa to wander around the airport? Or is there another way to get your luggage transferred without having to go through customs and immigration? And do the ticketing counters close for the night after the last plane has left/arrived?

I got stuck once in Lima watching those guys wrap luggage in fluorescent plastic for 5 hours because the ticketing/baggage check counter for the regional airline didn't open until 2 hours before the first flight and even though we had already printed our boarding passes (and had no luggage to check), they wouldn't let us back through security until we had gotten some stamp from the ticket counter. Trying to avoid a replay of that, but would rather be ready for it if it is going to happen.

27 replies to this topic
Nairobi, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Kenya
posts: 2,088
reviews: 150
1. Re: Transfering between airlines at Nairobi airport

BA should be able to interline check your bags through for you to Zanzibar.

There is nothing to do at Nairobi airport. You could pay to use the first class lounge, but they normally allow you in for 3 hours maximum. While there are flights departing and arriving throughout the night, most of the airport will shut down.

If BA can't check your bags through, and you have to go and clear immigration and customs, you will need to buy a transit visa. The Precison Air desks won't open till morning for you to check your bags in, so you will have to wait outside. There is limited seating.

Nairobi
posts: 5
2. Re: Transfering between airlines at Nairobi airport

The share the codes

Once the clients arrive at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, their luggage will be transferred by the airline staff to the next connecting flight to Tanzania where the clients will receive the luggage upon arrival at Kilimanjaro airport.

This means, the clients will not require to have a Kenyan Visa upon arrival at JKIA since will not get out of the airport nor get out from the airport. LAURA – www.xplorato.com – Xplorato Ventures Ltd

Bungoma, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Kenya
posts: 2,514
reviews: 2
3. Re: Transfering between airlines at Nairobi airport

You don't need to get a transit visa. If you want to confirm that your luggage is checked through, you can go to the Kenya Airways Transit desk, just before you go down to Passport Control. Have your luggage tags handy.

The place is usually pretty crowded until the late night planes have left, so you should be able to get something to eat or drink if you need it. People usually recommend the Java House just past Gate 14.

Personally, I'd carry a plastic bag or two and bring my uneaten bits and pieces from the flight! That usually is enough to keep me going in such situations.

You should be given your boarding pass for your onward flight when you leave London (or wherever your journey starts.)

Yes, sitting it out at JKIA is a bit boring, but there are seats and you can see if any Lounge is open all night. (Last time I investigated, they were shut "for cleaning").

There was a sleep and shower place down the stairs, near Gate 3, but it was closed "for renovations". Maybe it is open again - does anyone know?

Nairobi
posts: 5
4. Re: Transfering between airlines at Nairobi airport

The share the codes

Once the clients arrive at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, their luggage will be transferred by the airline staff to the next connecting flight to Tanzania where the clients will receive the luggage upon arrival at Kilimanjaro airport.

This means, the clients will not require to have a Kenyan Visa upon arrival at JKIA since will not get out of the airport nor get out from the airport.

Edited: 8:01 am, February 11, 2013
Oxford, UK
posts: 98
reviews: 2
5. Re: Transfering between airlines at Nairobi airport

I've asked the same question in the case that I miss my connecting flight to Mombasa at 23.05 if the BA flight scheduled to arrive at 21.50 is late. The answers I got back then were that the lounges close at midnight. My problem is that I will have to collect my bags and go through immigration and customs and then dash over to Domestic departures. If it all goes pear shaped I will be stuck outside the airport and unable to get back in to the main terminal.

Suggestions gratefully received.

San Jose, California
posts: 16
reviews: 87
6. Re: Transfering between airlines at Nairobi airport

Well, so far British Airways refuses to give us an answer one way or another on whether we can transfer our luggage all the way through. We may opt to just carry on rather than risk getting stuck.

To AnnaRD: Unless your flight in is really late, it sounds from the other posts I've read that you should be OK making your connection (unless the Mombasa flight gets cancelled, of course).

Even if you get stuck outside the terminal, you're not really stuck outside the airport. Even when no one is at ticketing I've never heard of an airport that completely shuts down, you just end up sitting around waiting for the ticket counters to open where it is much less comfortable than inside the terminal.

The responses mirror what I've come to accept about Africa generally--experiences vary so be prepared to make adjustments and go with it.

nyc
posts: 13,367
7. Re: Transfering between airlines at Nairobi airport

10/hrs at NBO/JKIA... ugh! Not the most pleasant (if at all) to be hanging around here more than a few hours.

While paxs transiting thru NBO/JKIA and onto Tanzania with under 6/hrs layover do not require a Yellow Fever inoculation and proof of same for entry to Zanzibar... those caught longer on arrival ZNZ, DO REQUIRE this inoculation.

If you do not have and agent at ZNZ Immigration asks for proof and you don't have they have the option to give this jab at fee of $50/person. Suggest, to be safe and you don't already have this inoc... you do so before heading out.

San Jose, California
posts: 16
reviews: 87
8. Re: Transfering between airlines at Nairobi airport

We have all the yellow fever paper work already so no worries about that.

Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
posts: 13,579
reviews: 51
9. Re: Transfering between airlines at Nairobi airport

AnnaRD,

I've been on the last flight from Nairobi to Mombasa when it has been held to wait for international connecting flights, it took off at 0.30 one time. I haven't flown with BA for years, I usually fly KLM / KQ to Mombasa, so I don't know if BA will be able to check you all the way through, if they can you will have boarding cards for NBO - Mombasa. If the London flight is going to be late ask the air crew to have someone from ground crew meet you so they can contact Domestic check in and maybe fast track you through Immigration. If time is really short and your bags are checked through they may get you through but your bags may follow the next morning

BTW the Airport operates 24 hours, as does (I suspect) The Pub terrace cafe / bar outside, between the two terminals, close to the entrance to International Departures

Laura,

As far as I'm aware BA only does codesshares with it's 'One World' Partners and 3 or 4 other airlines and Precision is not one of them

Oxford, UK
posts: 98
reviews: 2
10. Re: Transfering between airlines at Nairobi airport

Thanks Doffcocker. Unfortunately, BA won't check me all the way through to Mombasa. I am BA to Nairobi plus another KQ ticket to Mombasa. BA apparaently can ticket you all the way but interestingly in order for this to happen you have to forfeit any discount you may have got via a BA sale, airmiles etc. End result for me was a quote of £2K plus instead of circa £800. Not surprisingly, I opted out.

Does anyone know if it is possible to abandon my bags if they are slow coming off the plane and get them sent on the next day or would arranging this take more time than waiting for them?

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