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Connection time needed if flying to Nairobi from Mombasa

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Rutland
posts: 49
reviews: 29
Connection time needed if flying to Nairobi from Mombasa

Trying to organise an independent holiday using a Kenyan safari tour company for that part of the trip. We are staying in Mombasa for four nights at the end and then need to fly back to Mombasa to Nairobi for our international flight home to UK. How long will we sensibly need to allow between landing and connecting to our flight. Our home flight is 23.15 so I don't want to be hanging around the airport for hours unless I have to.

Thanks

London, United...
posts: 990
1. Re: Connection time needed if flying to Nairobi from Mombasa

ghacker,

I hate to be awkward, but it really depends on whether your are flying into Jomo or Wilson from MBA at the end. Give us a clue!

GJ

Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
posts: 13,488
reviews: 50
2. Re: Connection time needed if flying to Nairobi from Mombasa

Assuming you are flying KQ (Kenyan Airways) from MBA to NBO

It depends, if your international flight is also with them (or with an airline they have an agreement with so they can check you through) then all you need to do in Nairobi is take the short walk from the Domestic terminal to the International one. You will have your boarding card and your bags will be checked through so all you will have to do is go through the scanners, (there can be a short queue). fill your Departure card in and go through Immigration / Passport Control, this may only take a few minutes but can take 15 to 20 and it once took me about 40 minutes. Then you just have to get to the gate. Although normally you can do this comfortably in a lot less than an hour, you could hit a queue at the scanners if a coach has just left a conference or big tour party, though in this case they usually open another door and scanner. You could also be unlucky and hit a big queue at Immigration. I would suggest allowing a bit more, but in practice I would suggest you don't get the flight that allows an hour or so but get the previous one. (there are around 10 a day). I say this because it isn't unknown for the MBA - NBO flights to be delayed or even occasionally cancelled. If I catch the earlier flight I usually stop of for a beer or two on the terrace of the Pub between the two terminals rather than spend the whole time in the International terminal.

If your international flight is with someone else and you cannot be checked through, you are going to have to wait for your bags, then take them to International, go through the scanners, then check in. I've only been to the check in desks once in NBO and it was mayhem, then go through Immigration. I would think you would need to allow another hour to cover the baggage and check in

Rutland
posts: 49
reviews: 29
3. Re: Connection time needed if flying to Nairobi from Mombasa

Hi again and thanks for your help. I was thinking of getting a 1900 flight from Mombasa to Nairobi which lands at 2010. Our international flights is BA at 2315. I would have thought this enough time but when I contacted Kenya Airways, they are saying the normal check in is 3 hours. What say you. I would have thought this enough but as I don't know the airports (a few years since I have been anyway) I don't want to miss our homeward flight. When I worked as a PA to an executive I was always arranging his international travel. He used to get to the airport with about 30 mins to spare, but it wasn't his money if he missed his flight. I have to say I don't think he ever did but maybe he was lucky.

Rutland
posts: 49
reviews: 29
4. Re: Connection time needed if flying to Nairobi from Mombasa

I assume it is JOMO as it is a Kenya Airways flight.

nyc
posts: 13,232
5. Re: Connection time needed if flying to Nairobi from Mombasa

The flights from MOM are scheduled to arrive JKIA in consideration of many of the homebound flights in the evening. While it's advised 3/hrs prior departure for check=in/security, if arriving 8pm, you have more than sufficient time to catch that 11:15pm flight. And, many travelers are scheduled for this late flight. I only leave 2.5/hrs (sometimes less) and have time to 'hang' at this rather boring airport.

My only issue though is I prefer never to take 'last flight out' (as from MOM) with a possible delay for a mechanical. With that said, how much earlier is the flight before the one you are considering out of MOM? If you do decide on the earlier, you can still stop for a bite to eat at the restaurant outside (or is it upstairs) from the international terminal and then check-in for the homebound flight.

Rutland
posts: 49
reviews: 29
6. Re: Connection time needed if flying to Nairobi from Mombasa

Oh thanks. I do agree about the last flight - there is another but hadn't thought about food. We will certainly need a meal before our night flight. Is the restaurant reasonably good which you mention?

Thanks

Mombasa, Kenya
posts: 607
7. Re: Connection time needed if flying to Nairobi from Mombasa

Take 6 pm pm flight from Mombasa to be on a safe side. You will arrive around 7 pm with 4 hours to spare. If you cannot check in your bags to the final destination (possible only with KQ if I am not mistaken), by the time you collect your luggage, walk to the departure terminal, stand in a queue for security screening, then check in, immigration - you will not have such a huge wait. Upstairs, once you are through with immigration go to Gate 14 and have something to eat and a nice coffee at Java Coffee House. Browse Duty Free, it is not very expensive, especially alcohol, and it will be time for you to get to the gate.

I would be a bit worried to leave Mombasa on 7 pm flight in case of delays or even cancellation, but I am too cautious :) Most of our guests leave on 7 pm, some even on 8.20 pm flights to connect to 11+ pm from Nairobi.

Larissa

Tijara Beach Hotel

nyc
posts: 13,232
8. Re: Connection time needed if flying to Nairobi from Mombasa

While I haven't eaten anywhere at the NBO airport, the little there is.... it's my understanding there is a restaurant outside or up to a 2nd level at the International terminal where you can have a meal somewhat better than even Java which a recent comment... it's not all that good. Maybe someone else might have more specifics... sorry!

Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
posts: 13,488
reviews: 50
9. Re: Connection time needed if flying to Nairobi from Mombasa

as your international flight is not with KQ or one of its partners, you are in the second scenario I outlined above, where I implied I would allow at least two hours.

However I would tend to agree with Larissa and in your case I think I'd go for the 6 pm flight in case there are any significant delays or problems with the 7pm flight. Whilst the vast majority of flights leave on time, I've been delayed a couple of times, once when one of the navigation lights had a fault we had to wait while a replacement bulb was brought out on the next flight from Nairobi (we were held back until after that flight had turned round and left on schedule so ended up an hour and half to two hours late). I'm ok as I fly the whole trip with KQ / KLM so if there are any problems it's their responsibility to look after me, (I've had a couple of nights in NBO hotels as a result) I'm also time-rich being retired so any delay is just a minor inconvenience. In your case though, if there were delays, KQs responsibility ends with getting you to Nairobi.

I think I'd take the early flight, check in, then relax with either a beer and a snack at The Pub, or a meal at the Simba restaurant (on the 5th floor of the main building - I haven't been but I hear it's OK) or dally a while at The Pub then go through Immigration and have something to eat at Java (which I have always said good things about in the past but recall someone saying it had gone downhill recently - was it Roadwarrior?) .

Rutland
posts: 49
reviews: 29
10. Re: Connection time needed if flying to Nairobi from Mombasa

Thank you so much, yet again for your sharing your mine of information. This pub which people speak about, where abouts exactly is it? I have read some pretty horrific stories about Nairobi airport and how all the eateries are packed solid but I suppose it depends on the time. Didn't know about the Simba restaurant either, thanks for that. I have been to Nairobi several years ago but can't really remember it, but I think it was pretty grotty then.