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Transit time at Nairobi airport for international flights

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London, United...
2 posts
Transit time at Nairobi airport for international flights

Hi,

I wondered if anyone can advise which flight we should get from Mombassa to Nairobi for a BA 23.40 flight to LHR. The choice is either:

18:00 Mombasa (MBA) - 19:00 Nairobi (NBO)

20:40 Mombasa (MBA) - 21:40 Nairobi (NBO)

I would love to spend a bit longer at the coast but I don't want to risk losing the BA flight to the UK. We have 2 young children and grandparents with us which is also affecting my decision. I'm sure there used to be a flight between these two?!

Any advice much appreciated

Somerset
Destination Expert
for Mombasa, Diani Beach, Kenya
Level Contributor
6,889 posts
21 reviews
1. Re: Transit time at Nairobi airport for international flights

With kids in tow, I would go for the later flight. It's easier to occupy them at the coast than at Nairobi airport. It's only a short walk from the domestic terminal to the international terminal.

Ilford, United...
Level Contributor
400 posts
21 reviews
2. Re: Transit time at Nairobi airport for international flights

My only concern about the later flight would be the 2-3hr check-in time for international flights, unless it would be possible to check your luggage through.

I'm not a seasoned traveller as I have only ever done single flights not connecting flights, actually I did do one once when flying from Jersey to Paris via Heathrow in late 90s. (I seem to remember in that case the bags were not checked thru and we had to run thru LHR!) Maybe someone with more experience of that route can say if arriving at NBO 2hrs before departure would be feasible.

Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
Level Contributor
14,389 posts
55 reviews
3. Re: Transit time at Nairobi airport for international flights

Hi,

there is a flight at 19.00 but the booking sites don't seem to offer it as an option when connecting to an international flight. I've just booked my next set of flights, with KQ/KLM, and the 19.00 wasn't offered as an option on the KQ, KLM or Opodo sites, just the two you mention,

A couple of things to consider

Presumably you will not be able to check in and get your boarding cards for the BA flight at Mombasa, but you may or may not be able to check your bags through, technically all they need is the flight details, (I've had a manually produced luggage label when the Mombasa computer was down) I don't know if it would help if you had checked in online for the BA flight and had printed your boarding cards.

Don't know if you done this before, but if you haven't, if you can't book your bags through you are going to have to wait to collect them at Nairobi then walk out of Domestic, turn right, a couple of minutes walk, go through the scanner into the International terminal. There may be a short queue at the scanners, if it gets long they tend to open another door and scanner. I've only used the check in once at NBO and it was mayhem then. After checking in you have to fill in your departure card and go through passport control / Immigration which should be less than 15 or 20 minutes, (though I've been straight through with no queue a couple of times, and once I had to queue 40 minutes)

Although the Mombasa / Nairobi flights are pretty reliable and punctual, I did miss my connection once when the flight was significantly delayed (it was waiting for a light bulb to be flown out from Nairobi). It was not a problem for me because as I was booked through with KQ it was their responsibility to look after me, which they did with a night in a hotel in Nairobi. As I was travelling alone and am retired it was just a minor inconvenience, but for a family with kids it would be much more significant.

Whichever flight you go for allow plenty of time for getting to the airport, I always allow an extra hour just for the causeway, it can be gridlock there at busy times, the causeway and the short stretch of road from the roundabout at the head of the causeway through Changamwe to the airport road has taken me more than 45 minutes a couple of times and around 30 minutes a couple more. If I get through with no holdups I just go and have a coffee or a beer at the Karibu Cafe at the airport. I guess traffic should be a little lighter if you go for the later flight.

Nairobi, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Kenya
Level Contributor
2,463 posts
165 reviews
4. Re: Transit time at Nairobi airport for international flights

Jenny, from Mombasa you won't be able to check your bags through to LHR on BA from Nairobi. You will need to collect your bags in Nairobi, and then transfer to departures go through security screening again, and then check your bags in.

What I would do is check in online for the BA flight, and print your boarding passes out in Mombasa at your hotel. You need to drop your bags off 60 minutes before the flight is due to depart.

If you land in Nairobi at 21.40, you get your bags by 22.10, 10 minutes to get to Unit 1 (22,.30). Then allow another 20 minutes to queue up clear security and queue up again for baggage drop off. You will be cutting it fine.

I would stick to the 1800 flight, which means with no delays, you would be airside in Nairobi by 8.30 pm. There is a kids lounge which some of my friends have used, and have said that their kids (aged 4 and 1.5) have enjoyed using, found it relaxing before the flight to LHR.

Hope that helps.

RWA

Fordingbridge...
Level Contributor
1,986 posts
160 reviews
5. Re: Transit time at Nairobi airport for international flights

We always catch the 1800 KQ flight in order to make sure of getting the BA flight. Better to be safe than sorry!

London, United...
2 posts
6. Re: Transit time at Nairobi airport for international flights

Thank you all very much indeed, this is all very helpful. Last time we did find it quite stressful, particularly when a policeman 'helped' my husband and I push 4 bags, baby car seats, pram and windsurf gear from domestic to BA terminal and then demanded 1000 shillings! I'll ring Kenya Airways and ask about the 19.00 flight and great tip about the lounge. Do you have to book that in advance and pay for it?

Nairobi, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Kenya
Level Contributor
2,463 posts
165 reviews
7. Re: Transit time at Nairobi airport for international flights

The 19.00 flight when is does exist, many times gets cancelled last minute, or is delayed due to the incoming aircraft normally routed into Nairobi from Gaborone (delayed) which has a knock on effect.

I fly KQ 613 at 1810 at least 3 times a month, and when I booked KQ615 at 19.00, I was bumped up to the later flight twice.

I personally would stick to the 18.00 flight and take it easy. I get access to the lounge due to KQ Gold status. If I had to pay, I would not use it, as the air con is not effective, or does not work, there are hardly any sandwiches (which tend to be dry) and only soft drinks. The last two times I have been, the lounge has been closed for refurbishment.

8. Re: Transit time at Nairobi airport for international flights

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Removed on: 10:42 am, June 26, 2013
Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
Level Contributor
14,389 posts
55 reviews
9. Re: Transit time at Nairobi airport for international flights

I'm sorry i can make no sense of your post and what problem you have had

Edited: 4:58 am, June 26, 2013
Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
22,613 posts
6 reviews
10. Re: Transit time at Nairobi airport for international flights

#8 is spam. Multiple copy/pastes on other forums.