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Nairobi Airport Experience JKIA

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Webster, NY
posts: 1
reviews: 13
Nairobi Airport Experience JKIA

Landing in Nairobi was smooth. We pulled in the gate at the obviously fire damaged main terminal and were met by mobile air stairs. Then walked to a waiting but to be transported to the temporary international arrivals area. I proceeded to the visa desk and less than 5 minutes later I was outside looking for my driver. Simply the easiest international experience ever. Total time from air stairs to looking for my driver 10-12 minutes. Wonderful people.

posts: 4,263
reviews: 103
1. Re: Nairobi Airport Experience JKIA

Thanks for taking the time to give us an update on the current situation!

Nairobi, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Kenya
posts: 2,193
reviews: 150
2. Re: Nairobi Airport Experience JKIA

Not all arrivals are as smooth. Most of our guests have been experiencing on average of one hour from landing to being in the car. Worst case was 4 hours.

posts: 44
reviews: 3
3. Re: Nairobi Airport Experience JKIA

Our clients had a smooth experience. Arrived on 27 August at 1905hrs and by 1930hrs they were with our driver guide. a smooth ride to town and in the hotel in less than an hour since landing

Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
posts: 13,853
reviews: 52
4. Re: Nairobi Airport Experience JKIA

I suspect MB and Kisimi's clients had hand baggage only, were travelling business or first class, or at least didn't come in on one of the big intercontinental flights. It took an hour from landing for all the bags from the Amsterdam flight to be laid out before we were allowed into the tent to collect it

It took me just over an hour and a half from touchdown of my international flight to get to the boarding gate for my Mombasa connection, but 35 minutes of that was waiting for the steps to be brought to the plane and then the buses to arrive once we were on the tarmac.

Overall, after those hitches I (and everyone else on our shuttle to Domestic except a very grumpy Kenyan, but then perhaps he had not been fast tracked through Immigration) was very impressed with the procedures they have put in place.

However it might have been a different story if I wasn't a regular transferring through Nairobi, and if I hadn't had a broad idea of the procedures from earlier posts on this forum. And especially if I hadn't asked the lady leading a small group of people through the huge queue for Immigration if she was the lady who had made the announcement about domestic transfer through a loud hailer from the entrance to the Immigration marque, as I'd not been able to hear it. (Because I was already in the middle of the massive teeming queue inside the marquee, 'Domestic' was the only word I'd caught about it through the noise of the queue and the fact that my hearing hadn't fully recovered from a bout of dengue fever didn't help). Anyway I stopped her on the way through and she said she was escorting domestic transfer passengers with shortish transfer times to the front of the queue. If I hadn't stopped her and joined her group, there is no way I would have made my connection. As it was I was through Immigration around 10 minutes after joining her group and comfortably made my flight.

So if you have a couple of hours or less to make a domestic connection my advice would be to make this know to one of the many staff hanging around at the entrance to the Immigration marquee and ask nicely if it would be possible to be fast-tracked

posts: 13,840
5. Re: Nairobi Airport Experience JKIA

There is a service paxs can pre-arrange thru their tour operator for meet/greet at the arrival gate who will fast-track visitors thru Immigration/Visas, baggage collection; this can account for many not feeling they've been somewhat delayed, which considering the recent situation, probably is. Cost for such service is about $30/person.

Otherwise, this service isn't necessarily required as the JKIA airport is very easy to navigate as there is only one way you'd have to walk - left or right, direct to sign for Immigration, then to baggage collection, into Arrivals Hall to meet your transfer driver or out to taxi.

Have been at many airports where English isnt the primary language, but can understand pictures or the few foreign use of words as 'immigration', 'sorte' (yes, even 'exit') or an arrow pointing upwards. Haven't gotten lost yet.

Under the circumstances, most are pleasantly surprised that JKIA got things working pretty darn good in so short a time.

Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
posts: 13,853
reviews: 52
6. Re: Nairobi Airport Experience JKIA


There is no walking to Immigration,it was destroyed in the fire, it's a bus to a tent (at least for Sky Team passengers who now never enter a terminal building), then a short walk to another tent for baggage reclaim. Then another short walk out of airport compound altogether where the drivers are massed on the opposite side of the road. The Arrivals Hall was also destroyed in the fire.

posts: 358
reviews: 15
7. Re: Nairobi Airport Experience JKIA

We arrived in Nairobi on Sunday 11 August on an emirates flight from Dubai. Very smooth process from arrival through immigration, and baggage collection was quicker than on our arrival a year ago. Departure on Monday 19 august was also fairly smooth, and the wait in the departure tent only marginally less comfortable than waiting times in other airports around the world, and better than some!

Airport staff were helpful, friendly and efficient, in difficult circumstances.

posts: 13,840
8. Re: Nairobi Airport Experience JKIA

Doff -

I was actually referring to what it was 'BTF' (before the fire)... how easy it was to navigate the airport with single corridor on arrival/departure floor - international terminal. And, unless paxs arriving/departing as a large group, family with little ones or any needing assistance for health reason.... this special service I felt was a bit much. But during these 3/wks, quite a few did requestt the service... though from the many positive comments, seems it wasn't needed.

Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
posts: 13,853
reviews: 52
9. Re: Nairobi Airport Experience JKIA

Ah!, I agree with you Sandi, but the present tense of your post, and the fact that this thread is about experiences of the airport post-fire that I thought it could be misleading (I was a bit mystified as I knew you knew about the emergency arrangements)

Edited: 11:22 pm, August 29, 2013
10. Re: Nairobi Airport Experience JKIA

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