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Arrival time before flight at JKIA

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San Francisco...
posts: 38
reviews: 3
Arrival time before flight at JKIA

I am being told by my Safari company that we need to arrive at the international airport 3 hours ahead of time for our flight to Mahe, Seychelles. Does that seem reasonable? We have a 9 am flight on Kenya air on a Sunday. They want to pick us up at our hotel at 5:30 am! That is if we stay at the EKA hotel and if we stay at the House of Waine they want to pick us up at 5am!

Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks

Washington DC...
posts: 2,931
reviews: 11
1. Re: Arrival time before flight at JKIA

Perhaps the very early arrival is related to this post made earlier today:


2. Re: Arrival time before flight at JKIA

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Lamu Island, Kenya
posts: 311
reviews: 42
3. Re: Arrival time before flight at JKIA

Yes, that's true. You should be there one extra hour before the usual check-in time, so three hours before an international flight:

"Kenya Airways was among the first of the airlines operating at JKIA to give notice to their passengers to arrive extra early for their departures to avoid arriving late at the check in counter and maybe miss their flight and instead of coming two hours before departure travelers are now urged to arrive as much as three hours before their flight is due to leave."


Enjoy Seychelles!

posts: 1,290
reviews: 1
4. Re: Arrival time before flight at JKIA

i dont realy see what the poblem is. 3hrs is the norm for international flights

Bungoma, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Kenya
posts: 2,583
reviews: 2
5. Re: Arrival time before flight at JKIA

It has been 3 hours for years!! So you should aim to be at JKIA at 6am for a 9am flight.

posts: 13,968
6. Re: Arrival time before flight at JKIA

As above, for year it's been 3/hrs prior an intl flight for checkin. Of course, many cut that down to 2.5/hrs.

However, as it's a Sunday departure, the one day especially early morning when there is little if any traffic in NBO (everyone is in church), the EKA is all of 15/min from JKIA and HOW is maybe another 20/min.

Recall one visit my driver indicated a rather early transfer from the Norfolk to Wilson, to which I looked at him and said 'no way.' And while I was enjoying my leisurely breakfast saw his vehicle; got up, walked to him, invited him to join me which he wanted to say no, but I was insistant so he did. We must have spent another 35-40/min and in the end still barely took 12/min to get to Wilson and had time to spare.

Just discuss with your tour operator. 2.5/hrs is more than sufficient for an int'l flight on a Sunday morning.

Traffic doesn't start to get crazy on a Sunday till about 2pm or later.

posts: 1,923
reviews: 160
7. Re: Arrival time before flight at JKIA

We've just returned on the BA flight. We arrived at the airport 2 hours before departure (23.45 which is the peak time for European departures) & checked in without a problem.

If you're there by 7 AM you'll be fine. The only long haul flight before you is the KQ flight to AMS.

Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
posts: 13,948
reviews: 52
8. Re: Arrival time before flight at JKIA

I suspect the extra hour KQ is advising may be for getting to the airport, into the building and to the check in desks, because of the new checks that apparently start as much as 2 kms away from the terminals. From what I've read all the new security is landside, not airside

Edited: 11:32 pm, January 30, 2014
posts: 4,326
reviews: 103
9. Re: Arrival time before flight at JKIA

We headed to the airport last Sunday night, leaving from Westlands at 8 PM for a 10:40 flight. Little traffic and easy, quick ride.

We were stopped at a police checkpoint... I suppose it was about 2 km from the airport. Our taxi driver - one we'd used several times before and who knew us well enough to talk a little - was surprised when they pulled us over into the area for more scrutiny. It seemed pretty clear that he was telling the guy he was taking old American white folks to the airport and there was no sense in harassing us. We had to roll down windows and let him take a look at us. There was then about a minute of silence before we got to go through to the airport.

As it turns out, he was asking directly for a bribe. Our driver said he was a hardworking guy who hardly makes anything and why should he give money to a guy who makes more by just standing by the road? Our driver was upset by the behavior - "That guy is supposed to be protecting all of us and then he does this nonsense!"

He didn't pay and we did get to the airport just fine. We got in line about 2 hrs and 10 min before our takeoff time

We had to unload probably 50 meters or more from the doors... our driver got us a cart for luggage. We then hit a pretty slow moving line outside the terminal door getting to the xray machine at the door. Two different officials checked our passports, one irritated with us that we had no boarding passes, even though we hadn't yet gotten into the building where our boarding passes would be issued. Slow line.

Inside, the machines were being persnickety and we needed two resets to get the computer to print out our boarding passes. All around us people were also having trouble with the kiosks. We headed right for our gate, only to find very slow lines - one for us regular folks and one for the fancy folks, both moving slowly and both dumping into a general area before going into the gate.

Passports were checked again - that would be time 4 if you count the kiosk computer scan. Then the two lines dumped into a small common area where all semblance of lines collapsed as everyone pushed forward to a single young woman at the door into the gate. She checked passport and boarding pass again, then applied a colored sticker indication which direction we would go... green sticker = left = po' folks who wait 'til the better folks get comfortable and fill all the overhead bins. I have medical issues and typically can board early, but the KLM lady was unmoved - or rather she nodded and smiled and then directed me into the green waiting area, at which point I realized I wanted the other waiting area but you are not allowed to leave for any reason.

BTW - and this is important... if you are like us and you left enough - but not a generous amount of - time and you just want to get all the formalities taken care of, you should know that there are no bathrooms in the gate area. So if you put it off, you are going to have to hang on until you get onto the plane. We noticed a number of people walking briskly back and forth in the waiting area, looking at the door into the hallway being watched by airport folks... and once in the plane the bathrooms were immediately in use even as passengers were still boarding.

So follow my father's maxim - never pass a restroom without using it. You don't know when you'll see another...

posts: 4,326
reviews: 103
10. Re: Arrival time before flight at JKIA

Ran out of time on my "edit" - left out the second xray scan of bags at the gate. I refused to remove my suspenders, so I got a rather intimate pat down and a lot of disgusted looks... and the lady at the exit of the xray machine was practically tossing peoples belonging, including wallets and money belts and passports and laptops to rush them out of the too-small repacking area. There was a mountain of water bottles on the floor and rolling around - apparently no trash can was available. Oddly enough, when we got into the waiting area we found we had a full bottle of water and a partial bottle of Stoney Tangewezi to comfort us as we waited. They just missed it and Idiot She didn't see any no liquid signs.