Traveling In Two Directions

New Years is around the corner and its not really hitting me because I have a lot of work to do I’m trying to make sure that I get it all done. So it doesn’t feel like a huge vacation to me, but a lot of people took time off during this time and are making the best of it. To my surprise everyone is heading to one of two directions, UAE or Beirut, and the flights are packed. The schedule for Christmas & New Years is crazy there are so many flights and they are still fully booked on most flights in each day. Beirut is booked up to 105% and Dubai is booked up to 100%, the occupancy rate on these places have gone through the roof. And the thing that Beirut and Dubai are doing is that they have a minimum 4 Day booking for New Years, so you can’t just come and go stay a night and come back. Its these crappy marketing ploy that they kept pulling in Dubai back a few years ago that drove me nuts.

Bierut

  • 5 MEA Flights
  • 2 Kuwait Airways Flights
  • 2 Jazeera Flights

Total: 9 Flights

UAE

  • 4 Emirates Flights
  • 2 Jazeera
  • 2 Kuwait Airways
  • 5 Fly Dubai
  • 3 Etihad
  • 2 Air Arabia

Total: 18 Flights

Tickets & Travel

GulfstreamG550

Recently I have had to take a few quick business trip usually day trips or overnight, and the tickets are about 30-40% more expensive then that was a few months ago. Everyone is traveling, I love that the streets of Kuwait a really empty and you can drive to places without being stuck in traffic for 20 mins. But the prices are ridiculous, all plane prices are up, with British Airways leading the way, Emirates is pretty damn expensive too, even Jazeera raised their prices. Its funny I just had to take a quick trip to Amman and Jazeera’s business class was just as expensive as Wataniya’s Business Class when Jazeera’s business is just a regular economy class with an extra seat next to you. Wataniya’s prices are up too, booking short notice is not the best idea, but at least it wasn’t too damaging. And now from the last few weeks of July to the first two weeks of August its almost impossible to find tickets back to Kuwait, everyone left for summer and they are trying to squeeze as much vacation as possible before coming back for Ramadan. Its going to get packed as soon as everyone is back.

Lufthansa Strikes

Over the past couple of days I had to return due to an emergency and my return ticket was through Lufthansa. When I came to make the booking, they found me a seat, but within 15 minutes I get a call notifying me that both flights out of San Francisco were canceled. It was due to the strikes taking place in Frankfurt, this is the first time that I have seen Lufthansa strike, I would expect from the British, Italian, and French but not the Germans. Never thought Lufthansa would strike and such bad timing. It was supposed to be a four day strike but took a little longer then expected, it seems they need to clean house or do something to solve this. I had to take another route to get back home to Kuwait, and it seems I was lucky to even get a seat since flights to Kuwait are pretty much booked up.

Another Kuwait Airways Flight


It really is a story every time I go on Kuwait Airways. This time around I really didn’t a choice in the matter, it was due to the availabiliity of flights and timing with my meetings.

The Lounge
I haven’t used to the Lounge for Kuwait Airways before since I try to avoid taking this airline. Surprisingly the lounge is large and comfortable, big leather seats and the food seemed good. The wireless connection was very strong, and its the first time I see something good from Kuwait Airways. The only problem was that the staff were anouncing the flights wrong, and so I wasn’t being updated on my flight.

The Flight
It said gate 23 on my ticket, but turned out to be gate 22 which means you have to take a bus to the plane. There was nobody to organize the bus ride so the driver came and told us to get in, it is hot as hell outside and the A/C wasn’t working on the bus. We waited about 15 minutes for other people for no reason, it was ridiculous.

We got to the plane, it was an Airbus A320, I really don’t like those planes because of their configuration for any airline. When I walked in, it reminded me of 1988 and I don’t it was upgraded since then. I sat down in what was supposedly in business class and the seats were manual, I didn’t know their were still manual seats in these planes. As things progressed I had an assumption of the amount of time needed before take off. We were on the plane by 11:15 pm, the plane didn’t take off until 12:05 pm which cut things very close for the meeting. The worst part was the plane smelt like stale food throughout the flight, that was just disgusting. When the plane took off it made the weirdest noises and you never know when the plane is going to fall apart.

Kuwait Airways – No Water For You!

What can be said about Kuwait Airways that hasn’t already been said. They have an abysmal record for customer service and I doubt its going to improve any time soon. There is a lot that can be said for Kuwait Airways, but I’m going to break it down by flights just to give people an idea of what happens on a Kuwait Airways flight.

KA to Dubai:

  • The plane was about 85% full, but in economy there were a few empty seats. We were six guys and had a full row to ourselves which made things a bit easier.
  • They loaded us into the planes but A/C wasn’t really working so it was getting hot and damp in the plane.
  • The seats need to be reupholstered, out flight had no screens on the way to Dubai which is odd for a plane in 2008.
  • They served us food which looked like fish but was really chicken.
  • We asked for water the first time they passed by, she said “ok” and didn’t come back for 20 minutes.
  • We asked for water again, and then again, nothing, they just said yes and passed by.
  • 45 minutes later still no water and we were pretty much almost to Dubai.
  • The staff didn’t give a damn about the people they were either rude or indifferent towards everyone in economy.
  • The seats are relatively tight, it wasn’t comfortable at all, and to recline the seat there are strange buttons
  • The A/C was barely working on a plane that is at full altitude, they might as well have opened a door to let some cool air in at that height and speed.
  • The plane was 45 minutes late

KA to Kuwait:

  • I’m going to start off with the plane being 1.5 hours late.
  • A fight almost broke out in the bank from three drunk Kuwaitis who were rude to the stewardess and the whole crew were in the back of the plane. It took them over 45 minutes to get them off the plane. That was rather entertaining for keeping us delayed, but in reality it was originally delayed but taking the passengers bags of the plane was taking some time as well.
  • There was a level of excitement on the plane at this point.
  • There were screens on this plane but I think the screen on my Sony Ericsson is bigger then the ones they had on the plane. Upgrading their equipment is not going to happen any time soon.
  • The stewardess was very rude to an Indian gentlemen, and it was really getting on my nerves, he was very polite and asking to move he seat around to sit next to his wife and daughter, but she was acting like a complete bitch which really pissed me off. Again some of them were very indifferent to our requests.
  • I decided to sleep most of the plane ride to not waste any time being awake on this plane.
  • The landing was decent but the staff is lacking any level of customer service, the plane feels like its falling apart, and they are habitually late.
  • If you can, really do avoid flying Kuwait Airways.