20 Day Hiatus

Trip0910

Its been a little while since I have been online or at my computer to make any posts. I took a very nice vacation in California for the last 21 days, and during that time I barely sat at a desk or had a laptop to work on any posts. I tried to have as much fun as possible and go out as much as I could, I tried seeing as many movies as I could as well. Just got back from a 16 hour and 35 minute flight from San Francisco to Dubai, not including the short trip from Dubai to Kuwait which feels like a short trip to the supermarket in comparison. I will be back to posting normally, I have a lot to post about, thank you for everyone that emailed and asked if I just disappeared off the face of the planet but I think I was having too much fun for my own good. Still it wasn’t enough, it has been the first long vacation I have taken in almost two years and it has been much needed. I literally purged my brain of all work and any other responsibility as soon as I walked through immigrations & customs at San Francisco when I landed in the beginning of September. I didn’t even read anything from GoogleReader, and I’m looking at it right now and its the most I have ever seen, I wish the GoogleReader went above the “1000+” mark so I can know that I am denting it since its probably around 5000 to 6000, and I will go through them when I have a chance. Having the iPad 3G with AT&T service in the US basically made the laptop useless, I almost never was on a computer during my stay since the iPad 3G provided for all my internet needs, searches, email, and any type of connectivity, I basically lived off the iPad and I would recommend anyone traveling to the US to get the 3G version with them since their is 3G coverage in most major cities and locations.

Wataniya Airlines Review

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I have flown a few times with Wataniya Airways and have had a few family and friends who have flown on the airlines. Most everyone has praised this new airline and are refreshed with the new airport. It is a long awaited change, many people prefer using Wataniya to the airlines just because of the convenience of the airport, I know I do.

Current Available Routes:

  • Bahrain
  • Beirut
  • Cairo
  • Dubai

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Pricing:
Wataniya is priced as a premium airline, and their service does reflect that fact. The economy seats are wider and more comfortable then those of Jazeera Airways with similar pricing when you book early enough. Economy would be priced from 40 KD up to 80 KD, with First costing 160 KD to 300 KD, this is all depending on timing. These prices are very reasonable when compared to its counterparts such as Emirates, Kuwait Airways, and other Premium Airlines.

Airport Service:
Regarding First Class service the airline are very friendly, you don’t have to even stand at the counter. They are very relaxed about the rules, this time the immigrations is after the lounge, so they escort you into the lounge while your bags are checked in or if they just printing your ticket. The lounge staff are very nice with a large assortment of food and beverages available. There are two business computers available for use, but I think they should have provided wireless internet instead it would be more convenient then the business lounge computers. The furniture is very comfortable, with very spacious seating area, and the smoking section is closed off. Even the Ministry of Interior Immigration Staff are friendlier when Departing from and Arriving into Sheikh Sa’ad Airport, I even think they feel better working their then the main airport.

In Plane Service:
The seats on the plane are very comfortable, the best part is the technology integrated into the plane entertainment system. The staff are very friendly, but I think they are still lacking in experience. There have been times when they don’t serve the drinks or food correctly. Then there are times when they seem a bit lost as to what they have to do next. There was a time when they forgot to ask for my lunch order and decided to skip me when they were serving, but corrected that right away. Those are just some small things that have happened, but the staff are rather friendly and have solved most issues rather simply and hopefully with the time and experience the staff will improve. The food on the other hand is very good for airline food, their have been times when I haven’t had enough time to eat due to meetings and barely get to the airport, at that point I’m looking forward to the food and so I’m satisfied, and I’m happy they always have ice cream for desert.

In Plane Entertainment
They have modern entertainment system and over the past couple of months they have increased the content of the shows and music available. Lots of shows to occupy you for the two to three hour flights. Then you can connect your iPod and watch directly on your screen which is a fantastic feature. I for one connect my power socket to the seat and watch what I have on my laptop.

Booking
You can book with Wataniya directly through the website or on the phone with their staff, or through a travel agent. With Wataniya the price you see online is the same as the price that you buy from a travel agent, unlike Jazeera Airways. The process is simple enough and usually very few problems, but there have been a few hiccups before. One issue I have is that you can’t upgrade at any airport except for the Sheikh Sa’ad Airport, so if you are in Dubai or Cairo, you can’t upgrade from the airport and its a bit of annoying process which I think they should solve soon.

Overall I think that Wataniya Airways is an excellent and needed alternative to the local airlines available. Hopefully they can continue this level of service as their destinations expand.