Written on: 01/06/2012 by jbphdelaney (2 reviews written)
We arrived at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on May 24 at 7:00 AM. Our flight to Mahe Island, Seychelles was scheduled for 9:05AM. The gate attendants started taking passengers for our flight through security and into the waiting area at 7:55AM. We all sat around waiting. Finally, around 9:15AM, someone finally came to announce that our flight was delayed due to a mechanical problem, the plane was being refueled, and they were planning on a 9:30AM departure. At 10AM, another passenger asked for an update, and was told that it would be another 40 minutes because of a fuel leak. Around 11:30AM, we all started demanding answers, and we were told we would take off at noon. I asked the woman if it was guaranteed, and she said “yes”. At noon, a woman named Cynthia came to tell us that the plane could not be fixed, and that we would have to wait for another aircraft to get to JKIA, which would not be till 4PM, so we would take off at 5:15PM. (Despite this, we saw numerous Kenya Airways planes, which were the same size as the one we were supposed to be on, departing for other destinations.) She told us to go to the Simba Lounge for lunch, but no one gave us directions on how to get there. We finally found it, but the food was barely edible, and there weren’t enough seats for all the passengers. We went back to the gate to wait for another 4 hours. We looked up at the board, and the departure time had been changed to 7:15PM. There was no announcement and no Kenya Airways representative at the gate to answer questions. A large group of passengers went to the Kenya Airways Transit Counter to get details. We were told that the flight was further delayed because they needed to wait for another crew. Needless to say, mass hysteria broke out with almost an entire plane’s roster (including the Seychelles tourism ambassador to Tanzania) demanding a resolution to the problem. Did they not know at noon that another crew would be needed for the 5:15PM flight? We finally departed at 7:15PM, MORE THAN TEN HOURS LATE! We arrived on Mahe at midnight, and had to find our way to our villa on an unfamiliar mountainous island in the pitch black of night on unmarked and unlit roads with no guard rails, and driving on the opposite side of the car and road as what we are used to - all because of the incompetence of Kenya Airways. We lost an entire day’s worth of activities and exploring on Mahe, all because of the ineptitude of Kenya Airways’ equipment and employees.
We were given multiple stories and departure times by Kenya Airways’ employees. No one was willing to help or give a straight answer. No one would take responsibility or accountability. We called the US embassy for help and were given six different Kenya Airways phone numbers. Every single one of them resulted in being hung up on as soon as we mentioned our flight number. The employees lied to us repeatedly! We asked for the manager on duty numerous times, and were continually told that “he’s on his way”. Finally, one of the men behind the Transit Counter started claiming to be the manager, despite the fact that his badge said he was the “shift supervisor” and he’d been sitting there most of the time we’d been demanding a manager.
There are a million things they could have done better or differently to have rectified the situation so that we would have only been a few hours late. However, no one took responsibility. Everyone just made up lies and blamed someone or something else. They should be ashamed to call themselves the “Pride of Africa”. Africa has so much more to offer (or at least the Maasai Mara did).
All I can say is NEVER AGAIN! If your itinerary includes Kenya Airways, choose a different itinerary!