I chose Kenya Airways to fly from Mombasa to Johannesburg, with a stop in Nairobi required. This review represents my first segment: a Kenya Airways E190 in economy class.
Kenya Airways E190 Economy Class Review (MBA-NBO)
Intra-Africa tickets are quite expensive, so I used miles. My Kenya Airways flights were booked with Flying Blue miles at a rate of 22.5K miles and about $143 in taxes (versus nearly $600 for a paid ticket). That netted me about the two cents per miles I target when deciding whether to use miles or cash.
We arrived quite early to Mombasa and had plenty of time to sit in the lounge and then sit at the gate prior to departure. Our flight also ended up being delayed by about 20 minutes, though we still ultimately arrived in Nairobi five minutes early.
The gate area features a glass partition which divides the international side from the domestic side. The domestic side was very quiet, with only a coffee shop and a “candy” shop once past security.
Boarding commenced from what looked like two booths at a state fair.
After scanning my by boarding pass, I walked though the glass doors and onto a terrace from which I walked down to the jet bridge.
Kenya Airways (KQ) 603
Mombasa (MBA) – Nairobi (NBO)
Thursday, December 1
Depart: 09:50 AM
Arrive: 10:50 AM
Duration: 1 hr, 00 min
Distance: 262 miles
Aircraft: Embraer 190
Seat: 18A (Economy Class)
I wound up in 18A because I could not stomach paying the extra $40 for a seat in the front half of the cabin. Even though I have SkyTeam Elite Plus status via ITA Airways, I was told I needed to pay…which was fair enough, but I decided to remain in my “free” seat for the short flight to NBO.
Business class is arranged in a 1-2 configuration with 12 seats (four rows of three seats).
Economy class is arranged in a 2-2 configuration and includes 84 seats. I did not bring my measuring tape, but legroom was on the tight side and felt about 31 inches.
Above each seat was a reading light and individual air vent. Seats did recline slightly.
Each seat also had a coat hook.
IFE + Wi-Fi
Each seat included an individual monitor (seatback screens in all non bulkhead or emergency exit rows), though these were turned off during the flight. Not even a moving map was available.
There was USB-A charging available, though.
Thankfully, there were picturesque views out the window which helped to pass the time, including Mt. Kilimanjaro sticking out above the clouds.
Food + Drink
Despite the short duration of the flight, flight attendants sprang up shortly after takeoff to offer a choice of beverage and light snack. I had a glass of water and was pleased to receive a package of nuts that included macadamia nuts (as the number one ingredient) and cashews. In the pecking order of my favorite nuts, macadamia is at the top (followed by pecans and pistachios). What a nice snack.
I also appreciated that flight attendants offered a moist towelette to every passenger prior to takeoff.
Economy class passengers had access to a rear lavatory, that was quite small but clean.
We landed to a very hazy day, though the temperature was significantly cooler than in Mombasa (what a relief to escape the heat). This flight could not have been smoother. Even though we left late we still landed early and I was happy to receive a great packet of nuts plus a beverage on a 245-mile flight.
I had a long layover ahead in Nairobi prior to my Dreamliner flight to Johannesburg. Little did I know how much walking the layover would entail…