AI151
Topic Author
Posts: 287
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:20 pm

Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:21 pm

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Hi everyone and welcome after quite a break to my fifth TR covering my return Kuwait Airways flight to New York on their B777-200ER in Business Class. I had contemplated writing this TR into two separate ones however after some wise words of wisdom from fellow A.netters I decided against it. I'd also like to apologise for not getting any terminal pictures at JFK on the return flight, however as you will read there was a reason for this. All comments and suggestions are welcome.

B A C K G R O U N D

Back in April I had an exciting trip with Singapore Airlines from MAN to MUC traveling in Business Class on their B77W, however thanks to a certain volcanic ash cloud engulfing Europe that had to be cancelled. So on that basis a decision had to be made as to where to fly instead. I eventually decided on New York and Philadelphia at the end of June to visit my family plus to celebrate my birthday.

So with this in mind I now had to try and find a good price and airline on the lucrative and very competitive LHR-JFK sector in Business Class......

......so imagine shocking a handful of people when I chose Kuwait Airways instead of BA,AA,VS or CO to name just a few. Compared to the main airlines which were offering in the region £2000, KU only cost me £750!! Another reason was that KU was hardly reported on here at A.net plus all the negative comments that I had previously heard definitely intrigued me.

Skytrax deem Kuwait Airways as a 3* airline however all the flight reviews seem to show them as one of the least favorable airlines in the Gulf region depicting them as an old company with aging aircrafts, seats, terrible customer services and not the best of on time departures and arrivals. It somewhat reminded me of the old Air India before they got their act together.

So after all of this i finally had to ask myself the main question which was......had I made the right decision?
Modern Vision. Timeless Traditions...
 
AI151
Topic Author
Posts: 287
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:20 pm

RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:21 pm

O U T W A R D J O U R N E Y


D A Y O F D E P A R T U R E

The day had finally come for my flight to JFK and to say that I was excited was an understatement as it had been three months since I lt stepped onto a plane. I had finished my packing the night before so upon waking up and having a shower it was straight into my car as I drove to Heathrow Terminal 4 with my parents. Despite being a Saturday morning, it only took me an hour to arrive and park the car.

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First impressions of Terminal 4 were very good as I hadn't been since refurbishment had taken place. From the outside it definitely reminded me of Terminal 3 with the large glass building and spacious forecourts. A definite improvement compared to the old and crowded terminal forecourt where simple things such as dropping someone off would be difficult.

C H E C K - I N

Kuwait Airways uses Zone D for their check-in. As I had got their at 12:30 there wasn't anyone checking-in. The Business Class counter was empty and after being asked whether or not I had the pre-approved visa as well as the normal security questions I was handed my boarding pass with the pre-booked seat I had chosen whilst making the booking through Trailfinders along with the lounge pass which was for the 4 Deck Lounge. I was glad to hear thar the flight was arriving on time from Kuwait so being delayed into JFK hopefully wouldn't be a problem.

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P R E - B O A R D I N G

After saying bye to my parents I took a few terminal pictures and then headed through 'Fast Track' where there were only two people in front of me. But then again saying that, the queues in general were good for a Saturday afternoon.

Despite the building from the outside and the check-in areas being different to before, airside was hardly and different to before; the only exceptions being the addition and exclusion of some lounges. The terminal was relatively busy with a vast array of Skyteam flights heading out to mainly Europe and America.

I went to WHSmith to get a wordesearch book as well as the lastest edition of Airliner World before heading to the lounge which is by Gate 11. On my way there I was walking past Gate 9 when I noticed the beautiful Etihad Airways A346 coming onto stand after it's short flight from Abu Dhabi!

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The lounge was nothing out of the ordinary, sone tables and chairs arranged in a colourful way. Not that many pictures to take of the lounge though as it was very basic. I had a view of the ramp which included the aircrafts mainly JU, AF, OK and SU. I had a great view of the Air France A380 taking-off but couldn't get my camera out in time. D'oh! But i was lucky enough spot the BG B772 in the new colour scheme as well as my KU B772 which landed on time but got to it's gate at 14:30.

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By 15:00 the 'Go to Gate' sign had appeared and it was Gate 3 which was the furthest gate away from the lounge; a good ten minute walk away which I didn't mind. But upon arriving at the gate, I saw that there were extra security checks which was expected as i was going to America. The crew still hadn't got on board yet and 3/4 of the passengers were transiting from Kuwait and further afield.

F L I G H T D E T A I L S

Date :- Saturday 26th June 2010
Route :- London Heathrow (LHR) - New York (JFK)
Airline / Flight Number :- Kuwait Airways / KU101
Departure (Actual) / Arrival (Actual) :- 15:30 (16:45) / 18:00 (18:30)
Aircraft / Reg :- B777-269/ER / 9K-AOB
Class / Seat No. :- Business / 7K

There was no activity taking place and the excuse was that due to the late arrival of the aircraft, boarding would be delayed. This was more frustrating for me as I could have stayed in the lounge where it was slightly more comfortable.

By 15:35 the cabin crew had boarded and then at 15:50 general boarding had begun which was comical! Everyone ran to get in the queue only be told to separate themselves into two seperate lines; one for passengers starting from LHR and the other for transiting passengers from Kuwait. While that comosion was going on, I snuck past in the 'First and Business Class' line and was looking forward to stepping on board Kuwait Airways.

As the saying goes 'first impressions always count'! If this is the case then I would have asked for a refund as there was a member of cabin crew who welcomed me on board by saying "hello, please if you know where you're sitting then could you please make your own way there'!! Was this a sign of things to come?

The Business Class seats definitely looked from the 1970's but were comfortable when I sat down. Leg space was okay at 45" (think of CX regional Business Class) and despite not being a flat bed, it was more than adequate enough for the short flight New York.

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Finally with everyone on board and after being a welcome drink (remember KU is a dry airline) we pushed back at 16:25 and taxied to the active 09R runway.

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It seemed that KU was at the back of the pecking order as every aircraft was going ahead of us but finally at 16:45 we took-off and banked right, back over LHR and then out to the Atlantic Ocean which would be the view until we hit the coast at Newfoundland. We went through the clouds which were on the turbulent side as the captain put the throttles on max then saw blue sky as far as the eye could see.

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Portable DVD players were handed out along with KU's own noise canceling headphones which were of good quality. This was followed by a basic amenity kit and another gift which was a personal organizer along with a world clock. I expected the amenity kit but not the extra gift which was nice of them. The cabin crew looking after the Business Class section were excellent, making sure that everyone was comfortable plus stopping those 'cattle'class passengers trying to upgrade themselves.

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After an hour the menus were distributed and drinks orders taken. The tray and table settings were basic but the food was delicious and when I asked for second helpings of the starters, they were more than happy to oblige. The prawns went well with the humous and the chicken was cooked perfectly with the right amount of spice. Then dessert was topped off with tea along with vanilla and chocolate ice-cream whilst watching the Bollywood film 'All The Best' on my DVD player.

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The trays were taken away swiftly as most of the passengers started to go to sleep, but as for me I sat down with a beautiful cup of Arabian Tea and the film 'Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Squeakel' which was very funny even for me. While this was happening the cabin lights went off as I started writing this TR and watching Ne-Yo's latest music video.

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For the next three hours or so I slept quite well considering the seat was ancient and then got woken up when the cabin lights came on as snacks were served. These consisted of a pakora, fried prawns as well as a few other things. With the snacks over it was time to open the window shade where I saw land below and realized that we would be landing win an hour.

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The descent into JFK was very turbulent and for once we didn't land straight in from the ocean but over a lot of housing. The airport looked busy as usual as we landed at 18:30; half an hour late which wasn't as bad as I had thought. We taxied and then stopped next to a LAN B767 which is when I realized that I hadn't filled out or received a landing card so I managed to get the attention of a steward and quickly filled it put.

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We eventually docked at 18:45 and upon disembarking thanked the crew who had been very helpful and very professional on those journey. Immigration was empty just as last time as I collected my luggage and met my chauffeur who took me to my cousins apartment in the Upper East Side of Manhattan in a lovely Lincoln limousine.
Modern Vision. Timeless Traditions...
 
AI151
Topic Author
Posts: 287
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:20 pm

RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:22 pm

Below are some pictures whilst staying in America[/b)

the view from my cousins apartment in Manhattan

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my cousins car in Bensalem, PA

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lovely sunset after a baking hot day

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a small birthday cake for myself

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my birthday presents, NIKE trainers and a 64GB wi-fi i-Pad

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the famous 'Rocky' steps

http://i800.photobucket.com/albums/yy286/sdas24/USA%20aviation%20pics/DSC01884.jpgPhiladelphia's 30th Street Station

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[b]July 4th fireworks


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Modern Vision. Timeless Traditions...
 
AI151
Topic Author
Posts: 287
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:20 pm

RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:23 pm

R E T U R N J O U R N E Y


D A Y O F D E P A R T U R E

I had already checked-in online and reserved a window seat so all I had to do was get to JFK on time. This however would turn out to be the worst journey I have ever faced when getting to an airport!

I left with my cousin who lives in Bensalem (a small suburb of Philadelphia) for Trenton from where I would be getting the NJ Transit train to New York Penn Station. Upon arriving at 15:00 I noticed the earlier train was delayed so I ran down to the platform only to see that the train hadn't arrived and then subsequently had got cancelled. So I got the 15:18 which was all running smoothly until we stopped half a mile outside Rahway station. The train had broken down and luckily a train mechanic was on board so he started looking for the problem. This started at 16:10 and by 17:20 we were still sitting in the same place. The driver came over the tannoy and said that a rescue train would pull up beside us and we would all transfer to that, however that plan didn't come to fruition as it was too dangerous.

Luckily by 17:30 the train got moving as we pulled into Rahway upon where everyone disembarked onto the short platform which became very crowded. Also keep in mind that it was 110F outside and everyone was burning! The broken train pulled away as the next train pulled in and everyone crammed on board only to see that the air-conditioning on this train wasn't working! Could things get any worse?! We left on this furnace of a train and reached Penn Station by 19:00 where i ran in the middle of the rush hour to LIRR section and ran onto the 19:11 train so fast that I nearly tripped over down the stairs!

On board I was releaved that I was nearing the airport as I got off at Jamaica and onto the JFK Air Train which took me to Terminal 4. To say that I was tired and sweating like mad was a major understatement as I tried to open my suitcase, however the padlock combination decided not to work!

C H E C K - I N

So with a huff and a puff I went up the escalator and thankfully the KU check-in was right in front and wasn't that busy. The queue for RJ's flight to Amman was ridiculously long! At 20:00 I checked-in; some near six hours since I left my cousins place! The flight was full as the agent said and told me that the flight was on time. Check-in would close twenty minutes after I arrived so thankfully I got there just in time.

P R E - B O A R D I N G

I made my way to the Oasis Lounge which was just past the big queue for oversized luggage of which most were Air India passengers. The lounge was very busy as I got some food and sat down with a nice cold drink which I needed after the long, exhausting and stressful journey that I just endured. This is the reason I couldn't take any pictures whilst at JFK which I regret but I hope you can all understand exactly how tired I was. After eating it was 20:30 so I decided to have a slow walk to Gate A7 from where the aircraft would depart from.

Security looked very bad however that was until I saw the separate line for First and Business Class passengers. My passport was checked and then we had to use the same scanners as the Economy Class passengers which held up the checks for a while. I honestly thought that JFK would have a total separate security area for premium passengers. Once going through I went to the gate and sat down for five minutes before boarding started on time at 20:45. The SQ 025 flight to FRA and SIN was boarding next to us as well as Air india's flight AI 140 to BOM and HYD. The flight was totally full in all cabins judging by all the people at the gate. There was only one seat empty in Business Class. Again just like on the inbound flight the majority of people were continuing onto Kuwait and mainly Bangladesh. It seemed like I was boarding a BIMAN flight rather than a Kuwait Airways flight.

F L I G H T D E T A I L S

Date :- Tuesday 6th July 2010
Route :- New York (JFK) - London Heathrow (LHR)
Airline / Flight Number :- Kuwait Airways / KU102
Departure (Actual) / Arrival (Actual) :- 21:45 (22:35) / 10:00 +1 (09:45 +1)
Aircraft / Reg :- B777-269/ER / 9K-AOA
Class / Seat No. :- Business / 8K

Compared the outward flight this time I was welcomed very professionally as the member of crew said "straight ahead and to you're left, welcome onboard Mr.Das we hope you have a pleasant flight with us today". A wrong way round of saying it but it was better than nothing. I walked through First Class as we boarded through Door 1L and made my way to Business Class. I sat down and got my camera ready for some pictures. A friendly Kuwaiti gentleman sat next to me and looked just as exhausted as I had done upon arriving. Turns out that he had just come in from San Francisco and the flight was two hours late. He would be continuing to Kuwait and when asked he even said that KU would have been his last alternative however the company was paying for his travels.

The Air India flight taxied off and was replaced by an Emirates B77W. Doors were shut by 09:40 which was impressive but then the infamous JFK wait started and we eventually pushed back at 22:00.

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Air India to Mumbai and Hyderabad

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apologies for the bad reflection from the inside of our aircraft

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JetBlue terminal

We slowly taxied behind a vast array of aircrafts including an AF B777, KL B777 and an LH B744. At 22:35 we took-off over the sea and headed to London. The captain said the scheduled flying time would be 5 hours 50 minutes which I thought was very short.

We were handed our portable DVD players as well as the noise canceling headphones and it turns out that the selection was exactly the same as on the previous flight so at least I managed to watch the things I couldn't before. It looked like a clear night outside however the infamous turbulence soon happened. Why is it that turbulence always decides to start just when the food is being served? The dinner service again was excellent and the food was delicious as before.

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After dinner had finished the cabin lights went out as everyone went to sleep...well everyone except for me as i carried on writing this TR and watching more sitcoms and movies. An hour later I decided to get some sleep and was when the turbulence really started. I don't normally mind it, but at night over the Atlantic Ocean is something I never like. It was very bad and continued on for at least fifteen of the longest minutes.

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I think I managed to sleep for around an hour before waking up again in turbulence. When I looked out of the window I noticed daylight in the distance and then realized that we had been flying in the clouds for the whole night! A few morning shots of the massive GE 90 engines and the wing took my mind off the turbulence as the cabin lights were turned on and breakfast was served.

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It was after breakfast that finally managed to take two pictures of the actual seat. Again apologies for not getting more but it was quite difficult with everyone staring. I think I just need to pluck up more courage and not care what others think for next time.

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Finally it was time to land as we slowly circled over the south coast and then into London which was cloudy as ever. Ah the British weather never ceases to amaze me. At 09:45 we landed with a big bump as the captain slammed on the brakes. As we taxied off the runway I was glad that it wouldn't be long until we disembark......that was until I remembered that KU flies from Terminal 4 and not Terminal 3 anymore.

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I did manage to get a few pictures of aircrafts docked up for their later flights. We slowly made our way to Gate 3. Funny how this was the same gate where my KU experience had started and now finished.

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V E R D I C T

I found KU to be a good airline despite all the negativity surrounding them. Despite being delayed we made up time and the cabin crew were excellent on both sectors. The food was up to scratch and despite being a 'dry' airline it was still good. As for the seat, sure it's not the best out there, but it more than comfortable. I'm not sounding big headed when I say that I would prefer BA, VS or AA for their seat however for the price I paid along with comfortable journey there is no reason why I wouldn't fly with them again.

So the answer to my question is 'yes', KU did earn my trust. However would it be the same for you? My rating would be 7/10.


Sandeep (AI151)
Modern Vision. Timeless Traditions...
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1588
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:37 pm

Based on the price it certainly seems worth it even though one would not get Air Miles but who cares. My cousin flew them LHR to JFK in Y. Thanks for the nice pictures. Makes it more interesting.
 
ewrkid
Posts: 90
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:13 pm

RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:59 pm

Quoting AI151 (Thread starter):
Skytrax deem Kuwait Airways as a 3* airline however all the flight reviews seem to show them as one of the least favorable airlines in the Gulf region depicting them as an old company with aging aircrafts, seats, terrible customer services and not the best of on time departures and arrivals. It somewhat reminded me of the old Air India before they got their act together.

So after all of this i finally had to ask myself the main question which was......had I made the right decision?

I like the antcipation leading up to your trip report!!

Quoting AI151 (Reply 1):
"hello, please if you know where you're sitting then could you please make your own way there'!!

Hhaha I would have said can you show me how to get off this plane!!

Quoting AI151 (Reply 1):
my birthday presents, NIKE trainers and a 64GB wi-fi i-Pad

Nice, happy birthday!

Very good trip report, cool to try an airline out of the box like that!! How was wildwood? I live about 45 minutes away from there and was also down there for forth of july weekend also!! haha
 
jmy007
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:18 pm

Thanks for the report! KU seems to be a bit behind other airlines of the region in terms of it's product, but, nothing to shabby either.
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:45 pm

Hey great report, as you know I was eagerly awaiting it. Not dissapointed at all I would certainly fly KU for the price you paid. Everything looks fine to me for what was paid. I love the food offerings.

Congrats on the iPad , welcome to the club   . Just a quick question , what document/program did you use to compose your TR on the iPad?

Thanks for the great report.


Philip
 
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:07 pm

Thanks for the comments so far guys....

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 4):
Based on the price it certainly seems worth it even though one would not get Air Miles but who cares. My cousin flew them LHR to JFK in Y. Thanks for the nice pictures. Makes it more interesting.

I joined the Oasis Club just to get air miles for this trip. It's not only a shame that they aren't in any alliance but also that I couldn't earn miles with another FF.

Quoting ewrkid (Reply 5):
I like the antcipation leading up to your trip report!!

Had to be done as I said, all I have heard are negative comments of KU/

Quoting ewrkid (Reply 5):
Nice, happy birthday!

Very good trip report, cool to try an airline out of the box like that!! How was wildwood? I live about 45 minutes away from there and was also down there for forth of july weekend also!! haha

Thanks. Wildwood was amazing. Jersey women, fantastic as usual and the beach was great. We left after the fireworks in the evening and it took 3 hours to get back to Bensalem as the traffic tailbacks were ridiculous!

Quoting oa260 (Reply 7):
Congrats on the iPad , welcome to the club   . Just a quick question , what document/program did you use to compose your TR on the iPad?

Hi Phil. I used the app 'Docs to go'. It cost around $10 and I wrote everything on that and then copied the photo links like normal. Took me a while to get used to it though!

Sandeep (AI151)
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SXDFC
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:33 pm

Wonderful TR! I enjoyed your pictures, story and even seeing a glimpse of your "Rough Draft" of your current TR  
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:40 pm

The bridge is New Hope PA right?... My Wife and I got engaged at a restaurant right on the water there in New Hope, beautiful town.
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FlyKev
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:40 pm

Great report with some awesome photos. It is always interesting to read about a more unusual airline choice.
I'm glad you enjoyed your trip with Kuwait Airlines.

I look forward to reading your future reports!

(Oh and a late Happy Birthday!)

Kev.
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AI151
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:08 pm

Quoting SXDFC (Reply 9):
Wonderful TR! I enjoyed your pictures, story and even seeing a glimpse of your "Rough Draft" of your current TR

Hey Bobby thanks for your comments and glad you liked the "rough draft".

Quoting STT757 (Reply 10):
The bridge is New Hope PA right?... My Wife and I got engaged at a restaurant right on the water there in New Hope, beautiful town.

You are correct. The bridge is in New Hope. An amazing small town, and a great evening to take pictures. Enjoyed a nice ice-cream in the heat.

Quoting flykev (Reply 11):
I look forward to reading your future reports!

(Oh and a late Happy Birthday!)

Kev.

Thanks Kev for your kind words and the late happy birthday. I had a feeling that this TR would raise a few eyebrows.

Sandeep (AI151)
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767747
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:20 am

AI151,

Thanks for sharing! Looks like Kuwait Airways is a nice airline to fly! Great photos too of NY!

767747
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:56 am

Great report. As a matter of fact based on the arrival pictures you flew over where I live seconds before touch down. Looks like you guys parked at Gate 5 at JFKIAT cause Lan is always at Gate 3. Once again great report and once again found something good to cross to LHR
 
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:32 am

Quoting 767747 (Reply 13):
Thanks for sharing! Looks like Kuwait Airways is a nice airline to fly! Great photos too of NY!

They are okay but I always get the feeling that I got lucky with the service in both directions.

Quoting beeweel15 (Reply 14):
Once again great report and once again found something good to cross to LHR

Not bad for the price for sure. Why waste so much money when there is no need to!

Sandeep (AI151)
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initious
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:56 am

Hey Sandeep,

This is by far your best trip report among the existing ones which are already great. Thanks for informing me that it has been posted, I have been busy settling stuffs on my computer that I almost forgot to check airliners.net!

The Kuwait Airways flight seem to leave much to be desired. The seats looks real outdated and definitely not the best around. However, 750 Euros is really a bargain for a Business Class Trans Atlantic Flight! If only you could get that kind of price on SQ, EK, CO, AA, UA and other carriers. =p Like what you mentioned, the "first impression" will probably also be etched in my mind whenever I think of Kuwait Airways.

The meal looks great. I bet it tasted tasty too eh?

Daniel
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ronerone
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:19 am

Great report Sandeep! .. I was also waiting for this. I do not think i have seen a KU TR before. Excellent detail and fantastic pics! .. Did you manage to write the entire TR while on your flights?€


I am not sure what i was expecting out of KU, but i was quite surprised to see such old business class seats. Perhaps it is the strangely stark contrast between the 777 (which i still perceive as new) and the AB6-era seating!

But the food looked great, and the service seemed quite comparable to others!

Quoting AI151 (Thread starter):
Compared to the main airlines which were offering in the region £2000, KU only cost me £750!!



The joys of 5th Freedom flights!

Quoting AI151 (Thread starter):
Skytrax deem Kuwait Airways as a 3* airline however all the flight reviews seem to show them as one of the least favorable airlines in the Gulf region depicting them as an old company with aging aircrafts, seats, terrible customer services and not the best of on time departures and arrivals. It somewhat reminded me of the old Air India before they got their act together.



Only recently i have learned to really not take any of those comments on Skytrax seriously. They are far too skewed than the reality of things. But nevertheless, they could be the only means to give some insight in some cases.

Quoting AI151 (Thread starter):
Departure (Actual) / Arrival (Actual) :- 15:30 (16:45) / 18:00 (18:30)



Very nice timings. I love the later trans-atlantic departures from Europe/UK.

Quoting AI151 (Thread starter):
my birthday presents, NIKE trainers and a 64GB wi-fi i-Pad



Nice! .. Happy belated birthday!

Quoting AI151 (Reply 3):
I left with my cousin who lives in Bensalem (a small suburb of Philadelphia) for Trenton from where I would be getting the NJ Transit train to New York Penn Station. Upon arriving at 15:00 I noticed the earlier train was delayed so I ran down to the platform only to see that the train hadn't arrived and then subsequently had got cancelled. So I got the 15:18 which was all running smoothly until we stopped half a mile outside Rahway station. The train had broken down and luckily a train mechanic was on board so he started looking for the problem. This started at 16:10 and by 17:20 we were still sitting in the same place. The driver came over the tannoy and said that a rescue train would pull up beside us and we would all transfer to that, however that plan didn't come to fruition as it was too dangerous.

Luckily by 17:30 the train got moving as we pulled into Rahway upon where everyone disembarked onto the short platform which became very crowded. Also keep in mind that it was 110F outside and everyone was burning! The broken train pulled away as the next train pulled in and everyone crammed on board only to see that the air-conditioning on this train wasn't working! Could things get any worse?! We left on this furnace of a train and reached Penn Station by 19:00 where i ran in the middle of the rush hour to LIRR section and ran onto the 19:11 train so fast that I nearly tripped over down the stairs!

On board I was releaved that I was nearing the airport as I got off at Jamaica and onto the JFK Air Train which took me to Terminal 4. To say that I was tired and sweating like mad was a major understatement as I tried to open my suitcase, however the padlock combination decided not to work!

That is one hell of an experience! .. I hate arriving late for check-in!

Unfortunately, rail transport in the USA is decades behind countries in Europe. Though it is better on the East Coast compared with the south for example.

Quoting AI151 (Reply 3):
The queue for RJ's flight to Amman was ridiculously long!



That's good to know   Though, a full RJ flight accross the Atlantic on an A342 can be quite dramatic with children, babies, and crazy passengers everywhere!


Thanks a lot for sharing! So what is next in line for you?  

Cheers,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
AI151
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:36 am

Hi Daniel,

Quoting initious (Reply 16):
This is by far your best trip report among the existing ones which are already great.

Thanks for your kind words.

Quoting initious (Reply 16):
The Kuwait Airways flight seem to leave much to be desired. The seats looks real outdated and definitely not the best around.

Not the best around but it was sufficient enough for such a short flight.

Quoting initious (Reply 16):
The meal looks great. I bet it tasted tasty too eh?

Very tasty indeed.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 17):
Great report Sandeep! .. I was also waiting for this. I do not think i have seen a KU TR before. Excellent detail and fantastic pics! .. Did you manage to write the entire TR while on your flights?€

Thanks Roni and yes the majority of it was written on the return flight as I hardly slept.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 17):
Nice! .. Happy belated birthday!

Thank you!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 17):
Thanks a lot for sharing! So what is next in line for you?

I'm actually looking at flights to DXB. Haven't been back there for a couple of years now. But might be flying to CCU with AI towards the end of August.

Sandeep (AI151)
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abrelosojos
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:07 pm

Great TR. I think this is the most positive outlook on KU in a while. Either way, for EUR 750, I think this is an excellent choice in JCL!

Thanks for sharing.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
AI151
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:01 am

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 19):
Great TR. I think this is the most positive outlook on KU in a while. Either way, for EUR 750, I think this is an excellent choice in JCL!

Thanks Alex. I must admit that it only seems to be myself who has a positive view of KU. But for £750 I would take this option over and over again.

Sandeep (AI151)
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ba319-131
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Sat Jul 10, 2010 7:27 am

Hi Sandeep.

Well written report and pictures, thanks for sharing your trip with us.

I take it you know you have now flown on 100% of the KU 777 fleet  
Quoting AI151 (Reply 1):
Compared to the main airlines which were offering in the region £2000, KU only cost me £750!!

- Unless the miles or tier points are really importhant, the KU price is a no brainer.

Quoting AI151 (Thread starter):
The lounge was nothing out of the ordinary, sone tables and chairs arranged in a colourful way

- The lounge is a bit weak, F&B offerings are poo and it gets very warm in there when the sun is out, besst bit is the viewing deck on the top.

Quoting AI151 (Thread starter):
stopping those 'cattle'class passengers trying to upgrade themselves.

- Was there much of this going on?

Regards

Mark
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AI151
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:10 am

Hi Mark,

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 21):
I take it you know you have now flown on 100% of the KU 777 fleet  

That is correct. A proud achievement if any! LOL!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 21):
Was there much of this going on?

More than what I had expected. However the crew were excellent as even when they turned their heads if someone sat down from Economy, they would automatically tell them to move. It's as if they had a mental image of who belongs and doesn't belong in Business Class.

Sandeep (AI151)
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SR 103
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Sat Jul 10, 2010 5:45 pm

Great trip report. Extremely detailed with some great pictures. Belated happy birthday too.

Kuwait City used to be on my itinerary quite regularly from 2001-2004 and I only flew Kuwait Airways once during that time. The experience was average and the only highlight was having the F seats used as J. I started flying KLM to Kuwait City from then on and can honestly say I have no regrets.

For the price of £750, you can not beat the business class experience. I am surprised that they have started handing out video players with what looks like BOSE headsets. Definitely an improvement from their erratic and temperamental PTV system (I know a lot of folks that flew them due to convenience while living in Kuwait - heard many stories).

I have found that Skytrax needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. Then again my opinions differ greatly from the norm. You'll see me on a KLM or Malaysian plane before you will ever see me on an Emirates or Singapore Airlines flight!

Keep writing trip reports, looking forward to reading another one of your experiences.
 
chepos
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:24 pm

Thank you for sharing as we dont get alot of KU trip reports around here, Happy Birthday by the way.
Are most of the KU cabin crew Asian or from the Indian subcontinent?

Regards,

Chepos
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LAXintl
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Sat Jul 10, 2010 8:42 pm

Nice TR, thanks for sharing.

However to be frank, the KU business class product looks like crap compared to more contemporary offerings. If anything its closer to economy plus offering then a business class.
I'd say its rather embarrassing and why they have to hugely discount their products to attract clientele.
Also sad their FF program does not have another single airline partner, so your points are a bit orphan at the moment.

Hopefully if the KU privatization ever comes to fruition the new management will work hard to rebuild the carriers brand which at one time was tops for the region.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
AI151
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:59 pm

Hey Anosh,

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 23):
Great trip report. Extremely detailed with some great pictures. Belated happy birthday too.

Thank you for the comments.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 23):
For the price of £750, you can not beat the business class experience. I am surprised that they have started handing out video players with what looks like BOSE headsets. Definitely an improvement from their erratic and temperamental PTV system

I doubled checked on the website and it was a hit and miss but luckily on both legs everyone in J was given one. Also when the battery was dying, they were very quick in replacing it with another which was good.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 23):
Keep writing trip reports, looking forward to reading another one of your experiences.

I plan to, now I have to book another flight.

Quoting chepos (Reply 24):
Thank you for sharing as we dont get alot of KU trip reports around here, Happy Birthday by the way.
Are most of the KU cabin crew Asian or from the Indian subcontinent?

Thanks Jose. The crew were a mixture of Far Eastern and Indian. Only a few were actually Kuwaiti nationals.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 25):
However to be frank, the KU business class product looks like crap compared to more contemporary offerings. If anything its closer to economy plus offering then a business class.
I'd say its rather embarrassing and why they have to hugely discount their products to attract clientele.

I wouldn't disagree with you by any means, however for that price I'd fly them instead of the regular airlines. I get bored of flying with the same airlines over and over again. Always good to try another airline/product. I wouldn't say its embarrassing though as I as well looked after and everything if what I expected of KU if not a bit better.

Sandeep (AI151)
Modern Vision. Timeless Traditions...
 
reifel
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Sun Jul 11, 2010 2:04 pm

Very interesting report, something you don't read everyday!

KU seems fine, especially considering the price you paid. Saving up to 50% of the fare of other airlines makes up for the old fashioned seat I guess.
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Sun Jul 11, 2010 4:41 pm

Hi Sandeep,

very enjoyable report about a rare airline, well done!

Quoting AI151 (Thread starter):
Back in April I had an exciting trip with Singapore Airlines from MAN to MUC traveling in Business Class on their B77W, however thanks to a certain volcanic ash cloud engulfing Europe that had to be cancelled.

Are you planning to make a new attempt?

Quoting AI151 (Thread starter):
KU only cost me £750!!

What a great deal, I would have booked that flight, too.

Quoting AI151 (Reply 1):
"hello, please if you know where you're sitting then could you please make your own way there'!!

Very strange welcome...

Quoting AI151 (Reply 1):
After an hour the menus were distributed and drinks orders taken. The tray and table settings were basic but the food was delicious and when I asked for second helpings of the starters, they were more than happy to oblige.

The porcelain design is beautiful!


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
FLIEGER67
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Sun Jul 11, 2010 5:36 pm

Hi, Sandeep,

at first, best birthday wishes from me also, that´s what I call a nice present.

Really well done story, I like especially you´re pictures in different style from you´re stay in the States.
And about KU, they doing some fifth freedom flights around Europe, also something interesting here.

Quoting AI151 (Thread starter):
lastest edition of Airliner World

Not to go in any from of advertissement, but take a look when you catch the next issues.
I´am co-writing and also some pix from me will be there, you know my real name from FB.

Quoting AI151 (Thread starter):
but it was quite difficult with everyone staring. I think I just need to pluck up more courage and not care what others think for next time.

I absolutely recommend it. If there is a problem they should say it.

So, will drop you a note, when I´am in London the next time.

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
AI151
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:00 pm

Quoting reifel (Reply 27):
KU seems fine, especially considering the price you paid. Saving up to 50% of the fare of other airlines makes up for the old fashioned seat I guess.

Hi reifel, yes KU and I actually liked the old fashioned seats so it was a change. Plus with the money I saved meant I had more to do shopping with!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 28):
very enjoyable report about a rare airline, well done!

Thank you PH, much appreciated.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 28):
Are you planning to make a new attempt?

Most definitely once I can sort some dates out I would be doing this for sure. Am I correct in thinking that you live in MUC?

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 29):
Really well done story, I like especially you´re pictures in different style from you´re stay in the States.

Thank you Markus for the kind comments. I was pleased with how some of the pics came out as well, especially the b/w ones.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 29):
Not to go in any from of advertissement, but take a look when you catch the next issues.
I´am co-writing and also some pix from me will be there, you know my real name from FB.

I will definitely be buying a copy and looking out for you're article.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 29):
So, will drop you a note, when I´am in London the next time.

Looking forward to it.

Sandeep (AI151)
Modern Vision. Timeless Traditions...
 
akhmad
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:17 pm

Hi Sandeep,

Glad to find your KU trip report on getting home after a long weekend journey. You know I have been waiting for this! Great report and nice pictures. Very enjoyable!

Terminal 4 has been improved for sure. As the matter of fact, my long weekend involved a brief visit to this place as well and I was pleasantly surprised by its new interior.

Good to know you were well taken care of by the cabin crew despite the first disappointing welcome from one crew member.

Quoting AI151 (Reply 3):
I think I just need to pluck up more courage and not care what others think for next time.

I know how you feel. If I feel uneasy about taking pictures, I just do it in a discrete way.

Thanks for sharing this KU insight review.

Cheers,
Suryo
Friends forever
 
Arsenal@LHR
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:55 pm

Thanks for posting a KU report, it reminds me of when i flew KU 777's LHR-JFK-LHR years ago, (9K-AOB/AOA). They are easily the cheapest LON-NYC airline, not the best of services all the time but a welcome alternative. I do think their triple sevens could definitely do with a cabin refurbishment as it certainly has a 1980/90's feel to it.
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Elite
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:13 am

Great trip report! Just a small comment:

Quoting AI151 (Reply 3):
Doors were shut by 09:40 which was impressive but then the infamous JFK wait started and we eventually pushed back at 22:00.

Try to remain consistent when using the 12 hour or 24 hour format... a little confusing for some (like me!) to read, but otherwise, awesome TR!
 
AI151
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:03 am

Quoting akhmad (Reply 31):
Glad to find your KU trip report on getting home after a long weekend journey. You know I have been waiting for this! Great report and nice pictures. Very enjoyable!

Hi Suryo thank you for the comments. Glad you enjoyed reading.

Quoting Arsenal@LHR (Reply 32):
Thanks for posting a KU report, it reminds me of when i flew KU 777's LHR-JFK-LHR years ago, (9K-AOB/AOA). They are easily the cheapest LON-NYC airline, not the best of services all the time but a welcome alternative.

My fellow gunner as I said before with the price I paid, I would take KU again as its nearly the same price as VS or BA in Premium Economy.

Quoting Elite (Reply 33):
Try to remain consistent when using the 12 hour or 24 hour format... a little confusing for some (like me!) to read, but otherwise, awesome TR!

Hey Elite, funny you mention that as I was in a rush and forgot to proof read the TR and then only realised this when I read it again.

Sandeep (AI151)
Modern Vision. Timeless Traditions...
 
LH4116
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:05 am

Hey Sandeep, a very nice and interesting report with some great pics!

To me KU seems like a rather exotic airline, which of course it is. The seats did indeed look very old school, and if it wasn't for the new'ish interior linings on the T7, I would might as well thought you were flying in a DC-10  

750 pounds for a return J ticket across the pond seems like a bargain to me, I would've taken this over Y any day!
The Lounge looked pretty OK to me, not as good as BA or Star Alliance's Lounges. The meal service however looked very generous for the length of the flight.

One thing though, those noise canceling headphones look awfuly similar to the Bose QuietComfort 3's. Both the design of the earcpus, and their case.

Thanks for sharing!
//Jonas
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
 
lukeyboy95
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:01 am

And I never even knew ku had 777's!

Sandeep... this was a marvelous report at which you should be proud and happy to have to look back on what look like an epic journey to the US.

I think its very easy to see past KU's slightly sub-par hardware product in light of the superb value for this flight. The seat actually looks quite comfy too.

Quoting AI151 (Thread starter):
I'd also like to apologise for not getting any terminal pictures at JFK on the return flight

This is something I always overlook. To be fair I am not very thorough with my photos... but I would rather enjoy the trip I think. We're not journalists!

Quoting AI151 (Thread starter):
KU only cost me £750!!

Good value

Quoting AI151 (Thread starter):
First impressions of Terminal 4 were very good as I hadn't been since refurbishment had taken place. From the outside it definitely reminded me of Terminal 3 with the large glass building and spacious forecourts.

Yes LHR is looking very swish these days. Will be heading there on 26th.

Quoting AI151 (Thread starter):
The prawns went well with the humous and the chicken was cooked perfectly with the right amount of spice.

This looks very good.... an a little slice of arabic cuisine in what mostly looks like Indian food!

Cracking photos of USA too. Particular favorite is the kid on beach with seagulls gliding above. Perfect stuff.

Cheers Sandeep for this wonderful report.

Luke
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
LY777
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:37 pm

I didn't know that KU had such an outdated product in C class!!!
This is the worst-looking 777 cabin I have ever seen!
Flown:A3B2,A320,A321,A332,A343,A388,717,727,732,734,735,738,73W,742/744/748,752,762/2ER/763/3ER,772/77E/773/77W,D8,D10,L
 
shamrock321
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:46 pm

Lovely report and KU seem pleasantly good apart from the seats! Some work on them and they would be as good as any of the other on London-New York.
 
AI151
Topic Author
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:55 pm

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 36):
And I never even knew ku had 777's!

We always learn something new everyday dude!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 36):
I think its very easy to see past KU's slightly sub-par hardware product in light of the superb value for this flight. The seat actually looks quite comfy too.

Funnily enough I did have some doubts when seeing the seat for the first time, however it is quite comfortable both in the standard and reclining positions.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 36):
Cracking photos of USA too. Particular favorite is the kid on beach with seagulls gliding above. Perfect stuff

My mother liked that and got the picture enlarged to hang in our living room! LOL!

Quoting LY777 (Reply 37):
I didn't know that KU had such an outdated product in C class!!!
This is the worst-looking 777 cabin I have ever seen!

Outdated doesn't come near to it! It's so prehistoric compared to other airliners in the Middle East. The cabin did look very tired, maybe a splash of paint here and there would definitely brighten up the cabin.

Quoting shamrock321 (Reply 38):
Lovely report and KU seem pleasantly good apart from the seats! Some work on them and they would be as good as any of the other on London-New York.

Thank you. The seats were actually fine and I even managed to sleep quite well. The service in general was excellent. Food was spot on and the cabin crew were always on hand to help. But I think they need a lot of work done on their cabins and image to come anywhere near close to the main airliners on the LHR-JFK route.

Sandeep (AI151)
Modern Vision. Timeless Traditions...
 
Econojetter
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:54 pm

Very enjoyable report on an interesting airline (the livery is among my favorites). Thank you for sharing.

I must say I was not expecting the interior to look this dated. Back in the day, they were one of the first airlines to install PTVs in Economy, if I remember correctly. Even then, this is pretty good value for the fare.

LHR is looking better and better each time it is featured in a report. It's been a while since I transited there.
 
The777Man
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:39 am

Very nice report! A great bargain for J class even though it's very outdated! I had an okay flight JFK-LHR on 9K-AOB but the experience was more memorable for the severe sinus ache I had on the flight.......Meals look very good!

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
Flightsimboy
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:54 pm

I need to do a photo report similar to my "Tale of two SQs" about my KU flights. Maybe I'll get down to it soon. Can't remember much in terms of details, but the photos should be able to tell the story.
 
AI151
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RE: Earning Your Trust, KU Business Class To JFK

Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:32 pm

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 40):
Very enjoyable report on an interesting airline (the livery is among my favorites). Thank you for sharing.

Hey Econojetter thanks for your comments. Their livery is basic but will always be a classic.

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 40):
I must say I was not expecting the interior to look this dated. Back in the day, they were one of the first airlines to install PTVs in Economy, if I remember correctly. Even then, this is pretty good value for the fare.

Among the first to install PTV's in Economy yet one of the last to update their interior. Oh well, I suppose they can't be among the first for everything.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 41):
Very nice report! A great bargain for J class even though it's very outdated! I had an okay flight JFK-LHR on 9K-AOB but the experience was more memorable for the severe sinus ache I had on the flight.......Meals look very good!

Thank you. It might be outdated but for the same price as BA or VS Premium Economy it was worth it. Plus I found it to be intriguing not to travel on one of the major airlines. The meals were actually much better than I thought they would be. A lot of choice and very tasty as well.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 42):
I need to do a photo report similar to my "Tale of two SQs" about my KU flights. Maybe I'll get down to it soon. Can't remember much in terms of details, but the photos should be able to tell the story.

Hey flightsimboy I'll definitely be looking forward to that photo TR.

Sandeep (AI151)
Modern Vision. Timeless Traditions...

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