imberry
Topic Author
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 8:44 pm

African Adventure - Egypt And Kenya From The USA

Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:45 am

An opportunity to attend a conference in Nairobi, Kenya brought with it several exciting potential routings from my home airport in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. Fly to DFW then try Emirates with a stopover in Dubai? How about Houston then Qatar? Or go the more conventional routes through London or Amsterdam? In the end, I have always wanted to go to Egypt and I found a great deal from JFK to NBO via CAI on Egyptair. It was cheaper and involved less stops to buy two separate tickets than to try to fly wholly on Star Alliance. I opted for Delta to LGA and then a car service across Queens to JFK. Delta offered me $400 to take an American Eagle flight 30 minutes later, an offer I couldn't refuse, so I began my journey across a hot, clear Eastern US on board one of Eagle's ERJ's.
http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/IMG_0377.jpg
After reuniting with my bag at the Delta terminal, it was off to JFK. I bought a day pass to the wonderful Oasis Lounge and killed several hours with a shower, a few beers, some very good fish curry, and awesome views of tarmac activity at JFK Terminal 4 - which in my opinion has no equal if you are a plane geek like me (and I presume most of you as well).

Comfortable seating overlooking the tarmac:http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/IMG_0380.jpg

Big bird getting ready for her long flight to DXB:
http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/DSC03015.jpg

Another next door:
http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/DSC03016.jpg

One of the most interesting visitors at T4 - leaving for DME:
http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/IMG_0386.jpg
http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/IMG_0385.jpg

I was unable to get any good shots of our brand new Egyptair 777-300LR from the gate. Here is the welcome screen from the IFE - which I found to be more than adequate for the 12 hour flight to Cairo.http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/IMG_0387.jpg
I have flown quite a bit and this was certainly my first in-flight safety demonstration preceded by an Islamic prayer over the PA system. Although I could not understand the Arabic language, I felt it was a nice touch and seemed to be asking for God's blessing for all on board as we embarked across the Atlantic. The crew distributed amenity kits (in coach!) but no booze allowed on Egyptair - oh well, I can do without. The meal was just okay - nothing to write home about.http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/IMG_0388.jpg
The best shot of our plane I could capture upon arrival at CAI's very modern and sleek Terminal 3:http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/IMG_0390.jpg
I had a 12 hour layover in Cairo and Egyptair paid for a day room and meal at the nearby Novotel - unexpected and appreciated for coach class.
http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/IMGP3386.jpgAfter a shower and surprisingly good meal of chicken and rice, I took a tour to the Great Pyramids at Giza with Egyptair-owned Karnak tours. The Pyramids were of course incredible - one of those iconic structures like Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, or the Sydney Opera House that you have seen so many times in photographs it is hard to believe you are gazing at them in real life.http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/IMGP3341.jpg
My flight to JKIA was very late at night and I got only this blurry photo of the insanely cramped seating on board the aging A320 that would take me on the 5 hour trek to Nairobi.http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/IMG_0395.jpg
I was unimpressed with the intra-Africa product on Egyptair. Less legroom than even Ryanair, weird schedules, and an aircraft that did not appear to be aging very gracefully.

Anyway, Kenya was fantastic. If you have not been to Africa, go! Here are a few photos from a safari to the Maasai Mara which I count among the most incredible experiences of my life.
http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/IMGP3424.jpg
http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/DSC03125.jpg
http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/IMGP3508.jpg
http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/IMGP3562.jpg
http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/IMGP3703.jpg
http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/DSC03164-1.jpgMy new friend Justice, our safari cook's brother, who spoke the Queen's English and impressed me with his desire to remain on his family's land instead of moving to the city to look for a "9 to 5" type job. I think he may be on to something.

My flight back to CAI was in the middle of the night so I apologize for the bad quality of the photos of JKIA.http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/IMG_0400.jpghttp://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/IMG_0398.jpg
Not everyday I see a FIDS for Mogadishu, Juba, or Bangui!

Egyptair allowed me a one-night stopover on the way home so I opted to buy a same day RT ticket to Luxor - by the way much much cheaper on Egyptair's domestic website than it was on the US site. After clearing customs and immigration, I transferred to the domestic area of T3 and boarded a bus to Egyptair Express' brand new E170 - my first flight on this type.
http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/IMG_0407.jpg
The legroom was fantastic and service good for my brief 1 hour flight over the Sahara. Flight safety demonstration was Arabic only.http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/IMG_0409.jpg

Luxor was amazing (and HOT) - I made the best of my 9 hours there.http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/DSC03185.jpghttp://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/DSC03270.jpg

There were a lot of military guys with machine guns at the Luxor airport so this is the best I could do walking into the terminal:http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/IMG_0410.jpg

After an all too brief 4 hours of sleep at the Novotel (not free this time since I was spending the night) it was back to CAI at 6 a.m. Here is T1 which is used by the non-Star Alliance airlines:
http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/IMGP3316.jpg

Getting ready to take me home:
http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/IMG_0411.jpg

I lucked out and got an exit row (it never hurts to flirt a little and ask!) which made the journey back to JFK very pleasant:http://i881.photobucket.com/albums/ac19/iberry3dc/IMG_0412.jpg

No further photos as I slept most of the way back in my excellent exit row seat. I would not hesitate to cross the Atlantic with Egyptair again - they offer fine product at a very competitive price. Cheers and thanks for reading!
 
Burj
Posts: 745
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2007 6:46 am

RE: African Adventure - Egypt And Kenya From The USA

Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:29 am

Cool trip report! Love the photos of Luxor and Pyramids!

Quoting imberry (Thread starter):
Delta offered me $400 to take an American Eagle flight 30 minutes later, an offer I couldn't refuse, so I began my journey across a hot, clear Eastern US on board one of Eagle's ERJ's.

How did you get selected? Did they make a general announcement or did they ask you specifically if you were willing to take AA?
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1629
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

RE: African Adventure - Egypt And Kenya From The USA

Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:56 am

The meals on Egyptair are a lot better than on US airlines.

What shots did you take for Kenya? Thanks.
 
sjacob
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:59 am

RE: African Adventure - Egypt And Kenya From The USA

Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:42 am

Welcome to Africa...Yes Egypt Air has good (lower) prices, though its schedules in my opinion are so ungodly and late so I have failed to fly with them for that reason.

Africa is so much more than what many imagine outside, so I am glad you had a wonderful time

Hope to see you in Uganda next time....once again, Karibuni Africa    
 
TheCommodore
Posts: 3458
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2007 2:14 am

RE: African Adventure - Egypt And Kenya From The USA

Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:55 am

Quoting burj (Reply 1):
Cheers and thanks for reading!

Great report, thanks.

I traveled on Egyptair last year, and despite the fact they they are a "dry" airline, all was good.

The Lounge in the US looks a little tired, different chairs and the light shades are all crooked. Was it in JFK ?
“At first, they'll only dislike what you say, but the more correct you start sounding the more they'll dislike you.”
 
767747
Posts: 2131
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

RE: African Adventure - Egypt And Kenya From The USA

Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:56 am

Nice to read about your trip with Egyptair. It has been a very long time since I flew them back in 1996! We flew on a Egypt Air 747-300 from JFK-CAI-JFK!

What do you mean Egypt Air put you up in the hotel? Was your flight delayed by someway? Or, was your trip booked through Egypt Air vacations?

Pyramids look great ; how fun to see them again!

Best,

Matthew (767747)
I love to fly!
 
imberry
Topic Author
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 8:44 pm

RE: African Adventure - Egypt And Kenya From The USA

Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:43 pm

Quoting burj (Reply 1):
How did you get selected? Did they make a general announcement or did they ask you specifically if you were willing to take AA?

I happened to be lucky enough to be 5 feet from the podium at the gate when the made the announcement. They had offered a first class seat two hours later and had no takers and I think they were getting desperate.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 2):
What shots did you take for Kenya?

I believe it was yellow fever, typhoid, tetanus booster, and hepatitis A. I felt like a pin cushion!

Quoting sjacob (Reply 3):
Hope to see you in Uganda next time....once again, Karibuni Africa    

I would love to go gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda. Definitely on my "bucket list."

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 4):
The Lounge in the US looks a little tired, different chairs and the light shades are all crooked. Was it in JFK ?

Yes, the lounge was in JFK. As I always fly coach unless I get a free upgrade, I don't know much by way of comparison. I found the lounge to have very good food, free drinks, and wifi but I agree the decor was a little shabby around the edges. Well worth the price of a day pass though.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 5):
What do you mean Egypt Air put you up in the hotel? Was your flight delayed by someway? Or, was your trip booked through Egypt Air vacations?

I booked directly on Egyptair website. They did not advertise the free day room, but I saw somebody post on a FlyerTalk forum that you could get a free room if your layover was over 7 or 8 hours. I just went to the customer service office of Egyptair and asked - was honestly surprised when the answer was yes.
 
abrelosojos
Posts: 4050
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

RE: African Adventure - Egypt And Kenya From The USA

Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:58 am

Thanks a lot for the report. You made my evening with the shot of JKIA. I love that airport. And yes, I have issues  .

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: akinsoul, Boston, Google Feedfetcher and 30 guests