American To Kuwait Part 1 777-300 (DFW-LHR) (by billywilt Aug 6 2014 in Trip Reports)
A little more background. This trip was very last minute. Originally, I had fully booked a trip to North Korea and made a reservation with Juche Travel Services to fly on some classic Soviet era planes. However, the tour was cancelled and I was stuck with a return trip ticket to Beijing. Thankfully, I used airline miles and was able to get them redeemed and used them to fly to London for the first leg of this Kuwait excursion. I had about a 3 week time frame for vacation and needed to make something work during that time.
Unfortunately, as seen in Part 1, the A300, the main reason for me going on this trip, was subbed for an A340-300 last minute. I still had a chance at getting the A300 on the return leg though, having booked the same flight back to London.
10:30 AM departure, arrive KWI 6:45 PM
Movie I made in-flight, watch in HD, can be seen here:
Originally, I booked a window seat, but I then changed my mind the day before and opted for an aisle seat. I have really long legs so sitting confined would drive me crazy. So I changed it online to an aisle seat.
Check in was pretty empty and I soon was given my boarding pass:
9K-ANC sitting at the gate, T4 Heathrow:
My seat view:
After take-off, I went for a "Stroll" around the cabin. To my surprise, the last row was completely empty and had a window. I got my stuff and quickly moved back there and got the row to myself with a window. I was thrilled.
Not the best view, haha!:
The seats were the most comfortable economy seats ever. Quite big and outdated with a nice foot rest proved for a very pleasant flight:
The IFE system is a joke. The screen in front of me was only on a constant loop with a moving map and flight info and my controller actually worked for the other seats PTV! I have no idea what is going on with their IFE. Click the thumbnail below to see video:
I didn't know Kuwait Airways had A340-200's...
Time to pray...
Meal was delicious. I ordered the Vegan meal on their website beforehand. Potatoes with curried veggies:
The route took us along the Iraq-Iran border and just East of Baghdad.
Northern Iraq. I apologize, the windows were absolutely filthy:
Europe bound EK flight:
Approach into KWI:
Kuwait Sunset ______ Kuwait Airways A340 by Billy Wilt بيلي الذبول, on Flickr
Upon landing, Kuwaiti C-17
Kuwait Air Force C-17 Globemaster by Billy Wilt بيلي الذبول, on Flickr
Gulf Stream Royal Fleet:
I was kind of shocked and disappointed at the same time when we pulled into the gate next to this. Fly all the way to Kuwait to see a United 777...lol. Had no idea they flew this route. IAD-KWI via Bahrain.
US Citizens among practically every European passport are allowed to be issued visas upon arrival. I found the desk, took a number and within 3 minutes I had a 3-month visitors visa for Kuwait. After mulling around the airport a bit before wanting to go to the hotel, it started to hit me that I would be in Kuwait for 6 days with no real plan of anything to do. So I made my way to the Kuwait Airways reservations desk. Since I wanted to ensure I flew on an A300 during this trip, I asked about day trips I could make that were operated by the A300/A310. He thought I was crazy, but was very helpful and so I booked a very cheap fare return-ticket to Dubai and back. To be covered in another trip report...
Arrived to the hotel around 10 PM after a horrendous taxi fee. The airport authority does not allow any taxi service other than the airport taxi to take people from the airport. They have a fixed fare and if you try and haggle, they will tell you to get lost.
Kuwait City by Night by Billy Wilt بيلي الذبول, on Flickr
Went for a walkabout downtown until 1AM or so:
Called my Kuwaiti friend and we spent the next couple of days doing some photography and showing me around local Kuwaiti tradition:
Kuwait Towers Sunset by Billy Wilt بيلي الذبول, on Flickr
Low Income Housing, Kuwait City by Billy Wilt بيلي الذبول, on Flickr
Persian Gulf by Billy Wilt بيلي الذبول, on Flickr
Full flickr album of photos from kuwait can be seen here:
Part 3 and 4 are coming soon...
[Edited 2014-08-06 17:19:06]