BusinessClass.com - Review of Kenya Airways Business Class
Kenya Airways Business Class
BusinessClass.com expert review by Ramsey Qubein
7
/10
A comfortable flight
Airport Experience - 7/10
Cabin & Seat - 7/10
Cuisine - 8/10
Beverages - 8/10
Service - 8/10
Entertainment - 7/10
Amenities & Facilities - 7/10
Short & Medium Haul - 9/10

Review of Kenya Airways Business Class

The catchphrase for Kenya’s flag carrier is “The Pride of Africa,” and the airline’s aim is “bring the world to Africa and Africa to the world.” And it does just that. Kenya Airways connects several dozen African nations via its Nairobi hub.

The airline’s long-haul Boeing 787 Dreamliner Business Class product is notable for friendly service and easy connections - albeit without the bells and whistles that the Middle Eastern carriers often provide on flights to the continent.

Kenya Airways brands its Business Class product as Premier World.

As a member of SkyTeam, Kenya Airways works with nearly a dozen airline partners with whom passengers can earn and redeem miles for their flights including Aeroméxico, Air France, China Eastern, Delta, Garuda Indonesia, KLM and Saudia.

SkyTeam Elite Plus members enjoy special benefits when flying Kenya Airways (or “KQ” as many locals call it), irrespective of cabin class.

Find the best offers for

Kenya Airways & more
Search for
7/ 10

Airport experience

Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has been improving over the years following a fire in 2013 that gutted one of the terminals. While some flights still leave from an older terminal, many passengers  find the transit experience to be better than before thanks to a newer wing with more modern amenities.

If starting your journey in Nairobi, be sure to print out your flight itinerary as it is necessary to enter the airport building before you arrive at the check-in counter. This is not necessary if you are in transit.

Expect access to SkyPriority facilities - priority check-in areas as well as premium boarding lanes and access to the airline’s lounge network. The new lounges for Kenya Airways at Nairobi are much better than their predecessors with food buffets, showers and relaxation areas plus ample beverage options. There are two KQ Lounges located at Terminal 1A second floor - the Pride Lounge and the Simba Lounge. The latter includes a small VVIP Lounge which can accommodate up to five passengers who prefer additional privacy for a modest hourly fee. Private shower facilities and steward services are available on request. A third lounge named Msafiri Lounge is located in Terminal 1D and caters to passengers on domestic flights. 

In addition to Nairobi lounges, KQ and SkyTeam Elite Plus members can enjoy a global network of lounges with hot and cold buffets, open bars and business center facilities. 

 

7/ 10

Cabin & Seat

The Kenya Airways long-haul fleet consists exclusively of Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner planes in a 2-2-2 configuration. Business Class is divided between a larger forward cabin featuring three rows and a smaller "mini cabin" behind the galley with only two rows. Both sections feel quite intimate as they only host a few rows. The second section behind the galley is typically the quietest, but all economy class passengers pass through during boarding as do flight attendants working in economy class throughout the flight.

All are flat-bed seats with soft blankets and pillows and easily accessible controls that can bring the seat from upright to relaxation mode in seconds. There is lots of storage space on the side and behind the seat. The ottoman also folds up and has even more space to store small items. Power outlets are convenient, too, which is great for long flights.

It would be nice if window seat passengers did not have to climb over their neighbour to reach the aisle, and the lack of privacy partitions is noticeable. Also, it is disappointing that the Dreamliner windows (controlled via dimmer switches rather than traditional shades) are sometimes locked by the crew after takeoff. The intention from Boeing is that passengers can enjoy the view no matter their preference, but flight crew may have different ideas.

The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes images, videos and seat maps for most airlines and aircraft Search results also include details such as seat pitch, width and recline. This way you can see the seat and cabin configuration of the flight in which you are interested, before making your choice.

 

8/ 10

Cuisine

Service can be slow after departure because the flight attendants have an impressive service in store with food delivered on linen-lined tray tables rather than via trays. This can vary by flight, but its longest flights have this elegant setup. Depending on the time of day, sometimes trays are used to expedite the meal so people have more time to sleep.

Another impressive addition is that the menus come in leather folders similar to what other airlines do in First Class. This presentation, however, is reserved for its longest flights. Many medium-haul flights between cities only receive paper menus. 

The aperitif service begins with a plate of appetisers and packaged nuts, and then a further appetiser or soup course arrives. It is served with a choice from the bread basket. The table is also set up with silverware and colourful ceramic salt and pepper shakers.

Shortly after, flight attendants offer a choice of four main dishes including beef, seafood, poultry or pasta. These are plated in the galley for the best presentation rather than just being reheated like on many other airlines.

A three-tiered cart soon follows with dessert and after-dinner drinks. It is nice that KQ lets passengers see the choice of what is available (cakes, cheese and fruit among other things) so they can mix and match what they want.

In between meals on the longest KQ flights, a snack menu is available including sandwiches and pizza. On long flights, a second meal service is available before landing, which consists of breakfast or snack depending on the time of day.

Special meals are available for pre-order, which can be done online or via phone including vegetarian, low-calorie, Kosher, or bland meals. There is no “dine-on-demand” service, but the flight crew is willing to oblige special request if time allows.

On the longest flights between meal services, a snack area is available with drinks and nibbles, which is a nice offering since passengers are always on different time zones. 

8/ 10

Beverages

Before takeoff, a tray of water or juice is served. In some cities, Champagne is also available as a predeparture beverage (it depends on local tax regulations). KQ often serves J. M. Gobillard et Fils NV Grande Réserve Premier Cru Brut inflight.

After takeoff, more beverages from the bar are available including two white wines, two red wines, Champagne, port, and several international beers. All of the necessary mixes are available plus juice, soft drinks, the famous Kenyan coffee - including proper espresso and cappuccino and tea.

The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on which Champagne is served in Business Class and First Class on many airlines. We do our best to keep track of any changes, but feel free to let us know if there is something we missed. 

8/ 10

Service

KQ crews are friendly, enthusiastic and proud of their airline and product. While the service may be slow, it is not because of lack of interest and more so because they are trying to provide a solid product that stacks up with international standards. If you want refills, you may have to ask, but the service will be delivered with a proud smile.

7/ 10

Entertainment

Large screens showcase numerous Hollywood movies, international sitcoms and music, documentaries and plentiful original Kenyan travel content. A 3-D moving map display is available on international flights allowing you to zoom in to different parts of the world and see your aircraft from varying angles inflight.

Wireless internet is not available inflight.

The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on WiFi and inflight entertainment.

7/ 10

Amenities & Facilities

Kenya Airways amenity kits are small, but definitely worth keeping since they have lion paw print socks, and a dental kit. The airline embraces the richness of its homeland since many of its travellers are flying there for safaris or beach visits. The kits lack other niceties though like high-quality lotion or lip balm.

The large pillow and blanket at each seat offer great quality and comfort.

Families travelling with infants can request a bassinet on long-haul flights to use at certain seats.

9/ 10

Short & Medium Haul

KQ shorter flights are operated by a variety of different aircraft. This can include the narrowbody Embraer E190 or Boeing 737 or the same Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes used on longer flights. You may get lucky and get a flat-bed seat on a longer flight. If you have a narrowbody plane, the seat is a recliner chair, which is comfortable and spacious.

You can expect a one-tray meal service with a hot dish, even on short flights, as well as an open bar with Champagne, wine, beer and plentiful soft drinks offered with a smile. These flights also provide access to lounges, priority boarding and other special perks.

Sustainability

Kenya Airways is focused on fuel and energy reduction techniques throughout its operation. The airline has a substantial tree-planting program around the country and has launched significant efforts to halt the illegal trade of endangered animals. At its headquarters and inflight, recycling programs help to funnel trash to the appropriate place.

An upcycling initiative is also taking place with old aircraft parts and crew uniforms being repurposed. The airline reached a five-year goal to carbon neutral operations and is continuing to further that goal. Through The Kenya Airways Foundation, the airline supports local charities and organizations in the destinations that it serves.

The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on CO2 emissions for each flight. Our quality algorithms also give a higher score to flights operated by the most modern and environmentally friendly aircraft.

What We Love

  • Friendly Kenyan flight crews proud to offer local products especially their own coffee, tea and Tusker beer
  • The amenity kits with animal themes – not distributed on many short and medium haul flights though
  • Menus displayed in leather folders. Many airlines only provide this luxury in their respective First Class cabins

 

BusinessClass.com searches hundreds of travel sites at once to help you find the best premium travel offers for both flights and the finest hotels. Find the best price for Kenya Airways Business Class by making a search on BusinessClass.com.

Find the best offers for Kenya Airways & more

Search for

More from BusinessClass.com

Airline Review

Review of LATAM Airlines Business Class

Premium Business aboard LATAM, the largest airline in Latin America, is an ideal way to jet to, from and around South America. With a...

Inflight Dining

Five of the Best Champagnes served in Business Class

Who can resist a refreshing glass of bubbly on a flight? It’s one of the best ways to unwind, particularly as you settle into your seat...

Hotel Review

Review of the Ritz

The Grand Hotel Oslo is one of Norway’s most famous hotels. It is known for hosting the annual Nobel Peace Prize banquet – and indeed where...