Hello from Kuwait City! I just flew Kuwait Airways’ A330 business class for the 6hr20min flight from Dhaka to Kuwait City. I’ve been wanting to fly Kuwait Airways for years, and a good opportunity finally presented itself. Kuwait Airways had great business class fares out of Dhaka, and the flight was even operated by one of their new A330s.
I’ll have a full trip report soon, but wanted to share my initial impressions for now.
Well, I should start by saying that I actually flew Kuwait Airways first class… sort of.
Kuwait Airways’ A330s are in a three class configuration.
First class features reverse herringbone seats, in a 1-2-1 configuration. There are a total of 17 seats.
Meanwhile business class features angled seats, in a 2-2-2 configuration, with a total of 30 seats.
Well, I guess Dhaka is a really low yield destination, because on this route business class passengers can select first class seats, while they seat economy passengers in business class seats. Not only that, but there was only one other passenger in business class (and I believe he was a Kuwaiti air marshal), while the rest of the plane was packed.
So I got the first class seat with business class service — keep that in mind as I share my thoughts.
Kuwait Airways’ reverse herringbone seats are great. The plane is pretty new, so the cabin is still in good conditions, and I find Kuwait’s cabin finishes to be agreeable but nice. Of course I’d still consider a reverse herringbone seat to be a good business class seat rather than a good first class seat, but I guess that’s really what I got anyway.
While Kuwait Airways’ new cabins are a huge improvement over their old product, they have a ways to go when it comes to their soft product.
There were no amenity kits or printed menus, the blankets were fleece, etc.
The flight departed at 9AM, so breakfast was served shortly after takeoff. Everything was on a single tray. The quality of the food was good. However, for a fairly long flight I’m a bit surprised they just do a one tray service.
I figured there would be some sort of a snack service before landing, given the length of the flight. However, the only thing they offered before landing was coffee or tea, along with some sweets. You’d think they could offer something a bit more substantial and healthy.
Kuwait Airways is a dry airline, so you’re limited to water, juice, coffee, tea, etc.
I was pleasantly surprised by the service. Most of the flight attendants were Kuwaiti men, in addition to a Tunisian woman working in business class. I was worried service would be similar to what I had on Saudia. Well, the good news is that the flight attendants were friendly.
I wouldn’t say they were polished or attentive, but they seemed well intentioned. They served me the meal, and then disappeared for the rest of the flight. However, when I pushed the call button they quickly appeared without rolling their eyes.
I know I have ridiculously low standards here, but compared to my Saudia flight last year, where the (local) male flight attendants had the (foreign) female flight attendants serve them, this was five star service by comparison.
In terms of other features, Kuwait Airways’ A330s have personal televisions at every seat, along with wifi. The entertainment selection was reasonably good in terms of quantity, though there did seem to be a focus on Bollywood rather than Hollywood.
As far as wifi goes, Kuwait Airways uses OnAir for the service. They charge based on time rather than data, and it’s not cheap — 30 minutes costs $10, an hour costs $20, and three hours costs $40. On the plus side, you can connect and disconnect as you wish so you can use wifi over a longer period of time. Furthermore, I still found this to be cheaper than when OnAir charges based on data usage.
Kuwait Airways business class bottom line
Kuwait Airways’ new A330s are quite nice, especially compared to their old planes. I was especially lucky to be on a route where they let business class passengers sit in first class.
Service was less horrible than I was expecting — it wasn’t polished or attentive, but was still friendly.
However, Kuwait Airways has a lot of work to do with their soft product. A one tray service on a nearly seven hour flight with no real additional snack is disappointing.
Overall Kuwait Airways is becoming more competitive than they used to be with their hard product, though they have some work to do on their soft product.