Introduction: Journey To Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, And Kuwait
Review: Air France Lounge San Francisco Airport
Review: Korean Air Business Class 747-8 San Francisco To Seoul
Review: Korean Air Business Class 777 Seoul To Kathmandu
Review: Hyatt Regency Kathmandu
Review: Kathmandu Airport Lounge
Review: Drukair Business Class A319 Kathmandu To Paro
Review: Le Meridien Thimphu
Review: Le Meridien Paro
Hiking To The Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan
How We Spent Our Time In Bhutan
Review: Drukair Economy ATR42 Paro To Dhaka
Review: Presidential Suite At The Le Meridien Dhaka
Review: Dhaka Airport Lounge
Review: Kuwait Airways Business Class A330 Dhaka To Kuwait
Review: Sheraton Kuwait
Review: Kuwait Airways Lounge Kuwait Airport
Review: Kuwait Airways Business Class 777 Kuwait To Shannon
Review: Kuwait Airways Business Class 777 Shannon To New York
Our flight from Kuwait City to New York (via Shannon) was departing at 9AM, and we got to the airport plenty early, at around 6:15AM. We had already received our boarded passes all the way to New York in Dhaka, so could skip the check-in counters (which were deserted anyway).
Kuwait Airport is pretty solid. While the finishes don’t come off as especially luxurious, the ceilings are high, and they have excellent concessions.
Starbucks and Pinkberry next to one another? Yes please!
We walked to the far end of the hall, where the immigration and security checkpoint were located. There was no line at immigration, so we were through in a matter of moments. The security checkpoint was quick as well.
Past security we headed towards the Kuwait Airways lounge, which was located past security and to the right, about a two minute walk away.
The lounge was located up a level from the main concourse, and could be accessed either by stairs or elevator.
At the reception desk our boarding passes were scanned and we were invited into the lounge.
First we headed to the left side of the lounge. There was a small business center with some computers to the left, and some seating and newspapers to the right.
Past that was the main area of the lounge, which was pretty large. I appreciated all the partitions that they used in designing the lounge, which made it feel a bit more private than most other lounges.
Back near the entrance and to the right was another small sitting area, with some reclining seats and ottomans. This area seemed to be the emptiest part of the lounge, as there were just a couple of people there.
Near the entrance to the lounge were some plane models. Oddly they had airplane models from MEA, Gulf Air, and Saudia, and only had one Kuwait model plane.
Back to the left and at the far end of the lounge was the dining area and buffet. There were lots of dining tables with four seats each, as well as two self serve buffets.
The food selection exceeded my expectations — I’ll let the pictures mostly speak for themselves.
The lounge also had juice and ice cream.
Then there was a selection of self serve soft drinks and water — Kuwait Airways is a dry airline, including on the ground, so there was no alcohol.
I appreciated that they had a proper espresso machine, so you could order an espresso, cappuccino, americano, etc.
Past the dining area were the bathrooms, which were decent enough. I didn’t see any shower rooms, however.
There was also a play area for kids.
Then there was a small smoking lounge.
We didn’t have breakfast at the hotel, but I was saving my appetite for onboard. I just had an americano, and also one of the cups of vanilla ice cream (the ice cream was really light).
Unfortunately the wifi in the lounge was slow, which was my only complaint about the place. Otherwise I thought it was a nice lounge, and it exceeded my expectations.
Our flight was scheduled to board at 8:15AM, so we headed to our departure gate at around 7:45AM. We were departing from gate 21, which was about a five minute walk from our gate.
As we approached the gate there was quite a line to enter the gate area. Fortunately they have a separate line for first & business class passengers, so we were able to jump to the front (though it was a bit awkward, since others thought we were cutting the line).
I had an “SSSS” on my boarding pass (for a while this was a serious issue, though I’ve since gotten it resolved — however, sometimes you’ll still randomly be chosen for additional security based on having a “suspicious” one-way ticket). There was an additional security checkpoint at the gate, and then since I had the “SSSS” on my boarding pass, my bags were searched and I was given a pat down. It was a painless process, though.
The gate area was still pretty empty at this point — it seems we were among the first to arrive. However, I always make an effort to be among the first, so I could hopefully be among the first to board and get pictures.
As we arrived at the gate we saw one of Kuwait’s gorgeous new 777-300ERs taxi by.
Unfortunately that wasn’t our plane, and instead we had to take buses to our plane. While I’m used to remote stands, the puzzling thing was that we actually had a gate, they just weren’t using it. Something about the below picture doesn’t look especially efficient. 😉
While boarding was supposed to start at 8:15AM, it only started at 8:35AM. There was a lot of frustration among passengers, since they felt like there wasn’t much communication from the staff.
Finally at 8:35AM our boarding passes were scanned, and we were among the first down the jet bridge. However, as they scanned the boarding passes they handed us new ones. They explained that our seats that we had reserved in row six were “broken,” and instead assigned us new seats in row nine.
As I walked onto the tarmac I noticed they were using what looked like a catering truck to load a passenger. As I later found out, there was a passenger with a serious medical condition onboard, and he was traveling in business class, along with a doctor, his family, etc., so that’s how he was transported.
We waited about five minutes for the bus to fill up, and then started the long drive to the plane. We drove past an Emirates 777 and all kinds of Kuwait Airways planes.
Eventually we got to a security checkpoint where they checked for explosives underneath the bus.
Eventually we got to an area where a few “heavies” were parked, including a Kuwait Airways 747 (which has an interesting story).
And then there was our beautiful Kuwait Airways 777-300ER.
No matter how you feel about Kuwait Airways as such, I think there’s no denying that they have a beautiful new livery.
Kuwait Airways Lounge bottom line
Kuwait Airport as such is a solid airport. It’s easy to use, with short lines at immigration and security. Beyond that, the food and dining options were pretty great. The Kuwait Airways lounge was nicer than I was expecting, though in fairness, I had pretty low expectations (given the overall reputation that Kuwait Airways has). Overall it was a perfectly nice place to pass time.
The boarding process was a bit chaotic, due to the use of a remote stand despite having a vacant gate, and also the delayed boarding.
I was curious to see what the onboard experience would be like.