Stubborn SkyTeam traveler turns down Emirates business class nonstop for Kenya Airways

Another entry in the list of insane things caused by the lure of miles and elite status. The Rapid Traveler is a Delta Diamond, a bit slow in 2012 but pushed passed the 75k for 2013 Platinum in early June and wants to ensure a Diamond re-qualification and a healthy rollover.

To the utter disbelief of his Dubai colleagues, he turned down Emirates business class nonstop Dubai (DXB) – Johannesburg (JNB) for Kenya Airways, connecting through Nairobi (NBO).

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Vintage seat, no AVOD, no power outlet

Sometimes a plane older than he is charming, like a rumpled jacket. Not this one, one of Kenya Airways’ five 767-300s, though the dark mystery box (shoe storage?) instead of foot space was an enigma to ponder.

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Mystery box to lose things

The light switch that controls the next seat makes for a prank that never gets old, especially when the next seat’s switch does not do anything, leaving no direct avenue for retaliation. So similar to the US domestic flight experience, he felt calmly at home.

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Playing with the other seat’s light

Kenya Airways has four 777s that service its longer European and Asian routes, those presumably have modern conveniences like power outlets.

The food? No idea. After a 12-hour driving circuit of Oman and a Swiss connection back to Dubai, he was asleep at takeoff and did not wake until landing, primed for the experience of NBO.

NBO hint: don’t try to transfer to Kenya Airways from another airline without getting your boarding pass in advance, unless you are prepared to spend the day, and possibly the night, too, at NBO.

Update from the return trip: the food is not great, and watch out for the killer spice thing tucked in the Indian vegetarian entree. The flight attendants are too sluggish with beverages to quickly extinguish the fire.

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