New Jazeera Airways Terminal Now Open

Post by Mark

Starting tomorrow May 22nd, all Jazeera Airways flights will be departing and arriving from their new terminal. For more information on the terminal, check out my previous post [Here]

Update: Sorry I messed up thinking today was the 22nd. I’ve updated the post to reflect this!


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

List of All the New Airport Terminals

Post by Mark

It’s kinda crazy how overnight we basically doubled the number of airport terminals in Kuwait. Since its starting to get a bit complicated with the different namings, I figured I’d share the list below to help clear things up along with pictures.

Terminal 1
This is our current main terminal. It was opened in 1979 and was designed by one of the most significant architects of the 20th century, Kenzō Tange. The British architect and critic Stephen Gardiner wrote in 1985 that it was “the most beautiful airport in the world” because of its “breathtaking simplicity of color and shape.” It is “white sculptured space as cool as an ice-cube, as enormous as a vat intake of pure air, as light as a tent, as canvas hung from cables and sails.” The airport today no longer resembles the original one due to the amount of refurbishment it went through. There are no plans to demolish this airport, but once Terminal 2 opens up I hope someone decides to take it back to its original state. For more pictures of the airport, click [Here]

Terminal 2
This is the new and huge terminal that was designed by the British architecture studio Foster + Partners. It’s currently under construction and is expected to be completed in 2021. This is going to be a world-class terminal that will be able to compete with the likes of Hamad International Airport in Qatar and the Emirates Airline Terminal 3 in Dubai. For more pictures, click [Here]

Terminal 3
The Sheikh Saad terminal originally started off as a private planes terminal but later became the Wataniya Airways terminal. After Wataniya Airways shutdown, FlyDubai took it over. Until recently, flying with FlyDubai was the only way to avoid our horrible main terminal. But, now that the Jazeera Airways and Kuwait Airways terminals are opening up, Sheikh Saad terminal will no longer have an edge.

Terminal 4
This is the new Kuwait Airways terminal and is expected to be operational in June. The new terminal is located near the cargo terminal. Here is the location on [Google Maps]. This terminal will help ease congestion at the main terminal until Terminal 2 opens up in 2021. For more pictures, click [Here]

Terminal 5
Finally, Terminal 5 is the Jazeera Airways terminal I posted about last week. This terminal is now basically complete and will be open at the end of this month. Right now the terminal will cater only to Jazeera Airways flights but there are talks about possibly hosting another airline as well, possibly Emirates. For a complete walkthrough and pictures of this terminal, click [Here]

Future Terminal Expansion
In case needed, there are plans in place that can expand Terminal 2 to double the size. My guess if that happens, either the terminal will still be called Terminal 2, or they might be renamed to Terminal 2a and Terminal 2b. After expansion the terminal will be able to handle 50 million passengers a year. In comparisson, our current main terminal handles 6.8 million a year.


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Tour of the New Jazeera Airways Terminal

Post by Mark

Yesterday I got a tour of the new Jazeera Airways terminal and I left impressed. Not only because the terminal is something we desperately need right now, but also because of the thought process behind a lot of the decisions as well as the initiatives Jazeera have taken to try and make the experience as smooth and quick for their passengers. There is a lot of information to cover so what I’m going to do is start off by walking you through the check-in and departures process first, and then take you through the arrivals process.

Terminal Location
If you’re standing facing our current airport, the Jazeera Airways terminal would be located to the left of it. There are two ways of getting to the new terminal, the first way is through our current airport, this is the longer and slower way since you’ll have to deal with our airport traffic. The second and much faster way is to take the exit before arriving to the airport. It’s the same road you take to get to the Jazeera Airways Park & Fly area as well as the same route you take to get to the VIP terminal. This route allows you to bypass all the traffic and mess at the main airport. Check the map above, red is how you get to the current airport, yellow is how you get to the new terminal. Here is the location on [Google Maps]

Parking & Check-in
So this is where things get interesting. Jazeera Airways have their own parking lot right across from their new terminal. The parking lot has a bridge that connects to the main terminal but you can also access the terminal by crossing the street below. The multistory lot can hold 350 cars, but the cost of the parking will be similar to the short-term parking at the current airport which I think is KD6 a day. That’s pricy but, they have two other more affordable options:

– Curbside Check-in: With this option, you pull up into the multistory parking lot and head to the curbside check-in area. There you not only hand your car over to valet, but they’ll also take your luggage if any and check you in all while you’re still in the parking lot. You then get your boarding pass and head straight to passport control in the new terminal allowing you to skip the check-in process inside the terminal. The valet will take your car and park it in the Jazeera Airways Park & Fly lot down the street and you will be charged 2.5KD a day.

– Park & Fly: Another option in case you don’t want to give your car to valet is to park your car yourself in the Park & Fly lot near the new terminal. You can hand over your luggage there and check-in before taking the shuttle bus down to the terminal. Since you would have already checked in this way, you just head straight to passport control. This will also cost you 2.5KD a day.

If you are dropped off at the new terminal or you decide to park your car in the lot across the street and walk into the terminal, then you have different check-in options available for you. The first is self check-in, but when I was there yesterday the machines were still not installed. The other option to check-in is with the regular check-in desks which there will be ten of.

Duty Free & Passport Control
Once you’re done with the check-in process you’ll have to head upstairs for passport control which is pictured below.

You’ll have a duty free section before and after passport control although when I was there yesterday those areas were still empty. There will be food options but not sure if they will be ready by the time the new terminal opens.

Security & Old Airport Access
Although the Jazeera Airways terminal is a new structure, it actually is connected to our current airport and they will continue to use their current gates which are B1, B2 and B3. But, they’re completely refurbishing the gates to match their new terminal and when I was there yesterday they were starting work on it which should be completed by the time the terminal opens. One of the things Jazeera wants to do is NOT have you go through two different security checks before boarding the flight like you do in the current airport. So they’re reworking the design of their gates so that the arrival passengers and departure passengers don’t use the same space (which is what requires the extra security check at our current airport). B1 and B2 use air bridges to board passengers onto the plane while their B3 gate uses buses.

Past their boarding gates you’ll find access to the current main airport. You’ll be able to enter the airport normally but to re-enter the Jazeera Terminal you need to go through a security check again.

Arriving at the New Terminal
When you exit the plane you’ll head to passport control first. Jazeera Airways want your arrival process to be quick so the next step is slightly different from the main airport as well as Sheikh Saad terminal. Once you’re done with passport control you’ll go through a quick security check where you put your carry-on bags in an xray machine before going to pick up your luggage from the conveyor belts. Once you pick up your luggage you do NOT have to go through security. All luggage will be security checked BEFORE coming out on the conveyor belts.

I wasn’t allowed to take pictures but I was given a behind the scenes tour and basically, once the bags arrive into the Jazeera Airways terminal they will be placed on a conveyor belt and go through a security screening before the bags head out to the passengers. So when you pick up your bag it has already been checked and you just walk out of the airport.

The Jazeera Airways VIP Experience
So this is something new Jazeera will be offering, it’s a VIP addon to your ticket which you can purchase separately. This is an add-on for both economy and business class passengers. What the VIP add-on will give you is access to a separate VIP parking located on the side of the airport, a separate VIP check-in area, and access to the VIP lounge. I got a tour of the lounge but didn’t take any pictures because it was still being worked on but it will have different seating areas including a meeting room. Now here is the cool part, you don’t need to be a passenger to access the VIP lounge, you just need to buy a pass. So say you’re in town for a business meeting and the meeting is running long but you have a flight to catch. You and whomever you’re meeting with could continue the meeting at the airport. You could check-in to your flight and then continue the meeting in one of the rooms and when its time to board your flight you could end the meeting and head to the plane. This could also work if your wife and kids are traveling and you want to stay with them until they board their flight, you could get a VIP pass for you and your family and then hang out with them in the lounge until they have to board the plane. No idea how much this addon will cost since they haven’t finalized the price yet.

So thats basically a full walk-through of the new terminal. I don’t think I left anything out but if you have any questions just let me know. The terminal is expected to open and be operational by the end of this month which is in 20 days!

For more pictures or higher resolution ones, click [Here]

Update: The Jazeera Airways terminal is going to be called Terminal 5.


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Pictures of the New Kuwait Airways Terminal

Post by Mark

Construction of the new Kuwait Airways terminal (Terminal 4) is now over 85% complete and is expected to be ready by June. The Kuwait Airways terminal is a temporary terminal being constructed to alleviate the pressure from our current airport until the new main and huge terminal 2 is completed.

So just to clarify things, we will have the following amount of airports/terminals:

– Kuwait International Airport (our current old airport)
– Sheikh Saad Airport (FlyDubai)
– Jazeera Airways Terminal (Opening May)
– Kuwait Airways Terminal (Terminal 4)
– Kuwait International Airport Terminal 2 (New huge one opening 2020)

To check out more pictures of the Kuwait Airways Terminal, click [Here]

Thanks Ahmad


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

New Dedicated Jazeera Terminal Opening Next Month

Post by Mark

The new Jazeera Airways Airport Terminal is expected to start accepting passengers as early as mid-May. The new terminal is meant to alleviate the current overcrowding at Kuwait International Airport but like Sheikh Saad Terminal, it also means you don’t have to fly in and out of the main airport. I might just start flying with Jazeera again once this terminal opens up. Oh, and the new terminal has it’s own parking as well!


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Airport’s Long-Term Parking and Self Check-In

Post by Mark

I haven’t flown out of the main Kuwait Airport for awhile so not sure how long it’s been like this, but the long-term parking lot is no longer a mess. They’ve got new private security firm running the lot now and they can’t be bullied into letting you in. So you no longer have cars parked all over the sides of the lot illegally, nor do you have cars parked on walkways. Last year the Civil Authority banned illegal parking and it seems like they had to hire a private security firm to maintain the discipline.

Since we’re on the subject of the airport, I spotted the self check-in kiosks above around the airport. Currently, they only work with Turkish Airlines, but I’m guessing eventually they will be compatible with more airlines. I always found it odd that we didn’t have self check-in counters at the airport, but better late than never.


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

New FlyDubai Planes

Post by Mark

A friend of mine recently flew to Dubai with flydubai and ended up on their new 737 MAX aircraft. He sent me pictures of the interior and it looked ridiculously good. Firstly, business class now have flatbeds which will be super convenient for long-haul flights. The second thing I liked was the economy class seats which had a very tasteful color scheme and huge screens behind every seat.

In total, flydubai will have six of these 737 MAX aircrafts by the end of the year and they’ll be used to flyto their furthest destinations including Bangkok, Prague, Yekaterinburg, and Zanzibar. For more information and shots of their new planes, click [Here]

Thanks Tarek


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Fast Tracking Through the Airport

Post by Mark

I really hate flying out of Kuwait on weekends and I hate it, even more, coming back at the end of the weekend. The airport is usually packed with travelers and immigration on arrival is usually total chaos for us expats. But, I think I’ve found a good solution, Hala Meet & Assist Service.

I’ve know about the Hala Meet & Assist Service for some time now but didn’t consider using it until recently. The way it works is fairly simple, first, you need to book the service before you arrive to Kuwait. When you land one of their employees waits for you outside the plane and then takes your passport and fast-tracks you through immigration by taking you through the VIP line. This allows you to skip the long endless immigration queues and the chaos associated with it.

The service isn’t cheap costing KD10, but on more than one occasion I would have been willing to pay double that just to get through the airport as stress-free as possible. The biggest downside to this service is the fact that sometimes you get to immigration and there isn’t a queue or anything, so the KD10 goes to waste. So its a gamble, you pluck the KD10 down in hopes that there is a huge chaotic scene at immigration (which is the case 80% of the time). If you’re interested in finding out more about this service, then click [Here]


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Avenues Bahrain

Post by Mark

Over the weekend I was in Bahrain and dropped by the recently opened Avenues there to check it out since I had some time to kill. It’s pretty tiny compared to Avenues Kuwait but they’ve got great outdoor seating that overlooks the bay.

I’m not sure how many phases Avenues Bahrain has, I think just two with the first phase currently the only one open. The first phase looks like Grand Avenues here in Kuwait just a bit longer and tighter. Currently not much is open there and what is open we have in Kuwait, so it’s probably not worth checking out yet.


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Flying Wataniya Airways

Post by Mark

Over the weekend I flew to Bahrain for one night and decided to take Wataniya Airways. I had booked my ticket fairly late, around 3 days before my trip and when I checked ticket prices, Gulf Air was KD68, Kuwait Airways KD50 and Wataniya Airways was KD40. Since its a short flight I went with the cheapest priced ticket. I hadn’t flown Wataniya Airways since they relaunched and so was curious to see if it was any good.

The first issue popped up 24 hours before my flight, I couldn’t check-in online. The online check-in button on their website didn’t work and when I contacted customer support they told me online check-in wasn’t possible yet. So Friday morning I woke up early and headed to the Sheikh Saad terminal so I could check-in early and choose my seat. When I got to Sheikh Saad Terminal I found out Wataniya Airways didn’t fly out from there. Neither my ticket nor the website had mentioned which airport they flew out from and since they used to fly out of Sheikh Saad Terminal before, I assumed that was still the case. It wasn’t and so I had to get back into my car and drive to the main airport instead. Wataniya Airways if you’re reading this, you need to mention what airport you fly out from on the website or the ticket!

My flight was empty with just 34 passengers so I didn’t have any trouble getting the seat I wanted. Speaking of the seats, the economy class seats looked pretty dated, they also don’t have screens nor USB or power ports. On the other hand, they did serve food and beverages on the flight although it was basic, just sandwiches and either a juice pack or a cup of water. The crew also had no issue with me using my electronic devices on takeoff and landing, some airlines still make a fuss out of this and it’s really annoying when they do, so it was a plus that they didn’t.

Would I use Wataniya Airways again? Possibly, their prices right now are pretty competitive and they’ve got offers running all the time. Last week you could have booked a ticket to Doha for free and now I just checked ticket prices to Beirut and it’s KD40 (using the coupon code SUNDAY). My only issue really is the online check-in since I like choosing my seats before I get to the airport. I could still do that but I’d have to pay for the seats and I think the first few rows are KD10 (I think I even saw KD20), and then keep dropping down in price the further you go back. When your whole ticket costs you just KD40, doesn’t make sense to pay KD20 as well on seats. Overall though it’s great having another airline to choose from.


Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Page 1 of 4912345678910Last



Contribute

If you have anything you think would be interesting to share on this blog
[Email Me]