New Kuwait Airways Destinations

Post by Mark

Now that Kuwait Airways has new planes and a new terminal, they’re finally catching up to other airlines and adding more destinations. They’re starting off with two right now, Guangzhou (China) and Sabiha (Turkey). Bizarre destinations but I guess there must be high demand for them. They’ll also soon be adding flights to:

Casablanca, Morocco
Nice, France (via Paris)
Larnaca, Cyprus (via Beirut)
Sarajevo, Bosnia
Baku, Azerbajan
Tbilisi, Georgia

I’d personally want to see European destinations like Amsterdam, Berlin, Moscow and Zagreb, but direct flights to Morocco is actually pretty cool.

Has anyone flown Kuwait Airways recently? The main old terminal never has any traffic anymore, but I’ve heard the Kuwait Airways Terminal now gets super busy with long queues at passport control. Also did anything new open up there, or is it still just Costa?


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Restaurants to Try in Qatar

Post by Mark

Since I’m in Qatar for the week I asked my followers on Instagram to recommend restaurants for me to try out. Below is the list I’ve compiled of all the recommendations. I haven’t tried them all so can’t vouch if they’re any good or not, but at least it’s a starting point for when you’re ever in Qatar:

CUT by Wolfgang Puck
Flat White (coffee)
Gastronomy (dessert)
Graze (grand & go)
Hakkasan
Halo (dessert)
Kava (coffee)
La Mar
Market by Jean Georges
Morimoto
Nobu
Novikov
Opal by Gordon Ramsay
Spice Market
Sugar & Spice (dessert)
Toro Toro

If there is a place I missed that you think should be on the list, let me know in the comments below.


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Kuwait Airways T4 Parking No Longer Free

Post by Mark

One of the advantages of flying out of the new Kuwait Airways terminal was the fact that their parking was free since they hadn’t installed the parking gates yet. But, that isn’t the case anymore. Here are the new T4 parking rates:

Short Term Parking
500fils for the first hour
500fils for the second hour
1KD per hour after that

Long Term Parking
2KD per day

Long term parking cost is the same in both the main terminal and the Kuwait Airways terminal. The short term parking, on the other hand, is different. Short term parking at the main terminal is 200 fils for the first hour and 400 fils per hour subsequently. It’s also a maximum (if I remember correctly) 5KD a day.

I got a WhatsApp forward of someone’s parking bill at the Kuwait Airways terminal, they had accidentally parked in the short term lot for 2 days and 9 hours and ended up with a bill of 55KD. So if you do fly out of T4, make sure you park your car in the correct lot.


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I’m Sold on the Kuwait Airport Pearl Assist Service

Post by Mark

Last month I posted about how you can skip airport queues with the Pearl Assist meet & assist service. I had previously tried Pearl Assist on arrival but these past two weekends I used them for both departure and arrival and I loved it.

Pearl Assist on Departure
I hadn’t tried Pearl Assist when departing before so I was curious to see how useful it would be. When you arrive to the airport the first thing you need to do is head to the Pearl Assist kiosk in the arrival section. There you hand over your passport to the employee who will then take you to your airline check-in area, skip to the front of the line and get you checked in at the first available check-in desk. This could be super useful on a very busy flight. Once you’re checked in the employee will then take you through the fast track security check and passport control area. After you’re done with passport control and enter the duty-free hall, they’ll hand you back your passport and you’re done. If you tend to travel during busy seasons or during holidays, this will save you so much time since you will avoid all the long lines.

Pearl Assist on Arrival
Once you land and get off the plane you’ll find a Pearl Assist employee waiting for you outside the gate, you hand them your passport and follow them to passport control. Kuwaitis might not benefit much from arrival since the passport control lines for Kuwaitis is pretty organized, but for expats it’s a completely different story. Expats are squeezed to the side of the passport control hall in a messy crooked line that’s long and packed (pictured above). It doesn’t matter if you flew in business or economy, you don’t get to fast track and everyone has to stand in this line, it gives me anxiety and I hate it. But with Pearl Assist you get to skip all that mess and head to the front of this line, it really makes the airport experience on arrival a million times better.

So how much does this cost? You have two options, the first is to pay for this service per use and that costs KD11. It’s what I did and it cost me KD22 for departure and arrival. The other option which I’m going to sign up with is their unlimited use membership. This costs KD110 for the year and you can use them as many times as you want. So if you travel more than 5 times a year then really this is the way to go.

If you’re interested in signing up to their membership plan or to try them out, here is the link to their [Website]

Update: I was just informed by Pearl Assist that they’re running a promo that expires at the end of the year (tomorrow night basically). If you sign up to their unlimited service before the end of 2018 you get extra benefits including 50% discount on your +1’s and 15% discount on their global services (over 200 airports). To get these benefits you just need to sign up from the same link I’ve posted above.


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Non-Stop Flights to NY from January 1st

Post by Mark

Starting January 1st, Kuwait Airways will start flying to New York again non-stop. Kuwait Airways used to fly non-stop a few years ago but due to our airport’s weak security, flights to NY started stopping in Ireland for one more final security check. A non-stop flight to New York obviously makes the journey a lot quicker and practical, but with the new Kuwait Airways planes and terminal, it could also potentially be the best way to get to NY from Kuwait. [Link]


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No More Wataniya Airways

Post by Mark

After getting their operation suspended back in September, the civil aviation authority have now pulled the license for Wataniya Airways. They were originally suspended because of recurring flights’ delays and cancellations and were given three months to get their act together. Seems like they weren’t able to do that so for the second time in the airline’s history, they’ve had to shut down.

This is pretty disappointing news since Wataniya Airlines were flying to some interesting destinations and more competition in the market is always a good thing. [Link]


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Skip Airport Queues for KD110 a Year

Post by Mark

Pearl Assist have a new membership option where for KD110 a year you get unlimited meet and assist services at the airport. I’ve tried them before and they’re really a great way to skip the long passport control queues at the airport. The GCC lines aren’t that bad but the expat lines are usually a disaster.

Pearl Assist charge KD10 for a one time meet and assist so at KD110 a year, it could be worth it if you travel a lot and want to get out of the airport as quickly as possible. If you’re interested in this service you can get more information [Here]

Update: I originally wrote it was KD100 per year but turns out they increased it to KD110 two weeks ago so updated the post accordingly.


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Kuwait Airways Europe Flights Now Use Terminal 4

Post by Mark

Just a quick update to my Kuwait Airport Terminal 4 post from last week. In addition to Kuwait Airways GCC and Middle East flights, Kuwait Airways flights to and from Europe (excluding London) now also use the new terminal.

If you missed my previous post check it out [Here]


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Using the Dubai Airport Smart Gate

Post by Mark

Earlier this year, Dubai started installing a new Smart Gate system at their terminals which I only found out about this past weekend. The new system allows you to go through passport control in around 10 seconds and it’s available to use by GCC nationals and biometric passport holders from 37 countries.

Signing up is super easy. On arrival, I went through the regular passport control and while getting my passport stamped I asked to be signed up to Smart Gate. And that was it really, passport control didn’t take longer than usual and I got a cute DXB Smart Gate sticker on the back of my passport letting me know I’ve been signed up to Smart Gate. There are no fees and you don’t need a special card like their previous e-gate system required you to use.

On departure, I skipped the long passport control line and headed straight through using the Smart Gate and it worked! Super simple, super quick and I really can’t wait till we get something similar here in Kuwait. It would make our old airport wayyyy more bearable!

Smart gates can be used by UAE citizens and residents, GCC nationals and passport holders from the following countries: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US. For more information on the DXB smart gates, click [Here]


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Everything You Need to Know About the New Kuwait Airport Terminal 4

Post by Mark

Over the weekend I flew to Dubai with Kuwait Airways, and so got to fly in and out of the new Kuwait Airways terminal, terminal 4. The terminal still has a lot of work to be done to it and so a lot of changes are still happening, but as of October 15th, the below information is accurate.

Right now, only GCC and Middle East Kuwait Airway flights use the new terminal.

Departure

– The exit from highway 50 to terminal 4 is still closed and the terminal 4 sign has been covered. The only way to get to the new terminal is through the cargo terminal exit (there are signs).

– There is plenty of parking, all shaded and right now for free. They haven’t installed entry or exit gates so you could park your car there short term or long term and not pay anything. This is a huge plus.

– None of the self-check-in machines work. I tried the ones on the parking side, I tried the ones inside the main terminal, none of them worked.

– You only have one security checkpoint which is right after passport control. The security guys didn’t seem very confident but were wayyyy better than the Jazeera Airways terminal guys. They have the full-body scanners but they weren’t being used. I wonder if they will ever be used here? When the scanners were launched in the States, people had privacy concerns because you could see the shapes of private parts with these scanners, I think people in Kuwait will have an even bigger problem with this.

– There is no duty-free yet, there are no shops whatsoever at T4 right now.

– There are currently no restaurants at T4. Your only options for food and drinks at the moment are 2 Costa kiosks and 1 Kuwait Airport kiosk. Both kiosks sold coffee, water, sandwiches etc..

– There is a lounge (pictured above) but only for Kuwait Airways business class and first class passengers. So if you have a platinum Visa card, American Express or any other card that usually gives you entry to lounges at airports, you’re out of luck.

– One SUPER strange thing about the airport was the PA announcement chime. In airports before they make an announcement, you’d here like a ding dong like chime before the announcement. For some reason at T4 the chime they’re using is the same one used for The Undertaker’s walkout music. I’m not exaggerating, watch the video above and then watch the video below. Every time they made an announcement I was expecting the lights to go off and the Undertaker to make an appearance. Such a weird chime to use at an airport.

– There was plenty of seating around the airport spread out over two floors. All the seats have power sockets and USB ports although I had to try a few before I found working ones. I’m not sure if the seating will be enough when all Kuwait Airways flights start using the terminal, but for now, there is plenty.

Arriving at the airport, parking, checking in, going through passport control and then security was all a smooth and pleasant experience. There were some minor issues, but understandable for a newly opened airport.

Arrival

– This was super smooth. The plane was fairly empty so passport control was a breeze.

– Right after passport control is a carry-on baggage security check, this is the only time you scan your bags. The luggage that comes out on the conveyor belts already passed through a scanner before coming out so you just pick them up and walk out of the airport.

Overall a pretty positive experience. When I travel to Dubai I usually take FlyDubai but this time the Kuwait Airways ticket price was cheaper so figured I’d try them out. I’ll most likely fly out with Kuwait Airways again next time because of the new terminal and my positive experience. I could nitpick a lot of course but honestly, ANYTHING is better than our old airport, so I’m just glad we have this new terminal to keep us going until the new airport opens up in a few years.

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments.

Update: As of October 22, 2018 the new Terminal T4 is now open for services for all Kuwait Airways Flights To/From GCC, Middle East and Europe except for London.


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