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.

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20 comments, add your own...

  1. Mr. Anonymous says:

    It seems that the B1-B3 gates are part of the old terminal. Does that mean there won’t be any additional gates at the new terminal? I was hoping that the new terminal will have additional gates to alleviate airplane (and not just passenger) crowding at the old terminal.

    I wonder whether this decision has to do with the capacity of the runway (i.e., adding more gates won’t help if the runway was the bottleneck).

    • Mark says:

      There won’t be additional gates but I don’t think the crowding at the old terminal is because of lack of gates. The crowding at the old terminal mostly occurs at passport control, luggage pickup and the parking. Now that Jazeera flights will have their own passport control, luggage pickup area and parking, this should decrease some of the crowding at the main terminal.

      Also thew Kuwait Airways terminal is also nearly complete so that will also help alleviate the pressure on the main airport.

  2. The Other Ahmed says:

    Will security open bags at the luggage pick-up area? Like before it arrives to passengers.

    • Mark says:

      One thing I learned yesterday is that the law in Kuwait doesn’t allow your bag to be searched without your presence.


      On departure, after you check in your bag it will go through a security check before being placed on the plane. The xray machine they use for the baggage security check looks like a giant MRI machine. The machine basically gets a 3D xray of your luggage and then the software can recognize various shapes, metals etc.. if the machine detects anything suspicious it will flag your bag. A security officer then checks the xray and if he doesn’t see anything weird your bag passes. If he does spot something weird your bag gets pulled off the conveyor belt and into a room. They then have Jazeera staff find you and they’ll take you to a security room with a live feed of your bag. They then get your permission to go through your bag while you watch on the screen.

      On arrival your bag goes through an xray machine similar to the ones in the main airport except these machines are located behind the wall of the arrival area. If the security spots anything out of the ordinary in your bag, then your bag will be tagged and when you pick it up you will have to take it to another xray machine before the exit where they will scan your bag again and possibly ask you to open it.

      So unlike the TSA in the States who can open your bag and go through it without your permission or you being there, in Kuwait you have to witness the search of your bag or else they can’t open it.

      • Hisham says:

        They dont get checked and opened not in ur presence? I had an experience with jazeera park and fly were i checked bags and used films around them. When in beirut 1 of the bags was opened and film removed i called security and filed a report, jazeera representatives back in kuwait at the check in told me they open bags at the request of authorities and i argued that it should be in my presence but in no vain
        Also they were flying ppl in bulgarians rented planes that do not fit even a tiny human, my legs were in my stomach, they dont care. Terminal or not, jazeera nevermore.

        • Mark says:

          I’m just repeating what they told me and that is no bags are allowed to be opened and searched without the owner of the bag present.

        • Kuwait says:

          I was once travelling to Germany, once I opened my bag, i found a note from the security that an item was confiscated and a list of steps if i want to get back my item.

          • NG says:

            Happened with me as well at Rovaniemi airport. E-cig was mistakenly checked in by me. The bag was opened, item was confiscated and a note was placed in the bag.

            I am quite sure the airport security staff has authority to open and inspect bags without the presence of passengers. Heck, most of the times it may not even be possible to call the passenger because he is either in the waiting area or inside the plane.

            Pretty surprised to note that Kuwait has a law otherwise.

        • Kuwait says:

          Yes I’m wondering how is their fleet is nowadays, hopefully as new as their terminal.

        • Richard says:

          @Hisham: You awfully remind me of my flight to Dubai in March where I was put up on BH Air (Bulgarian Airline) with terribly cramped seats. Return was on new Jazeera aircraft with decent legroom.

  3. Bojaij says:

    Wow…..The interior lighting is some of the best I’ve seen in Kuwait. Good job Al Jazeera! Hopefully this quality will be seen in the new Airport.

  4. Kuwait says:

    I would have assumed the VIP lounge would be included in the business ticket. Do they have a business lounge then? because there is no mention of it.

    • Mark says:

      Yeah there is going to be a business lounge. I didn’t take pictures because it’s still not complete, it’s part of the gates refurbishment which is where their current business lounge is located.

  5. The Naser says:

    Thanks Mark for your excellent coverage, well documented.

  6. Apartheid Kuwait says:

    I should hope there is no segregation for bachelors and expats particularly, the blue collared ones at the new terminals.

    A deeply provincial and rabidly racist Kuwait Airways will have to significantly spruce up their product, and try and be less discriminatory now or face extinction.

  7. Cantum says:

    What are the restraunt options in the terminal

  8. Ishtiaq Mohammad says:

    Is there any restaurant in T5

  9. Ryan says:

    I am US citizen arriving on Jazeera airlines. Do I have to still go to main terminal to get visa on arrival or is there one in new terminal? Can I exit thru main terminal, if there are no checked-in bags?

    • Wim says:

      I am a Dutch citizen arrived on Jazeera airlines in September. There are no facilties in the new terminal to get the visa upon arrival. I had to wait for almost one hour before a bus took me to the main terminal. (1 minute drive). Then you must walk to T5 and try to pick up your lugage. This is rather difficult as you are allready beyond security.

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