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DOs and DON’Ts of the Kenya Airways flight to US

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Kenya Airways launched its non-stop flights to New York, US, on October 28.

However, frequent travellers need to know the DOs and DON’Ts of this flight.

Being non-stop, it means Nairobi is the only point of security check, therefore expect the process to be amped up several notches. You are best advised to arrive at the airport at least four hours before departure to allow for any eventuality.

DOuse Delta Air Lines when connecting to/from other cities in the US.

You can book two tickets. One from Nairobi to JFK on KQ and the other from New York to say Los Angeles via Delta. For now, it looks like the partnership agreement between Kenya Airways and Delta is not final and so you cannot get a one-through ticket on this non-stop flight to another state.

The advantage of booking with Delta is that the KQ flight lands at Terminal 4 at JFK, the same as Delta, allowing for a smoother and faster transfer.

The disadvantage of having two tickets is that you cannot check in your luggage through to your final destination, which means that when you disembark at JFK, you will have to collect it and check it in for your onward journey. I do hope that the KQ partnership with Delta will be firmed up soon. Travellers from the US to Kenya will no longer be subjected to long layovers.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO&PHOTOS: Pomp and color as Kenyatta hosted for dinner by KQ in New York

DO arrive early for the flight at JKIA

This flight being non-stop means Nairobi is the only point of security check, therefore expect a rigorous process. The other consideration is that with the frustrating and unpredictable Nairobi traffic, don’t take any chances with random delays. Please note that the flight departs from JKIA’s Gate 19 at Terminal 1A.

DO prepare for additional security measures at JKIA

For the inaugural flight, nearly 40 per cent of the passengers were randomly selected to undergo extraordinary security checks lasting six minutes per person. They included personal interviews before boarding. Be prepared. Ensure that you get to the airport early enough.

On the United States’ Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website, it is stated that passengers with laptops must remove them from their bags or suitcases and place them in a separate tray for scanning at the airport security checkpoint. Be ready to expedite the process and save yourself last minute stress.

DO bring laptops and other devices on the flight

In 2017, the US Department for Homeland Security instituted a ban on devices larger than a mobile phone on non-US airlines flying directly into the US from several Middle Eastern and North African airports. This meant that passengers were not allowed to keep their devices with them and were required to check them in.

READ ALSO:   President Kenyatta to skip KQ inaugural flight to New York

For business travellers, this was going to be a great inconvenience. Thankfully, the ban came to an end in July of the same year and travellers from the countries listed in the original ban can now bring their laptops into the cabin. From the inaugural flight on October 28, passengers were allowed to bring their laptops into the cabin, and hopefully this will not change.

DON’T make jokes about security

Kenyans are generally happy-go-lucky people who see the funny side of even the most serious of situations. Just look at all the memes going viral about the inaugural KQ flight. However, this type of humour should not be extended to airport security or the US security personnel manning the security areas. They will not see the humour. Should you happen to make a joke, you will be refused boarding, or worse, held for questioning.

You DO earn Frequent Flyer Miles on the KQ-Delta ticket

Because Delta and Kenya Airways are members of the SkyTeam Alliance, all frequent flyers can earn and redeem miles on both airlines. This is excellent news for frequent flyers who value their miles for the benefits they receive. In addition, the Elite Plus flyers will also benefit from Sky Priority services all over the United States.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: See all the people who were on board KQ inaugural flight to NY

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Africa

American who survived 9/11 dies in Riverside attack

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An American who survived the 9/11 terror attack is among those who were killed in Tuesday’s terror attack at Nairobi’s 14 Riverside Drive.

Jason Spindler’s mother Sarah Sandler told NBC News that her son “was trying to make positive change in the third world in emerging markets.”

Jason’s brother, Jonathan, also confirmed the family’s tragic loss via Facebook.

“It is with a heavy heart that I have to report that my brother, Jason Spindler passed away this morning during a terror attack in Nairobi, Kenya. Jason was a survivor of 9-11 and a fighter. I am sure he gave them hell!” Jonathan’s post read.

HAVING LUNCH

The US State department confirmed that an American citizen was killed in the Tuesday attack.

Spindler, who was the CEO and Global Managing Director of I-DEV International, was, according to colleagues, having lunch at the Dusit Hotel when the attack happened.

I-DEV is based at Metta, a space for entrepreneurs that is located at the 14 Riverside office complex in the Belgravia building’s sixth floor.

The Metta Africa Head of Community, memberships and operations Essie Mwikali said there were 45 people at the space when the attack happened and accounted for everyone and confirmed the death of Spindler.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: See all the people who were on board KQ inaugural flight to NY

Nailab CEO Sam Gichuru eulogized Spindler as “a strong supporter of the Kenyan Tech Ecosystem.”

By Agencies

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Africa

Why Java House will not open again on Westgate Mall: Founder speaks out on what happened during Westgate attack

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BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA

Java House founder has said the coffee house does not have plans of going back to Westgate Mall which was attacked by terrorists five years ago.

Recounting what happened, the coffee house’s chairman and founder Mr Kevin Ashley, said they will not open another Java Coffee House in the mall because he would not anybody’s children as much as his own, to go back to the mall.

“My view is that if I don’t want my own kids to go there, why would I want someone else’s kid to work there?” said Mr Ashley.

Recounting the terrorist attack, the Java founder said he was in California when terrorists stormed in the high end mall and he was scared for his children.

“My kids were in Nairobi. First I didn’t know where they were…they could have been in the mall. When I heard the news, I was on the phone with our yoghurt shop manager who was on the floor hiding. I could hear the gunshots,” he explains in an interview with GainExperience.

He told the manger to make sure she had nothing in her hands and to keep her uniform on.

“Don’t move because a security guard might walk in and shoot you, thinking you’re a terrorist. Stay calm, relax, keep your uniform”.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans in US get discounts on fare, three luggage on KQ direct flight

He then got on a plane and 36 hours later, he was in Nairobi.

When he arrived in Nairobi there were still things going on at the mall, rescue missions which took upto three days.

“They were still unsure about killing all the terrorists, I met with all the staff, no one was hurt.”

The chairman has also faulted the mall’s management for going on about the business without putting up a memorial plaque to remember the souls that were lost in the premises.

“People died there. There’s no plaque, no memorial, no park, there’s nothing there! We don’t need to go back in there with a profit motive and try to make a point. It’s karma…” he adds

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Africa

University expels female student for hugging male friend

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A university on Sunday said it had expelled a female student after she appeared in a video hugging a male colleague, accusing her of undermining the school’s reputation.

The video, which went viral earlier this month, showed a young man carrying a bouquet of flowers kneeling before a young woman and then hugging her in what appeared to be a marriage proposal.

The video was apparently not filmed at Al-Azhar University— a branch of Egypt’s highest Sunni Muslim authority — but at another establishment, Mansoura University in the country’s north.

Nevertheless the disciplinary council of the Al-Azhar University campus in Mansoura on Saturday “decided to expel the young girl definitively”, university spokesman Ahmed Zarie told AFP.

He said the video had caused a “public outcry” and that the university’s decision to expel her was because she had presented a “bad image” of Al-Azhar University, which strictly segregates the genders.

He said hugging between unmarried men and women violates “the values and principles of society”.

The woman, however, can appeal the expulsion decision, Zarie said.

The young man who appeared in the video could also face sanctions, a spokesman for Mansoura University said, adding that the school’s disciplinary council will meet on Monday to decide his “punishment”.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans in the US fault KQ for plan to cut daily flights to NY

Egypt, a predominantly Muslim country, is a largely conservative society.

Last year, prosecutors detained a female singer for four days for “incitement to debauchery” after an online video clip which included sensual oriental dances and suggestive gestures went viral.

And in 2017 another female pop singer was sentenced to two years in prison on similar charges, also over a video deemed provocative. Her sentence was reduced to a year on appeal.​

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