For a change, the airplane arrived on time and the check-in process went smoothly. Not a very common practice when it comes to travel experience within Africa. I was booked as a Business class passenger so my frustration should have been minimal.
The short trip (50 minutes) from Bujumbura (Capital of Burundi) to Nairobi (Capital of Kenya) went smoothly, not like the previous one two weeks earlier. Upon arriving to Nairobi airport I headed directly to the Business class lounge. I thought to myself that a nice warm cup of coffee and some snacks will do while I wait for my next flight. Just enough time to play my games and update my status on facebook.
To my surprise, the lounge was closed, so I headed for the second floor alternative which was also closed for some reason. At 5 in the morning, I didn’t know if this was a common practice, so I went down again to the first floor to wait. After 15 minutes of waiting, I saw a moving shadow behind the glass door. I waved, and I saw a young lady waving back. She then headed to turn the lights on and proceeded with unlocking the door.
It was so hot inside, I started sweating immediately. I waited for about 10 minutes and they did not switch the AC on, so I looked for the switch and turned it on myself, then headed to the fridge and switched it on too. Talk about Self-service! The journey continued and I played my games on Facebook then put back my laptop in the bag when I was called to report to the gate.
After checking my documents, I went through the security check. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for security checks because I definitely don’t want to be stuck in a plane with a weirdo who will try to blow us up in the sky. Being from a Middle Eastern origin, the smallest beep made me go through the machine again. Well done security agents, they are keeping us safe! Yet shouldn’t that gentleman and the young lady who also made the machine beep go through the process again?
Since I learned from previous experiences, I carry with me a 100 ml deodorant spray (Over 100 ml is not allowed in most if not all major airports) the agent however, decided that 100 ml is excessive. After a few seconds of arguing, he decided that I can carry it on, as if he was doing me a favor. While I stood to put my belt and watch back on (Their metal made the machine beep so I had to run them via the screener) I noticed they had stopped a lady for carrying multiple fluid containers. Amazing what local language and a money bill would do. The lady went through with her containers (definitely more than 100 ml each) without the arguments I had to have.
It is just a common experience for a frequent African destinations flyer, but don’t let this change your mind from visiting Africa, it is a marvelous place to be.