How we booked Kenya Airways new JFK-NBO Business Class with Miles
In just under two weeks in late October, Kenya Airways is set to start their new Dreamliner 787 service non-stop from Nairobi to New York’s JFK airport. Flights from the east coast to Africa have been few and far between without connections or routing via the middle east. It is possible to redeem miles on this new flight, but it does take a little bit of work.
Kenya Airways will be flying the plane with a new 787 Dreamliner. It’s blocked at between 14 1/2 and 15 hours depending on the direction. Here’s the schedule
- KQ2 Nairobi (NBO) 10:25pm Departure ⇒ New York (JFK) 6:25am (+1) Arrival
- KQ3 New York (JFK) 12:25pm Departure ⇒ Nairobi (NBO) 9:55am (+1) Arrival
The planes are in a two cabin configuration, with their “business” product Premier World in a 2-2-2 seating and their economy seating is set in a 3-3-3 configuration.
How to Search and Book
As a member of Skyteam, you should be able to use any Skyteam carrier to book the flight. AirFrance/KLM Flying Blue is also the frequent flier program of Kenya Airways, so the flights are easily searched on the Air France website. Delta does have access to the space, but they are not searchable on their website.
While the price from Air France is 115,000 miles and around $350 in taxes and fees, the price from Delta using Skymiles is only 95,000 miles and a tinge higher in taxes and fees at $361.90.
Not all Delta agents know how to find Kenya Airways space. When we first called, the agent was unsure how to book it, so we had to HUCA. On the second call, I decided to be more proactive. I played dumb and said “I read on a blog somewhere that you have to tell the agent to ‘long sell’ the flight? It’s KQ 0003 and it’s ‘O’ class space, I’m sure you know what that means but I sure as heck don’t. Does that make sense to you? A long sell?”
Worked like a charm, as she said “oh yea I can absolutely try that… but you’re right it is quite complicated. Stay on hold while I request the space…”
3 mintues later. Boom. We had our seats.
Fuel Surcharges and Not-So-Useless Skymiles
I know that some people hate paying fuel surcharges, and I’m one of them. But considering what the cost of these flights normally are, I didn’t feel too bad paying it. The normal price for a one-way economy was around $1500 and the business class flight was clocking in at over $4900. Paying a small tax surcharge is OK in my book.
There’s a lot of talk among many people in the points and miles world how Delta Skymiles are worthless. While they’ve certainly lost a lot of their value over the past few years, I still stand firm in believing that the best use of Delta Skymiles is on their partners. When searching on Delta.com, you’ll see that a one-way in business class is 280,000 Skymiles. NO THANKS. But, with a little leg work and using a partner, you can get a flight for a much more reasonable 95k miles.
We’ll be adding on a connecting leg as well to perhaps Tanzania or Uganda for no extra miles and only a slight few dollar increase in taxes. The power of the miles to allow you to make that connection is huge, especially at no extra mileage cost.