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Jan 15

Airport Review: Kuwait International Airport

Kairport main

 

The International Airport in Kuwait is the country’s major link to the outside world. While it is not especially a major traffic hub in the Middle East, it has an impressive range of facilities which make it a pleasant place to arrive, depart or transfer. A nice feature is that the airport never really shuts down. That is because it has several long range flights to Asia, Europe and the Americas which often depart in the middle of the night, thus stores, restaurants and facilities remain open and operational 24 hours. 

 

Overall layout

The airport is spacious and laid out in an accessible V shape. Gate waiting areas are usually constructed with glass walls which allow for larger looking rooms and great amounts of sunlight and views of the runway. The arrival process is well organized and marked for the Visa on arrival group as well as baggage claim and hotel and taxi kiosks.

 

Services 

There are many families, domestic workers and foreign nationals who are living and working in Kuwait. As such the airport is comprehensive in its services with banks, money exchanges, ATM cash points, car rental firms, pharmacy, full service clinic, an insurance kiosk, a barbershop, mobile phone stores and hotel reservation desks.

 

Facilities

There are several Duty Free shops selling everything from specialty food items, to bulk food items, tobacco products, clothing, perfume, watches, jewelry and accessories. There are no alcohol sales however. The duty free shops are open round the clock. As far as restaurants and cafes go, there are dedicated food court areas and many internationally recognized brands selling coffee, burgers, sandwiches, snacks and healthy food all hours of the day and night. Lounges are on site, they are third party so they are are accessible for a fee or only for upper tier passengers of the respective passengers they partner with. The lounges are quiet but fairly simple in comparison to other airports.

 

Airport Hotel and Long Transfers:

The Safir Airport hotel is a convenient hotel is just a 10 minute ride from the Airport. A tip that travelers in transit might not be aware of is that under Kuwaiti air transport law, those waiting more than eight hours for a connecting flight are entitled to a free room at the Safir, courtesy of their air carrier. Travelers in this situation should speak with their air carrier and cite this information directly from the official airport page.

 

Getting there and out

The airport lies around 15km from the city center. It is a quick ride on good highways, however be advised that there can be traffic jams during peak rush hours, so allow a little more time. Buses 13, 99 and 501 operate to various parts of the city for less than 1 Dinar. Taxis vary from 8-10 dinars to various parts of the city and suburbs.

 

 

 

 

 

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4 comments

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  1. Firas A

    First of all… I have to start with… If you don’t have any other way around being in that place be very careful and prepare for the worst!
    My bad experience started the day my parents and I got invited to a wedding in Kuwait and considering that we are residents of QATAR, I was told that we will be getting my visa on arrival especially if we book our tickets via Kuwait airlines! I called the embassy as well and they confirmed that as long as we are residents of Qatar and flying Kuwait airlines we will get visa on arrival.
    On the day of travel, we arrived 3 hours early as instructed by the Kuwait airways staff even though this is considered a short flight and within the GCC, we checked in with no issues and our bags got through as usual…
    Our nightmare started the minute we landed in that place… Where my parents were denied of wheelchairs claiming that they can walk! Even though due to their health and age were supposed to get wheelchairs (this was requested in booking and confirmed while at Qatar airport)!!
    Then walking through the maze of an airport with no help we managed to find our way to the immigration desk to be faced with a far from civilized person who had no manners or understanding of etiquette with no consideration that he is representing the country, no respect of the elderly and no communication skills in both Arabic and English!
    We weren’t able to understand what was going on or what he was talking about all we got were weird gestures and him pointing to where we originally came from saying that we are not allowed to “enter Kuwait” and that we have been denied visas because of my parents and that we should “go back where we came from!!!” I tried to explain to him that we were informed by both Kuwait airways and Kuwait embassy that we are eligible to get visa on arrival, but he kept cutting me off and telling me it’s not allowed!
    Well, if that isn’t enough we were literally “detained” by the airport security until “WE” find a flight back to Qatar at our own expense!! We were all detained in a small room that had no windows or enough seats for all and we were denied water or access to bathroom and most importantly my parents were denied access to their medication!!!! Rude, inconsiderate and have no understanding of basic human rights!! Upon repeated pleas and almost begging that person to allow us access to my parents’ medication as I was terrified due to my parents’ delicate health condition, my parents were finally allowed their medication a day later!!!
    I managed to get tickets at my own expense on the next day flight which we missed as they delayed issuing the tickets!! They refused to acknowledge their fault!
    I was freaking out as my parents health was getting worse due to the stressful conditions they were under and the horrible treatment they had to endure with them having to be denied access to bathrooms even though we clearly told them that both were diabetic! Which fell on deaf ears; they actually were enjoying our suffering!! I begged them to let my father go to the washroom as he was in desperate need for it, they allowed him to but with a police escort!! I told them that this is not right and that we have rights they ignored that!
    We were not able to get on the next flight because it was full we were allowed to stay at the airport’s crappy hotel with police escort stationed at the room door and we were forced to hand over our passports as guarantee that we won’t “flee” ! The hotel was filthy and in an appalling state where we all had to share beds to regain some of our strength for the next day!
    We were able to get a later flight which we paid double the price for again out of our own pockets! Again we were detained in the same small room “cell” until our flight checkin time!
    We left that atrocious place behind us and head back to the safety of Qatar where we were greeted with smiling sympathetic crowed of officials who made sure our suffering has ended and that we are safely back to a civilized world where they took good care of my parents, wheelchairs, and juice to help them sustain themselves .. The airport officials were very apologetic and explained that there was nothing they could do from where they are!
    My parents were rushed to the hospital for checkups as they were in a very bad state and recurring nightmares of the 2 days we spent in hell of a so called “international” airport.
    I’m going to share my review at every review medium out there to make sure our story is heard! I am really disappointed and horrified by this experience I really DO NOT recommend that place to anyone.

    1. voyageur
      voyageur

      I am very sorry to hear of your harrowing experience. It was not the experience we had going in and out of Kuwait Airport. Of course if you have been wronged we encourage you to deal with the proper authorities about addressing the issue.

      We will appreciate if you follow us in Facebook and in Twitter

  2. Liza Sandova

    I’ll be staying in Kuwait airport for more than 24 hours, do i need to apply for a visa? I am not going out of the airport. I also want to know if they allow foreign nationals to stay for more than 24 hours inside the airport.

    1. voyageur
      voyageur

      Upon our last visit it was not possible to remain in the airport in transit for more than 7 hours. If this is the case the airline which booked your ticket should have issued you a transit hotel voucher. If you are doing another kind of combination with different airlines you may need to go out which means having a transit visa.

      We will appreciate if you follow us in Facebook and in Twitter

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