Kuwait Airways Business Class Trip Report — Yes Or No?

Last week I posted about Kuwait Airways’ $1,000 business class fare between Colombo and New York, which lets you route via both Kuwait and London.


While that’s an amazing business class fare, I posted it somewhat jokingly, since Kuwait Airways just looks very… unique. I (at the time jokingly) asked if I should take advantage of the fare, and I was surprised by how many of you said yes.

Kuwait Airways must be one of the least reviewed airlines out there. I mean, Kuwait Airways’ website doesn’t even make mention of their business class, so I guess I could be the world’s top resource on the product. 😉

And they’re certainly the lowest quality airline flying between London and New York. I’ve reviewed London to New York service on American, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, etc., and surely flying Kuwait Airways would be at least as interesting of a review.

On one hand I’m kind of intimidated by flying Kuwait Airways since they have a fairly old fleet and I have the perception that safety is lacking, though they haven’t had a major incident in over 25 years, and interestingly those incidents were hijackings. Best I can tell they’ve never actually had a fatal accident caused by pilot error or poor maintenance. So I do feel fairly safe flying with them, if nothing else.

So in all honesty, would you guys like to read a Kuwait Airways business class trip report? I’m ridiculously fortunate to be able to (in part) blog for a living, so y’all are basically my bosses. Is a Kuwait Airways business class trip report something that seems like it would be entertaining but I shouldn’t do, seems entertaining and therefore I should do it, or just seems boring?

The cool thing about this fare is that it allows a stopover in Kuwait City, somewhere I’d probably otherwise never visit. If I book this fare I’d definitely take advantage of the stopover. Has anyone been to Kuwait City? Did you feel safe and was it interesting enough?

Anyway, would love to hear if you guys would actually like to read this trip report.

Please vote in the below poll, and leave your thoughts in the comments section. I’ll do whatever you guys decide, with the caveat that my mom has final veto powers, because I don’t want to raise her blood pressure.

Should I fly Kuwait Airways business class?

View Results

If I do this it’ll probably be in the next couple of months, so the stronger the opinions are the quicker I’ll potentially pull the trigger on this!

Filed Under: Other Airlines
  1. I’ve been to Kuwait and it is incredibly safe. They love westerners and you will see them everywhere. I say go!

  2. I flew to Kuwait Airways several years ago between Amsterdam and Mumbai with a change of plane in Kuwait and a stop in Abu Dabi the service was fantastic!

  3. I’ve also been to Kuwait and it’s a really safe place, kind of crazy how westernized it is. I definitely recommend going.

  4. His post isn’t about whether Kuwait is safe haha…it’s whether the airline is worth flying on.

    That said, if you want a repeat of your LOT service experience, just 10x worse, then go for it.

  5. That sure sounds like it would be cool. It probably couldn’t be any worse than Air Tran and you survived that 😉

  6. @WanderingEntrepreneur – Oh really? So what about the part where he explicitly asked if anyone has been to Kuwait City and felt safe there?

    Read the post, then comment. That’s how this works.

  7. I’ve been to Kuwait City multiple times. It’s a safe and pleasant atmosphere. Just don’t forget that alcohol is forbidden.

  8. Given their low fares – it would be interesting to know what we’re in for should the need ever arise for a last minute LHR-JFK business class flight.

    Perhaps tying this in with the backside of a MLE-HKG-YVR-HKG-MLE ticket in biz that’s floating around for about $1500RT on cathay.com might make it affordable.

  9. I guess if you wanted to try drying out and using them as an excuse not to drink but for someone that kills half a bottle of Champagne before takeoff, I don’t think so…….personally, I think it is a waste of your time and your readers time………

  10. Travel perspective – stopover in a place you otherwise never would visit. Major check.

    Business perspective – unique trip report to write to feed the attention of your ravenous readership, who are always looking for the next big thing. Major check.

    Check x2. Do it.

  11. The low fare aside, in terms of mideast airlines, it might be of interest to more readers if you flew on Saudi Airlines as they will be starting a new service to Los Angeles three times per week.

  12. Kuwait City is cool enough. No Dubai but pleasant for a short visit. Kuwait Airways was, at one time — according to my parents — quite a nice airline. My father had many friends who were pilots or flight engineers for them.

    As for the Trip Report, it’s a no brainer: of course! I love reading your trip reports on this blog; it’s one of my favorite places on the web. But one can’t subsist on LH and SQ reports alone — variety is the spice of life! I’d like to see what lesser-known airlines are like, both hard and soft product. Go for it!

  13. “they’re certainly the lowest quality airline flying between London and New York.”

    I would argue United is worse.

  14. Maybe you should make it a charity fund raising exercise! “Donate now to support X and see Lucky fly Kuwait Airways”

  15. I say go for it. We want to know what the baseline is for international business class travel so we can appreciate the top tier products even more.

  16. I was looking at Saudi biz from AUH to DC for today for 1k plus change. Did not do it because of timing but was curious.

  17. Lucky, you’re better off taking advantage of EY’s $1000 mistake fare between Colombo and Dallas! Wait for the next generation of Kuwait’s business class!

  18. I’d be curious to read it! I was in Kuwait City in November of last year. It’s definitely worth a day or so there but I wouldn’t spend much longer than that. I felt completely safe while I was there so you should be fine.

  19. Saudi has been reviewed on Boardingarea already
    Terrible, but that is part of the fun
    Go East Young Man (and never again after that I think)

  20. Ben, Don’t waste your energy and time on this crappy airline with old “fekakte” planes. Stick to sexy airlines and sexy new airplanes. We love those reports.

  21. Never been to Kuwait, but the only other place in the Middle East saved by the US from Saddam, Kurdish Iraq, I have been. And they adore Americans in Kurdish Iraq. People would yell at me from across the street things like, “I very love George Bush! I very hate Osama bin Laden!” “America #1!” I’m guessing the Kuwaitis aren’t quite as passionate and outspoken, but I’m guessing there would be similar sentiments.

  22. I think YOU’RE the boss. Do what will make you happy. It sounds like you’re very curious, so you should seize your curiosity.

  23. I get staff travel with KU (because I’m KU family staff) so therefore i’ve travelled with them a countless number of times. It’s not up to par with the other UAE country’s airlines however it’s a good service dependent on the crew you get. Kuwait airways operate 2 aircraft on the JFK LHR route. These are the 340 and the 777. The 777 is relatively newer however it’s again not the best of 777s. the seats (even first) are like domestic business within the states, probably worse than that again I do love the passion of kuwait airways staff though. Kuwait, the airport itself, will not be much of a review, there is 2 duty free shops there with a small food court and a big coffee shop on the other side. There are two lounges in KWI which are the KU lounge (not bad, but the food is terrible) and the Dasman lounge again not bad, both around a 4/10. Kuwait City itself is extremely boring. There isn’t much there at all so max I wouldn’t spend more than 48 hours there. Just be prepared to be a slight bit more cramped than your average business class seat and not as well rested on this journey. It would be nice to do this review then go on to compare it in about a years time when KU get their new aircraft

  24. Do it Lucky! Outbound on Saudia and inbound on Kuwait. There are not to many trip reports on either of those products, even if there is, they’re not as detailed as yours. :O)

  25. I’ve been to Kuwait most recently in 2005 and it’s as safe as you can get. The gold souk is interesting. There’s lots of shopping although not as good as Dubai. There’s a few museums worth checking out, one is a folk museum and there is one for the Gulf War. You can go up the tower on the corniche. There’s great food, especially if you like Lebanese, Indian & Iranian. The one drawback is that they don’t have any partners to burn the miles you earn on and no alcohol.

  26. Do it. I flew that route a month ago ( CMB -> NYC ) business. It’s like time traveling to the 80’s. I wrote a travel report on Flyer Talk , if you’re interested. Have a good trip.

  27. Do it!
    You can use it as a return from your EY RT fare. Then all you need is a O/W award to CMB to get you positioned there. If you got UA miles, you can still book something today before the deval and get everything set.

  28. Yes! A flight review of KU would be a fascinating read to those of us obsessed with international commercial aviation. Now if we could only get you to try Transaero’s Imperial Class…

  29. What about from LAX? and do you have to go to Kuwait or can you go to Qatar for that fair? How far in advance do you have to do it?

  30. @ frugalintentionaltraveler.com — The fare IS to JFK, not FROM JFK. And since Kuwait doesn’t fly to LAX it’s not available to there. There doesn’t seem to be an advance purchase requirement.

  31. Def do it. I love your trip reports but the airlines/destinations are getting slightly predictable and are to pretty ‘common’ destinations Would love to read something new and informative about a country and an airline I will likely never get to go to.

  32. I’d love to have that report.

    I live in Qatar, and as oneworld fan that fits the bill.

    It is important to have other options, specially in *A. From Qatar, only Lufthansa and Kuwait Airlines seems to work the hours to go somewhere (There is a lot of more options from DXB).

    In Kuwait you have a nice Hilton property and the weather is still cool. We are in the mid 70’s.

  33. Hello Lucky, I currently work in Kuwait. I fly Kuwait Airline to Bangkok due to it being the only nonstop flight from KWI to BKK (8H 40M). It is a fairly sparten flight with a prayer at the beginning for safe travels and of course no alchol.

    The Kuwait airport is fairly old but it does the job with two lounges (Pearl and Dasam)(Both of which you can get into with either priority or lounge club). If you fly FlyDubai then you will be flying out of the newer Sheik Saad terminal (also has a lounge there).

    You will find Kuwait to be a fairly boring country with very little nightlife (except for the illegal clubs or parties at embassies). Still, you can find a hookah bar or shop at one of Kuwaits many malls (The Avenues and 360 Mall being the nicest). There is also the Kuwait Water towers, a small war museum, and the mosque here to visit for tourist destinations. Come on down to Mahboula and have a great time at the Olive Garden! (Just opened) 🙂

  34. As someone who lived in Kuwait for 18 years and whose dad was a flight engineer for Kuwait Airways, Jason pretty much sums it up.

    Kuwait is basically Doha or Dubai but without booze, bars, and nightclubs. As he said, there is an illegal nightlife, but you’re not really into that. Visit the Kuwait Towers, a mall or 2, the gold souk, a few cultural museums, and that should be enough.

    As for Kuwait Airways…even without booze, it used to be a good airline up until the mid or late 90s. Other airlines started to invest in better hard products, while Kuwait Airways…did not. Which is same, given that they used to be one of the better airlines, if not in the world, then certainly the Arabian Gulf…heck, Gulf Air and Oman Air certainly are far ahead of it these days in terms of hard product offered. So a retro seating airline with no food and decent service? Your call.

  35. I’d say go for it. Although I’ve been to KWI several times for work related purposes and was a medic to a sheikh, I got a multi entry visa quite easily. Not sure how easy a tourist visa is to get. The airport is sparse the lounges are quite dull, but I think it would be entertaining to hear your thoughts on it.

    As far as visiting Kuwait, I think there’s some interesting sights like Kuwait Tower and the Grand Mosque. Kuwaiti drivers are also much more sane than their Saudi counterparts.

    Hotel wise, the Sheraton Hotel and Towers-Kuwait City has a vintage ITT Sheraton sign and look (at least it did just under 2 years ago), but the interior is well refined and rooms are excellent.

    Probably the nicest Sheraton I’ve stayed in as well. 5 restaurants and a tea house, I’d say try the Iranian place- Shrahara (or something like that), it’s awesome.

    Not sure what type of availability with AA advantage QR has, but about half the time their staff apologize for the lounge in Kuwait and promise the premium terminal is nicer in Doha.

  36. @ande777emt- “Not sure how easy a tourist visa is to get.”
    For Americans, and I believe most western countries, a tourist visa is easy to acquire at the aiport upon landing. There is a visa desk in the terminal to get your passport stamped with a 30 or 90day visa (I forget if there is a price as I think it depends on the country of your passport). Prepare for a wait,grab a number, if multiple flights landed before you.

    After getting your passport stamped you make yourway down the escalators to border control. This is where I recommend the Maraheb Service. For a small fee you get fast tracked a visa and border control. Not sure if Kuwait Airways business class get this by default though. Keep in mind 1 Kuwaiti Dinar is about 3.56 US Dollars.

  37. Lucky, my advise is to skip Kuwait Airways. I’ve been over inside once long back and I won’t go back in again. As for Kuwait, if you decide to go, stay at the Sheraton Luxury Collection, and they can organise a Visa to be picked up at the airport for 10 Dinars. They will offer a free pickup and drop at the airport.

  38. Kuwait City is fine. I was miffed that while alcohol was strictly forbidden, I saw a guy selling heroin (or an illicit drug of similar type) out of a cooler on the side of the road. But I stayed at the Sheraton, which in 2006 was on par with any mid-range Sheraton here in the USA. Plus, you’d get the chance to fly on an old A300! (not sure if that’s a plus or not…)

  39. I cannot understate how interesting it would be to read a trip review of some of the “lesser” airlines of the world. You can’t enjoy the supreme highs without experiencing the depressing lows. I don’t expect Kuwait Air would be “depressing”, but it would certainly put flights on other regional airlines (like Qatar and Emirates) into perspective.

    Beyond that, I’ve seen hundreds of reviews of the “great” airlines on these routes, but getting a unique review of an interesting airline that most of your readers might never fly would be fantastic!

  40. Hi

    We flew KU quite afew times on ORD BOM runs in Business class. This was in 80s, when the R/T fare was sub $ 2500. Of course no lie flat seats as they were being introduced by the major. Have not flown KU since then, mainly they pulled out of ORD.

  41. Of course you should review, I don’t understand why not. If it’s useful information, it can be both good and bad. Fish market, Souk and people were my highlights.

  42. Few useful facts:

    KU airways frequent flyer program award redemption is in fact one of the best schemes out there, even a week in advance gets u the desired award.

    THERE ARE NO FUEL SURCHARGES & u just pay for the taxes as in the US.

    If anyone out there is inquisitive regarding their taxes , Kindly check by booking a REVENUE TICKET on their website & the TAXES shown for the Revenue booking are in fact the taxes u pay for the award ticket.


  43. I’ve flown Kuwait from London to JFK, coach. Very old plane. A remnant from when Sadam took out most of the airline’s fleet back in the Gulf War. Service was good and food was surprisingly decent. They served two full meals if I remember correctly. The business class didn’t look too special – old.

    If you’re looking for something interesting from the Middle East, I guess you could try Egypt Air business class – it’s more modern and has lie flats, no alcohol though!

  44. SALIENT FEATURES while redeeming miles from KU OASIS CLUB:

    Please NOMINATE anyone u like ,upto 8 members.

    One way redemptions need to be booked over phone , WITHOUT EXTRA phone FEE, but authorization for the redemption needs to come from Kuwait. Or else if u are in no hurry Email them reg ur desired flights & they will revert back to u.

    One way redemption is half the value of Roundtrip.

    On their website u can directly book a ROUNDTRIP AWARD anytime , even the last available seat WITHOUT extra miles/cash.

    Overall worth the effort .

  45. They have a number of interesting fifth freedom flights, including JFK-LHR and BKK-MNL. Their business class is always reasonably priced, from what I’ve seen.

    I’d be interested to the how their J service stacks up, and whether you’d choose them over flying Y on another airline.

  46. I am flying KA tomorrow night, JFK-LON and back in two weeks. If you want, I’d be happy to let you all know how it goes. Fingers crossed…

  47. I think they mean Kuwait Airways (KA) as Dragonair doesn’t fly JFK-LON. IATA for Kuwait Airways should be KU, KA is Dragonair, but easy to get this stuff confused.

    Lucky, did you end up booking the fare?

  48. I would love to hear a review of Kuwait Airlines business class experience firsthand. Considering booking this actual flight!

  49. Lucky..please provide some feedback on kuwait airways business class. I am considering to take this from Kul – jfk next month and your review very much will help my decision. Thank you.

  50. As a Kuwaiti myself I AVOID Kuwait Airways on long-haul flights, despite having the advantage of a non-stop flight to my destination I tend to avoid flying them at all costs. Their IFE is poor, seats are old and uncomfortable, cabin crew is not that professional, and most importantly, their J class prices are similar to Emirates, Etihad, and Oman Air fares so even bother flying with them?

    I fly Kuwait Airways for short haul flights, and I ONLY do so because its a fully service airline (not LCC,) and because of the non-stop advantage I get by flying with them.

    My recommendation? Unless non-stop flights are your top priority, AVOID flying this airline both, in Y and J class……… That’s my personal experience with them.

  51. The most Racist airlines ever…Kuwait Airways

    I have travelled on Kuwait Airways recently on not just one flight but 4 and so this review is not a single bad incident review but a series of observations about how racist kuwait airways staff is and how in general this is a pretty horrible airlines.

    I do knew that this was a low cost airlines so I was never expecting any frills but this was much worse than I ever imagined. In last almost ten years that i had been in USA , I have never experienced racism and guess what the first time I had to face it was not even n western airline. The staff in general was very rude and least interested in serving the customers and if you are a non white person travelling in their air craft then you are less important than a dog.

    Firstly the airline staff even outside aircraft was unfriendly and rude. While checking in when I was asking for the preferred seat at JFK airport , the response I got was “why u didnt check in online? Now I cant give you any window seat as whole flight is full”; When I boarded it half of it was empty , clearly the lady was least bothered about customer service. Then the tv screen never worked , it was never suppose to work I guess as no one even tried watching any movies as they were flickering , dont have a menu control and clearly from the last century equipment. Then the staff is totally unresponsive to your request. Even the attendant call buttons on the seat dont work. And even if you ask them for a very simple thing like a glass of water or blanket , the response you get is “Wait ; I dont have time; Ask someone else” . Of course if you are a white person specially a white blond lady then you can expect a very special treatment from the staff ; who can be at your disposal. For everybody else why on earth did you book this airlines? The staff will give you food like you are a hungry African child starving for food; literally thrown at you and not served. Also if you resting and you have requested a special meal like veg meal then staff will shout back at you ; “why was you sleeping then? Now I dont have any veg meal ; Do you understand that we dont cook food here on plane?” This was not juust most in-dignifying and horrible experience of my life but worst nightmare as well. I have travelled perhaps literally hundreds of times before in over 50 countries but this was the absolute worst.

    I would strongly warn anyone against boarding it. It seems staff working for Kuwait Airways are not working out of their free will but a bonded labor of Kuwait govt. and so take off their frustrations on the customer. Even if you ask for a simple thing like a pen ; they will give you a look like you are beggar and of course deny you that thing. And then you can hear the airline crew chatting “Oh these **** people ; they are so dirty” . Clearly the staff and perhaps even the Kuwait Airways management has a racist bias and unequal attitude and maybe its a normal thing in their part of the world ; But they must realise that when they travel to USA or NewYork such a behaviour is not just intolerable but reprehensible.

  52. KS i am very happy that you experience being racist yourself, because you believe it is only african children who are starving. I am very happy that the staff were rude to you. Have you not seen white, asian, hispanics children on the streets of western developed countries who are also starving?
    Well done Kuwait airline for treating this piece of idiot who thinks he is somebody but is actually a nobody.

  53. If you go to yutube and put Kuwait Airways Business Class you will find film of the flight and their service, seats, etc, all looks ok if old fashioned but for 1000 dollars a millions times more comfortable than economy on any airline.

  54. The lowest quality between London and New york or anywhere in the world, is definitely United (the trailer trash waiters and waitresses/gossip queens of the universe), and then angry mean nasty indifferent American Airlines crew and the next, the horrible Delta old grouchy fat Minnahoplis women or super flamboyant drag queen type men in heels or Hotlanta ghetto type in your face waiters/waitresses who do not care if you live or die. I much rather fly Air Asia with no food and get smiling crew in back of the bus and I much rather fly Turkish and get amazing Kebab and great hospitality and care! I will even take the robotic skinny Singapore girls and the non smiling Cathay Chinese. I will take Jet Airways smiling crew any day with food or no food. I will take the middle seat on Qatar, Etihad or Emirates because I know I will be respected and nobody will threaten to call the cops on me or get me arrested. I know that if I fly American, United or Delta, I will end up in Jail soon, because the waiters and waitresses on these airlines crave drama and they want to use their false sense of authority and get folks arrested for taking their own pictures, using the lav when the seat belt sign is on or for simply complaining about a service issue!
    I asked for a trash American Airlines waitress’s name on a flight from LAX to MIA and she said I was harassing her and got me kicked off the flight, needless to say although they said that I might be a threat to their safety, they would not return my luggage. My luggage went to MIA and all my stuff disappeared. I never got a penny from AA. My entire clothes, suits, expensive stuff that I was going to take on a cruise were gone!
    I ended up on a two week cruise with nothing and I had to buy stuff last minute in Florida and never saw a refund from American. So, I will take Kuwait airways anytime.
    I think you are insulting their safety record. If they have not had an incident in over 25 years and never a pilot error how can you call them sort of unsafe?
    I have also been to Kuwait and I met the most accommodating lovely friendly people, way friendlier than people here in the states. The hotels are amazing and much more superior. I used only 7500 for a JW marriott. They even offer complimentary service to the airport with bottle water and it is a real limo! I am not Kuwaiti, but please do not insult a culture and an airline that you have never experienced!

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