Review: Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi Airport

Filed Under: Airport Lounge Reviews, Trip Reports
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Lounge Reviews Art

My flight from Nairobi to Kigali was departing at 3:15PM, though I arrived at the airport at around noon so I’d have time to do some lounge hopping.

The first order of business was checking out the Turkish Airlines Lounge. This is the lounge British Airways business class passengers have access to, but it was so full when I visited in the middle of the night last time that I didn’t feel comfortable taking pictures. Fortunately it’s also a Priority Pass lounge, so I’d be able to visit it this time around.

Nairobi Airport has a confusing terminal structure, in my opinion.

Terminal 1 has sections 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, and 1E, and they’re all sorta kinda connected airside, but not really. That confusing setup is presumably because in some areas security is at each individual gate, while in other areas there’s a single security checkpoint.

Nairobi Airport exterior

First I tried to enter through terminal 1A, though I was told I needed to enter through 1C instead if I was flying RwandAir. That’s a bit odd, since later on I was able to access 1A to use the Kenya Airways Lounge (entering 1A requires going through security, but I’m not sure why that would be an issue).


Nairobi Airport check-in hall

So I walked back across the outside roadway to Terminal 1C.

Nairobi Airport exterior

Since I had a mobile boarding pass I headed straight to immigration, where there was no wait. Security at many gates at Nairobi Airport is at each individual gate, so I didn’t have to go through security at this point.

Once past immigration I headed in the direction of the low gate numbers and Terminal 1D, where the Turkish Lounge is located.

Walking to Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi

The lounge is located in the part of the terminal that looks a bit like a warehouse (I assume this is due to the fire at the airport a few years ago). I’m not sure if that’s better or worse than the rest of the terminal, which is largely outdated.


Walking to Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi

The Turkish Lounge is located near gate 4A, and is open 24 hours a day. Despite the terminal looking like a warehouse, the Turkish Lounge has the same signature exterior as their other lounges.


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi exterior

At reception I presented my boarding pass and Priority Pass card. As a reminder, here are some of the popular US credit cards that come with a Priority Pass membership:

Card# Of Guests Who Get Free AccessAuthorized User AccessCost To Add Authorized User
The Platinum Card® from American Express2Yes$175 For Up To 3 People, $175 For Each Additional Person Beyond That (Rates & Fees)
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express 2Yes$300 Per Person (Rates & Fees)
Chase Sapphire Reserve®2Yes$75 Per Person
Citi Prestige® Credit Card2Yes$50 Per Person. ($75 Per Person for Cardmember Anniversary dates after September 1, 2019)
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card2No$0
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card2No$0

Turkish has pretty consistent lounge decor at their outstation lounges (like their lounge in Washington Dulles), and this lounge was no exception. The lounge consists primarily of one room. I imagine for 21 hours per day the lounge is nice and quiet, while late at night it really fills up prior to all the redeyes to Europe.

While the lounge has one main room, there are arches that sort of separate the room into three different seating areas.


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi seating


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi seating


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi seating


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi seating


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi seating

That entire main room has nice views of the apron, where several planes are parked at remote stands throughout the day.


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi view

In addition to the main room there’s a quiet room that I think is intended as a relaxation space, though it has one bright window, which takes away from the vibe. One benefit of the room is that this room stays nice and cool (presumably both due to the darkness and the air conditioning unit in the corner), while the rest of the lounge tends to be quite warm.


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi quiet room


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi quiet room

The lounge’s buffet is just inside the entrance and to the left.

Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi buffet


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi buffet

There was an extensive drink selection, including bottled sodas, water, and beer.


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi drink selection


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi drink selection

There was also a large selection of self serve wine and liquor.


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi liquor selection

My favorite drink feature was that the lounge has a barista service, so I loved being able to order a proper cappuccino. Yum!


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi buffet


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi cappuccino

While I didn’t eat anything, the food selection was extensive, with several types of salad, fresh fruit, finger sandwiches, cereal, popcorn, chips, egg rolls, and several other hot dishes.


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi food


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi food


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi food


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi buffet


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi food


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi food


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi food

At the far right of the lounge are the bathrooms, which were in fairly good order, as well as a shower room. While these facilities are more than sufficient during the day, the lounge is so crowded at night that I imagine there must be a line for the bathrooms and showers.


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi bathroom


Turkish Airlines Lounge Nairobi shower

Do note that this lounge is a 10-15 minute walk to the gates of many of the airlines that use the lounge, so be sure you leave plenty of time before your flight, especially since security is still at the individual gates.

I spent just about 20 minutes in the lounge before continuing my lounge hopping.

Turkish Lounge Nairobi bottom line

Given the condition that Nairobi Airport is otherwise in, I’d say the Turkish Lounge is excellent. It’s nicely furnished, has good views, and the food and drink selection is solid (in particular the made to order cappuccinos).

The only thing I’d note is that it gets really full at night, so don’t expect the lounge to be as calm at that time. You’ll be lucky to even find a seat.

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), and The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees).

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Comments
  1. Seams you have not heard about the big fire at NBO few years ago. Thats why the airport looks like a wearhouse

  2. My wife and I basically traveled the same journey as you through the airport to find this lounge. We also agreed it’s one of the best lounges we’ve ever had access to. Great article!

  3. @Lucky Terminal 1A was added as the new terminal for KQ international flights and Skyteam and they decided to go with a single security screening which is why when going from 1B/1C you need to clear security to enter so there are 2 screening points to get into 1A and thus 1B/1C being the original gates still have individual gate security

    The area with the TK lounge is an addition built over 1D thus it’s out of place appearance. I do wish they had done a less warehouse finish with it and integrated it better into the original structure. The TK is the best non KQ lounge at JKIA. The Aspire lounge is nice but far too tiny for the amount of passengers that used it prior to the TK lounge opening so it was quite a welcome addition.

  4. I’ve spent the night in this lounge in that smaller room with the AC unit. Didn’t cost too much to overnight in there, would definitely recommend! The lounge surprisingly wasn’t that crowded when I got there.

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