Kuwait International Airport Closer

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Kuwait International Airport became the 30th airport outside of Indonesia which I visited. Precisely in Terminal 4, I started to introduce myself to a side of this beautiful airport. Terminal 4 itself is the official mainhub of Kuwait Airways, which in that time I chose as transportation mode to leave Bahrain.

Arrival Hall

Kuwait Airways KU 614 stopped at airport apron.

Smoothly landing in a runway on 13:35 hours, I couldn’t wait to reach airport ground floor.

Like a modern airport, exit from plane through aerobridge.
Terminal 4 building with three floors.

Turning to right from aerobridge, a carpeted corridor often featured the Emir face of Kuwait, i.e Sabah IV Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah who waving his hand as if to say “Welcome to Kuwait“.

The next corridor led to arrival hall.

I was ready to entering the screening gate to reach transfer hall. My traveling habit which didn’t use a belt and usually put a passport, money, watch, camera, smartphone and mineral water bottle in a small folding bag, kept me from being as busy as other passengers who were always nervous when entering screening area with fast tempo.

I wasn’t against confiscation of my mineral water bottle, because I was sure it would be easy to find a free water station at an international airport which was almost a century old.

I started to entering duty free zone with camera in hand. Of course there wasn’t waiter who greeted me who just brought a backpack on my back. Yes, that was it. I didn’t bring anything for my 21 days adventure except 5 t-shirts, 2 trousers, 1 shorts and I even used disposable panties for my underware, practically disposable and then just threw it into rubbish bin after was used. I was very light backpacker. All of my friend called me “Crazy backpacker“.

Duty free zone.

Departure Hall

Still on the 1st floor, after duty free zone, I was faced directly to departure area with 5 departure gates coded B1 to B5.

Departure gate 1st floor.

On this floor was provided Al Mubarakiya Lounge for anyone who wanted to relax waiting for their flight. I myself only used gate B1 when waiting for airline shuttle bus to go to Safir Airport Hotel which was a free gift from Kuwait Airways to me during transit.

Gate B1.
Cafe Coco near gate B1.

Meanwhile, in early hours of next morning, when I was about to fly with Kuwait Airways KU 621 to Doha, I used facilities along departure gate D1-D8 on 2nd floor. I still remembered when I slept on a long green sofa a day before and was approached by a policeman dressed in white like an angel who escorted me on luck getting a free staying at Safir Airport Hotel.

Sofa on 2nd floor.
Flying to Qatar via gate D8.

Airport Apron and Cargo Area

Come on, let’s took a peek at airport outside. I managed to freely see it when I boarded airline shuttle bus to Safir Airport Hotel. Only 10 minutes long, I slowly crossed the cargo area. This was the first time to directly see cargo loading process when passing cargo planes.

Turkish Airlines Cargo.
Cargo area.

As a result of Air Force base development, Kuwait International Airport still shared space with Abdullah Al-Mubarak Air Base. The base itself was at east of the airport, next to Safir Airport Hotel where I stayed.

Alenia C-27J Spartan military transport aircraft.

Lounge

As an airport which had passenger capacity of more than nine million passengers per year, apart from providing 5 terminal areas, lounge facilities are a lucrative business. Besides Al Mubarakiya Lounge, Kuwait International Airport also provides Bayan Lounge on the 2nd floor.

Bayan Lounge near gate D8.

Toilet

Well, in the last section, let’s see how airport toilets look like. Here it is:

Clean and fragrant.
Toilet on 2nd floor.

That’s a brief overview of Kuwait International Airport, especially Terminal 4.

Okay….Time to flying to Doha.

Next Story—->

Taken to Safir Airport Hotel, Kuwait

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I slowly walked to enjoy each arrival hall corridor in Terminal 4, Kuwait International Airport. There wasn’t rush, because my next flight was still fifteen hours away.

Moving to the transfer hall, my step rhythm became fast because aviation security officers arranged it in that way. Not long, I was in front of the screening gate after showing boarding pass to the female Kuwait Airways staff from Philippines. Damn, the screening process finally confiscated my mineral water.

Passing duty free zone in 1st floor, instinct directed me to find the most comfortable place to close my eyes. The trauma of being late has kept me awake at Bahrain Plaza Hotel since three o’clock in the morning. Now sleepiness overtaked me.

I went up to the 2nd floor via an elevator near gate B1. Excited, I caught fourteen long green sofas uninhabited right next to the departure gate D5-6. “Yeaaa….This is my bed”, the heart mumbled.

—-****—-

Police: “Hello, Sir?”, a man with white robe woke me up.

Me: “Yes, sir”, I was surprised because I suddenly woke up.

Police: “Can I see your ticket and passport?”

Me: “Sure, Sir”, I frantically looked for it which was somehow tucked away.

Police: “Ohh, long transit. What airline did you use before?”

Me: “Kuwait Airways, Sir”, I showed my boording pass fragment.

Police: “Follow me now!”, upss, I got a problem …..

My heart beated faster as I followed his steps. Arriving at screening gate area where I originally have arrived several minutes ago, through a special door I was directed to Kuwait Airways Customer Service desk. I didn’t know what he said to staffs, until he called me to come closer. “Come!”, he said.

Customer Service staff apologized for didn’t carefully check my ticket. Even though my two tickets were non-connecting flights. But because both using Kuwait Airways, I got a benefit of staying at Safir Airport Hotel. Considering my next flight had to wait more than eight hours.

Police: “Enjoy your trip”, he said without a smile.

Me: “thank you very much, Sir”.

Police: “Welcome”, he just walked away.

For me, he wasn’t the airport police, but he ws an angel who suddenly came to me.

Transit card as access to hotel.

Passing back through the screening gate, I headed to gate B1 as instructed. Two Filipino ground staff invited me to sit and wait for airline shuttle bus to pick up. Then, one of them was seen busy with a walkie talkie to calling the shuttle bus in question.

Picked me up with two female passengers from Qatar.

Lobby Area

The airline shuttle bus freely took me around the airport. The bustle of cargo area with large cargo planes background left me stunned.

Ten minutes later, I was dropped off right in front of hotel’s lobby. A policeman suddenly stood up from his relaxed seat at the screening gate. He was seriously observing my single backpack inside the Luggage Screening Device. “OK, clear”, his words ending the process.

Lobby gate.
Area with sofa.
Area without sofa.
Departure fight information.

Room Area

I walked down the corridor to room 113. It was a pleasure to be able to taste the hotel which fare abour for 54 Kuwait Dinar per night. It was just a shame, I couldn’t enjoy all its free luxurious facilities because of a severe flu attack since left Bahrain. I spent the entire room and toilet’s paper to fight clear mucus which kept uncontrollably flowing from my nose.

Corridor leading to the room.
Got a twin bed room.
Bathroom.
Poor sleeping.

Scenery

Suddenly I woke up because curious about view in the window. A service plane from the Kingdom of Kuwait was seen parked unaccompanied. Half an hour later, a military transport plane, Boeing C-17 Globemaster III landed, it was the type of plane which was destroyed by Donatello in the film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.

I even had time to enjoy a row of fighter jets at a side of airport. Indeed Kuwait International Airport was basically a development of Abdullah Al-Mubarak Air Base belonging to the Kuwait Air Force. Wow, lucky me.

Kuwaiti Royal Service Aircraft.
Boeing C-17 Globemaster III.

Restaurant

A call from receptionist woke me up, “Sir, please come down!”. I briefly answered “Wait for 10 minutes, Sir”. I packed my gears into backpack. Then hurry down. “Why do you bring your backpack and check-out, I just want to give you an information that it’s dinner time”, he said with a laugh. Suddenly, I returned to the room embarrassed. Then went down again for dinner.

Al-Dawarza Restaurant.
Restaurant terrace.

Hmmm….Unforgettable memories.

Next Story—->

Kuwait International Airport Lebih Dekat

Kuwait International Airport menjadi bandara di luar Indonesia ke-30 yang ku kunjungi . Tepatnya di Terminal 4, aku mulai mengenalkan diri dengan salah satu sisi bandara apik ini. Terminal 4 sendiri merupakan mainhub resmi milik Kuwait Airways yang kali ini kupilih sebagai moda trasportasi untuk meninggalkan Bahrain.

Arrival Hall

Kuwait Airways KU 614 merapat di parking lot.

Mendarat dengan mulus di salah satu runway pada pukul 13:35, aku sudah tak sabar ingin menjejak langkah di lantai bandara.

Layaknya bandara modern, keluar pesawat melalui aerobridge.
Tampak bangunan Terminal 4 dengan tiga lantai.

Berbelok ke kanan dari aerobridge, koridor tak berkarpet itu dengan seringnya menampilkan wajah Emir Kuwait Sabah IV Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yang tampak melambaikan tangan seakan mengucap “Selamat Datang di Kuwait”.

Koridor berkutnya menuju Arrival Hall.

Aku sudah siap memasuki screening gate menuju Transfer Hall. Kebiasaanku bertraveling tanpa ikat pinggang dan meletakkan passport, uang, jam tangan, kamera, handphone dan sebotol air mineral pada folding bag kecil, membuatku tak sesibuk penumpang lain yang selalu gelagapan ketika memasuki area screening dengan tempo cepat.

Aku tak melawan penyitaan botol air mineralku, karena aku yakin akan mudah menemukan free water station di bandara berusia hampir seabad ini.

Aku mulai memasuki duty free zone dengan kamera di tangan. Tentu tak ada pelayan yang menyapaku yang berpenampilan dengan satu backpack di punggung. Ya, itu saja. Aku tak membawa apapun untuk 21 hari petualanganku kecuali  5 t-shirt, 2 celana panjang, 1 celana pendek bahkan aku menggunakan dispossable panties untuk urusan dalaman, praktis sekali pakai langsung buang. I’m very light backpacker. Orang inggris menyebutku “Wong Edan”.

Duty free zone.

Departure Hall

Masih di lantai 1, selepas duty free zone, aku dihadapkan langsung pada departure area dengan 5 gerbang pemberangkatan berkode B1 hingga B5.

Departure gate lantai 1.

Di lantai ini disediakan Al Mubarakiya Lounge bagi siapa saja yang ingin bersantai menunggu penerbangan. Aku sendiri hanya menggunakan gate B1 ketika menunggu airline van untuk menuju Safir Aiport Hotel yang dihadiahkan gratis oleh Kuwait Airways kepadaku semasa transit.

Gate B1.
Cafe Coco di dekat gate B1.

Sementara di dini hari berikutnya ketika hendak terbang bersama Kuwait Airways KU 621 menuju Doha, aku menggunakan fasilitas di sepanjang departure gate D1-D8 di lantai 2. Masih teringat ketika sehari sebelumnya tidur di sofa hijau panjang dan didatangi seorang polisi bergamis putih bak malaikat yang mengantarkanku pada keberuntungan mendapatkan free staying di Safir Airport Hotel.

Sofa di lantai 2.
Terbang ke Qatar melalui gate D8.

Parking Lot dan Area Kargo

Yuk, sekarang kita intip bagian luar bandara. Aku berhasil melihatnya dengan leluasa ketika menaiki airline van menuju Safir Airport Hotel. Hanya berdurasi 10 menit, aku perlahan melintasi area kargo. Baru kali ini melihat proses loading kargo secara langsung ketika melewati beberapa kaki pesawat kargo.

Turkish Airlines Cargo.
Area kargo.

Sebagai hasil dari pengembangan sebuah pangkalan Angkatan Udara, maka Kuwait International Airport masih berbagi tempat dengan Abdullah Al-Mubarak Air Base. Pangkalan ini sendiri berada di timur bandara, bersebelahan dengan Safir Airport Hotel tempatku menginap.

Pesawat angkut militer Alenia C-27J Spartan.

Lounge

Sebagai bandara yang memiliki kapastitas penumpang lebih dari sembilan juta penumpang per tahun maka selain menyediakan 5 area terminal maka fasilitas lounge menjadi bisnis yang menggiurkan. Selain Al Mubarakiya Lounge, Kuwait International Airport juga menyediakan Bayan Lounge di lantai 2.

Bayan Lounge dekat gate D8.

Toilet

Nah, dibagian terakhir mari kita lihat bagaimana penampakan toilet bandara. Ini dia:

Bersih dan wangi.
Toilet di lantai 2.

Itulah gambaran singkat dari Kuwait International Airport, khususnya Terminal 4.

Sudah dulu ya….Saatnya terbang ke Doha.

Digelandang Menuju Safir Airport Hotel, Kuwait

Aku berjalan pelan untuk menikmati setiap koridor Arrival Hall di Terminal 4, Kuwait International Airport. Tak diburu waktu, karena waktu terbang berikutnya masih lima belas jam lagi.

Berpindah di Transfer Hall, ritme langkah menjadi cepat karena petugas aviation security mengaturnya demikian. Belum semenit, aku sudah di depan screening gate setelah menunjukkan tiket terusan pada staff wanita Kuwait Airways asal Philippina. Sial, proses screening akhirnya menyita mineral waterku.

Melewati duty free zone di lantai 1, insting mengarahkanku untuk mencari tempat ternyaman demi memejamkan mata. Trauma keterlambatan, membuatku terjaga di Bahrain Plaza Hotel sejak jam tiga pagi. Kini kantuk menggelayutiku.

Aku naik ke lantai 2 melalui sebuah lift dekat gate B1. Girang hati, memergoki empat belas sofa panjang berwarna hijau tak berpenghuni tepat di sebelah departure gate D5-6. “Yeaaa….Inilah tempat tidurku”, hati bergumam.

—-****—-

Polisi: “Hello, Sir?”, seorang bergamis putih membangunkanku.

Aku: “Yes, Sir”, aku terperanjat karena terbangun mendadak.

Polisi: “Can me see your ticket and passport?

Aku: “Sure, Sir”, gelagapan mencarinya yang entah terselip dimana.

Polisi: ”Ohh, long transit. What airline did you use before?”

Aku: ”Kuwait Airways, Sir”, kutunjukkan penggalan tiket itu.

Polisi: “Follow me now!”, wah masalah …..

Jantung berdegup lebih cepat ketika mengikuti langkahnya. Tiba di area screening gate semula tiba, melalui pintu khusus aku diarahkan ke meja Customer Service Kuwait Airways. Entah dia bicara apa kepada staff itu, hingga dia memanggilku untuk mendekat. “Come!”, katanya.

Staff Customer Service meminta maaf karena kurang teliti memeriksa tiketku. Walaupun dua tiketku adalah non-connecting flight, karena keduanya menggunakan Kuwait Airways, maka aku mendapatkan benefit menginap di Safir Airport Hotel. Mengingat  penerbangan berikutnya harus menunggu lebih dari delapan jam.

Polisi: “Enjoy your trip”, ucapnya tanpa senyum.

Aku: ”thank you very much, Sir”.

Polisi: ”Welcome”, dia berlalu begitu saja.

Bagiku di bukan polisi bandara melainkan malaikat yang mendadak datang menghampiriku.

Transit card sebagai akses menuju hotel.

Melewati kembali screening gate, aku menuju ke gate B1 seperti yang diperintahkan. Dua ground staff berkebangsaan Philippina mempersilahkan duduk untuk menunggu airline van penjemput. Kemudian, satu diantaranya terlihat sibuk dengan handy talkie memanggil van yang dimaksud.

Dijemput bersama dua penumpang wanita asal Qatar.

Area Lobby

Airline van mengajakku berkeliling bandara dengan leluasa. Kesibukan di area kargo dengan latar pesawat kargo berbadan besar membuatku terpana.

Sepuluh menit kemudian, aku diturunkan tepat di depan lobby. Seorang polisi mendadak berdiri dari duduk santainya di screening gate. Dia begitu serius mengamati backpack tunggalku di dalam Luggage Screening Device. “OK, clear”, sahutnya mengakhiri proses.

Pintu lobby.
Area bersofa.
Area lesehan.
Departure fight information.

Area Kamar

Aku menyusuri koridor menuju ke kamar 113. Senangnya hati bisa mencicipi hotel berharga Rp. 2.500.000 per malam itu. Hanya sayang, aku tak bisa menikmati seluruh fasilitas mewahnya karena serangan flu berat bawaan dari Bahrain. Seluruh tisu kamar dan toilet kuhabiskan untuk melawan ingus bening yang terus mengalir tak terkendali dari hidung.

Koridor menuju ke kamar.
Mendapat twin bed room.
Kamar mandi.
idur yang tak nyenyak.

Pemandangan

Sebentar-bentar terbangun karena penasaran dengan pemandangan di jendela. Tampak pesawat dinas Kerajaan Kuwait yang terparkir tanpa kawalan, setengah jam kemudian mendaratlah pesawat angkut militer Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, jenis pesawat yang dihancurkan Donatello dalam film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows….Keren.

Bahkan aku sempat menikmati deretan jet tempur di salah satu sisi. Memang Kuwait International Airport pada dasarnya adalah pengembangan dari Abdullah Al-Mubarak Air Base milik Angkatan Udara Kuwait. Wah, beruntungnya diriku.

Pesawat Dinas Kerajaan Kuwait.
Boeing C-17 Globemaster III.

Restoran

Telepon dari resepsionis membangunkanku, “Sir, please come down!”. Kujawab singkat “Wait for 10 minutes, Sir”. Aku mengepak perlengkapanku ke dalam backpack. Kemudian bergegas turun. “Why do you bring your backpack and check-out, I just want to give you an information that it’s dinner time”, ungkapnya sambil tertawa. Sontak, aku kembali ke kamar dengan malunya. Kemudian turun lagi untuk bersantap malam.

Al-Dawarza Restaurant.
Teras restoran

Hmmh….Kenangan tak terlupakan.