Client: “Rude, unhelpful and lying” KQ staff cost me dearly

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Dear Cofek: I wish to make a complaint against Kenya Airways and would appreciate your guidance on how best to proceed. KQ has no formal complaints procedure and has been rude and unhelpful throughout my correspondence with them. A brief summary of my situation and the cause of my complaint is outlined below. 

On 23 February, I was not allowed to board my 19.40 KQ444 flight from Kigali to Nairobi due to the fact that KQ had oversold my flight. I had turned up for my flight early and checked-in online – satisfying every requirement of KQ’s terms and conditions of carriage. 

As a result of KQ overselling my flight, I was not able to board my connecting 00.30 BA0064 connecting flight from Nairobi to London on 24 February. KQ’s terms and conditions of carriage clearly state that where a connecting flight is missed as a result of their failure to fulfil their contractual obligations to a customer that KQ will arrange for alternative onward transit to the end destination at no cost to the passenger. My BA flight was not flexible and there was no space left on the next BA flight to London, so KQ’s overselling of my flight had caused significant disruption. 

In Kigali, KQ staff told me that they had reserved me a place on the next KQ flight to London at no cost, in line with their terms and conditions of carriage – all I would need to do was collect my boarding pass from the KQ connecting flight desk in Nairobi. This was a lie. When I landed in Nairobi, I was told that a seat was reserved but that I would have to pay £3,211.20 in order to take the seat on the plane.

The KQ staff at the airport were rude, unhelpful and threatening when I asked to speak to someone in senior management to resolve the issue. I was left waiting over 3 hours until 40 minutes before boarding. At this point, with no means to return home, I was further threatened by KQ staff that I would have to stay in Nairobi indefinitely unless I paid for the flight but that it would be reimbursed through their customer service function in due course. 

With no alternative means to get home and faced with threatening and unhelpful KQ staff making no effort except to offer me the option to pay and reclaim my flight costs, I was forced by KQ to pay for the flight at my own cost and seek reimbursement. 

I have been pursuing KQ for reimbursement of my travel costs since 24 February, they have refused to pay me back the costs of my flight – the customer service team have been rude, unhelpful and unresponsive. Often not replying within their 21 response deadline under EU rules. 

On the basis that I am in this situation entirely at the fault of KQ – they sold my flight that I was on-time for and checked in for to another customer and refused me my right to board the plane, causing me to miss my onward connecting flight. Their terms of carriage clearly state that in this scenario they will arrange alternative transport at no cost. They have not done this, they have actually forced me to pay £3,211.20 in addition to board a plane that I was told I had a seat at no cost on, threatening me that I would not be allowed to leave Nairobi unless I did so, asking me to seek a reimbursement of the cost after the flight. They are now refusing to do this. 

I am now £3,211.20 out of pocket due to KQ’s incompetence, lies and failure to fulfil their contractual obligations to me under their terms of carriage. 

I have tried without success to get a refund from KQ for the amounts due to me. I would like to highlight, Evaline Nyambati, in their customer services team as rude, unhelpful and discourteous throughout this process. As such, I wish to initiate a formal complaint procedure against KQ and ask for COFEK’s assistance in advising me how best to initiate the procedure. 

I can provide copies of all correspondence, e-ticket numbers etc in connection with this complaint (Chris G. in London)


I look forward to hearing from you on this matter.


Kind regards,



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