Luxurious Travelling with Gulf Air
As a 6’ 2” and fairly broad male, travelling economy class can be a little uncomfortable and it’s certainly daunting when it’s a long haul flight. It can make it difficult to get proper sleep if I haven’t pre-reserved a window seat which offers something to lean against – I wouldn’t recommend nodding off on a strangers’ shoulder.
I had an economy flight booked with Gulf Air heading back from Bahrain to London Heathrow on the 10:10am flight, just before Christmas to see family and celebrate the festive season in weather very foreign to that of Bahrain. Fortunately for me though, I was offered an upgrade to Gulf Air’s Falcon Gold class (their brand name for their premium business class offering – which competes with and surpasses the business class offering of most other airlines) which was a whole new experience to what I’m normally used to. I learned that there is a lot more to flying business than just larger seats and enhanced comfort…
I’ll have to skip to air-side as it was later in the check-in process that I got upgraded, but for those who have already got a business class ticket you’ll experience a far smoother and more efficient check-in as you glide through the ‘First & Business Class’ check-in procedure; meaning no queuing and super speedy airport security. Once through, you’ll have access to the 1,720 sq. ft. Falcon Gold Lounge, a place that makes waiting in airports dreamy… a truly remarkable and game-changing airport business lounge; a cut above other airport lounges I’ve experienced. How so? Well, for starters the coffee was incredible (LavAzza), there was a tasty breakfast with plenty of options, comfortable seats with power sockets to power your devices, super-fast Wi-Fi, excellent service from the staff, and panoramic views of the runway so you can watch planes take off and land (with a fine cuppa joe at hand!).
Side note; something I noticed in the Gulf Air Falcon lounge in Bahrain (there’s two more Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounges: one in Dubai International Airport and one in London Heathrow Terminal 4) which I thought was really cool – there’s an old photo of Muhammad Ali exiting a Gulf Air plane from their old fleet. Make sure you look out for it when you’re next in the lounge!
Onboard the A330;
After boarding the plane I was guided to my seat, 1D, and I quickly noticed that the Falcon Gold cabin offers plenty of space and comfort for its passengers. I was provided with noise cancelling headsets and endless amounts of entertainment on a 15.4” screen… despite my TV at home being slightly larger, it was as if I was flying my Amwaj living room back to London – it was that comfortable!
Renowned for their trademark Arabian hospitality I was given a warm welcome and afforded every possible comfort from the moment I was seated, through take-off and throughout the flight. Gulf Air’s Falcon Dining menu was handed out which offered a variety of European and Arabic dishes – everything on the menu had been specially created by Gulf Air’s ‘Sky Chefs’ using quality ingredients from local markets. Having a Sky Chef onboard the plane serving all the drinks and food is a nice touch – they seem to know the menu inside and out and the service was flawless. The Sky Chef was recommending the lamb chops as my main course so I followed his recommendation, it was delicious and beautifully served on china plates with steel cutlery – yet another small touch that makes all the difference.
Having a Sky Chef onboard the plane serving all the drinks and food is a nice touch – they seem to know the menu inside and out and the service was flawless.
I should also add that the seats turn into flat beds with a built-in massage feature, I of course caught a few hours shut-eye to make the most of this feature and it’s safe to say there was no stiff neck when I woke up!
While all this makes for an incredibly luxurious trip, there’s more to come with Gulf Air. As the airline prepares to receive a new incoming fleet, of which 5 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and 2 Airbus A320Neos will enter Gulf Air’s fleet by end-2018, both their Falcon Gold and Economy class offerings will undergo an unbeatable transformation with new seats, enhanced products and services and much more. Keep an eye out on their network too, as that’s sure to expand with their new aircraft deliveries.