Gulf Air is the principal flag carrier of Bahrain, the airline operates scheduled services to 41 destinations in 23 countries across Africa, Asia and Europe, all flights transit thru their hub airport in Bahrain. Gulf Air operate two cabins of service , Economy and their aptly named Falcon Gold Business Class cabin.
This is my Falcon Gold cabin inflight passenger experience on one of two daily flights from London Heathrow to Gulf Air’s Hub in Bahrain.
Flight: GF0002 9.30am dep
London (LHR) to Bahrain (BAH )
Duration 6 hrs 30 mins
Seat: 1K ( Falcon Gold Class )
30 seats / 2-2-2 configuration
Plane Type: Airbus A330
Falcon Gold Lounge- London Heathrow
Located between gates 6 & 7 on the main concourse in Heathrow’s Terminal four is the Falcon Gold Lounge.
With a light and airy decor, separate lounging & dining areas as well as showering facilities, its small but perfectly formed with everything you need for a brief visit.
Whilst not extensive, there’s was perfectly adequate selection of hot and cold breakfast items were available prior to my 9am boarding call.
Boarding started promptly approx 45 mins before departure. Falcon Gold passengers were invited to board first , in their own dedicated lane. After being greeted at the aircraft door by name , I was shown to my seat and offered a pre take off drink and hot towel.
Cabin & Seat
The A330 has 30 Falcon Gold seats in a 2-2-2 formation over 5 rows, split over 2 cabins eithier side of the main cabin door separated by the toilets and galley.
Whilst the Cabin is quite neutral , it has a spacious feel, and there is generous leg room between the rows, so no akward moments trying to climb over your seatmate when exiting your seat mid flight. There’s also a pull down privacy screen if your travelling alone.
The seat was a standard forward facing full flat bed , there was a comfortable pillow & duvet style blanket stored in the cubby hole under the tv monitor. There’s also a bottle of water and noise cancelling headphones stored down the side of the seat. There was also a usb charging point in the console, but I found it pretty slow when charging up my smart phone.
Amenity kits were handed out before take off , All Falcon Gold passengers recieved a Cerruti branded amenity kit, I particularly liked the Aigner products ( body lotion , mosturising lip balm and a refreshing facial spritz ) , the black leather pouch was handy to reuse as a washbag / make up case.
This is where I feel that Gulf Air can make their biggest improvement , I found Falcon entertainment system , clunky , dated and extremely tricky to use.
I also found the actual movie selection quite limited, and it was the same selection on both outbound and inbound journey, so I found I’d already watched the films that I wanted to on the way out. There was approx ten mainstream hollywood blockbusters , a number of bollywood films, some random tv shows and a muslim selction.
With two crew members & a Sky Chef serving the Falcon Gold Cabin , service was prompt and efficient.
The food service was hands down the highlight of this flight, with a relatively short flying time of just over six hours, service began approx two hours after a take off and the food just kept coming kicking off with a generously sized main course of a surpringly tender lamb shank cooked to order, followed by a fully stocked cheese and dessert trolley. with then just in case you were feeling a bit peckish there was an afternoon tea served about 90 minutes before landing.
Transiting in Bahrain
With over 41 destinations, for transiting passengers, Bahrain airport is pretty compact, from disinbarking it took approx 15 minutes to reach the Falcon Gold Lounge on the 1st floor of the main concourse. With comfortable seating ,a business section for catching up on work, shower facilities and a full food & drinks with waiter service, and a view of the run way it’s a pleasant way to spend a few hours away from the hustle and bustle of the main terminal.
In My Opinion….
I’m baffled as to how Sky Trax can rate Gulf Air as a three star airline, clearly they are long overdue an upgrade in my humble opinion.
I was pleasantly surprised at the level of service I received in the Falcon Gold Cabin , from a decent lounge before boarding, to being greeted by name as I entered the aircraft, being shown to my seat , and the Sky chef coming out to personally discuss the dining menu , all the things that I’ve experienced on other five star middle eastern carriers such as Emirates, Etihad and Qatar.
But the highlight for me on this flight was the food service, this was one of the best meals I’ve had on a plane, with comfortable seating which converted to a flat bed and great amenity kit. Well worth the short detour through Bahrain when I’m travelling to the UAE and highly recommened.
With a major rebrand scheduled for 2018 , I look forward checking out a new and improved Gulf Air and a well deserved skytrax reclassification.
For route information and fare details, check out the Gulf Air website http://www.GulfAir.com
Please note my flight was kindly hosted by Gulf Air in order to write this review , but as usual all views & opinions are my own.