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 Economy cabin inflight passenger experience from Gulf Air’s Hub airport in Bahrain to London Heathrow.
Flight: GF0003 10.10am
Route: Bahrain (BAH ) to London Heathrow (LHR )
Duration: 7 hours 35 mins
Seat : 20A ( Economy Cabin )
172 seats / 2-4-2 configuration
Boarding started promptly approx 40 minutes before take off , Falcon Gold passengers boarded first and then there seemed to a bit of a scrum for everyone else.
The Crew welcomed everyone on onboard at the door, even those of us turning right.
I note that economy passengers are permitted to pre book lounge access for approx £49 per person when booking your flight.
Seat & Cabin
When flying in the Economy Cabin with Gulf Air on the A330 , If you want legroom for days, I highly recommend you to consider paying to reserve a seat in row 20 ( approx £40 per person per leg ) As a frequent flyer never have I seen the legroom that Gulf Air offers in their bulk head seats, like never ever. If your beaten to row 20 , you can try row 40 , but as these are exit seats there are strict rules as to who is & isnt allowed to occupy these ( ie no under 12’s ).
When arriving at my seat to the envy of the other cabin passengers who not been quite so diligent with their seat choice research ( check http://www.seatguru.com for the best seat info ) , there was a small but adequate pillow , but sadly no blankets or amenity kits are given out in the economy cabin.
This is the area in which Gulf Air could improve the most. I had flown out two weeks earlier and was disappointed to note that they were still showing the same movies as on my outward journey. The movies are extremely limited ( approx 10/15 current block buster movies) , and a number of bollywood movies. The TV offering was also quite limited, so probably best to load up the i pad with your favorites shows. On the plus side the tv monitor had a USB charger point which is always useful in keeping things charged.
If your sitting in the bulkhead seat the tv screen is located down the side of the seat, which again restricts the width of the seat some what.
Sealed headphones were handed out upon boarding , they were perfectly fine to use and were promptly collected before landing.
The first drink service was approx 30 minutes after take off , with a drink and a small snack.
After my excellent Falcon Gold experience on my outbound flight ( Read about it here https://wp.me/p4AB93-25T ) I knew that the Economy food offering was always going to be a bit of a come down. I have a criteria in regards to plane food , can I identify it ? , Is It edible and is it hot ? If It passes all that I’m good to go.
Approx half way into the flight lunch was served, I was surprised to note that there were three meal choices on offer, chicken , fish and veggie. I plumped for the chicken & mash which despite it’s appearance was both hot and edible, this was the only meal served on the flight.
There was another drink service after the meal, and crew were happy to serve individual drinks when requested.
In My Opinion……
Economy plane travel is never going to be a particularly enjoyable experience, more like something to be endured. With some careful planning, the right seat choice and a loaded i pad, the Gulf Air experience was certainly bearable. Whilst I personally found the seat width quite snug around the hips (18 inches ), the legroom more than compensated and I was perfectly comfortable on a relatively short 7 hour flight, and I would certainly consider Gulf Air for long haul journeys. I also note that its possible to bid for an upgrade prior to the flight, so you could strike lucky and grab a cut price upgrade.
For more 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.