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Gulf Air Business Class


davidge

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Gulf Air Business Class

 

I wouldn't normally consider using Gulf Air but I found a fare of just over £1000 for Business Class, flying out in December and back in January.

 

The difference in price from my usual direct with Eva (or Thai) was enough to pay for my condo for the month. I thought it was too good an offer to ignore.

 

It wasn't possible to choose my seats online, I had to telephone. The lady on the other end wasn't exactly friendly but I got the seats allocated. They showed up when I logged in to 'Manage my Booking' and I could also enter my passport number, phone number etc.

 

Exactly 24 hours before the flight I got both a text and email reminding me of the flight and telling me I could check-in online. However, when I tried to do this I wasn't allowed to as 'Printing the boarding pass is forbidden' and told to check-in at the airport.

 

I am writing this as I travel and will add to it as I go, so I may switch tenses at times.

 

Gulf use Terminal 4 at Heathrow.

I hadn't used this Terminal since BA moved from it. It doesn't appear to have changed at all.

 

Gulf use Area D, which is hidden behind a very large pillar as you enter Departures.

Check-in opened 4 hours before departure and was quick and friendly.

FastTrack Security is right next to the check-in desks. The lady at the entrance checked my Boarding Pass but not my Passport. In fact, the passport wasn't checked at all. The Security Check wasn't that fast as staff were changing over so no-one was manning the start of it for 5 minutes!

 

You turn left after going through Security and the Gulf lounge is about a 10 minute walk, on the right as you approach it. The Lounge was comfortable and fairly quiet, though it is shared with (I think) Malaysia. I was given the password for the free wifi as I entered - though the desk was unmanned and I had to wait about 5 minutes for someone to appear.

 

There is a buffet area on the right with an OK selection and a bar to the left which I didn't use. Staff very helpful.

 

As I was in the lounge I got a text from Gulf saying the Bangkok flight was delayed by 5 hours! It now won't arrive until nearly 1am. I'll have to see what I can sort out in terms of taxi etc when I'm in Bahrain - I'll be there nearly 8 hours now!

 

There were buggies to take passengers to the gate but it wasn't very well organised.

One left with 2 passengers while 7 were left to fit on a smaller one! The gate was right down the far end of the terminal.

 

The first impression was the plane looked OLD. The layout was different to that shown on the website and was 2-2-2. Business Class was almost full.

The layout was the same in both Biz sections. 2 rows in the front and 4 in the back section.

There was plenty of legroom and the seat was wide - though not as wide as Eva.

The screen was on the back of the seat in front so was quite a distance away.

There was a USB port in the back of the seat but it wouldn't charge my iPad. Perhaps not surprising as the fitting was loose.

There is a very large toilet to the rear left of the front section which was useful to freshen up and change before landing in BKK. There is a second small toilet to the front right.

 

Very limited choice of entertainment. About 15 movies - mainly old. Some episodes of TV series but not full series e.g. Would have episodes 1 & 3 but not others. It took me ages to work out how to work the remote. You have to press a button to display a 'target' on the screen then the same button moves it by touch - like a nipple on a laptop.

 

The service on the first flight was very good. Probably helped that one of the stewardesses was Thai

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"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 

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Good report. Gulf were able to take off at 02.00 (or around then) from Heathrow because of delay  ??   Am on them New Years Eve in Peasant Class if it happens then I'll celebrate 24.00 hours in an empty departure lounge !!

 

Oman share Gulfs Lounge only know as was in there October myself

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Good report. Gulf were able to take off at 02.00 (or around then) from Heathrow because of delay  ??   Am on them New Years Eve in Peasant Class if it happens then I'll celebrate 24.00 hours in an empty departure lounge !!

 

Oman share Gulfs Lounge only know as was in there October myself

The LHR flight was on time.

The BAH-BKK flight was delayed as it was delayed out of BKK the previous day.

I had 7 hours in BAH and we landed at BKK at 01.50 instead of 19.35

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 

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The LHR flight was on time.

The BAH-BKK flight was delayed as it was delayed out of BKK the previous day.

I had 7 hours in BAH and we landed at BKK at 01.50 instead of 19.35

 

Ah ok I was skimming didnt read properly apologies......I had always said was never going Gulf again after 2002 because such cramped economy seats but you make the point the aircraft looked old so doesn't bode well. At the price I paid can put up with standing for few hours though

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 Booked that one myself too the business class price was an offer I thought worth trying the airline for .  Out on the 29th hopefully no delays. 

 Tried Oman in November for £345 return in economy, planes a bit older but food and service good ,on time, for the price good value .

   

 Eva still my favourite but like to try others ,looking at Emirates out of Gatwick next time if I can get a good price. Thanks for the report and pictures.

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7 hours in an airport. That sucks big time. At least your on hols for a while.

 

Food pics look good. On the ipad charging thing - i think the power outlets kick out enough juice to use the ipad and maintain its battery, but maybe not charge it.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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 Tried Oman in November for £345 return in economy, planes a bit older but food and service good ,on time, for the price good value .

   

 

 

Did you not have the Dreamliner on any 4 of the sectors.....??

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just started my return journey so a small update.

 

It took me a while to find the check-in desks. The sign outside has Gulf at Door 10.

No sign of them listed inside near that door or Door 9. Flight not listed on big screens as still over 3 hours to take off.

 

I finally find it on one of the scrolling screens you can use. It's at Row Q.

I look down the rows and see the sign for P followed by the one for R. I make my way down and the sign for Q is hidden away well to the right of the others so can't be seen until you reach it.

 

Check-in was very helpful and friendly. No complaints at all.

 

Make my way through FastTrack which was pretty quick.

 

The flight is leaving from gate D6 but the lounge is the Louis Tavern CIP Lounge next to G2. Miles away!

Utterly crap Lounge. Little on offer, a number of things empty, tables not cleared after previous passengers. Soup tureen had been empty for at least an hour when I saw them refilling it. I tried some. Stone cold! No, it wasn't gazpacho! They obviously put it in straight from the can then use the tureen to heat it up. Judging by the light on the side that took a further 30 minutes.

Second worst Lounge I've been in after Jeddah Airport.

At least the wifi is good.

 

I'll make sure to leave well before boarding as it will take me a while to get to the gate.

 

Everything meant to be on time.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 

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^^^

 

Your comments pretty much in line with what I think of Gulf in other thread

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Just arrived LHR.

Gate at BKK was changed so an even longer walk.

Flight on time. Biz full. Food pretty good. One meal but was served quite a while after leaving BKK so not much time to sleep.

Snack offered before landing. Service average.

Transit at BAH was a pain. Security when you arrive and long queues to scan bags - especially for Economy passengers.

Gate for LHR was right at end of Terminal.

Further security here where staff were bossy, rude & arrogant.

Searches as well as scan and even swabbing some bags/shoes etc.

 

Edit: I went straight from one gate to the other so tried using the free airport wifi, rather than the Lounge wifi I used on the way out. It was very poor. It took several attempts before the login page would come up and a couple of attempts before that worked. Even then I had difficulty sending a short iMessage and ended up turning on Data Roaming to send it. I did manage to send another using wifi later and get a reply but I wouldn't want to rely on it.

 

Slight delay out of BAH as flight time shorter and not allowed to arrive too early.

Biz again full. Average food and poor service.

Fast track cards handed out in Biz.

Arrived a little early.

30 minutes before bags started to arrive. No sign of any staff in customs.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 

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Overall a below average Business Class experience.

Gulf are certainly not worth considering at anything close to the price of airlines like Eva et al.

I might consider using them if I got the same price again. As I said before, the saving paid for the condo for the month!

If I did book them again, it would be with a heavy heart. They would have to be MUCH cheaper than the alternatives.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 

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Overall a below average Business Class experience.

Gulf are certainly not worth considering at anything close to the price of airlines like Eva et al.

I might consider using them if I got the same price again. As I said before, the saving paid for the condo for the month!

If I did book them again, it would be with a heavy heart. They would have to be MUCH cheaper than the alternatives.

 

Although I'm in economy same applies. They would have had to have exceptional pricing (as theY did 31st Dec) for me to ever consider using again

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Good report Davidge, thanks for that.

 

Perhaps you can give me a comparison between Emirates and other business class flights? Reason being for the past 8 years or so I have been flying Emirates business class all paid for by my company.

I have been retired for over 2 years and been using my miles to upgrade but sadly these are running out. and paying 3 to 4x as much does not appeal to me.

The GULF price you got was great value although the service and seating is obviously not as good as Emirates....I really enjoyed the bed on Emirates as I always timed my flights overnight and was wondering if any cheaper airlines have a similar facility.

Thanks in advance

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Good report Davidge, thanks for that.

 

Perhaps you can give me a comparison between Emirates and other business class flights? Reason being for the past 8 years or so I have been flying Emirates business class all paid for by my company.

I have been retired for over 2 years and been using my miles to upgrade but sadly these are running out. and paying 3 to 4x as much does not appeal to me.

The GULF price you got was great value although the service and seating is obviously not as good as Emirates....I really enjoyed the bed on Emirates as I always timed my flights overnight and was wondering if any cheaper airlines have a similar facility.

Thanks in advance

I haven't flown Emirates for a very long time so I can't compare them to anyone else.

From my point of view, I much prefer to fly direct. It's worth at least 20% on the fare for me to do that.

I've found Eva to be a significantly better Biz product than Thai so they are my first choice. Thai are second.

For a lot of dates, especially if booking well in advance, you can find both of these for around £1650.

They are sometimes around £1950 and occasionally in peak season well over £2000 - I wouldn't pay that.

 

Assuming I can find either Eva or Thai for £1650 then an indirect flight would have to be below £1400 for me to consider them.

The 'good' indirect airlines such as Emirates are usually more expensive than Eva.

 

I have seen Turkish regularly at £1200-1300 but don't want to fly via Turkey at the moment.

I've seen Biman at £1100 but certainly don't want to fly via Dhaka - and there is something like a 23 hour wait there!

You can occasionally get KLM or China Airlines via Amsterdam for around £1200 which may be an option, especially if you want to fly from a regional airport instead of LHR. (I'm not sure if China is still codesharing with KLM or if I read they'd stopped?)

I have seen Egypt Air cheap but don't want to fly them.

 

So, to answer your question, I don't think there is really a regular cheaper option that is worth switching to from Eva in normal circumstances.

 

(I won't fly via India, China or Russia so don't take any notice of those fares).

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 

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Received an email this morning congratulating me on reaching Silver Level in the Falcon Flyer program.

Only took one return flight!

 

Doesn't mean much but always useful to join frequent flyer programs when flying a new airline. If I end up using them again the points may actually get me a little something.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 

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Addendum to last but one post:

 

I forgot about FinnAir.

They often have reasonable prices.

Some flights from LHR to HEL are 'proper' Business Class others are just 'European Biz' which is basically Economy with more food & an empty middle seat.

They're not really a full service airline - I think they still charge for food in Economy??

Not sure what Biz is like. They have new A350's.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 

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Was the seat on gulf still the sloping, not quite flat, type, or have they gone to flat beds?

 

I flew with them about 5 years ago and found the sloping seat awful...

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Was the seat on gulf still the sloping, not quite flat, type, or have they gone to flat beds?

I flew with them about 5 years ago and found the sloping seat awful...

I never go fully flat - it's just not comfortable.

I thought they were fully flat seats now though. I certainly had to clamber over the person next to me who appeared horizontal.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 

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Addendum to last but one post:

 

I forgot about FinnAir.

They often have reasonable prices.

Some flights from LHR to HEL are 'proper' Business Class others are just 'European Biz' which is basically Economy with more food & an empty middle seat.

They're not really a full service airline - I think they still charge for food in Economy??

Not sure what Biz is like. They have new A350's.

 

Nah Finnair normal full service in economy

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Nah Finnair normal full service in economy

Thanks. I wasn't sure. Maybe I was thinking about a Norwegian airline? I read something on here.

 

It's the first leg that puts me off FinnAir. I'd need to be certain it was the full Biz not the European!

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 

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I've listed this in my Biz Offers thread, but the Gulf special offer is showing again for some dates. About £1075.

It shows on Kayak with a couple of agents including Fly Sharp.

Good connection out on the morning flight from LHR but very long stop on the night flight.

Coming back it's either 1 hour or just over 9 hours in BAH.

 

Think I'll be sticking to Eva as I've already booked and I'd have to take the night flight & don't fancy hours and hours in BAH.

I wouldn't want to risk the hour connection coming back either - I wouldn't have made that this time.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just booked my first flight with Gulf Air LHR -BKK on 15 Feb. £1080 BC.

3.5 hrs stop way out 1.5 stop return.

I am a gold member with Etihad, and flown all three levels with them.

I have had many free upgrades in the past, twice from economy to first class!

In later yrs i have been paying for BC at about £1900. On one flight I upgraded to first class on the A380 using mls.

I had my own room, about a 7 course meal, shower and a 10ft remote slide out bed. Excelent service!

I started with them, as you only need 2 trips (Economy) to get silver membership that gives you free access to the lounges.

 

Thought I would give Gulf a try, as davidge said, its free accommodation for the month with a £800 saving on Etihad prices.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just booked Gulf Air business class for Easter/Songkhran.

 

Just over £1000 and absolutely perfect departure time for me, 10am, can go straight from a night shift to Heathrow. Not expecting wonders from them but the price was right.

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Just booked Gulf Air business class for Easter/Songkhran.

 

Just over £1000 and absolutely perfect departure time for me, 10am, can go straight from a night shift to Heathrow. Not expecting wonders from them but the price was right.

 

Christ at that price you're virtually bang on premium economy on eva and thai

Great pricing

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