I finally had the chance to try Gulf Air on its flagship route and I have to say…I was let down. While Gulf Air has great potential and the “Falcon Gold” business class cabin on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is stunning, the service was sadly a bit off.
Gulf Air 787-9 “Falcon Gold” Business Class – My First Impressions
First, a word on Bahrain Airport. I cannot believe how the airport has transformed since my last visit.
What a difference! It’s beautiful. I spent the night here and made a mistake…more on that in my trip report.
Upon boarding my flight to London I was really wowed by how amazing the cabin looked. From the color to the lighting to the accents, it was beautiful.
Believe it or not, this was first time flying on a B/E Apex suite and I thought the seat was excellent, with great privacy and comfort.
But there was something off with the soft product, particularly the service.
The purser onboard was friendly enough–I don’t think he meant any harm–but first he was curious why I was taking pictures, scolding me not to take any. I explained the it was my first time on the Gulf Dreamliner and he then encouraged me to take more…
Lunch was served after takeoff and instead of politely addressing each passenger by name or doing it himself, he marched through the cabin yelling at people to pull their tray tables up…it felt like I was dealing with a surly flight attendant on American or United.
The cabin was immediately darkened after takeoff even though it was morning. I opened my window during the meal service and he came over and said, “This is going to be a problem.” I explained that I like natural light but he admonished me (again, not so much in a cruel way but he was serious) for disturbing others.
Lunch was pretty good…soup, salad, chicken, and dessert..but little touches were missing. Like the casserole dish wasn’t wiped. And I was not asked if I wanted anything else to drink besides water.
I ordered cappuccino after lunch and the flight attendant forgot it (a different one). 40 minutes later I flagged her down and she was nice, but did not apologize for forgetting. The coffee did eventually show up and it was fine.
Before landing there was afternoon tea service with sandwiches, cakes, and scones. The sandwiches were horrible – stale and tasteless. A huge disappointment for a carrier from a country with a lovely cuisine.
It was also served two hours before landing…far too early, considering how fast the service went.
The headphones were also broken.
It wasn’t all bad, though. I appreciated the pajamas:
And as odd as it sounds, the service was well-intentioned, just not very well executed. It was far more casual than I would ever have expected on a Gulf carrier.
I’ll have much more to say about this flight, including the seat, IFE, amenity kit, lavatories, and food and beverages onboard in my full trip report. Interestingly, this flight makes me want to fly Gulf Air again, because I feel like I flew them on an off-day.