I had the privilege of flying Gulf Air on a business trip to Berlin from Bahrain and back, and the experience was quite satisfactory.
The boarding at Frankfurt Airport was a smooth affair thanks to the professional Gulf Air team and soon I was inside the plane, a A320-200 aircraft, and I was informed that I had been upgraded to Falcon Gold. In a fully packed flight this was nothing short of a miracle and happily, I headed to the Business Class seat.
Gulf Air's premium class cabin takes service to the next level, offering the luxury of first class at a business class fare. The spacious seats were fully automatic with preset positions offering luxury and comfort through key massage features.
Before take-off, a member of cabin crew gave me the hot towels followed by a pre-flight drink. It was quite refreshing and I felt completely rejuvenated after all the running around from Terminal 1 to reach Terminal 2 at Frankfurt.
The flight took off on time from Frankfurt International Airport at 10.45am. And about 20 minutes into the flight, came a glass of bubbly and a light meal comprising chicken pieces and cheese and bread along with a salad and hummus.
The in-flight entertainment is just world class - what with the combo of a 15.4'' screen and Bose headphones for company. The seats boast fully adjustable headrest along with USB and power supply.
One of the biggest benefits of travelling in Falcon Gold is the special treatment you receive from the Sky Chef. In addition to the warm and friendly service from the cabin crew, Gulf Air service goes the extra mile to provide individual attention from the inflight Sky Chef.
Having trained at some of the world's top hotels, the national carrier's team of over 100 Sky Chefs introduce a fine dining experience. All the refinements of a five-star restaurant are there at one's seat, but with the unparalleled views at 35,000 ft.
The dishes range from a delectable set of appetisers, a choice of European and Middle Eastern dishes combined in a contemporary style and the ever-popular Arabic mezze selection.
Once you've made the selection, the Sky Chef will prepare it for you personally, as well as recommend an accompanying beverage from the airline's Sky Cellar.
One can indulge in a fresh cheese platter or one of the Sky Chefs' delicious desserts and finally wash it down with a tea or coffee too.
After the sumptuous meal, it was time to test the new state-of-the-art flat bed, which I realised, could keep one stress-free using the built-in massage feature. These beds are large enough to accommodate someone over 6 ft tall. It comes with an easy-to-use control unit, which allows one to adjust it to suitable positions, whether one is reading, dining or sleeping.
Once I settled into the cosy bed, the next best thing to do was put on the noise cancelling headsets and tune in to unlimited entertainment. Before I knew it, we had landed in Bahrain and thus ended a perfectly blissful journey.
Lounge in style
Specially for the business class passengers and Gulf Air’s Falcon Gold travellers, the Bahraini national carrier opens a world of luxurious hospitality at its Falcon Gold Lounges.
These are distinct in many ways – specifically, their architectural designs combine the traditional Arabian theme with modern amenities giving guests a sense of space and freedom.
With dedicated Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounges in Bahrain International Airport, Concourse D, Dubai International Airport and Heathrow Terminal 4, passengers get that 'royal treatment' with well laid-out business, dining facilities and TV areas in addition to the added charm of the quiet lounge, which holds private sleeping rooms with comfortable beds.
For those travelling with kids, it’s a perfect homely atmosphere - with dimming lights and the 'do not disturb' option to rest in complete privacy.
These sleeping rooms are also equipped with HDTVs with wireless headphones for those who want to catch their favourite programmes or listen to their choice of music in private.
Falcon Gold Lounges also boast a cigar lounge and shower rooms with hotel-style towels and luxury brand toiletries.
A modern, self-service buffet area offers a wide variety of snacks and meals, including an Italian coffee corner.
Passengers can stay connected with free wi-fi throughout the lounges, discreet power sockets at every seat and a business centre that includes PCs, fax machines and printers. For families, the lounge offers a spacious room with Gulf Air's SkyNannies in attendance as well as a well-equipped gaming room.
As a pioneering airline, known for innovative services and family travel experience, Gulf Air was the first to introduce Sky Nanny: a free service dedicated to the 'little masters' whereby these nannies provide specialised attention and care, helping make flying with kids a pleasurable experience.
In fact, the lounge is so appealing that one can't blame passengers if they pray for a flight delay, but with Gulf Air there’s no such thing happening: The flag carrier is renowned for its on-time-punctuality. With an average annual OTP of 82.7 per cent in 2016 Gulf Air was independently ranked by UK aviation analysts OAG as the most punctual GCC airline.
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