Watch us fly Gulf Air 2 different ways: Business class versus economy
Gulf Air has a history inextricably linked with the U.K., as the British Overseas Airways Corporation was a shareholder and Bahrain was a British territory that gained its independence in 1971. The airline began its long history when a British pilot and entrepreneur, Freddie Bosworth, started an air taxi service in the Gulf in the late 1940s.
Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to be on board the first flights between Bahrain and Israel as relations were normalized between these two nations in the Middle East.
With a need to position to Bahrain to take that flight, it felt only right to try out the national carrier, Gulf Air. In true TPG U.K. style, Liam Spencer came along for the ride, allowing us to carry out a comparison of Gulf Air's two cabins on its flagship Boeing 787-9 aircraft, Falcon Gold business class and economy.
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Watch the full video of our experience here:
Business class: Nicky Kelvin
I was truly blown away by this flight. The seat was incredibly comfortable and private and the cabin was also very chic, modern and calming.
The service was exceptional and the crew came across as friendly, experienced and passionate. I did not want for anything throughout the flight, not least because the food and beverage offering was fantastic. The inflight dishes on offer were tasty and plentiful, and the afternoon tea service within a couple of hours of the main meal service was a great touch.
That said, while it was close, it wasn't all perfection.
The bed was comfortable but a thicker mattress and more plush bedding would have made for a better sleeping setup. This would be more important on a long night flight. Also, the check-in process at Heathrow (LHR) was a little slow and confused, although it is worth noting that Gulf Air is currently not in its “home” terminal at Heathrow.
Economy: Liam Spencer
This was the best service I've ever experienced on an economy flight. The crew consistently went the extra mile to make sure I had everything I needed. They were friendly, personable and made me feel like a valued passenger, rather than a customer.
My seat was very comfortable with soft fabric and plenty of recline. This was only made better by the fact I was seated on an empty row, which meant I could lie all the way down and turn my seat into a poor man's version of business class.
On the downside, the main course wasn't particularly exciting. The dish of braised beef curry was fairly bland and flavorless, and the check-in process also took considerably longer than usual. These details aside, it was a near-perfect economy flight.