Review of Gulf Air flight Manama Bangkok in Business

Airline Gulf Air
Flight GF150
Class Business
Seat 4A
Aircraft Boeing 787-9
Flight time 06:30
Take-off 13 Jan 19, 09:05
Arrival at 13 Jan 19, 19:35
GF 19 reviews
Flight-Report
By SILVER 1311
Published on 7th February 2019

Established in 1950, Gulf Air, the Flag carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, is the oldest airline in the region. Gulf AIr was originally owned by a consortium of Gulf States–Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. With the exception of Bahrain, all other states in the consortium have since established their own carriers. After some years of financial issues, mostly linked to fierce competition from the neighbouring big three Gulf carriers–Qatar, Emirates, and Etihad–also known as the "ME3," Gulf Air has worked to reorganize and reinvent itself as a high-end Boutique airline. Gulf Air's recent acquisition of new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners symbolizes this renewal.

Flight-Report was able to discover the new face of the Bahraini airline on a new Dreamliner flight from the carrier's hub to Bangkok.


The Bahrain airport is on the small side and distances are conveniently short when connecting. Transit security is also a quick and painless process.

The terminal is older, but there is a decent number of restaurants and shops, along with a large duty-free and, as often seen in airports in this region, a luxury car to be won through a drawing.


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One of Gulf Air's new flagship B787-9s could be seen on the way to the Falcon Gold Lounge.


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falcon gold lounge


Let's go check out Gulf Air's flaghip hub lounge.
The Falcon Gold Lounge is located on the upper level, accessed by escalator from the boarding area.


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Unlike the crowded gate area, the lounge is spacious and calm.


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Ample seating


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More intimate seating arrangement, ideal for groups and families.


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There is a nice area for families with children, separate from the main lounge.


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Work station with computers are also available


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Wall art in the lounge celebrates the carrier's rich history.


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The overall food offering in the lounge is quite good with a good amount of options, including a salad bar…


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Sandwichs, canap�s, cheeses, desserts…


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As well as breads and fruit.


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A nice selection of 7 hot options.


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For drink options, champagne and wines are available for self-service.


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As well as liquors and spirits.


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There is also a large variety of soft-drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages along with several Lavazza coffee machines.


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The lounge offers some nice tarmac views.


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For those seeking to get some rest on a longer layover, or who simply want a little more calm and privacy, "Quiet Rooms" can be reserved for 15BHD (around 40USD).


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Soft lighting, bedding, and large pillows make this space ideal for relaxation, though some may find the sleeping surface a bit short


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The early morning light fills the lounge through the large floor-to-ceiling wall of windows.


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The large windows allow for nice tarmac views and planespotting.


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Not a huge selection of reading materials.


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The morning food offering is quite good, with a good amount of options.


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Pastries and cookies


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Breads


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Condiments, cheeses, sandwiches, wraps, and canap�s


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Yogurts and fruit salad


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There are 9 hot options available in the morning.


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Including scrambled eggs and beans


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Poultry sausage


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As one would expect in a hub lounge, showers are available.


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Shower kits are available at the front desk. The kits contain a towel, tooth brush, razor…


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…and Gulf Air branded washing products.


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Time to head to the gate with the Bangkok departure showing on time for 9:05


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Our beautiful Dreamliner being prepared for the trip.



Boarding


The boarding area is pretty tight, which makes the boarding process a bit chaotic.


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We board the aircraft through door 2L.


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Very nice first impression of the cabin, which feels bright and airy due to the lack of a galley at doors 2 and missing central overhead bins.


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The Gulf Air falcon has always represented the airline, but it was recently redesigned as part of the airline's brand refresh.


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Gulf Air have outfitted their new Dreamliners with Rockwell Collins Serenity Suites (Previously B/E Aerospace Apex Suites). One of the best rated Business class seat designs in the market.


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The seats are arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration with all passengers having direct-aisle-access thanks to staggered seats on the window sides.


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Center seats are side-by-side, making them ideal for couples.


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Space between seats is 89 in (226 cm) with a comfortable bed length of 78 in (200 cm).


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The seats offer a nice amount of shoulder room at 23 in (58 cm) wide.


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For this flight to BKK, we'll be in seat 4A. Note the red lighting on 4C, which indicates "do not disturb"


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Storage for reading materials


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The remote for the In-flight Entertainment (IFE) is the latest Avii model from Thales' AVANT system.


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The IFE screen is quite large at 22 in (56 cm) diagonally.


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Unlike Korean Air and Oman AIr, who also use this seat model, Gulf Air have opted for a folding ottoman, which allows to better aisle-access from window seats.


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The seat command panel has 4 pre-set modes, as well as lumbar support and massage functions.


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An amenity kit and bottle of water are already provided at the seats upon boarding.


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The adjustable individual reading lights have 3 different lighting levels.


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Shortly after settling in, the cabin crew offer pre-departure beverages.
The champagne is generously filled.


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Cabin crew offer a choice of hot and cold towels, which is unique.


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A large choice of reading materials


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Coffee and a data are also offered prior to departure, which adds a nice Middle Eastern touch.


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On pushback we can see the construction work on the terminal expansion project.


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Gulf Air Dreamliners are outfitted with Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines.


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The safety video plays during the taxi to the departure runway.


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The Flight


Takeoff after a short taxi time.


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We leave the Kingdom of Bahrain behind as we begin our turn eastbound.


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The Falcon Gold (Business) cabin on the B787-9 is comprised of 26 seats between doors 1 and 2.


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Aft of door 2, there are 2 Economy class cabin for a total of 256 coach seats. The Economy cabin is outfitted with Recaro CL3710 seats.


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Economy class passengers also enjoy large HD individual screens.


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Flying over the UAE-Oman border as we continue our eastward progress.


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Breakfast


Menus were distributed on the ground with orders taken prior to departure.


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For this morning departure, breakfast will be served first followed by a lunch/dinner service prior to arrival.


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The drinks menu has minimal details and misses the mark with no names or descriptions of any wines, except the champagne.


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The breakfast service begins with an espresso, served with a shortbread cookie.


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The meal tray is placed directly on the tray table–no linens were pre-placed.
The Continental breakfast service is very simple, consisting of pastries and fresh fruit.


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Fresh Fruit
A wide range of fresh seasonal fruits


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Despite its simplicity, the breakfast was of a good quality.


turn-down service


As Gulf Air have been moving their premium product up-market, they now offer a turn-down service, which is traditionally seen in First class.
The cabin crew provide a mattress and extra pillow for the turn-down service.


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The fully flat, private, seat is very comfortable in bed mode.


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The second meal service begins as we overfly the Gulf of Bengal.


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We're about 2 hours out from arrival in Bangkok.


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Lunch Service


For the pre-arrival lunch service, there are 3 options for the starter course and 4 options for the main course.


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Once again, the meal is served on a tray with no linens dressed on the table.


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This particular appetiser isn't described in the menu, but it consists of marinated chicken breast with a vegetable julienne.


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Garlic bread is one of the options.


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Elegant silverware.


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A look at the soup option:
Carrot & Orange Soup
Served with croutons


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Fish option for the main


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Steamed Fish
King fish steamed with ginger and leak, accompagnied by jasmine rice and vegetables


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After the main course is removed, passengers may select cheeses, fruit, and desserts from a nicely presented trolley.


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Two nice looking dessert options


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Lemongrass Custard, Passion Fruit Mousse


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Overall, after a rather light 1st meal service, the pre-arrival meal was quite satisfactory. Though the appetiser course was a bit ordinary and disappointing, the main course and desserts were well-presented and delicious. Gulf Air's presentation of the dessert trolley felt high-end.


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Approach and Arrival


The moving map indicates we'll be arriving shortly.


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As often in Southeast Asia, the windows begin to fog up as we get closer to the ground.


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Welcome to Suvarnabhumi!


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Gulf Air ensures Business class passengers have disembarked prior to allowing Economy class to deplane.


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One last view of our Dreamliner.


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video



PRACTICAL INFORMATION

The new Gulf Air Boeing 787-9 fleet is configured with 26 seats in Falcon Gold (Business) class and 256 Economy class seats. At the moment, the new Dreamliners are operating between the Manama hub and Bangkok, London, Manilla, and Casablanca.
Overall, Gulf Air proposes over 50 destinations throughout the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, Eastern Asia, and Europe.


Flight taken reported by Flavien for Flight-Report as a guest of Gulf Air.

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Conclusion

With the arrival of the 787-9 fleet, Gulf Air are showcasing their move up-market as a Boutique carrier. The Rockwell-Collins Serenity Suite product is certainly a winner. Along with the latest in IFE systems from Thales, Gulf Air offer a pleasant experience on board.

The airport experience is generally pleasant, mostly because of a nice lounge. The airport itself is small and outdated, but is in the process of being modernised.

Gulf Air certainly have some stiff competition in the region; however, the new direction the Bahraini carrier is taking will help to distinguish it from neighbours.

Positives:

- The Falcon Gold Lounge - Bahrain (Spacious, diverse and quality catering, good tarmac views, quiet rooms, and play area for kids)
- Spacious and private forward-facing full-flat seats with aisle-access from every seat
- Nice finishes and overall attractive cabin
- Turn-down service
- All of the advantages that come with flying on Dreamliners: Cabin at lower altitude pressurization, large windows, mood lighting, quiet aircraft
- Latest generation IFE system with large HD screen

Negatives:

- Fee to use the Quiet Rooms in the lounge
- Small and outdated terminal making for chaotic boarding
- On board menu missing descriptions, especially for wines
- Small pillows

Information on the route Manama (BAH) Bangkok (BKK)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 3 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Manama (BAH) → Bangkok (BKK).


Useful

The airline with the best average grade is Gulf Air with 7.3/10.

The average flight time is 6 hours and 11 minutes.

  More informations

4 Comments

  • Comment 487324 by
    socalnow GOLD 825 Comments

    Thanks for the look at Gulf Air Flavien. It appears to be a compelling business class product.

  • Comment 487336 by
    nechus SILVER 589 Comments

    I hardly ever venture into the realm of business or first class reports, but this one was really impressive. Who came up with the idea for those staggered seats giving everyone access to the aisle? They deserve a Nobel prize! It's... staggering!

    > some may find the sleeping surface a bit short
    I have the impression that the back of that bed can be reclined. Otherwise, it would be stupidly uncomfortable even for a short person!

    > The boarding area is pretty tight, which makes the boarding process a bit chaotic.
    Come to ZAL and you'll learn about chaos.

    > Gulf Air have opted for a folding ottoman, which allows to better aisle-access from window seats.
    They thought of everything!

    > Coffee and a data are also offered prior to departure
    That data looks a bit old. They should up-DATE it! :D

    > The Economy cabin is outfitted with Recaro CL3710 seats.
    Look, LATAM!!! This is what a decent, modern Y cabin looks like!!

    > a luxury car to be won through a drawing
    I can draw a cat:

    ../\/\
    (>'.'<)
    ( UU )

    Did I win? XDDDD

    Thank you very much for sharing!! :D

  • Comment 487338 by
    atco 84 Comments

    What a spectacular report. It almost looks like a staged photoshoot. So impressive.

    The Gulf Air product looks phenomenal from start to finish - the lounge, the seat, the cabin, the food. This is definitely an airline I need to give some attention to in future.
    Out of interest was this ticket a cash one or a redemption of some kind?

    Thanks again for this excellent report!

  • Comment 487543 by
    757Fan 475 Comments

    Beautiful photos and report. Gulf Air looks very nice, and I very much like their new livery and cabin design in the 787.

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