RIK72
Topic Author
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 2:59 am

Gulf Air Abu Dhabi-LHR A330 First Class

Thu Jan 08, 2004 5:37 am

This is third and final part of my trip report.

Having spent a week in Dubai and four days in Abu Dhabi, it was time to fly back to the UK for Christmas.

This was my first time on Gulf Air and turned out to be pretty unique!

Gulf Air GF9 Abu Dhabi - London
First Class

The Gulf Air flight was leaving Abu Dhabi at around 0300 so I was pretty tired by the time I arrived for check in at 0100.

I checked in and for the first time ever, had to pay excess baggage. I had sort of forgotten about all the shopping I did on my trip and my bags weighed in at over 52KG!
After sorting this out, I went to the Gulf Air lounge and waited for the flight.
Considering the time of day, the airport was pretty busy. In addition to several Gulf Air flights, there were also some Gulf Traveller B767's and three PIA 737's plus a BA 777.

On the way to the gate I did some last minute duty free shopping - I have to say that the Duty Free shops in the Middle East are amazing - a huge selection of goods and all reasonably priced compared to Heathrow.

Once I got to the gate, there was an additional security search and I joined the other passengers in the gate lounge.

Boarding started after about five minutes but there were no separate calls for First or Business so it was all a bit of a rush!

I got on board the A330 and turned left into the First Class cabin. It was completely empty so I assumed that the other passengers were still waiting to board. How wrong was I!
The purser then came over and introduced himself along with the flying chef.
It turned out, I was the only passenger travelling in First Class that night!

The stewardess bought me a drink and then a really nice amenity kit and some pajamas, along with extra pillows and a blanket.
The flying Chef then came over to ask me what I would like to eat.
As it was now 3AM in the morning I declined and said all I wanted to do was sleep!

The flights took off about 30mins late due to a paperwork mixup and as soon as we were airborne I reclined my seat and went to sleep.
The Gulf Air first class seat reclines 180 degrees and is very wide but is not as
comfortable as the United First Suite. Even so, it was still fine and was quite a strange experience being the only one in an empty first class cabin.

I woke up about 40minutes out of London, just in time to have a juice and some fruit, before we landed in a very wet and dreary Heathrow.

I look forward to flying Gulf Air again - the IFE was similar to Emirates with video on demand, cameras, games etc and hopefully next time I will take advantage of all the trappings that First Class has to offer.
 
zizou
Posts: 1483
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2000 10:31 am

RE: Gulf Air Abu Dhabi-LHR A330 First Class

Thu Jan 08, 2004 11:38 am

Great report once again. So out of the 3 airlines you sampled, which was the best and worst? Additionally, how is Abu Dhabi airport compared to Dubai's?
 
Ryanair!!!
Posts: 4071
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:55 pm

RE: Gulf Air Abu Dhabi-LHR A330 First Class

Thu Jan 08, 2004 6:55 pm

I had the opportunity of being the only pax in the Golden Club Class cabin on MAS on a flight from Brisbane to Kuala Lumpur in Jul 01. A definite relaxing experience as I has 3 members of the cabin crew pamper me. One of the best MAS flights I ever had! I am sure second and third helpings for meals would not have been a problem but they sure fed me well that I only had one serving with no room for dessert.

Considering the time of day, the airport was pretty busy.

The airports in Middle East all come alive during that time. The European flights depart during that time for an early morning arrival at their destinations.
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
RIK72
Topic Author
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 2:59 am

RE: Gulf Air Abu Dhabi-LHR A330 First Class

Thu Jan 08, 2004 11:46 pm

I would say that out of EK/GF and PK I enjoyed PIA the most, simply because it was a very different experience to most airlines these days - it sort of reminded me of travelling on companies such as British Caledonian as a kid!
Working for a US airline and flying on carriers such as Lufthansa,bmi etc, the standards are all very good but all kind of similar.
As for Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Dubai is totally state of the art, very large with loads of shopping. Abu Dhabi is much smaller, very 1970's but is quaint in its own way.



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