Of all my flights on this trip, this one turned out to be the most pleasant surprise.
Bahrain International Airport is one of my least favorites in the world and the transit process is always a pain. I queued at the transit counter where the agents were far too engrossed in their own conversation to pay the transit passengers any attention. Finally, perhaps out of pity or boredom, they helped the group in front of me, then issued my boarding pass to Amman.
After spending the entire day at the airport in the Gulf Air Falcon Lounge and Dilmun Lounge, I was happy to board the flight and depart for AMM. Oddly, “last call” was paged more than 30 minutes prior to scheduled takeoff.
Gulf Air 973
Bahrain (BAH) – Amman (AMM)
Friday, June 03
Depart: 05:55 PM
Arrive: 08:30 PM
Duration: 02hr, 35min
Distance: 962 miles
Aircraft: Airbus A320
Seat: 2A (Business Class)
The plane was not full, with about 1/2 of economy class full and only two passengers in business class. That’s right…I only had to share the cabin of 16 with one other passenger.
Some views from takeoff:
Gulf Air A320 Business Class Service
The hospitality on this flight was so warm and genuine that I had to pinch myself. After finding my seat, a FA welcomed me onboard by name, presented me a menu, and offered me Arabic coffee and dates. Throughout the flight she constantly checked on me, ensuring I was comfortable and my glass was full. She just seemed to love her job and her smile was contagious.
Gulf Air A320 Business Class Seating
The 16-seats in business class (four rows of 2-2) featured a footrest, leg rest, and better recline then we see on most U.S. domestic flights in the front cabin.
Seat leg rests and recline were adjusted by non-electronic buttons.
But power outlets were available and turned on.
A perfectly comfortable seat for a 2-hour flight.
Gulf Air A320 Business Class Dining
The menu included an appetizer, salad, three main courses to choose from, and a dessert course. Perhaps the menu was meant to be a souvenir, for it also included a detailed recipe for Niçoise Salad.
Prior to takeoff, a cold towel and pre-departure beverage was offered. I chose lemon mint juice and was impressed at how thick the towel was.
I had enjoyed mezze in the lounge, so I ordered a salad as my starter. It was large and included carrots and tomatoes plus a vinaigrette salad dressing on the side. I chose garlic bread from the bread basket, which was full of garlic and served piping hot.
For my main course, I ordered the Arabian Spiced Red Snapper, served with saffron rice and steamed vegetables. It was an excellent dish.
Note the attention to detail with the dill carefully laid over the saffron rice.
Finally, some fruit to conclude the meal. This was an outstanding meal for a flight that was only in the air about two hours.
Gulf Air A320 Business Class IFE
The IFE selection was very limited, with only a handful of English-lanugage movies and TV shows. Noise cancelling headphones were provided, but bulky and uncomfortable.
Gulf Air A320 Business Class Lavatory
The forward lavatory included a pictorial guide of how to sit and how not to sit on the toilet…
We landed ahead of schedule in Amman.
Warm service and an excellent meal made this one of the most pleasant flights of the trip. I look forward to flying on Gulf Air again later this year.