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Gulf Air - Bahrain (BAH) to Paris, France (CDG) Flight GF 19
Great Service, Not so Great Surroundings
Gulf Air - Bahrain (BAH) to Paris, France (CDG) - Flight GF 19: I had been seeing more and more ads for Gulf Air's First Class and thought this trip to Paris would be the ideal time to try them. The flight, leaving at 1:35 AM from Bahrain and arriving at 7:25 AM in Paris is almost seven hours. This would be ample time to find out what Gulf Air was really like. (Click here to read our Bahrain hotel and restaurant reviews and click here to read our Paris hotel and restaurant reviews.)
Check-In: I arrived in Bahrain on a connecting flight and check-in was handled at my originating airport so I was able to bypass check-in and went straight to the First Class lounge in Bahrain.
The Lounge: The lounge was small and crowded, with seating for thirty to forty people. They had two tents over part of the seating and if you used your imagination, you could almost imagine the Arabic theme they were trying for. With almost every chair filled, it was obvious the seating was poorly arranged. No matter where you sat, it felt like you were right on top of another group of people.
They did have a good selection of hot foods; chicken curry with rice, spinach with chicken, mushroom and lentil soups, sandwiches and the drink selection was varied but the spirits were low end brands; Gordon's, Smirnoff Red, Hennessy VSOP, etc. Where they really excelled was in the service, it was simply top-notch; dinner served at your table, drinks readily refilled, they were very attentive.
First Impressions: When I boarded the plane I received a warm welcome and directed to my seat. The first thing I noticed about the first class cabin was that it was small and the mustard colored walls and gold curtains made it look outdated. It surely did not match the feel of Qatar or Emirate Airlines both of which are a bit wanting in my opinion.
The Cabin: The first class cabin of this Airbus A330 only had two rows and the configuration was 1x2x1, it definitely did not have a large a spacious feeling to it. Luckily, my seating area felt spacious, although it did make the TV screen feel a bit too far away.
The Flight (Service/Food/Drink/Entertainment): As I settled into my seat, I was both impressed with the level of service but surprised by beehive of activity; it would lead you to believe there were more than just eight passengers on board.
However, the service was fantastic. Within minutes of taking my seat, I was served Perrier Jouet, water and cashews, was offered newspapers and magazines and received my pajamas. Under the armrest, I found the amenities bag complete with just socks, eyeshades and earplugs. Yes, that was it. As first class amenities go, this is the cheapest I have ever seen. Plus, there wasn't even an actual bag. The amenities were simply wrapped in plastic.
After take-off, I met Collin, the on-board chef and flight attendant and the other flight attendant, his Welch counterpart as he came and took my dinner order and she got me a drink and a duvet to cover myself. Both of them were extremely warm and welcoming and truly made me feel like I was flying first class. It was evident they both enjoyed their jobs and that it was important to them that I was comfortable. Service was bombastic!
The dinner menu had a nice selection. The starter options were Arabic mezze or a curried lentil soup. I opted for the soup and as airline food goes, it was divine.
Main course options ranged from a create your own toasted sandwich to fish and chips, pumpkin lasagna to zaatar coated lamb cutlet plus a Chef's recommendation of lobster salad. I took Collin's recommendation and had the lobster salad. Once again, the dish I picked was great. The wine selection was respectable, with an offering of three whites and three reds, plus a dessert wine.
Desert was a selection of ice cream, coffee cream cheese cake, fresh fruit or a cheese plate with international cheeses, fruits and crackers. I sampled the cheese plate with a mediocre glass of Cockburns port.
As a whole, the dinner was good; the service, on the other hand, was great.
After dinner, I checked the entertainment system. It has a good selection of channels (four or five cinema channels, a documentary channel, CNN, and a few kid's channels. The selection was varied but because it was not video-on-demand, I opted to not tune in to the middle of a movie and decided to get some sleep. I stretched out in the full, lie-flat bed, covered myself with the old-looking, blue duvet, and drifted off to sleep.
Twenty-five minutes before we landed, I awoke to the noise of breakfast being served. I passed on the breakfast, even though I had special-ordered eggs, and instead had a delicious strawberry energizer drink.
Arrival: We arrived at terminal one of Charles De Gaulle Airport on time and I was almost sad to say the flight was over.
Overall Impression On this Gulf Air flight from Bahrain International Airport to Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, France, I can easily say service was bombastic. The cabin, entertainment system, amenities and drinks were the highest quality and I rate them as Not Bombastic, giving the overall experience a somewhere between Bombastic and Not Bombastic rating.
Be sure to read our Bahrain hotel and restaurant reviews and our Paris hotel and restaurant reviews.
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