Bahrain's National Flag Carrier
Bahrain's flag carrier Gulf Air has been connecting the small Gulf country with the rest of the world since the 1950s. Gulf Air was one of the first airlines to offer commercial flights in the region, although initially it only operated as a short-haul air taxi service connecting Bahrain with neighbouring Doha. The airline adopted its current name in the 70s, following the purchase of shares by the governments of Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Oman.
The 80s and 90s were a period of expansion for Gulf Air, and during this time the airline became one of the world's leading carriers for long-haul flights between Europe and the Far East. Currently, Bahrain's national airline flies to a total of 42 destinations on three continents using Bahrain International airport as a hub.
Flying with Gulf Air
Travellers can choose between two ticket classes: Economy and Falcon Gold. The latter is Gulf Air's premium cabin class and is the equivalent to First Class in terms of amenities although it can be purchased at Business Class fares. Seats in Falcon Gold class double as beds and feature a state-of-the-art entertainment system along with exclusive services such as in-flight childcare arrangements. Upgrades to Falcon Gold are available via a bidding system.
Fare categories in Economy class include:
- Deal or promotional fares, offered in limited numbers at certain times of the year.
- Basic and Friendly fares, available at competitive prices but restrictions apply to changes and cancellations.
- Freedom fares, allow changes and cancellations and entitle travellers to a higher mileage accrual.
In Falcon Gold class, the same fare types apply but with a higher luggage and mileage allowance plus all the perks that come with this ticket class. Enrolment in Falconflyer (the airline's rewards programme) entitles travellers to exclusive offers and priority bookings.
Check-in: options include web check-in (available 24 hours before departure and recommended for passengers who can print their boarding passes at home) and standard airport check in. Some routes allow travellers to check in at the airport up to 24 hours prior to departure, and Falcon Gold ticket holders / frequent flyers can use the airline's dedicated check-in facilities at the airport.
- Each ticket class has a specific checked baggage allowance. For Economy Class passengers, the allowance is set at one bag no heavier than 30 kg (66 lb) and no larger than 95 x 75 x 45 cm (W x H x L). In Falcon Gold class, the dimensions remain the same, but maximum weight is higher at 40 kg (88lb).
- Cabin bags cannot weigh more than 6 kg in Economy class and 9 kg in Falcon Gold (passengers travelling in this class also get a personal item allowance). Hand luggage dimensions cannot exceed 45 x 40 x 30 cm in Economy and 55 x 40 x 30 cm in Falcon Gold.
- Children, infants, and FalconFlyer members have special checked and cabin baggage allowances.
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