✅ Trip Verified
| I was somewhat sceptical in picking Gulf Air for my Christmas trip to the Philippines. The reviews were not overly great, neither is their reputation (most I spoke to had not heard of this airline). The flight times were not great either. The price however was the sticking point and offered the cheapest method of flying to the Philippines for the Christmas period. The Gulf Air fleet is relatively modern. The dreamliner I rode in had plenty of foot-room and the interior was very pleasant to the eye. All my connecting flights were extremely comfortable. My return flight did have a slightly annoying whining noise from the toilet near the entrance to the plane. It sounded more like a technical issue with the bathroom flushing mechanism as it only stopped periodically when people went to the bathroom! The inflight entertainment was extremely responsive, more responsive than any other that I have used before. Regrettably the same cannot be said for the range of content available to watch. I found the offering limited. The staff on the plane were impeccable and worked extremely hard from start to finish. The food can only be described as very average. Certainly better than Etihad's atrocious recent food offering on their long haul product. It does not however meet the same level of standard that befits Qatar Airways or Singapore Airlines. A definite area to improve I think! The worst experience I had was the Bahrain terminal. You are forced to go through security upon arrival for your transit. If you have a tight connection there is no urgency to prioritise those customers, often most people were shoving their way past in the queue to try and meet the connection. Meanwhile the staff were somewhat carefree and very brazenly dismissed the concerns of those passengers. I know from experience it's likely the plane would not leave and be held back slightly, but that reassurance for other passengers was not there. Instead they are forced to queue in what is a seamlessly endless line in an non-air-conditioned room. With only 2 security checkpoints it was woefully inefficient. My return flight to London required a 2nd security check at the actual gate, whereas my first flight to Manila (or any other visible flight) did not, Why? If you are to have security at the gate, be consistent and do it for all gates (Like Changi airport) and at least make the transiting customers have a positive experience. Facilities at the Bahrain terminal are Ok. McDonalds, Costas, enough seating. The building aesthetically is not like any other big airline terminal, but it's okay for what it is. Ground staff - I found rude really and inefficient. My return flight to London insisted on a 2nd security check at the gate with a very forceful and intimidating manner against the passengers already present, the whole process was chaotic, to be herded into a separate section. They tore our boarding passes but we had not actually boarded. So we couldn't leave the closed off area to go to the toilet if needed. When we finally started boarding, it was not done in a Zoned manner. Which meant the boarding process took twice as long. It felt a very frustrating experience. My initial flight to Manila was nothing like this. Though the member of staff processing passengers onto the Manila flight from Bahrain did not actually open my passport to check against my boarding pass, which is frankly shocking. Workers from retail shops were extremely courteous and friendly.