THE FLIGHT: Gulf Air flight GF008 to Bahrain, departing London Heathrow Terminal 4 at 22.30 on a A330 aircraft. First Class.
THE CHECK-IN: Checked in online the day before departure. At the airport, easily found the E Zone check-in desks to drop off my baggage and collect my boarding pass. Baggage allowance is 50kg in First Class, 40kg in business and 30kg in economy.
THE BOARDING PROCESS: Few passengers complied with the request for business and first passengers to be allowed to go first but there was a separate desk which allowed me to avoid the queues. Newspapers and magazines were available at the aircraft door; the welcome was warm and hot towels and champagne arrived promptly.
THE SEAT: The eight-seat First Class cabin was spacious and the 25-inch wide seat with 80-inch pitch was comfortable and roomy. It had a foot rest that doubled as a companion dining seat and converts into a fully-flat bed. The mechanism was slightly temperamental but it did work well with a little coaxing. The fixed-position 15-inch TV screen was positioned above the footrest and offered eight movies, nine TV channels and audio options. The personal video library with additional film choices was not explained.
THE SERVICE: The amenity kit was pretty basic but the duvet, pillow and pyjamas were good. The food was excellent and included both Arabic and western options, and the onboard chef cooked fresh eggs for breakfast. Portions were generous and service attentive. Staff respected the requests of those who preferred to sleep than eat, but the onboard chef cooked eggs fresh for those taking breakfast. A spacious toilet and changing room offered toiletries from Temple Spa.
THE ARRIVAL: A bus took passengers to the terminal and by the time I had purchased my visa, my baggage had arrived and I was on my way within 20 minutes of landing.
THE DETAILS: Gulf Air flies three times a day from London Heathrow to Bahrain.
This was a night flight and the majority of passengers slept soundly on the roomy, comfortable seats although crew catering preparations did cause a few disturbances. The seat and duvet were the best aspect of the flight, the entertainment system was adequate if not exceptional and the crew were very friendly and willing.
Senior journalist, Selling Long Haul