On Sept. 30th, 2010, I’ve decided go for a mini-trip to Dubai, solo style. During the last days of Ramdan, Gulf Air announced their 30% online discount sale on all fares within the GCC region and some south eastern countries. I felt that I should go for it, regardless of whatever shows up later on. Gulf Air made some restrictions on applying the web discount code on the traveling classes and fares. So to apply this far, you couldn’t go for the promo fares because they are already discounted and the code wouldn’t apply. I had to choose the regular economy and applied the code. Upon checking out and purchasing the ticket, I was given the option of upgrading to Falcon Gold class. I upgraded it, then somehow though about re-applying the discount code again. It Worked!! I was discounted twice to a total of 60% off!!! The original ticket when upgraded should be around 162-165 KDs and know how much I paid for it? 117 KDs!! Talk about a real catch!!! I know some would wave off it because to go to Dubai from Kuwait with Gulf Air, you would have to make a transit connection in Bahrain. I didn’t mind at all since I’ve wanted to try out the Gulf Air First/Business Class Lounge in BAH to review it, and this was a really good chance to.
After checking-in in KWI, I’ve headed to Damsan Lounge (my 2nd visit) since Gulf Air business class travelers and Gold/Silver members are entitled only to be admitted at Dasman Lounge. Upon call for boarding, I’ve headed to gate 20, which is by far the worst gate in KWI. It’s the last gate on the right hand side after the smoking room. A couple of seats for waiting and it was crowded as hell. I don’t know when KWI would start making special entrance for First/Business travelers for reach gate, which is the norm in every country on this planet. Upon boarding, the plane was packed!! Earlier, I have checked-in online to reserve my seat (2A) according to recommendations from SeatGuru and there it was. Most of the plane was packed with Kuwaiti students going to Bahrain to taking examinations for their suspicious commercial diplomas. I’ve turned down the offer of breakfast since I’ve had mine at the lounge. I didn’t bother taking snaps here because there was nothing remarkable about the plane to shoot. The typical large business seats, old and overused.
For connecting flights, it’s very normal in worldwide airports that the check-in counter would print you a boarding pass in case the amount of time between the flights is limited. In KWI, they did that for me. In DXB, it was something else that I would mention later on.
Upon arrival in BAH, I’ve wanted to lounge-hub the Gulf Air Lounge, but I only had one hour to board the plane. And there’s this stupid thing going on in BAH airport about banning all Gulf Air departures announcements in the lounge. A couple of months ago, lounge staff would walk around and gently announce the boarding announcement to lounge users. That has been discontinued in Dilmun Lounge and Gulf Air Lounge due to the large number of Gulf Air flights around the clock. And mainly, updates for flights in BAH is shitty as hell. One minute a flight gate is declared open, a couple of minutes later ”Last Call” is displayed for all travelers. I swear to God, the last two trips from BAH didn’t have any update at all, it started with “”Last Call” !!! So, summing all of the above mentioned reasons, I gave up and headed directly to my gate. Upon boarding, it was the same class of airplane A320, and no sleeper seats. We arrived in DXB safe and sound.
Here’s some snaps of the flight back from DXB
Now, let me talk about my return trip from DXB. Upon arrival to DXB terminal 1, I’ve searched for Gulf Air counter just to be told that it has been moved to Area F, which is located outside of the main counters area to the far left side of the terminal. I took my bag and dragged it outside just to find that Gulf Air, Middle East Airlines, Saudi Arabia Airlines and some I can’t remember have been tossed to a lonely area I’ve never seen before. Upon checking-in, I was told that I can’t receive my 2nd boarding pass for BAH-KWI because DXB pass system is not compatible with BAH and Gulf Air. So? it meant that I had to arrive in BAH and go to the transit counter and ask for my connecting boarding pass. I didn’t digest that one. I asked my bag to be shipped all the way to Kuwait. Leaving the security area, I headed to Gulf Air Lounge located near gate 122, which is the main gate for Gulf Air flights. The next post would be about my visit to this lounge.
Upon entering the gate, a security personnel asked to keep my stump of boarding pass because he was trying to print me the 2nd connecting pass and I thanked him for the effort. After waiting for 30 minutes, I’ve checked again with him just to find out that it was impossible. I gave up and headed to the plane entrance. Now here comes the best part of this trip. We got the sleeper seats. I sat down and started screwing around with the mechanism of the seat, trying to see how long it can stand my continuous changes. It was alright. Again, I turned down the food because I had a good mini-meal at the lounge. Upon arrival in BAH, I went around and started asking about how to get a connecting pass since all of the provided counters for other airlines. After here and there, I was ”sneaked” into the first of the line just to get my boarding printed. There, I headed down to Gulf Air Lounge for short time before departure of my flight back to Kuwait. On my last flight, we also got the sleeper seats and the bad luck to be seated next to a horny-swinger-married lady who kept making phone calls and messages to multiple dudes, one after the other. Thank God she changed her seat afterward.
The whole experience here was ruined when we arrived at KWI. Multiple planes arrived at the same time. My bag, along with some others, is nowhere to be found. The shutter for the baggage belt shutdown and all airport staff announced that ”that’s it”! I went crazy. My buddies are waiting outside to pick me up. I went from one baggage lane to another searching for my one and only bag. Its tagged with ”Golden Falcon” priority strap, meaning it should be handled among the first with care. No bag in sight. I was told to go the missing baggage claim office where I filed for it. The whole filing process took me like 30 minutes due to the retarded way the airport staff are dealing with travelers. I was called in the next day and been notified to come and pick it up at the Civil Aviation Main Building. It turns out that Gulf Air didn’t ship it along with us upon departure to Kuwait. So, they sent it on the first early flight from BAH. I swore at that time that I would never check-in my small luggage if it’s a transit connection in BAH!