Gulf Air Falcon Flyer Gold

IMG-20120219-00005For the 2nd year in a row, I’m a Gulf Air Falcon Flyer Gold tier owner. I have been using Gulf Air for the past two years extensively.

This is of course due to traveling for work and also for going from and to Kuwait to see my family and kids. As being a frequent flyer, this post will review the experience of being a Gold tier in Gulf Air frequent flyer program, Falcon Flyer.

It has to be noted that Gulf Air’s program was recently renamed into the Falcon Flyer, where it didn’t have a catchy name like that other airlines before. the reference to the name comes from the Golden Falcon that has been tied to Gulf Air since its early start, when it used to be owned by the GCC countries.

I have climbed my way from blue to silver and to Gold through the past three years and I have to admit that their unique points system is rather strange and no common in the region. For every short-haul trip leg in the region you would take, you would receive 50 “loyalty points”. Reaching a certain number of loyalty points would grant you the next tier. But not that loyalty points expire since they are only valid for a year. So you keep scoring and accumulating points, while the old points keep expiring. It is a race against time to reach the next tier before the expiration of the old points. This system has no relation to the air miles that are being traveled in these legs. Gulf air has decided to divide its regions into zones, where each trip leg would earn you a certain number of points when you travel from/to it.

Let’s talk about the benefits. So far and being a frequent traveler on Gulf Air (a round trip every weekend on short-haul), being on Gold has some advantages but could be labelled as limited when compared to global frequent flyer programs. Being a Gold tier earns you the following:

  • Admission to the exclusive Gulf Air lounge in Bahrain International Airport (BAH), regardless of the class of travel, and a guest provided that he/she is traveling on Gulf Air flight.
  • Admission to associated lounges to Gulf Air globally, when traveling on Gulf Air flights.
  • Excess baggage weight when traveling on Gulf Air.
  • Free change of ticket schedule, up for one time only and depending on the class of ticket and availability.
  • Possibility for upgrade to the next class of travel, upon availability. This has been happening to me only on (KWI-BAH) route and only from KWI side!! this is due to over-selling of tickets for this route! I have never experienced any upgrades at BAH!
  • Possibility for upgrade at business class ticket from C/D to J. The J class ticket is full-fare and the traveler would receive the fully flat seat, which used to be the first class rows in the long-haul trips. Flyers on C and D fares always get the semi-flat business class seats.
  • Priority for services at Gulf Air ticket offices.
  • Priority baggage handling at destination airports.
  • Personal luggage tags for Silver and Gold tiers.

Aside from these benefits, there are margins for improvements for the Gold/Silver tier frequent flyers at Gulf Air. Gulf Air can look into improving their program to be more rewarding such as the following suggestions:

  • Priority for reservations, during blackout and sell-out dates.
  • Redemption of miles for rewards and vouchers.
  • More airlines associations for miles redemption.
  • Modification of their current air miles earning system to be rewarding, rather than depending on class of ticket.

At the end, let me leave you with some snaps at the received package from Gulf Air upon renewal of my Falcon Flyer Golden tier!

IMG-20120219-00006IMG-20120219-00009

 

Framing Armageddon: The Devil’s Advocate

Collapse of the basic structural needs in South Lebanon. Death of hundreds. Many have been left without homes or shelters. A mad adventure to prove one’s wrath and a vulgar display of power. Those were the acts of the Lebanese madman, the spiritual leader of Hezbollah. This man bet money and power to prove his supremacy over the Arabs and Israel, chanting the usual anti-Western slogans of imperialism and occupation. Yet, he survives on money and arms fed in from Syria and Iran, the remaining Axis of Evil in the Middle East.

What did he gain in the end? nothing! He had to go on public TV to apologize for every Lebanese for his arrogant idiotic acts for destroying the country for the sake of a couple of Israel militant hostages. His ventures against Israel and breaking whatever remained of unity between the different sects of Lebanon never cleared his character of the allegations against Hezbollah for involvement in the assassination of Mr. Rafeek Al-Hariri a couple of years ago. Now, he’s leading the sectarian hatred and acts of anarchy in the Gulf region, especially in Bahrain. Everyone knows nowadays that his days are almost over, since Syria regime is collapsing from the public resistance movement to topple down this evil regime. Iran’s position in the region is not favored nor supported by any moderate influential nation. I guess it’s time to take down this militant demon and put an end to his terrorist existence. Then, by that time let us enjoy the divine victory over the lieutenant of Satan.

The clock is ticking till that day comes. Framing Armageddon is in the progress. The showdown is pretty near.