The Jet Driver usually travels First Class and has a tendency to use Gulf Air, not for the fact that I like the retro design on their planes, but, because for me, their level of cabin service in First is exemplary - and kicks the ass out of what the rest of the GCC has to offer.
I get my own Sky Chef - and I say "my own" because usually I am in the First Class Cabin alone because due to the global recession, my usual Gulf Air travel buddies have had their purse strings tightened and so are now traveling with the other peasants in Economy.
The Business Class section is always at around fifty per cent capacity, therefore, no upgrades from the wannabes in there, so invariably - Jet Driver gets First Class to himself - until now.
Welcome to the wonderful new fuck-up marketing policy from Gulf Air that is "Golden Falcon."
They've combined Business with First - however only some seats have Sleeper Seats while the rest of the cabin have the usual business-level "almost" lie-flat system.
Gulf Air claim that if you buy a Golden Falcon ticket that, depending on the ticket type code, you will be allowed to use one of the premium seats but if you do not have that J, K or whatever, then you are doomed to a "normal" Business Class seat.
"So what?" I hear you ask.
Hiding behind this so-called revolutionary new Golden Falcon service is the rather dark fact that Gulf Air are using this as a tactic to reduce staff numbers on board their aircraft.
Traditionally, there were 24 seats in Business and only 8 in First - normally occupied by just one person.......Jet Driver! - who is always going to be booking himself on First Class anyway - so the whole "you could be a winner with Golden Falcon" doesn't mean shit to me.
What does mean shit to me however, is the fact that MY two cabin crew members and Sky Chef are now dealing with both the First AND Business Class cabins with NO ADDITIONAL SUPPORT!
They now have to serve a potential 32 people instead of a previous potential maximum of 8.
So I now get 80% less service! - I was appalled!
No proper setting up of my dinner service.
No "Some more port before bed, Mr. Jet Driver?"
No more tender loving care from gorgeous, uniformed babes!
No turn-down service. - (which was about the only time that JD ever gets "turned down")
Gulf Air - you have fucked it! Literally!
I'll give you a year before you have to either change it or close down!
You are supposed to be a LEGACY CARRIER!
First and Business! You cannot combine them - we are different types of passenger.
Business Class is "Nigel" from management at HSBC.
First Class is, as was the other day, Alain Prost and Jet Driver! (He was also appalled!)
What this says is....."We are the only airline in the Middle East who have to make cut-backs because we cannot attract as many "high net worth" passengers, so we will just slowly die as the RyanAir or EasyJet of the Middle East.
Well - not with my money you won't! I'm off to NetJets!