Friday, October 27, 2006

Gulf Air

:-) Gulf Air Lounge, Abu Dhabi International Airport
Just got back from a three-day Eid trip to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. On the way home, had occasion to spend a goodly amount of time (see below) in the Business Class lounge at the airport. The Gulf Air Lounge is quite small but very well formed, with comfortable leather sofas spread about in informal clumps, a full bar (Yay!), hot and cold food on tap, its very own Duty Free Shop, a Business Centre with free (and fast) internet access, and - to top it all off - waiter service. We spent a very enjoyable afternoon ligging here: reading, surfing, sleeping, eating, drinking.

:-( Flight delays
The journeys to and from Abu Dhabi were both fraught with delays and missed connections. I have a stress scale for air travel that goes like this:-
Alone on business - Low
With family, direct flight and no hitches - Medium
With family, first flight delayed and risk of missing connection - Very High

In over eight years of frequent air travel, both business and leisure, I have become used to things going smoothly and to schedule. I regularly read/hear of people who suffer massive inconvenience due to delays caused by industrial action or increased security measures, and feel fortunate never to have been majorly affected by them.

This erstwhile smooth sailing (well, flying) has left me with high expectations of airline efficiency, but that came toppling annoyingly down when my travels took me to and around the Middle East. Our journey to Abu Dhabi took five hours longer than it should have, and the journey back took twelve hours when it should have taken six.

I'm starting to really hate airlines.

Full story on Neal Of Arabia

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