(Program Reviews - Side by Side Comparison - Website Reviews)
Rated: August 2008- Once you pick your country of residence from a list, you can enter the Gulf Air Web site to be greeted by an understated layout, muted colors and (thankfully) no flashing elements. You can reach the pages related to the Gulf Air Frequent Flyer program through the Frequent Flyer drop down menu on the left side of the home page. The dropdown menu offers six categories for members: About FFP, Enroll, Miles, Personal Account, Membership and Help Desk.
When you enroll in Frequent Flyer, you will not only supply the usual contact information, but you are also asked for your birth date and are encouraged to click some of your favorite pastimes, "... so that we can provide you with relevant offers and information." And you can designate other preferences such as aisle or window, and meal preferences. Because of this, the enrollment process is longer than some.
But for your efforts, you will be rewarded with not only a chance to earn miles toward award flights, but also luggage tags once you complete two coach flights or one business or first class flight.
The Earn Miles section will guide members through all aspects of earning miles, including through Gulf Air partnerships and through the family program. Similarly, in the Redeem Miles section, you will find everything you need to know when you're ready to spend the miles you've earned. A nifty Mileage Calculator allows members to quickly determine the miles needed for an award, or the miles earned when flying. Well, sort of quickly, because you are also treated to a map showing the route between the two cities, making the search a bit slower than it needs to be. A section for the latest bonus offers is also easily accessed -- something all frequent flyers like to see.
To log in to your personal account, you will need your membership number and the password you created when you joined the program. Once there, you can see your mileage balance and claim missing miles. You can also request an award flight, but the process is not instantaneous. After filling out the form, including even the amount of miles you expect to spend, you must print the form to deliver to a Gulf Air office. This is definitely not what we would call online award booking.
A feature we like to see with all frequent flyer program Web sites is an updated newsletter, and the Gulf Air's Update Newsletter is just that. Up-to-date and filled with useful information including the latest partner offers.
If members have questions, they can access the online Help Desk that features a well thought out Frequently Asked Questions section as well as Terms and Conditions of the program. You can also contact Frequent Flyer representatives via email, telephone and fax. A full list of local Gulf Air offices is also easily accessed -- something you will need when you're ready to redeem an award.
Overall, the Web site is functional and the layout never made us hunt for what we wanted to find.