Gulf Air – the flagship airline of Bahrain – has launched its annual redemption discount. This is applicable to its frequent flyer program Falconflyer. As with previous years, the airline is offering 50% off on any redemption.
Gulf Air has had a long history in the Middle East. It even had Dubai and Abu Dhabi as its hubs before being replaced by Emirates and Etihad respectively.
The offer is remarkably simple. The booking dates are March 14, 2019 to April 30, 2019. Travel dates need to be between April 1, 2019 to May 31, 2019. Although, for some segments, I could only see discounted redemption after April 5.
There are 3 zones based on travel distance. The redemption miles required for one-way economy travel are 1,500, 4,500 and 12,000 respectively. Naturally, round-trip travel costs twice as many miles. Further, business class trips will also be twice as expensive.
The table below summarizes the offer:
And these are airports in each zone
Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Baghdad, Dammam, Dubai, Jeddah, Kuwait, Medina, Muscat, Najaf, Riyadh, Gassim, Amman, Beirut, Alexandria, Cairo, Sharm El Sheikh and Khartoum.
Athens, Istanbul, Larnaca, Bangalore, Calicut (Kozhikode), Chennai (Madras), Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram, Dhaka, Colombo, Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Sialkot, Baku, Tbilisi, Addis Ababa and Casablanca.
Frankfurt, London, Paris, Moscow, Bangkok and Manila.
Availability is wide open for some sectors. Others are a bit more opportunistic.
For example, redeeming round-trip from Bahrain to Cairo in business-class (Zone 1)
This ticket is selling for $950+ so you can get more than 15 cents for each mile!
Or if you want to travel 7 hours from Bahrain to Casablanca in a lie-flat seat.
This itinerary is selling for $2,000+ so you can get a value of 11 cents per mile!
Finally, on Zone 3. While London flights are not available on most dates in April, May is quite open.
These flights retail for $3,350+ so you still get more than 7 cents per mile.
Tips & Tricks
I know what you are thinking. This is a great deal but not for you. Because, it is likely you do not have substantial Falconflyer miles in your account.
Moreover, Falconflyer program is one of the most unique I have come across. You cannot buy miles if your balance is less than 3,000 miles. Further, you are limited to buy only 50% of your account balance.
However, there are some great ways to shore up for balance for this.
American Express Platinum Credit Card (Middle-East Version)
While the US version of the card does not let you transfer to Falconflyer, the Middle East version does. You can transfer your MR points at a ratio of 2:1.
I have this card in my portfolio. You should read how I maximized benefits on this card
Although, I wish I had those 100,000 MR points right now 🙂
Buy IHG Points with 100% bonus (Offer valid only until March 22)
It is likely you would have missed this offer. Still keep any eye for extensions. You can buy up to 200,000 points at 0.5 cents per points. This is the link.
IHG lets you transfer your points to Falconflyer at the rate of 5:1. Effectively, you will be buying Falconflyer miles at 2.5 cents a piece. If you want to make use of this offer, you will still get incredible returns.
However, do your own math. You can only buy 40,000 Falconflyer miles like this. And keep in mind that there will be a delay in transfer from IHG to Gulf Air.
I will be on the lookout for more opportunities to make use of this offer. Please keep reading.