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Topic: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: ronerone
Posted 2010-04-03 13:02:59 and read 32767 times.





I N T R O D U C T I O N
Brand-spanking new A330’s, a couch in First Class, a 1-2-1 configuration in Business Class, and OnAir in-flight WiFi connectivity; these are the sounds of Oman Air’s thundering beat. A beat that would normally make headlines, and create worldwide marketing campaigns somehow seems to gain little interest at Oman Air’s turn. “Not another Gulf airline” we may say, and rightfully so, as we are a tad spoiled for choice with the current selection.

In reality, it was Peter Hill, the airline’s front man, who really caught my attention. The very same Emirates recruit that headed SriLankan Airlines, assumed his CEO role with the Omani National Carrier right after the EK/UL feud. It is no wonder why the Sri Lankan government had initially refused to grant Oman Air traffic rights reciprocal to those that SriLankan Airlines is currently exercising at Muscat. All drama aside, if Hill managed to turn SriLankan around, he can probably do much more at his current job.

Many will continue to question any rationale behind Oman Air’s plans in relation to its larger neighboring rivals. But what we fail to see is that the three largest Gulf Carriers hardly cater to their respective point-to-point markets. Oman Air on the other hand, wants to do just that.

“Oman Air is better to remain as a unique boutique airline rather than compete with Emirates and Company,” Hill stated, as he confirmed the airline’s intentions were to operate up to a maximum of 50 aircraft, primarily focusing on Oman’s point-to-point traffic.

Clearly this is no weakness. Oman Air is making some noise, and it isn’t meant for you nor I, but primarily for the community of Oman.



“When you are at the back of the queue, you can offer more than what the others do”
Peter Hill, Air Transport World – March 15th 2010



CONTINUED BELOW

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: ronerone
Posted 2010-04-03 13:03:55 and read 32767 times.





WELCOME TO MY 22nd TRIP REPORT
This TR will cover the following sectors on Oman Air in Business Class:

A) Dubai – Muscat (B738)
B) Muscat – Bangkok (A332)



B A C K G R O U N D
This Trip Report comes as the first part of several that will document my trips to and within Asia. Simply put, I had a holiday and it was time to fly.

Flight and airline selection was based on mileage accrual possibilities on airlines I haven’t flown with before. With Etihad Guest, I have access to a range of ‘new’ airlines, and one of which is Oman Air. This option became very interesting to me after the airline’s recent humble attempts at creating a big spectacle.

With that thought in mind, the next step was to go fare-searching on www.omanair.aero. The website itself wasn’t the most modern of all, and the background information is in a desperate need of an update. Yet at the same time, it offered a seamless experience in searching for flights, fares, and making bookings, all within a few steps. More importantly however, Oman Air was offering a bargain for Business Class flights to Bangkok. So the excitement kicked in as all additional research was put to a hault; Oman Air it is!



O R I G I N
I was in Abu Dhabi spending the day with family, before heading back to Dubai to drop a few things off at my apartment. I was all packed and ready to go, and was waiting for a taxi outside the entrance to my building at 5:30pm.



Clear view outside the entrance to my building





A taxi arrived at 5:45pm, and I was eventually on my way to the airport. After a quick 15 minute ride, I was dropped off at the departures curbside of Terminal 1 at Dubai International Airport.



DXB terminal 1 curbside





Not much passenger movement was happening at this time of the evening, which made the experience of traveling through this airport quite easy so far. The main activity that was happening was due to some flights bound for the Indian Subcontinent but even that wasn’t as dramatic as the norm.

After a quick smoke outside, I proceeded inside the terminal building and to Oman Air’s check-in counters which are located in Area A, alongside those for Turkish Airlines, Mahan Air, China Southern, and Air Astana.



Pleasantly quiet during off-peak times at DXB



FIDS: Notice the new MU service to Kunming



Proceeding through departures area A towards Oman Air’s check-in counters





After the normal pre-check-in security screening, I arrived at the Oman Air counters at 6:20pm. One counter was dedicated to Business Class, while two others were for Economy Class. Only one person was ahead of me at the Business Class section, and soon enough, it was my turn to check-in.



Oman Air check-in counters at DXB







A very professional, and polite DNATA agent from the Gulf (presumably Bahrain) was behind the Business Class check-in counter. Within five minutes, he confirmed my pre-selected seats, checked my passport, issued my boarding and lounge cards, and tagged my suitcase all the way through to Bangkok. Following my recent AirAsia trip a few months back, I felt I was back home again after holding real boarding cards instead of grocery store receipts.



Boarding pass to Muscat



Lounge Card





Immigration and security were hassle-free and nothing out of the ordinary. After the usual checks, I was airside at 6:35pm. Following the long trek of moving walkways, I arrived at the Duty Free area of the main terminal building at 6:45pm. First thing’s first, I proceeded directly to the lounge for a quick visit.

Oman Air premium passengers are entitled to use Gulf Air’s First & Business Class lounge which is located next to Gate 122 at DXB. As it was a new lounge for me, it was not to be missed this time.



Signage leading me towards the Gulf Air lounge



I love those artificial palm trees for some reason!



Entrance to the lounge



Lounge signage





A very friendly Eastern European lady dressed in Gulf Air’s uniform greeted me at the entrance. After handing her my lounge card, she took a quick look at my boarding pass and welcomed me inside.

The subtle earth tones that created a very calm atmosphere within the rather intimate space of the lounge really impressed me. As small as it may be, the seating is set up in a way where you will feel comfortably unthreatened by any proximity of your neighbors. Most of the lounge occupants were quietly seated typing away their on their laptops, while I headed towards the buffet spread.



Seating area at the Gulf Air louge



Arabic-themed private seating





The buffet spread was quite adequate, and in fact it served more than the requirement for short-haul regional flights. Several hot and cold items were on offer including Arabic mezzeh items, shawarma, mini sandwiches, biryani, and curry amongst others.



Food & Beverage offering at the lounge









I settled for a huge cup of espresso and two skewers of fruit





At 7:15pm, I left the lounge to head towards the gate. As I was walking towards the exit, I spotted the Oman Air aircraft taxiing to the nearby gate, after its arrival from Muscat. I must admit, the new livery on these airplanes is in fact very attractive.



FIDS spotted on my way to the gate





After my pre-flight smoke, I arrived at Gate 120 at 7:25pm. Approaching the podium, the agent quickly checked my documents, and tore my boarding pass stub before allowing me to proceed inside the holding area.



Very small queue at Gate 120



Inside the holding area at 7:30pm





At 7:45pm, boarding was announced in row numbers for Economy Class, and ‘as you wish’ for Business Class. Cutting through the small Economy queue, I proceeded towards the gate, and through the aerobridge, before arriving at Door 1L of the aircraft. At the door, I was greeted by the purser herself, alongside Djoanna from the Philippines.

“Good evening sir, welcome on board”


By 7:50am I was on board.



CONTINUED BELOW

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: ronerone
Posted 2010-04-03 13:05:13 and read 32767 times.

FIRST SECTOR
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Oman Air Flight Information:

SCR
/WY/09MAR
W09
09MAR
DXB
KWY612 25OCT27MAR 1234567 156738 DXBDXB2015 2125MCTMCT J
GI BRGDS

Actual Departure Time: 20:05 (Pushback)
Actual Arrival Time: 21:00 (Touchdown)

Registration: A4O-BE
Condition: 0.75 years old, leased from ILFC, and delivered to Oman Air in June 2009

Remarks: NIL

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



When traveling premium, I always prefer to board the aircraft with the Economy Class passengers, for the obvious reason of having the liberty to raid the cabin with pictures before the other premiums start to flow in. The same was the case for this flight.



The seat







In a very sharp design, the cabin was typically small with 12 pairs of navy blue leather seats, each of which had a white pillow neatly placed over the seatbelts. A traditional touch was incorporated with the addition of the Omani ‘Khanjar’ patterned into the bulkhead. All in all, the perfectly comfortable ambience for such a short flight; any more than this I would think to be overkill for a narrowbody. The seat itself was roomy and comfortable, and offered decent legroom for this short hop.



The Omani Khanjar on the bulkhead



The seat next to mine





After snapping the last picture above, I looked away from my camera to find the purser standing by my seat with a concerned smile.

“Sir, you do know that no pictures are allowed inside the cabin?”
“Sorry about that, no more pictures then”
“Thank you for your support”



Of course, all confidence from this point forward went tumbling down. Even the alien with his big black camera found his own camera rather alien-ish at this point. But the other side of my brain kept signaling reminders that I am on Oman Air; I must continue! Decisions decisions decisions!



And so I continued, albeit very discreetly





Pre-takeoff service commenced shortly after the rest of the Business Class passengers began making their way on board. Djoanna appeared by my seat with a tray of towels.

“Excuse me sir, would you like a hot or cold towel?”
“I’ll go for the hot towel please”
“Just be careful sir, as it is quite hot”

This was quickly followed by welcome drinks. Water, lemon, and orange juices were on offer, in which I selected the lemon.



Lemon juice





At 8pm, the purser made the usual departure announcement, and informed us that our flight time to Muscat was a cute 45 minute hop. What I really respected was the announcements were predominantly in Arabic, where the English version was less detailed. This should be expected from an Arab airline, yet doesn’t seem to be the norm with the likes of Etihad and especially Emirates. Doors were closed immediately after the announcement, and 15 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time; very impressive so far!

Djoanna then reappeared in the cabin serving Arabic coffee, and following her was another crew from the Indian Subcontinent with a tray of dates. I passed on the dates but I went for the coffee.



Arabic coffee



Cabin shot before pushback





The cabin crew were asked to take their positions on the aisle for the safety demonstration. Even that had a unique touch to it, where the crew first manually demonstrate the exit door locations on the aircraft, before running the safety video on the overhead screens.

Pushback occurred at 8:05pm, and around the same time Djoanna began taking meal orders from the passengers. At me and seatmate’s turn, she kneeled down on the floor to make easy contact with us.

“Excuse me, did anyone order the Hindu Meal?”
“Yes I did”
“Certainly sir, I just wanted to confirm that it has been loaded on board”
“Thank you”
“Would you like anything to drink with that?”
“A glass of water please”

Ok, I will explain why the Hindu meal! I was traveling during the Lent period, and this year I chose to fast for the entire 45 days before Easter. During this time, I had given up all dairy products and meats (except seafood). When choosing a special meal at the time of booking, I could not find any vegan-type to select, so I chose the Hindu Meal thinking that I would get a tasty Indian vegetarian meal that I normally would choose from the menu anyways.



Djoanna taking dinner orders





At 8:20pm we lined up at the runway and were immediately cleared for takeoff. Our small B738 was rather powerful as she roared, rumbled and lifted off very quickly. Only a few minutes later, the seatbelt sign was switched off to give time for a quick service to be conducted. We hadn’t reached cruising altitude, and I didn’t think we even had time to, but it was safe enough to maneuver around the cabin at that time.



Literature





The purser passed around with table linens, and of course I had to innocently look like I had even forgotten how to take pictures altogether. As soon as my table was dressed, Djoanna brought my meal tray from the galley.

My meal tray was neatly presented and consisted of a cup of water, a cup of fruit, and a main course of grilled chicken, an egg quiche, and a vegetable samosa.

“Enjoy your meal sir”



My Hindu Meal









I was expecting some dairy products in my meal, but I had completely forgotten that a Hindu meal actually can include chicken, or rather anything other than beef. Apart from the fruit cup, all I could eat from the main course was the vegetable samosa, and it was very tasty!

It didn’t take too long for me to finish, and once I did, my table was cleared.

At 8:45pm local time in Oman, the seatbelt sign was switched on again; this was only twenty minutes after takeoff. The purser made an announcement to inform us that we had begun our descent towards Muscat International Airport.



Cabin before landing





After making their final preparations before landing, the cabin crew quickly took their seats before the aircraft touched down at MCT at 9pm. Arriving 25 minutes ahead of schedule for such a short flight is really impressive, and I hope that Oman Air maintains this type of punctuality; something that is almost unheard of elsewhere.

As with other airports in the Gulf region, the time we had arrived was the beginning of the peak hours at Muscat. Apart from the usual Oman Air activity, the usual European widebodies were making their way one by one from their respective European hubs, all via Abu Dhabi, apart from SWISS.

We docked at a remote stand, as there are no aerobridges at Muscat. I wanted to take pictures, but I decided to stow away my camera instead, until I arrived at the main terminal building. Let’s not get into trouble again!

Thanking the crew for a great flight, I proceeded down the steps and into the bus where we were driven to the main terminal hall. Proceeding through the transit area, the security officer checked my documents before allowing me to proceed through security. After my bags were checked, I was at the airside departures area at MCT in no time.



CONTINUED BELOW

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: ronerone
Posted 2010-04-03 13:07:16 and read 32767 times.

T R A N S I T



Boarding pass to Bangkok





By 9:15pm I passed through security and was in the departures hall of Muscat International Airport. The airport may be a tad outdated in terms of design, but its humbleness is what makes it quite charming. Small and clean, the airport is quite user-friendly and features ample seating area, a small duty free shop, food and beverage outlets, and even a Plaza Premium Lounge, which is the first outsourced premium lounge facility I have come to know about at a GCC airport. One drawback with the airport was the older generation flight announcement system which kept running non-stop as it repeatedly announced flight after flight.



MCT main departures hall



F&B outlets



Ample seating area



FIDS



Very clean!







Plaza Premium Lounge





Another drawback was the lack of airport staff available at the terminal. No one was at the information booth when I wanted to ask for the location of the Oman Air lounge. I did manage to eventually find an Oman Air ground staff who turned out to be extremely rude. He didn’t even look me in the eye when I asked him, and instead he pointed towards the direction of the lounge while he continued to do whatever it was he was doing.



Oman Air Lounge





At the lounge reception, an unbothered WY agent checked my boarding pass before letting me proceed inside. At first sight, I thought the lounge was absolutely horrid. The abundance of fake wood design and the pitch black couches made it seem more like an upscale carpentry rather than an airline lounge. But however, once you make yourself comfortable, the lounge turns out to be rather homey. I actually loved it in the end.



Lounge interior









Food offering at the lounge was quite limited in comparison with Gulf Air’s lounge at DXB. It was a mixture between cold and hot finger foods, salads, cakes, and fruit. Nothing seemed vegan, so I decided to pass on the eating.



Food offering at the lounge







At 10:15pm I left the lounge for another walk-around before heading to the gate.



More terminal pictures









Muscat offers excellent spotting opportunities, but during the day



At 11:30pm I headed towards Gate 23





Gate 23







While I was queuing at the gate, a passenger had approached the podium to enquire if this was the gate for his flight. Instead of kindly pointing the poor man in the right direction, the extremely rude Oman Air ground staff shouted at him with his very loudest!

“BANGKOK, BANGKOK, DON’T YOU KNOW THAT THIS IS BANGKOK?”
“YALLA GO! NOT HERE!”

One thing is for sure, and that is Oman Air needs to drastically improve its offering on the ground. From my experience and from what I have seen to date, they have a lot to work on if they plan to align their ground offering to that of their excellent in-flight product.

Approaching the podium, the agent tore off my boarding pass and handed me back my stub. At 11:35pm I was inside the semi-crowded holding area.



Inside the holding area





The usual Bangkok flight type of passenger mix was at the holding area. From Gulf nationals who couldn’t wait to get to Bangkok, to Thai laborers, Oman Air cabin crew going back home during a few days off between flights, and a.net trip reporter me! The flight was looking to be full-ish in Economy.

At 11:45pm the doors leading to the bus outside were opened, and everyone flocked to the agent standing at the exit. There were no announcements made and it was free for all. As such, I joined the crowd to get on the bus.

Being the last to board the bus, we left seconds after and by 11:55pm we arrived at the aircraft. She was gorgeous, and it was like love at first sight! Too bad I didn’t take any pictures of her.

Walking up the steps, I arrived at Door 2L, where I was greeted by two gorgeous ladies dressed in yet an even nicer version of your typical GCC-airline uniform.

“Mr. Hawi, welcome on board, you have the last window seat in the cabin, right this way”
“Thank you”
“My pleasure”

By 12am I was on board….and I was instantly taken to an entirely new dimension of flight.



CONTINUED BELOW

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: ronerone
Posted 2010-04-03 13:09:26 and read 32767 times.

SECOND SECTOR
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Oman Air Flight Information:

SCR
/WY/10MAR
W09
10MAR
MCT
KWY885 25OCT27MAR 0004067 216332 MCTMCT0035 0910BKKBKK J
GI BRGDS

Actual Departure Time: 00:40 (Pushback)
Actual Arrival Time: 09:10 (Touchdown)

Registration: A4O-DC
Condition: 0.4 years old, delivered to Oman Air in October 2009

Remarks: NIL

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



I was instantly taken away by the pleasantly saturated afternoon hue of the mood-lighting in the cabin. Perfectly blended with the deep brown tones of Business Class, the entire ambience was rather seductive. Oman Air has something to show, and they were in FULL swing on this flight.



The cabin





The seat





The seat is huge, and extremely comfortable. Exceeding a countless number of airlines’ First Class offering, it would be ultimately strange to find any flaw in this Business Class seat.

A large pillow is placed on each seat over the seatbelts, while an actual comforter, rather than a linen blanket, is placed under the ‘footstool’. Unlike other airlines that chose to forego storage space for additional seat amenities, Oman Air has addressed this by installing personal storage compartments located on the side of the window seats, similar to those on the upper decks of 747’s and A380’s. Of course they can, they’ve removed a seat from each row in Business Class!



Leg space



Personal storage compartment



Very very nice!





Hardeep, from India, was my first interaction with the crew after boarding. Approaching my seat only moments after I settled in, she was looking smart, fresh, and ready to work. With her blue veil-like material swaying to her flows of movement, she arrived at my seat with nothing but a welcoming smile.

“Hi sir welcome on board. Can I get you anything to drink?”
“May I have an orange juice please?”
“Certainly”



My orange juice came with a hot towel



Passengers continued to board while I sipped on my OJ







After the last few passengers had boarded, the ground staff deplaned and the doors were immediately closed at 12:25am. This was followed by an announcement by our Omani purser who welcomed us on board, and informed us that our flight time to Bangkok was 5 hours and 20 minutes.

Oman Air’s boarding procedure seemed quite unique. It seemed that to the best of abilities, the doors are closed at least ten or so minutes prior to the scheduled departure time, whereby all preparations and pre-takeoff services are conducted while the aircraft is still idle hence, ensuring an on-time departure at time of pushback. Perhaps this would change as they improve on their loads, but for now I could sit back and enjoy this great experience!



Headsets were distributed





Another cabin crew, presumably from the Middle East, appeared from the galley with amenity kits and menus.

“This amenity kit is for you”
“Thanks”



Amenity kit





Kneeling down on the floor, she then proceeded to open my menu and go through the meal service with me.

“Sir this is your menu for the flight”
“We are serving supper after takeoff, and breakfast before landing in Bangkok”
“If you wish to sleep longer, please feel free to fill this form out for an express breakfast”
“Thank you”
“Most welcome, would you care to see the wine list?”
“Yes please”

The selection listed in the menu was unbelievable, and not even Etihad’s offering on the JFK flight remotely matches it. There was a dedicated a la carte option, in addition to a Mediterranean style set menu for each meal service. And it doesn’t end here; there were also two options for each set menu where you could choose either the standard of the vegetarian cuisine!

Proper Arabic cuisine offered on an Arab airline; definitely got my vote!



Menu cover



Al la carte selection for Supper



Set menu choices for Supper



Breakfast al la carte



Set menu choices for Breakfast



Tea & Coffee selection



Arabic intro



Wine list











Arabic coffee (and dates) were offered





As on the previous flight, the cabin crew were asked to assume their positions across the aisle for an exit door location demo, which was then followed by the safety video. While we were still idle, the engines had powered on and were spooling in preparation for the upcoming flight. At 12:40am, the aircraft left the remote stand, and we began our taxi to the runway.



Cabin during taxi



Chilling out before takeoff





Meal & drink orders were taken before takeoff





“Can I get you anything to drink after takeoff?”
“I'll have a Bloody Mary please”
“Certainly”
“Sir, I just wanted to confirm your order for a vegetarian meal”
“Yes, but would it be possible to choose the vegetarian option from the menu instead?”
“Let me check the catering that was loaded on board and I will get back to you”



Rumbling down the runway, A4O-DC took off at 12:45am, and we began our boutique-hall flight to Bangkok. I have always been a fan of the ground-hugging slow climb of the A340, but the rather powerful lift of this A330 can definitely wow me each time as well.



Lights out during climb



Seatbelt sign off, cabin lights on, and crew began service





“Sir, we have your choices available on board”
“Which vegetarian choice would you like to have? The Western or the Mediterranean cuisine?”
“Mediterranean please”

The purser then appeared by my side of the cabin and personally introduced himself in Arabic (narration translated in English).

“Welcome on board sir, my name is Mazen”
“Nice to meet you Mazen”
“It is my pleasure. Is everything alright so far? Are the girls taking care of you?”
“Yes, everything is fantastic, thank you very much”
“Please let us know if you need anything”
“Thank you”
“Most welcome.I'd like to offer you this pyjama for your use during the flight”



Pyjamas offered for a 5 hour flight!





Just like Etihad and Qatar Airways, Oman Air has also adopted the same individualized inflight service. Presumably, the same consultant that was first used by QR, then EY, was also used for WY.

An individualized service can be quite the challenge for the crew, all to the point that 'Inspired Service' on Etihad is internally dubbed as 'Expired Service' behind the scenes in the galley. But things seemed more relaxed on Oman Air. Service was top-notch, and the crew smooth sailing, at least to the eye of the passenger.

It amazes me how all the Gulf Carriers blatantly try to outdo each other. First we had Emirates, then Qatar Airways who seemingly follows their every footstep. Etihad jumped in after learning from the mistakes of Emirates, and now Oman Air, whose closest I can relate to is Etihad, now seems to perfect what Etihad has failed to achieve. Chill out people! it's not the end of the world just yet!



Introducing the Oman Air Bloody Mary!





The Bloody Mary did the job but was not the best tasting one I have had on board. I was quite hungry at the time and even a drink like this was food for me, which probably explained why I was feeling buzz-ish after speed-sipping the entire drink within minutes.

After my empty glass was cleared, my table was set immediately afterwards. This one-course supper service included saffron rice, vegetable saloona, and a lentil stew each placed in a set of three bowls. Other items on my table included a large plate, salt & pepper shakers, silverware & napkin, and a glass of water. Everything was seriously first class!



Meal setting



Saffron rice



Vegetable saloona



Lentil stew





The rice was very fragrant and not oily, the vegetables were perfectly cooked and went really well with the rice. The lentil stew had fresh curry leaves in it and that is always a taste-bud teaser. All in all, it was one excellent meal. Well done on Oman Air's part!

Once finished I was offered some fruit for dessert in which I declined. My table was then immediately cleared away.

“Will you be joining us for breakfast?”
“Yes please”

Fetching the menu from the galley, Hardeep returned back to my seat and kneeled down on the floor again.

“Sir will you be having the express or the full breakfast?
“Full breakfast please, and i'd like to have the Mediterranean option”
“Certainly, and can I get you any fruit and some juice with that?”
“Yes please, some fruit and Orange Juice”
“What about some coffee or tea?”
“May I have a cup of espresso?”
“Certainly, I will be serving your breakfast in a few hours”

After my breakfast order was taken, it was time to explore the wonders of my seat. There really wasn't much that the seat did not offer; from power ports, telephone, to data/media connections, it was all there.



Seat controls



Telephone & IFE control



Electronics section



Literature rack



Table



I made my own bed, now I have to lie in it!



Cuddled up under my duvet





While horizontal on my comfortably spacious bed, I decided to play around with the IFE. By the time I was flying Oman Air, the airline had introduced OnAir WiFi connectivity on board. Unfortunately however, this was only available on one A330-300 (A4O-DB) at the time. Nevertheless, the IFE still had a great choice of movies, shows, and games on offer, From Hollywood to Bollywood, and even an extensive choice of Arabic varieties, Oman Air has really done well with their IFE. The nicest feature was the availability of certain live television broadcasting from stations such as Al Jazeera and BBC, but that too, was seemingly not available on my flight.

Finally, future plans for the IFE were to include the in-flight menu, and the ability to order Duty Free from your screen. The interface was already loaded onto the system, but at the time it was still listed as 'Coming Soon'.



Moving map





IFE interface



Live television broadcasting



I settled for King of Queens




Falling asleep somewhere during the middle of the King of Queens episode, I was only woken up an hour or so later by the cabin crew who was ready to set my table for breakfast. So soon I thought, and it was time for another full meal!



Service commenced with hot towels





My table was then set with the regular meal-wares in addition to the Arabic Mezzeh starter, in a similar manner to that during the Supper service. The mezzeh platter included tabouleh, moutabbal, shanklish, cheese sambousek, and spinach pastry. I was also offered a selection from the bread basket, and I decided to budge a little on the fasting, and have some muffins.



Breakfast



Muffins



Fruit



Tabouleh



Moutabbal



Shanklish



Cheese sambousek & spinach pastry





The mezzeh platter was excellent, and so were the pastries and muffins, although they weren’t heated properly. The fruit was cold and energizing, and just the way it is meant to be. A great breakfast starter all in all, that was annihilated rather quickly. Once I was through, my empty plates were cleared and replaced with yet a similar setting for the main course. This included egg shashouka, grilled halloumi cheese, and foul medammes; all were of high quality and taste!



Main course





Espresso cup



Egg shashouka



Foul medammes



AMAZING grilled halloumi





As I was finishing off my breakfast, I noticed Mazen in the aisle speaking with the passengers.

“How is everything so far? I hope that you have enjoyed your breakfast”
“Everything is excellent, thanks”
“That is a very nice camera you got, is it a 50D?”
“Yes it is!”
“So you are a photographer then? Or just a hobby?”
“Just a hobby, and definitely not a photographer .. you?”
“I am still learning, but I recently bought a 1000D”

After the quick chat, Mazen cleared my table and returned to the galley for final preparations.



My seat after 4 hours in-flight





Cabin after the breakfast service





At 8:40am Thailand local time, the seatbelt sign was switched on. This was shortly followed by an announcement by our captain to inform us that we had begun our initial descent towards Suvarnabhumi International Airport (he even pronounced it correctly!), and that our expected time of arrival was to be 9:15am.

During our descent, headsets were collected, and the crew made their final preparations before landing.



One final cabin shot



Even my camera had her own suite on board!





To conclude this wonderful experience, Mazen passed around the cabin handing out gifts to all Business Class passengers.

“Mr. Hawi, I would like to thank you for flying with Oman Air today”
“The pleasure is mine”
“Please accept this gift from all of us”



A ceramic candle cum Arabic coffee cup!





D E S T I N A T I O N
At exactly 9:10am, we touched down at ‘Suwanapoom’ bringing my Oman Air experience to a sad but sweet ending.

As we taxied to the gate, I looked outside the window in anticipation of a morning peak at BKK, but apart from the usual underutilized TG A340’s that were ornamentally scattered, I failed to see much. In fact, I have never experienced BKK to be too congested; passenger or movement-wise. Perhaps it is because the activity is spread across a huge land mass? I would assume this airport to have the most exotic selection of airlines, yet it seems quite challenging to find them all there in one go.

Docking at the gate, the aircraft powered out, and the seatbelt sign was switched off. After gathering my belongings, I deplaned after thanking the crew for their outstanding efforts.

C O N C L U S I O N
I had expected great hardware on Oman Air; that’s for sure. But what I was also expecting was a patchy set of crew who were yet to adapt to this new service, which I am assuming was only launched a few months prior. This was not the case, and everything seemed absolutely flawless.

It would be an enticing idea if Oman Air really wants to remain uniquely boutique but I believe that this has yet to be seen. Etihad made this claim back in the day, and now they seem to only want to be ‘The Best’ in the world. I wouldn’t be surprised if Oman Air decides to join the crowd!

Moreover, the abundance of all the best of frills seems to be a rather huge investment and without any improvement in loads, and more importantly yields, it is even senseless for the richest of airlines to maintain. The natural cycle of life only tells me that cut-backs to reality will more than likely happen. But I would love to be proven wrong!

Having said all that, I definitely experienced exceptional service that is even better than that of my favorite Gulf airline. I thought that we really have seen it all, but now there is Oman Air! They are really something!



Goodies




This concludes my Trip Report. I hope that you have enjoyed it; your comments are always welcome!

Regards,
Roni



E Q U I P M E N T
Camera:
Canon 50D

Lenses:
- Canon 15mm Fisheye
- Canon 18-55mm


PREVIOUS WORK
In A Blink Of An Eye: AirAsia X’s A340 At AUH (by ronerone Feb 20 2010 in Trip Reports)
SriLankan Airlines: The Treasure Of Serendib! (by Ronerone Jan 9 2010 in Trip Reports)
Beijing Swire!: Cathay Pacific & Dragonair DXB-PEK (by Ronerone Dec 11 2009 in Trip Reports)
OpenSkies From British Airways: A New Era's End? (by Ronerone Oct 14 2009 in Trip Reports)
Revealing An Underdog: Royal Brunei Business Class (by Ronerone Sep 3 2009 in Trip Reports)
The Singapore Airlines Cliché (by Ronerone Jul 27 2009 in Trip Reports)
A380: Qantas Proper To SIN City (by Ronerone Jul 6 2009 in Trip Reports)
Welcome To Terminal 3: Etihad Airways AUH-SYD (by Ronerone Jul 6 2009 in Trip Reports)
5th Freedom Of The Air: Kenya Airways HKG-BKK-HKG (by Ronerone Mar 31 2009 in Trip Reports)
Cathay Pacific: First Class On The Legacy Milk-Run (by Ronerone Jan 26 2009 in Trip Reports)
Inspirations On A Narrowbody: Etihad To Amman (by Ronerone Nov 28 2008 in Trip Reports)
Malaysia Boleh!: On The Malaysian Airline System (by Ronerone Oct 28 2008 in Trip Reports)
Pearls & Diamonds: Inspired By Etihad Airways (by Ronerone Sep 12 2008 in Trip Reports)
The Future Has Arrived: EK A380 Inaugural Flights (by Ronerone Aug 4 2008 in Trip Reports)
Syrian Special Performance, Featuring Sam Chui (by Ronerone May 23 2008 in Trip Reports)
This Is Royal Jordanian! (by Ronerone Apr 12 2008 in Trip Reports)
Ultra-Competitive, Ultra-Long Haul: EY Vs EK (by Ronerone Mar 21 2008 in Trip Reports)
Suvarnabhumi, The Etihad Way! (by Ronerone Jan 18 2008 in Trip Reports)
Cathay Delight: A Trip To Asia's World City (by Ronerone Oct 5 2007 in Trip Reports)
Etihad: Pearl 2 AMM, Coral Right Back Pt 2 PixVidz (by Ronerone Jul 5 2007 in Trip Reports)
Etihad: Pearl 2 AMM, Coral Right Back Pt 1 PixVids (by Ronerone Jul 4 2007 in Trip Reports)
CX: JFK-HKG-DXB In Y A346/772 (Lots Of Pics/Vids) (by Ronerone Aug 28 2006 in Trip Reports)


F L I C K R
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jy-rwh79/sets/72157623588017545/

F A C E B O O K
R. Wadei Hawi
Please mention who you are when (and if) you want to add me as a friend


YOU TUBE
Username: ronerone
I have a range of taxi, takeoff, landing, announcement, and safety videos posted. Feel free to view them!



THE END

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2010-04-03 13:35:04 and read 32767 times.

Hi Roni,

excellent report with stunning pictures - your reviews belong to the best, no doubts about that. I had been eagerly waiting for this report since you told me that you had tried Oman Air, too.

The Business Class product is very impressive - the seats, the choice of colors, the catering, everything looks fine.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
%u201CWhen you are at the back of the queue, you can offer more than what the others do%u201D
Peter Hill, Air Transport World %u2013 March 15th 2010

Interesting statement.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
%u201CSir, you do know that no pictures are allowed inside the cabin?%u201D
%u201CSorry about that, no more pictures then%u201D
%u201CThank you for your support%u201D

What? Quite odd. Nobody seemed to care about me taking pictures on both flights.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
I wanted to take pictures, but I decided to stow away my camera instead, until I arrived at the main terminal building. Let%u2019s not get into trouble again!

I took many pictures during disembarking and boarding, again nobody seemed to care about that.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
I did manage to eventually find an Oman Air ground staff who turned out to be extremely rude. He didn%u2019t even look me in the eye when I asked him, and instead he pointed towards the direction of the lounge while he continued to do whatever it was he was doing.
Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
While I was queuing at the gate, a passenger had approached the podium to enquire if this was the gate for his flight. Instead of kindly pointing the poor man in the right direction, the extremely rude Oman Air ground staff shouted at him with his very loudest!

%u201CBANGKOK, BANGKOK, DON%u2019T YOU KNOW THAT THIS IS BANGKOK?%u201D
%u201CYALLA GO! NOT HERE!%u201D

One thing is for sure, and that is Oman Air needs to drastically improve its offering on the ground. From my experience and from what I have seen to date, they have a lot to work on if they plan to align their ground offering to that of their excellent in-flight product.

Quite shocking - all the ground staff members I met were friendly and helpful.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
The selection listed in the menu was unbelievable, and not even Etihad’s offering on the JFK flight remotely matches it. There was a dedicated a la carte option, in addition to a Mediterranean style set menu for each meal service. And it doesn’t end here; there were also two options for each set menu where you could choose either the standard of the vegetarian cuisine!

Very impressive! That airline really likes to feed its passengers.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
Unfortunately however, this was only available on one A330-300 (A4O-DB) at the time.

Odd. According to their ads it should have worked on all A330s. Bad to hear Live TV wasn't available either.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
“How is everything so far? I hope that you have enjoyed your breakfast”
“Everything is excellent, thanks”
“That is a very nice camera you got, is it a 50D?”
“Yes it is!”
“So you are a photographer then? Or just a hobby?”
“Just a hobby, and definitely not a photographer .. you?”
“I am still learning, but I recently bought a 1000D”

Good to hear you didn't face any trouble again on the second flight.


PH

[Edited 2010-04-03 13:36:34]

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: AI151
Posted 2010-04-03 13:37:25 and read 32767 times.

Hi Roni, fabulous TR. Oman Air looks stunning and the service reminds me of when i flew GF to MCT in First Class. It surprises me that WY's Business Class is the same product as that! Although I would have to give the benefit of the doubt to WY.

The seat looks amazing, so comfortable and I love the brown leather. Food looks very tasty even for a vegetarian option. The cabin crew sounded very polite and professional, the only exception would be the agent at the gate in MCT who seemed very unpleasant. Did you manage to catch a glimpse of their First Class product?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
After a quick 15 minute ride, I was dropped off at the departures curbside of Terminal 1 at Dubai International Airport.

15 mins! Judging by where you took that picture, from there to the airport once took me 45 mins due to severe traffic.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Following my recent AirAsia trip a few months back, I felt I was back home again after holding real boarding cards instead of grocery store receipts

Always a good feeling to hold a proper boarding card!

Look forward to the rest of your trip.

Sandeep (AI151)

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2010-04-03 13:41:41 and read 32767 times.

Quoting AI151 (Reply 6):
Did you manage to catch a glimpse of their First Class product?

That's only available on the A330-300s, not on the -200s.


PH

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: KHI747
Posted 2010-04-03 14:06:31 and read 32767 times.

Mate im absolutely priviliged to be the among the first to comment on your TR.The photography and text was,as usual,simply outstanding.I make it a point not only to read all your TR's but to read every bit of it with full attention!

Even though i have yet to travel on WY's flagship J class,just by reading your TR i am literally exactly on the same wavelength as you when your describe their J class.To me the Etihad J class has been quite simply the best business class seat out there all along but i think WY has improved on something that was just about perfect.The colours and layout are so classy,i think "boutique" is a very appropriate way to describe it.

And if the seats werent enough,i think the menu alone puts several F classes to shame.WY really has set the benchmark here without a doubt. WOW! I would really like to try it soon.

A couple of questions:

1, WY has both the variants of the A330 in its fleet (or on order).

2, Did this plane also have an F cabin?

3, Did you find any aspect of this seat which wasnt as good as EY.The only thing i can think of (from the pics) is presumably:
A, that the ottoman is too far for most peoples legs to reach when the seat isnt reclined
B, the walls around the EY seats ensure more privacy,something WY is missing

Anyhow fabulous TR and im looking forward towards your return trip!

[Edited 2010-04-03 14:19:50]

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: oa260
Posted 2010-04-03 14:10:37 and read 32767 times.

Nice report Roni,
Oman Air seem to be hitting the headlines recently, I was reading an article on them just today. Certainly one to watch out for. Food looked great all my favourite Arabic dishes! Makes me want to hop on a flight to the Gulf.

Love the bulkhead on the 737 also. Nice and traditional.


Regards

Philip

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: akhmad
Posted 2010-04-03 14:31:43 and read 32767 times.

Hi Roni,

I am pleasantly surprised to find another delightful experience of yours and yet this time on board of WY in J! Since fellow PlaneHunter published his Y experience, I was wondering what their J would be like. I should have known that you would be the right person!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Clear view outside the entrance to my building

Impressive!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
I felt I was back home again after holding real boarding cards instead of grocery store receipts.

Was it that bad? I am about to hold those receipts this summer.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Arabic mezzeh items, shawarma, mini sandwiches, biryani, and curry amongst others.

   Did you get a taste of them? It would have been a tough decision for me to make. The WY's onboard offerings are tantalizing for sure, but I just could not let those buffet items go.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
And so I continued, albeit very discreetly

I would have done the same thing.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
A ceramic candle cum Arabic coffee cup!

How cute! This kind of gesture would make me melt.

The WY J cabin looks impressive! It reminds me of the old QR F cabin in A332! And their menus, OMG, are really innovative, extensive and appealing to every taste bud. I am glad to know that you have had a memorable longhaul experience. The hospitality and genuine care of Mazen and his colleagues have definitely made up the unwelcoming treatment on the short DXB-MCT leg.

Thanks for sharing. Definitely looking forward to your experience in BKK and the return trip.

Cheers,
Suryo

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: airbuseric
Posted 2010-04-03 14:43:49 and read 32767 times.

Hi Roni,

amazing airline, amazing service, makes another amazing report. You're so lucky to be in the middle where it all happens at the moment in aviation. You tried all of the Gulf carriers now I think? WY is for sure a winner, also for Y-class, but even more with this Business product. I like the pics from your fisheye a lot. I must definitely fit it on my own camera more often and use it more easily   Can we expect a return flight also?

Eric

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: Reifel
Posted 2010-04-03 14:53:11 and read 32767 times.

Absolutely incredible report. I had read a few economy class reports which were showing they had a good eco product, but their C-class product is incredible. The seats are soooo huge and they put away a whole seat... can't believe it.

I wish them all the best.

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: LH4116
Posted 2010-04-03 15:29:27 and read 32767 times.

Good evening Roni, great report as always!

Oman Air looks like a quite exotic airline to me, by far better than the mainstream middle east carriers. The J class product looked simply impressive, it's bloody F CLASS!!!  The seats are indeed the same as on KE and AF in F, those seats are made by EADS Sogerma.

The food looked great as well, but on the short haul sector, I'd have imagined them serving something more, something bigger, a.k.a long haul style  

Thanks for sharing!
//Jonas Casablancas

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: 767747
Posted 2010-04-03 16:22:41 and read 32767 times.

Ronerone,

Another fantastic report! I'm always impressed by your amazing photography! I feel like I was flying along with you! This is the 2nd report I have read about Oman Air recently, and it looks to be very good. Certainly top competition for Etihad and Emirates ... looking forward to reading more about this airline!

767747

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: ORDnHKG
Posted 2010-04-03 16:56:20 and read 32767 times.

Thanks for your detail report !

Your J seat look almost exactly the same as F seat on OZ 3 class 772, it is even the same seat control buttons. The only difference is on OZ, the seats were put at an angle, hence doesn't have side storage bin.

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: caleb1
Posted 2010-04-03 17:34:07 and read 32767 times.

Roni, your reports never cease to impress and amaze. There are few who can match you and none who can surpass. This is another great read for a Saturday afternoon and I can't wait for future installments.

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: C8fromONT
Posted 2010-04-03 18:24:30 and read 32767 times.

Love it! And awesome shoes  

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: chepos
Posted 2010-04-03 18:40:15 and read 32767 times.

Great trip report, thank you for sharing. So they did not tell you anything about pics on the second leg?
I saw pics of their new uniform on the website- big improvement over the last one red, green, blue and white just looked boring, the only problem I have with it is that some Gulf airlines (Etihad, Gulf and EK )have a similar head pieces- just different colors.
Are most of the female cabin crew on Oman Asian? Hope you enjoyed Asia!

Regards,

Chepos

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: sq772
Posted 2010-04-03 20:14:02 and read 32767 times.

I can't imagine what F class would be like if their J class is already equivalent to what almost all other airline are offering up front! Would that not cannabalize their F product? I've heard many people say the same when SQ launched their new J on their 77Ws and can't help but feel that WY is going down the same route.

The competition amongst the Middle East carriers is certainly heating up. WY's J product immediately makes EK and GF's equivalent product look dated. I suppose this has been the tactic adopted by all the gulf carriers so far - to start with a bang, create a buzz to get the international community to take notice of them, and when they've hooked a considerable number of loyal followers they slowly cut back on the frills... I do hope they maintain their offerings because what they have now is certainly mind-blowing!! Awesome hardware!!

Having said that, beautiful pictures, very informative, and looking forward to a WY F class TR from you soon  

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: flightsimboy
Posted 2010-04-03 20:37:54 and read 32767 times.

Roni you've done it again. Another masterpiece beautifully written with just the right amount of narrative, yet an overflow of photographs which is always a good thing! And pics of cabin crew included which is always a bonus!!

I'm surprised those portions seem so tiny for J class. Were you seriously full with that offering? I've seen EK's offerings here and they seem to have so much more. I mean even in Y class it's definitely more. In the lounge you could have gone for the olives to keep with the vegeterian option hee,hee!

Glad to see Oman Air have changed their uniforms. The last ones they used were garish, these are more toned down and in line with the new Oman Air colours. Hope they continue to remain a medium size airline, and not a monster like EK which is when the service spirals downwards out of control. However my last trip with them had me singing their praises again! By the way, when you mentioned your favourite Middle Eastern airline you were referring to Etihad, were you not?

So now you've done Etihad, Emirates, Oman Air.....when is the big Qatar Airways trip happening. That is the "report of reports" from you that I eagerly await!!

Thanks again for another enjoyable read   

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: MHTripple7
Posted 2010-04-03 21:20:02 and read 32767 times.

WOW, WY has gotten some great publicity as of late! I'm convinced Oman Air has one of, if not the best J products out there after reading this TR. Living in the U.S., the chances of me flying WY are slim but perhaps I will be able to arrange a trip with them someday.

Thanks for a truly incredible Trip Report!

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: SOBHI51
Posted 2010-04-03 22:19:22 and read 32767 times.

Again, you do it the excellent way.
Great report, beautiful pictures, new airline, every small detail is coverred.
I never thought of Oman Air when i am planning for my flights. Not anymore.
Food looks great, but they seem on the small side.
BTW i like those yellow neon shoe laces   
Last but not least let me wish you a happy Easter.
Now is the time for Qatar Airways. No?


[Edited 2010-04-03 22:22:50]


[Edited 2010-04-03 22:55:37]

[Edited 2010-04-03 22:57:33]

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: initious
Posted 2010-04-03 23:09:36 and read 32767 times.

It's hard to believe that Oman Air is only rated 3-star on SkyTrax! I would definitely love to try their Business Class one day, if I ever have a chance to visit the Middle East. 

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: gardermoen
Posted 2010-04-03 23:46:44 and read 32767 times.

Hello, a fantastic trip report! Omanair is one airline I am really keen to try out. Looks like a promising future Etihad/Qatar Airways outfit.

MCT looks a lot more organized than DOH. What was the range of shopping like?

Quoting ronerone
“Sir, you do know that no pictures are allowed inside the cabin?”
What a downer to be told that!! Good that you discreetly persisted for us though!

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: airpearl
Posted 2010-04-04 00:17:49 and read 32767 times.

Hey Roni

Now, this is a mild surprise. I had been expecting a Y class report - but I can believe the temptation of travelling J on WY and wow, aren't you glad you did? Thanks for this fantastic report Roni, as always of course, with clear crisp pictures. The standard set by WY on the long hauls is extremely high and I'm really excited the airline is planning to start a KUL service this summer. It is making it harder for me now not to seriously consider WY for my next ride to Europe!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Oman Air is better to remain as a unique boutique airline rather than compete with Emirates and Company,” Hill stated, as he confirmed the airline’s intentions were to operate up to a maximum of 50 aircraft, primarily focusing on Oman’s point-to-point traffic.

Interesting perspective, although I wonder if this is a realistic proposition. Certainly, the airline is not shying away from sixth-freedom traffic by selling them pretty cheaply and offering not-so-bad connections either.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Following my recent AirAsia trip a few months back, I felt I was back home again after holding real boarding cards instead of grocery store receipts.

Hahaha... welcome home  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
The subtle earth tones that created a very calm atmosphere within the rather intimate space of the lounge really impressed me. As small as it may be, the seating is set up in a way where you will feel comfortably unthreatened by any proximity of your neighbors.

It looks very similar to GF's BAH lounge where I spent quite a few hours in. A rather nice, understated place - I quite like it too.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
always prefer to board the aircraft with the Economy Class passengers, for the obvious reason of having the liberty to raid the cabin with pictures before the other premiums start to flow in. The same was the case for this flight.

Ah sigh, all the challenges of being a trip reporter, multiplied many fold when travelling on a narrow body, I can totally relate. haha

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
“Sir, you do know that no pictures are allowed inside the cabin?”

Damn, but thanks for the perseverance...

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
I must continue! Decisions decisions decisions!
Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
One thing is for sure, and that is Oman Air needs to drastically improve its offering on the ground. From my experience and from what I have seen to date, they have a lot to work on if they plan to align their ground offering to that of their excellent in-flight product.

Seems to be a common problem among all the Gulf carriers during the growth phase. It must be much easier keeping the standard inflight because many of the crew had been "pre-trained" by Asian or European airlines, but the ground service lags. Even now, some of the better GCC airlines seem to be lacking on the ground, but probably none quite as seriously as what you experienced at MCT.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
The seat is huge, and extremely comfortable. Exceeding a countless number of airlines’ First Class offering, it would be ultimately strange to find any flaw in this Business Class seat.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
Of course they can, they’ve removed a seat from each row in Business Class!

The J class takes my breadth away! Very, very nice. It seems like a small cabin, definitely more F than J. WY has set a new standard, with what was also GF's First Class seat. (Interesting though that GF has now also done away with F and is selling its old First cabin as the new upgraded J.)

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
“...would you care to see the wine list?”

A nice way of balancing local sensibilities and the requirements of an international premium operator. Notice most of the Gulf carriers ask before they hand you the wine list. The menu looks very lavish for a 5 hour 20 minute flight!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
I made my own bed, now I have to lie in it!

Oh no, you mean they don't make your bed? Damn!  

Thanks for the report my friend. Look forward to the next.

Cheers
airpearl

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: Burj
Posted 2010-04-04 00:39:37 and read 32767 times.

I stayed up late to read your trip report...they are always such a treat!

Love the details, love the photos....Whenever I read your trip reports I feel like I am right there with you....

They always make me realize how sad the domestic "First Class" experience is here in the U.S.....

Interesting about the no photo policy claimed during the first flight versus the photo friendly atmosphere during the second.

Why do you think there was a discrepancy?

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: ba319-131
Posted 2010-04-04 00:59:14 and read 32767 times.

Hi Roni,

Good to see you travelling again, amd as a result, another fantastic TR, well done sir!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
1-2-1 configuration in Business Class

- Sounds fantasitc, and indeed looked it!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Following my recent AirAsia trip a few months back, I felt I was back home again after holding real boarding cards instead of grocery store receipts.

- I know the feeling, don't like these paper one that BA's self service machines spit out @ T5.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
The buffet spread was quite adequate, and in fact it served more than the requirement for short-haul regional flights. Several hot and cold items were on offer including Arabic mezzeh items, shawarma, mini sandwiches, biryani, and curry amongst others.

- Indeed, excellent spread for such short flights.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
, the cabin was typically small with 12 pairs of navy blue leather seats, each of which had a white pillow

- Nice and clean looking cabin.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
I looked away from my camera to find the purser standing by my seat with a concerned smile.

“Sir, you do know that no pictures are allowed inside the cabin?”
“Sorry about that, no more pictures then”
“Thank you for your support”

- Thank goodness no such problems on the next flight.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
My meal tray was neatly presented and consisted of a cup of water, a cup of fruit, and a main course of grilled chicken, an egg quiche, and a vegetable samosa.

- Not a bad looking meal for such a short flight.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
I did manage to eventually find an Oman Air ground staff who turned out to be extremely rude. He didn’t even look me in the eye when I asked him, and instead he pointed towards the direction of the lounge while he continued to do whatever it was he was doing.

- Interesting, QR have a similar issue with their ground staff too.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
The seat is huge, and extremely comfortable. Exceeding a countless number of airlines’ First Class offering, it would be ultimately strange to find any flaw in this Business Class seat.

- It looks just brilliant, what an excellent set up & as you say, sure does exceed some F class products.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
Unlike other airlines that chose to forego storage space for additional seat amenities, Oman Air has addressed this by installing personal storage compartments located on the side of the window seats, similar to those on the upper decks of 747’s and A380’s

- What an excellent idea, as ye, lack of stowage is an issue, the QR 330 & 340 suffer from this.

Excellent stuff, looking forward to the return trip.

Take care.

Best Wishes

Mark

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: ronerone
Posted 2010-04-04 05:03:41 and read 32767 times.

Dear All,

Happy Easter!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
excellent report with stunning pictures - your reviews belong to the best, no doubts about that. I had been eagerly waiting for this report since you told me that you had tried Oman Air, too.

Thanks PH! .. Glad we both covered most of Oman Air's offering!  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
What? Quite odd. Nobody seemed to care about me taking pictures on both flights.

Well, i am glad this happened on the 738, i would have been really disappointed if it were on the A330!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
I took many pictures during disembarking and boarding, again nobody seemed to care about that.

Only this morning i was told that picture-taking at MCT is strictly prohibited, but i seemed to have no problems inside the terminal. Is this true you think?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 5):
Odd. According to their ads it should have worked on all A330s. Bad to hear Live TV wasn't available either.

When i asked the cabin crew, she said that its only available on 'delta bravo' for now. Bummer, i really wanted to try it out!

Quoting AI151 (Reply 6):
Hi Roni, fabulous TR. Oman Air looks stunning and the service reminds me of when i flew GF to MCT in First Class. It surprises me that WY's Business Class is the same product as that! Although I would have to give the benefit of the doubt to WY.

Hey Sandeep! Thanks for reading!

Quoting AI151 (Reply 6):
Did you manage to catch a glimpse of their First Class product?

Unfortunately no, F class is only available on the A333's. But from what i have seen in pictures, there wasn't much of a difference apart from larger privacy dividers and a large (and mind you, random) couch dumped right in the middle of the cabin.

Quoting AI151 (Reply 6):
15 mins! Judging by where you took that picture, from there to the airport once took me 45 mins due to severe traffic.

That must have been during the pre-recession days. Today Dubai is GREAT! no traffic whatsoever!

Quoting AI151 (Reply 6):
Always a good feeling to hold a proper boarding card!

Totally agree!

Quoting KHI747 (Reply 8):
Mate im absolutely priviliged to be the among the first to comment on your TR.The photography and text was,as usual,simply outstanding.I make it a point not only to read all your TR's but to read every bit of it with full attention!

Thanks a lot KHI747!

Quoting KHI747 (Reply 8):
Even though i have yet to travel on WY's flagship J class,just by reading your TR i am literally exactly on the same wavelength as you when your describe their J class.To me the Etihad J class has been quite simply the best business class seat out there all along but i think WY has improved on something that was just about perfect.The colours and layout are so classy,i think "boutique" is a very appropriate way to describe it.

I totally agree!

Quoting KHI747 (Reply 8):
2, Did this plane also have an F cabin?

Not on the A332, only on the A333's  
Quoting KHI747 (Reply 8):
3, Did you find any aspect of this seat which wasnt as good as EY.The only thing i can think of (from the pics) is presumably:
A, that the ottoman is too far for most peoples legs to reach when the seat isnt reclined
B, the walls around the EY seats ensure more privacy,something WY is missing

I may have been able to spot some mild flaws if the flight was longer. But i found the lack of high privacy dividers gives a more spacious feel (as long as the seat is not overly exposed).

Quoting KHI747 (Reply 8):
Anyhow fabulous TR and im looking forward towards your return trip!

3 more coming, two of which are new airlines for me  
Quoting oa260 (Reply 9):
Nice report Roni,
Oman Air seem to be hitting the headlines recently, I was reading an article on them just today. Certainly one to watch out for. Food looked great all my favourite Arabic dishes! Makes me want to hop on a flight to the Gulf.

Love the bulkhead on the 737 also. Nice and traditional.


Regards

Philip

Thanks Phil! Glad you enjoyed!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
I am pleasantly surprised to find another delightful experience of yours and yet this time on board of WY in J! Since fellow PlaneHunter published his Y experience, I was wondering what their J would be like. I should have known that you would be the right person!

Mr. Surprise PIA TR  

Thanks for your comments my friend!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
Was it that bad? I am about to hold those receipts this summer.

I'm an old-fashioned guy! I prefer my boarding card haha  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
Did you get a taste of them? It would have been a tough decision for me to make. The WY's onboard offerings are tantalizing for sure, but I just could not let those buffet items go.

If i wasn't fasting, i would have definitely raided the entire buffet!

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 11):
amazing airline, amazing service, makes another amazing report.

Thanks Eric! Glad you enjoyed.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 11):
You tried all of the Gulf carriers now I think?

Emirates, Etihad, and Oman so far.

It is time for QR for sure. But i think one of the Gulf underdogs should be priority for now!

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 11):
I like the pics from your fisheye a lot. I must definitely fit it on my own camera more often and use it more easily

Yes! You should definitely use it more often!

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 11):
Can we expect a return flight also?

Yes, but on a different airline!

Quoting Reifel (Reply 12):
Absolutely incredible report. I had read a few economy class reports which were showing they had a good eco product, but their C-class product is incredible. The seats are soooo huge and they put away a whole seat... can't believe it.

Thanks Reifel! Hope you get to try Oman Air soon!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 13):
Good evening Roni, great report as always!

Thanks Jonas!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 13):
The food looked great as well, but on the short haul sector, I'd have imagined them serving something more, something bigger, a.k.a long haul style

I thought it was adequate for that really short flight.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 14):
Another fantastic report! I'm always impressed by your amazing photography! I feel like I was flying along with you!

Thanks 767747! Glad you enjoyed!

Quoting ORDnHKG (Reply 15):
Thanks for your detail report !

Thanks for reading  
Quoting caleb1 (Reply 16):
Roni, your reports never cease to impress and amaze. There are few who can match you and none who can surpass. This is another great read for a Saturday afternoon and I can't wait for future installments.

Glad you enjoyed caleb1!

Quoting C8fromONT (Reply 17):
Love it! And awesome shoes

Hey C8ty! Thanks for reading!

Quoting chepos (Reply 18):
So they did not tell you anything about pics on the second leg?

Not at all! And i am so glad they didnt!

Quoting chepos (Reply 18):
the only problem I have with it is that some Gulf airlines (Etihad, Gulf and EK )have a similar head pieces- just different colors.

Tell me about it! Some creativity would be nice!
At least QR's uniform is different.

Quoting chepos (Reply 18):
Are most of the female cabin crew on Oman Asian?

Middle Eastern & Asian!

Quoting sq772 (Reply 19):
I can't imagine what F class would be like if their J class is already equivalent to what almost all other airline are offering up front! Would that not cannabalize their F product?

Seriously. I thought the same for Etihad. Their F catering is almost identical to J, and they share the same menu items.

Quoting sq772 (Reply 19):
The competition amongst the Middle East carriers is certainly heating up.

I find it a little funny!

Quoting sq772 (Reply 19):
to start with a bang, create a buzz to get the international community to take notice of them, and when they've hooked a considerable number of loyal followers they slowly cut back on the frills...

I wonder if Etihad's recent plan to make their 777's 10-abreast a sign of the frill-cutting!

Quoting sq772 (Reply 19):
looking forward to a WY F class TR from you soon

Wow .. you are setting a really high expectation from me!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 20):
Roni you've done it again. Another masterpiece beautifully written with just the right amount of narrative, yet an overflow of photographs which is always a good thing! And pics of cabin crew included which is always a bonus!!

Thanks flightsimboy! Glad you enjoyed  
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 20):
I'm surprised those portions seem so tiny for J class. Were you seriously full with that offering?

I thought they were quite filling actually. I had a total of 6 of those bowls for breakfast if you count the starter and the main course. I think that was quite plenty.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 20):
Glad to see Oman Air have changed their uniforms. The last ones they used were garish, these are more toned down and in line with the new Oman Air colours.

You are officially a.net's cabin crew consultant   You know every little detail!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 20):
Hope they continue to remain a medium size airline, and not a monster like EK which is when the service spirals downwards out of control. However my last trip with them had me singing their praises again!

A nice Emirates experience is quite interesting! I hope there will be a TR ont hat!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 20):
By the way, when you mentioned your favourite Middle Eastern airline you were referring to Etihad, were you not?

Definitely!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 20):
So now you've done Etihad, Emirates, Oman Air.....when is the big Qatar Airways trip happening. That is the "report of reports" from you that I eagerly await!!

Hahah .. maybe this year. Let's see.

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 21):
Living in the U.S., the chances of me flying WY are slim but perhaps I will be able to arrange a trip with them someday.

It would be great if theys tart JFK flights!

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 22):
Again, you do it the excellent way.

Thanks SOBHI51!

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 22):
BTW i like those yellow neon shoe laces

You like a lot of color  
Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 22):
Last but not least let me wish you a happy Easter.

Thanks!

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 22):
Now is the time for Qatar Airways. No?

Inshallah!

Quoting initious (Reply 23):
It's hard to believe that Oman Air is only rated 3-star on SkyTrax!

I think they should first sort out their ground issues, before anything else.

Quoting gardermoen (Reply 24):
What was the range of shopping like?

Quite limited. The Duty Free area was quite small, but i did not look too much into what the offerign was like.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 25):
Now, this is a mild surprise. I had been expecting a Y class report - but I can believe the temptation of travelling J on WY and wow, aren't you glad you did?

Hey Airpearl!

Another one of those change of plans   hahaha

Quoting airpearl (Reply 25):
The standard set by WY on the long hauls is extremely high and I'm really excited the airline is planning to start a KUL service this summer. It is making it harder for me now not to seriously consider WY for my next ride to Europe!

Well, the A333 is coming to KUL on some days, and it features a purely undocumented F cabin. If you ask me, this has an Airpearl TR written all over it  
Quoting airpearl (Reply 25):
Interesting perspective, although I wonder if this is a realistic proposition. Certainly, the airline is not shying away from sixth-freedom traffic by selling them pretty cheaply and offering not-so-bad connections either.

I totally agree with you on this one. Although their CEO did state that the 6th freedoms are (or will be rather) a byproduct. Lets see!

Quoting airpearl (Reply 25):
It looks very similar to GF's BAH lounge where I spent quite a few hours in. A rather nice, understated place - I quite like it too.

I really like GF's lounge! One of the more comfortable ones for sure.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 25):
Seems to be a common problem among all the Gulf carriers during the growth phase.

Although i am quite impressed with EK's ground handling. Definitely the best in the GCC i think.

Quoting Burj (Reply 26):
I stayed up late to read your trip report...they are always such a treat!

Glad you enjoyed it Burj!

Quoting Burj (Reply 26):
Why do you think there was a discrepancy?

I think i was a little too 'in your face' with the photo-taking. I should have thought twice.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 27):
Good to see you travelling again, amd as a result, another fantastic TR, well done sir!

Thanks Mark! Glad you enjoyed!


Cheers,
Roni

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: sq772
Posted 2010-04-04 06:18:21 and read 32767 times.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 28):
Quoting sq772 (Reply 19):
The competition amongst the Middle East carriers is certainly heating up.

I find it a little funny!

Why so? Competition is the only way for them to improve and continue to offer unprecedented levels of service in their premium cabins. As for EY going the way of 10 abreast seating in Y, doesn't sound very promising... but I doubt that will have any impact on you since we hardly see you in the Y cabins...  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 28):
Wow .. you are setting a really high expectation from me!

I expect nothing but the best TRs on full-service carriers from you... and Airpearl. 

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: ojas
Posted 2010-04-04 07:19:26 and read 32767 times.

Hi Roni,

Another excellent TR!. But still no QR :P

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
The main activity that was happening was due to some flights bound for the Indian Subcontinent but even that wasn’t as dramatic as the norm.

I think with EK gone to terminal 3, the ISC activity at the Terminal 2 ( or 1 whatever it is) should have gone down.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Following my recent AirAsia trip a few months back, I felt I was back home again after holding real boarding cards instead of grocery store receipts.

I personally like to collect boarding passes with airline logos and all that. Unfortunately at DOH, AUH, DXB et al other than the home airline all the boarding passes are issued by the ground staff company. Those DNATA boarding passes are a rip off!   

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Seating area at the Gulf Air louge

Nice lounge

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
, shawarma,

Yummy!!!!!!!!!!!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
A traditional touch was incorporated with the addition of the Omani ‘Khanjar’ patterned into the bulkhead.

Khanjar a word used in Hindi/Urdu as well.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
Another drawback was the lack of airport staff available at the terminal. No one was at the information booth when I wanted to ask for the location of the Oman Air lounge. I did manage to eventually find an Oman Air ground staff who turned out to be extremely rude. He didn’t even look me in the eye when I asked him, and instead he pointed towards the direction of the lounge while he continued to do whatever it was he was doing.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
BANGKOK, BANGKOK, DON’T YOU KNOW THAT THIS IS BANGKOK?”
“YALLA GO! NOT HERE!”

Reminds me of ground agents at AUH. But DOH, BAH, are not better as well. IMO DXB ground staff is relatively the better one among them.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
Moreover, the abundance of all the best of frills seems to be a rather huge investment and without any improvement in loads, and more importantly yields, it is even senseless for the richest of airlines to maintain. The natural cycle of life only tells me that cut-backs to reality will more than likely happen. But I would love to be proven wrong!

Enjoy till it lasts.

I'm really impressed by Oman Air but then again the question arises, will the soft product on MCT - BKK/LHR/CDG will be same as MCT - MAA/DAC/CGP/CKO etc. If not they have a long way to go.

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: LYChemsa
Posted 2010-04-04 07:42:39 and read 32767 times.

Wow. What a dream. And I hear that Oman is wonderful country to visit. Thanks.

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: directorguy
Posted 2010-04-04 12:35:20 and read 32767 times.

Hey Roni,
Happy Easter,  
Great TR...I totally did not expect Oman Air, of all things, to make a turn-around and position itself as a serious competitor to the rest of the crowd while catering to local demands/tastes. The fact that they're aggressively pricing/marketing themselves on the BKK market is evidence of their commitment. And I have to say, they look amazing. MCT isn't that great of an airport, but the on-board experience makes up for the rest.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Clear view outside the entrance to my building

Lol, lovely photo. I have taken many photos of the Burj Khalifa, from near, from afar, I've tried every single angle, but your shot is just magnificent and definitive. Well done!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
What I really respected was the announcements were predominantly in Arabic, where the English version was less detailed. This should be expected from an Arab airline, yet doesn’t seem to be the norm with the likes of Etihad and especially Emirates.

You raise an interesting point. As a 'boutique p2p' airline, WY is right in trying to cater to the local market that way. I wonder what their fares to/from MCT are like. Using EK as an example, they are rarely one of the cheaper options to/from DXB. I suppose it's to do with the yields etc. but WY at this point should not follow on the example; instead WY should nurture and develop a locally-based following through pricing. Though, whenever I run a search on Expedia, Oman Air rarely comes up as an option, unlike QR/EY/EK who are always the leaders in terms of low prices.

Great one, Roni
Regards,
Omar

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: ryanair!!!
Posted 2010-04-04 17:01:00 and read 32767 times.

Loni...

Came in to work early (7am!), settled down to digest your report before the madness for the day would start. I am glad for this good start to a Monday.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Following my recent AirAsia trip a few months back, I felt I was back home again after holding real boarding cards instead of grocery store receipts.

Hahahahahaha... Even if it was just a blank boarding pass with little logo?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
I settled for a huge cup of espresso and two skewers of fruit

What a pity, I would have raided the meats.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
But the other side of my brain kept signaling reminders that I am on Oman Air; I must continue! Decisions decisions decisions!

Gosh I would have been put in the same dilema... heart beating wildly, pulse racing and eyes darting to keep a lookout for the crew to make sure they are out of sight. The things we do as trip report writers, I say!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
One drawback with the airport was the older generation flight announcement system which kept running non-stop as it repeatedly announced flight after flight.

You see, this is what I miss. As a kid, I would listen to those announcements and take note of these exotic sounding destinations just to go home and check it out where they are located. If the gate was near to me, I would take an effort to peer over just to see the airline and the passengers and wonder to myself "Why are these people heading there?".

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
“BANGKOK, BANGKOK, DON’T YOU KNOW THAT THIS IS BANGKOK?”
“YALLA GO! NOT HERE!”

Sigh... really unnecessary.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
I was instantly taken away by the pleasantly saturated afternoon hue of the mood-lighting in the cabin. Perfectly blended with the deep brown tones of Business Class, the entire ambience was rather seductive. Oman Air has something to show, and they were in FULL swing on this flight.
Quoting sq772 (Reply 19):
I can't imagine what F class would be like if their J class is already equivalent to what almost all other airline are offering up front! Would that not cannabalize their F product?

It seems that Oman Air took the cue from GF's First Class to splash out what was to be their only premium offering, Business Class. From what I understand, there would be no First Class from Oman Air.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
“Nice to meet you Mazen”
“It is my pleasure. Is everything alright so far? Are the girls taking care of you?”
“Yes, everything is fantastic, thank you very much”

This sounds very "pimp-ish" to me. Hahahaha...

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
It amazes me how all the Gulf Carriers blatantly try to outdo each other. First we had Emirates, then Qatar Airways who seemingly follows their every footstep. Etihad jumped in after learning from the mistakes of Emirates, and now Oman Air, whose closest I can relate to is Etihad, now seems to perfect what Etihad has failed to achieve. Chill out people! it's not the end of the world just yet!

But this "fight" you are referring to has given us public a chance to see some of the best hardware out there.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
Falling asleep somewhere during the middle of the King of Queens episode,

Gosh glad to know i am not the only one.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
“So you are a photographer then? Or just a hobby?”
“Just a hobby, and definitely not a photographer .. you?”
“I am still learning, but I recently bought a 1000D”

... and...? No photos of Mazen?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
To conclude this wonderful experience, Mazen passed around the cabin handing out gifts to all Business Class passengers.

Wow... This is like a hark back to the good old days when "gifts" were still given out to premium passengers! Doesn't happen much these days, not even on SQ.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
In fact, I have never experienced BKK to be too congested; passenger or movement-wise. Perhaps it is because the activity is spread across a huge land mass? I would assume this airport to have the most exotic selection of airlines, yet it seems quite challenging to find them all there in one go.

You are still dreaming of Don Mueang. It doesn't happen anymore in Suvarnabhumi.

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: NZ107
Posted 2010-04-04 17:59:42 and read 32767 times.

Hi Roni,

Happy Easter from sunny Auckland!

Another superb TR! Another very enjoyable one to read. This TR complements PH's one in Economy very well and it shows how good this airline is. I'm sure it can continue to surprise as well. It seems like they've got the right man on the job too!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
I felt I was back home again after holding real boarding cards instead of grocery store receipts.

A 'normal' boarding pass always feels good!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
After snapping the last picture above, I looked away from my camera to find the purser standing by my seat with a concerned smile.

“Sir, you do know that no pictures are allowed inside the cabin?”
“Sorry about that, no more pictures then”
“Thank you for your support”

He could have used a better word than support in this situation! Any publicity is good publicity and I've got a feeling that this one will be picked up by Oman Air just as PH's one was. I wonder what his problem was with you taking photos anyway..

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
Boarding pass to Bangkok

Why are the boarding passes so plain and boring?


The 1-2-1 layout if this J cabin looks extremely spacious. It must have been a great experience to fly in that cabin! Interesting to note that you had mood lighting on your flight whereas PH's flight didn't.. Unless they have selective mood lighting only for J..  

Food looks excellent and service just as good. I guess the IFE can wait but I think we can all expect what an experience on Oman Air will be like in the coming years! About time EK brought live TV and WiFi into their already vast selection of IFE options.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Having said all that, I definitely experienced exceptional service that is even better than that of my favorite Gulf airline. I thought that we really have seen it all, but now there is Oman Air! They are really something!

That's saying something!


I've still got that massive backlog of TRs.. It's getting on my nerves that my next series of flights start on Friday which will further add to that list of things to do! Bring on the A342 and A345  


Thanks for sharing!

Regards,
Nicholas

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: ronerone
Posted 2010-04-05 10:47:10 and read 32767 times.

Quoting sq772 (Reply 29):
I expect nothing but the best TRs on full-service carriers from you... and Airpearl.

Just like we only come to expect LCC from Ryanair!!!?  
Quoting ojas (Reply 30):
Another excellent TR!. But still no QR :P

Thanks Ojas!

QR will get its turn!

Quoting ojas (Reply 30):
I think with EK gone to terminal 3, the ISC activity at the Terminal 2 ( or 1 whatever it is) should have gone down.

True. But the point-to-point flights to ABCD (AMM, BEY, CAI, DAM) have still create mayhem at T1.

Quoting ojas (Reply 30):
Reminds me of ground agents at AUH

Haha .. we have improved!   .. We won a skytrax award recently!

Quoting ojas (Reply 30):
IMO DXB ground staff is relatively the better one among them.

Especially EK-specific staff.

Quoting LYChemsa (Reply 31):
And I hear that Oman is wonderful country to visit

Hi LYChemsa,

I would love to visit Oman one day. I hear the same too.

Quoting directorguy (Reply 32):
Happy Easter,

Thanks Omar! Hope all is well with you.

Quoting directorguy (Reply 32):
The fact that they're aggressively pricing/marketing themselves on the BKK market is evidence of their commitment.

Indeed. From B738s to fully decked out A330's to BKK!

Quoting directorguy (Reply 32):
I wonder what their fares to/from MCT are like. Using EK as an example, they are rarely one of the cheaper options to/from DXB. I suppose it's to do with the yields etc.

Very good point! Only 20% of EK's and EY's traffic is p2p, and that is probably why their fares from their home base are quite high.

from AUH, QR to the USA is about AED 5000 cheaper than EY, and vice versa out of DOH.

Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 33):
Came in to work early (7am!), settled down to digest your report before the madness for the day would start. I am glad for this good start to a Monday.

Thank you Lion!

Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 33):
Hahahahahaha... Even if it was just a blank boarding pass with little logo?

Anything card-ish will do  
Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 33):
You see, this is what I miss. As a kid, I would listen to those announcements and take note of these exotic sounding destinations just to go home and check it out where they are located. If the gate was near to me, I would take an effort to peer over just to see the airline and the passengers and wonder to myself "Why are these people heading there?".

Wow .. i used to do the very same thing. Must be something all of us go through at that age.

Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 33):
From what I understand, there would be no First Class from Oman Air.

The A333's on WY are equipped with an F cabin. Here is a pic from Business Traveller:




That's the couch in F!

Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 33):
This sounds very "pimp-ish" to me. Hahahaha...

Hahaha .. it does sound a little warmer when said in Arabic  
Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 33):
You are still dreaming of Don Mueang. It doesn't happen anymore in Suvarnabhumi.

That's why we have HKG i suppose!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 34):
Happy Easter from sunny Auckland!

Thanks Nicholas.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 34):
Interesting to note that you had mood lighting on your flight whereas PH's flight didn't.. Unless they have selective mood lighting only for J..

Actually, i noticed there was no mood lighting activated in Y while we were in disco-swing in J.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 34):
Bring on the A342 and A345

WOW! You are finally doing it! .. Well you better get cracking at that backlog of TRs cuz i wanna see a fully detailed A342 TR from you really soon      ... Can't wait!


Cheers,
Roni

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: ojas
Posted 2010-04-05 11:12:21 and read 32767 times.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 35):
True. But the point-to-point flights to ABCD (AMM, BEY, CAI, DAM) have still create mayhem at T1.

Really because normally one would expect ABCD flights to India ( ATQ, BOM, COK, DEL) to drive everyone nuts and virtually a battlefield if the 'D' is replaced by DAC.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 35):
Haha .. we have improved!   .. We won a skytrax award recently!

  

Tell me what did you guys do? Bribe them? Blackmail them? Hypnotise them? Black Magic? 

One a serious note, yes with terminal 3 I'm sure you guys must have upped the ground offerings as well. But still I do not trust Skytrax as it seems to be very very biased, IMO.

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: The777Man
Posted 2010-04-05 16:07:33 and read 32767 times.

Hi !

Excellent report with amazing pictures! WY seems to be the airline to beat now judging by this report and by PlaneHunter's report in Y. Let's hope they can remain at this high level of service and remain consistant. Amazing with so many meal choices ! The seat looks very comfortable too!

The777Man

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: NZ107
Posted 2010-04-05 16:45:56 and read 32767 times.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 35):
Actually, i noticed there was no mood lighting activated in Y while we were in disco-swing in J.

What a strange move by Oman Air.. Mood lighting is something that should definitely be used by them in all classes.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 35):
WOW! You are finally doing it!

I'm probably just as excited as you are! I'm afraid that these TRs will have to wait until I find breaks in my uni schedule.. However I might just be able to sneak my next one up either today or tomorrow. But I promise that they will be online sometime!

Cheers,
Nicholas

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: ryanair!!!
Posted 2010-04-05 17:56:38 and read 32767 times.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 35):
Just like we only come to expect LCC from Ryanair!!!?

HEY! Don't push it... I'll get you knotted down there but not before drowning you in White Patchouli!  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 35):
Wow .. i used to do the very same thing. Must be something all of us go through at that age.

Is that why we all grew up skid-marking ourselves silly?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 35):
The A333's on WY are equipped with an F cabin. Here is a pic from Business Traveller:

I stand corrected... GOOD GOD! By golly I thought SQ's seats were wide enough but this one takes the cake.

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: ronerone
Posted 2010-04-06 09:44:09 and read 32767 times.

Quoting ojas (Reply 36):
and virtually a battlefield if the 'D' is replaced by DAC.

Hmm .. I am suddenly finding myself rethinking a trip on GMG!

Quoting ojas (Reply 36):
Tell me what did you guys do? Bribe them? Blackmail them? Hypnotise them? Black Magic?

Hahah .. we worked our butts off to earn it!  
Quoting ojas (Reply 36):
But still I do not trust Skytrax as it seems to be very very biased, IMO.

I agree 100% and i think Skytrax is a little generic.

But in aviation, it is a label that gives status (or lack thereof).

Quoting The777Man (Reply 37):
Hi !

Excellent report with amazing pictures! WY seems to be the airline to beat now judging by this report and by PlaneHunter's report in Y. Let's hope they can remain at this high level of service and remain consistant. Amazing with so many meal choices ! The seat looks very comfortable too!

Thanks The777Man!

I hope that WY finds it's niche and also maintains this high standard. Most importantly, i hope they don't end up a mass production.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 38):
What a strange move by Oman Air.. Mood lighting is something that should definitely be used by them in all classes.

It's so discriminating isnt it? .. haha

CX does that too.

Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 39):
White Patchouli!

You and White Patchouli! .. You are obsessed! hahah


Cheers,
Roni

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: thaia345
Posted 2010-04-06 10:40:54 and read 32767 times.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
After a quick smoke outside, I proceeded inside the terminal building and to Oman Air’s check-in counters which are located in Area A, alongside those for Turkish Airlines, Mahan Air, China Southern, and Air Astana.

Ahhh one of the rare t smoke buddies in the air travel world, we should really make a trip and rate the smoking lounges of airports in the world !

Another nice and unique TR from you Roni. Really boring though the interiors of Oman's B738 in J. For me, the current best narrowbody J class is definitely Garuda's new B738 in the PK-GM* series. I also just got back from HKG for Easter, just to try out their new J product on the new A332, will post those TR soon.

Cheers buddy

Herbert

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: ronerone
Posted 2010-04-07 07:25:43 and read 32767 times.

Quoting thaia345 (Reply 41):
Ahhh one of the rare t smoke buddies in the air travel world, we should really make a trip and rate the smoking lounges of airports in the world !

Im in!

A smoking lounge for me is a must, even before immigration and right after deplaning!

Quoting thaia345 (Reply 41):
I also just got back from HKG for Easter, just to try out their new J product on the new A332, will post those TR soon.

Looking forward that!


Cheers,
Roni

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: flightsimboy
Posted 2010-04-07 21:08:01 and read 32767 times.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
You are officially a.net's cabin crew consultant   You know every little detail!

Wow, coming from you, that's amazing!!   

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
A nice Emirates experience is quite interesting! I hope there will be a TR ont hat!

Well that report on a great Emirates Experience was my first airliners.net report
Emirates - You've Won My Heart!
(by Flightsimboy Dec 5 2009 in Trip Reports)  

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: Econojetter
Posted 2010-04-07 21:37:31 and read 32767 times.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Of course, all confidence from this point forward went tumbling down. Even the alien with his big black camera found his own camera rather alien-ish at this point.

Haha... for the much less confident among us, myself for example, nothing bigger than a pocket-size point-and-shoot (or even cell phone camera) is manageable. Kudos to you and other intrepid trip reporters for pulling it off.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
with a tray of dates. I passed on the dates but I went for the coffee.

Yummy... I'm a big fan of dates and coffee. It seems to be a signature welcome-aboard service on Middle Eastern airlines.


Very interesting photo! Great composition!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
Foul medammes

Something that's probably quite delicious that unfortunately sounds a little less appealing when pronounced in English.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
The seat is huge, and extremely comfortable. Exceeding a countless number of airlines’ First Class offering, it would be ultimately strange to find any flaw in this Business Class seat.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
The selection listed in the menu was unbelievable, and not even Etihad’s offering on the JFK flight remotely matches it.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
Moreover, the abundance of all the best of frills seems to be a rather huge investment and without any improvement in loads, and more importantly yields, it is even senseless for the richest of airlines to maintain. The natural cycle of life only tells me that cut-backs to reality will more than likely happen. But I would love to be proven wrong!

Exactly. I agree. This amount of real estate for business class is simply way out there. Which calls to question the airline's own projections on the return-on-investment. I, too, believe that we are likely to see cutbacks. But of course from a customer's point of view, this airline is a stunning gem on the handful of markets it competes in.

Thanks for another great report.

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: ronerone
Posted 2010-04-09 08:28:06 and read 32767 times.

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 44):
Haha... for the much less confident among us, myself for example, nothing bigger than a pocket-size point-and-shoot (or even cell phone camera) is manageable. Kudos to you and other intrepid trip reporters for pulling it off.

Hey Econojetter!

I think i need me a good point & shoot for those more reserved airlines.

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 44):
Yummy... I'm a big fan of dates and coffee. It seems to be a signature welcome-aboard service on Middle Eastern airlines.

Yea .. typical to an Arab home too.

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 44):
Something that's probably quite delicious that unfortunately sounds a little less appealing when pronounced in English.

LOL .. Arabic is not so sexy in English haha

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 44):
Thanks for another great report.

Thanks for your comments! Glad you enjoyed.

Cheers,
Roni

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: akhmad
Posted 2010-04-09 10:51:26 and read 32767 times.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 42):
A smoking lounge for me is a must, even before immigration and right after deplaning!

Well, to be honest... I am going to savour Kretek cigarettes again while visiting Indonesia this summer and I can hardly wait.   

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: ronerone
Posted 2010-04-09 11:54:31 and read 32767 times.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 46):
Well, to be honest... I am going to savour Kretek cigarettes again while visiting Indonesia this summer and I can hardly wait.

You smoke?

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: akhmad
Posted 2010-04-09 12:29:58 and read 32767 times.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 47):
You smoke?

Yes, but I can only have the pleasure of those kreteks in Indonesia. The atmosphere, sultry weather, people, food...everything just has to fit in and all of those things just come together perfectly there.  

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: ryanair!!!
Posted 2010-04-09 19:00:15 and read 32767 times.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 45):
Arabic is not so sexy in English haha

I BEG BEG BEG to differ, my dear.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 46):
Well, to be honest... I am going to savour Kretek cigarettes again while visiting Indonesia this summer and I can hardly wait.

When I used to puff, I was a firm supporter of Sampoerna. Kreteks are the best ciggies, IMO. I have since given up smoking in order to maintain my gorgeous self but I won't mind a kretek or two once in a while. It has been tough trying to ignore the "warungs" in Jakarta because that is where I get my kretek.  

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: ronerone
Posted 2010-04-12 08:18:43 and read 32767 times.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 48):
Yes, but I can only have the pleasure of those kreteks in Indonesia. The atmosphere, sultry weather, people, food...everything just has to fit in and all of those things just come together perfectly there.

Haha u dont seem like a person who smokes!

Quoting ryanair!!! (Reply 49):
When I used to puff, I was a firm supporter of Sampoerna. Kreteks are the best ciggies, IMO. I have since given up smoking in order to maintain my gorgeous self but I won't mind a kretek or two once in a while. It has been tough trying to ignore the "warungs" in Jakarta because that is where I get my kretek.

Whereas you, i have seen huff n puff before!

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: borax
Posted 2010-04-12 09:43:20 and read 32767 times.

Another legendary report from you there, Roni!

Request for you to post up all your next trips so we can expect the next report?

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: akhmad
Posted 2010-04-13 11:43:12 and read 32767 times.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 50):
Haha u dont seem like a person who smokes!

Neither do you!  

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: ronerone
Posted 2010-04-13 14:00:02 and read 32767 times.

Quoting borax (Reply 51):
Another legendary report from you there, Roni!

Thanks Borax! Glad you enjoyed it!

Quoting borax (Reply 51):
Request for you to post up all your next trips so we can expect the next report?

I have learned to keep it a mystery, but the next one will be up soon, and it will be a 'routine' carrier  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 52):
Neither do you!

Unfortunately i have been smoking since i was 14   and next month i will be 31!

It is a tough battle, and as much as i enjoy it, id like to stop!

Cheers,
Roni

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: SR 103
Posted 2010-04-17 19:53:44 and read 32767 times.

As you know, I have nothing but praise for your trip reports and this was no exception. Truth be told, I am slightly jealous as I had always hoped to do one of the first Oman Air Business Class trip reports. However things always get in my way but I am glad that it was you who ended up posting the first one!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
passengers are entitled to use Gulf Air's First & Business Class lounge which is located next to Gate 122 at DXB. As it was a new lounge for me, it was not to be missed this time.

I am very impressed by the lounge, definitely have to give Gulf Air credit here. I have always had a soft spot for Gulf Air, they were the first Middle Eastern airline I ever tried and I still think they have one of the best paint schemes around.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
The buffet spread was quite adequate

Not bad at all. Any idea if any other airline uses the lounge other than GF and WY?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
At me and seatmate's turn, she kneeled down on the floor to make easy contact with us.

Very nice, a small touch that sets a fantastic crew apart from a good crew.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
More terminal pictures

Thats a nice little terminal. For some reason DOH (non premium terminal) came to mind when I saw your MCT pictures.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
From my experience and from what I have seen to date, they have a lot to work on if they plan to align their ground offering to that of their excellent in-flight product.

Why does this always seem to be the case for the Middle Eastern airlines? My first time at DXB back in the 90's was no different. Same with BAH, AUH, KWI and DOH from my experience. It always seems to be the local ground staff that ruin an otherwise exceptional experience.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
The seat is huge, and extremely comfortable. Exceeding a countless number of airlines' First Class offering, it would be ultimately strange to find any flaw in this Business Class seat.

While I am sure pictures can't do this seat justice, it still looks absolutely amazing! This has to be one of the best seats around.

I really like this style of letting the passenger mix and match in his or her own plate. Its definitely different but in a good way.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
I had expected great hardware on Oman Air's for sure. But what I was also expecting was a patchy set of crew who were yet to adapt to this new service, which I am assuming was only launched a few months prior. This was not the case, and everything seemed absolutely flawless

Thats great to hear! Like you I would have expected patchy crew, but it really is a testament to how the airline is run. Hopefully management keeps investing in the right area's and WY continues to deliver exceptional service as they grow.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
Having said all that, I definitely experienced exceptional service that is even better than that of my favorite Gulf airline. I thought that we really have seen it all, but now there is Oman Air! They are really something!

I always knew that one day I would read that another Middle Eastern airline topped your beloved Etihad, I just always thought it would be Qatar!  

I am eagerly looking forward to more of your reports. The time I spend reading your reports is like a nice mini escape from the pressures of daily life.

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: ronerone
Posted 2010-04-18 15:31:51 and read 32767 times.

Hey Anosh!!!

So good to hear from you my friend!  
Quoting SR 103 (Reply 54):
As you know, I have nothing but praise for your trip reports and this was no exception. Truth be told, I am slightly jealous as I had always hoped to do one of the first Oman Air Business Class trip reports. However things always get in my way but I am glad that it was you who ended up posting the first one!

Thanks for that!

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 54):
I am very impressed by the lounge, definitely have to give Gulf Air credit here. I have always had a soft spot for Gulf Air, they were the first Middle Eastern airline I ever tried and I still think they have one of the best paint schemes around.

GF is also the most experienced Gulf Airline. They have seen it all; success, financial turmoil, corruption, multi-hub strategies, you name it!

I may not be their biggest fan, but EK, QR, and EY wouldnt exist without GF.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 54):
Any idea if any other airline uses the lounge other than GF and WY?

I believe that only GF and WY use this lounge.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 54):
Very nice, a small touch that sets a fantastic crew apart from a good crew.

Indeed! This is what set the tone for the rest of the trip actually.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 54):
I always knew that one day I would read that another Middle Eastern airline topped your beloved Etihad, I just always thought it would be Qatar!

Haha. Qatar is coming!  
Quoting SR 103 (Reply 54):
I am eagerly looking forward to more of your reports.

Thanks. More coming soon.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 54):
The time I spend reading your reports is like a nice mini escape from the pressures of daily life.

Thanks Anosh .. Hope that all is well with you!

Cheers,
Roni

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: TR1
Posted 2010-04-21 16:49:35 and read 32767 times.

Amazing report! Looks like Oman Air is really trying to catch up with the big boys of the Gulf region. After flying them in coach last winter your report has whet my appetite for flying them in the premium cabins.

Can't wait for your next reports.

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: ronerone
Posted 2010-04-22 08:17:14 and read 32767 times.

Quoting TR1 (Reply 56):
Amazing report! Looks like Oman Air is really trying to catch up with the big boys of the Gulf region. After flying them in coach last winter your report has whet my appetite for flying them in the premium cabins.

Thanks TR1! Glad you enjoyed.

It was your report on Oman Air that was the initial influence  


Cheers,
Roni

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: CODC10
Posted 2010-05-15 19:00:36 and read 32767 times.

Great report.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Pleasantly quiet during off-peak times at DXB

This photo of DXB is somewhat reminiscent of EWR!

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: globetraveller
Posted 2010-05-18 23:47:01 and read 32767 times.

Hi Roni!

I hope all is well!

Wow... Is this really Business Class? About half the airlines I know do not even have a First Class like this and, to be honest, the Oman Air First Class barely looks better than Business. I am sure their excellent J must be giving F some serious competition.

Thanks for the great insight into this little known carrier - I thoroughly enjoyed the excellent pictures and great detail!

Globetraveller

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: ronerone
Posted 2010-05-19 07:36:11 and read 32767 times.

Quoting globetraveller (Reply 59):
I am sure their excellent J must be giving F some serious competition.

Hi Globetraveller!

I am sure it will, once their loads improve!  
Quoting globetraveller (Reply 59):
Thanks for the great insight into this little known carrier - I thoroughly enjoyed the excellent pictures and great detail!

Thanks for your comments! Good to hear from you.

Hope all is well!

Cheers,
Roni

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: caleb1
Posted 2010-06-05 18:21:22 and read 32767 times.

Another fantastic report Roni. Excellent as always!

Topic: RE: Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK
Username: shamrock321
Posted 2010-06-06 04:08:04 and read 32767 times.

Vey enjoyable read, great photos aswell, having a look back at some of your older reports now aswell, really enjoy your layout.


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