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UAE And Oman With BA And Air Arabia. Y & Y+  
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Posted (4 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 22820 times:

UAE and Oman with BA and Air Arabia. Y & Y+

This was a trip that I hadn’t originally planned on taking. I’ve been to Dubai before, and had very little holiday leave left. However, due to a change in working schedules, I ended up with an extra two days holiday to use before Easter. My aunt and uncle moved out to Dubai (Abu Dhabi originally) a few years ago, and I had yet to go and visit. We decided that I should go out in February to make the most of getting away from the British winter, but due to my work load, ended up changing to late March. I decided to add in a few days in Oman whilst I was out there, seeing as I’d never been there before, and the flights were the same price as returning from Dubai.

I headed off to Heathrow on the tube (which spent 20 minutes in a siding somewhere near Hounslow) straight after work on Friday to Terminal 5. This is the second time I’ve used T5 after I flew with BA to Rome last year. This time, the terminal was nearly empty, with only a handful of longhaul flights heading out the night before the strike.

Despite the very nice architecture, using the Terminal isn’t overly user friendly. From the tube, you have to go up 3 escalators, go outside, turn around, go inside, then take a lift to the departure hall (none of which is very well signposted). From there you go though security, down an escalator, then another, then another, take a train, up two escalators, then down one more to get to the plane – whoever won the escalator and lift contracts from BAA must have made a fortune.

People mover to the B Pier
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5120.jpg

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5122.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5123.jpg

BA
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5125.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5126.jpg


BA interloper
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5127.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5128.jpg

Departures


Buildings and lifts aside, I used the self service check in (no queue), then dropped my bags (long queue), then went though security (no queue) and into the main departures lounge. Thanks to the delayed tube, I had just enough time to take the shuttle to Pier B (longhaul departures). As some of you may have noticed, that Friday night there were quite a few unusual aircraft floating round T5 to cover during the cabin crew strike. I only saw one, a B767 Euroatlantic parked at the end of the pier.

London Heathrow (LHR) – Dubai (DXB)
British Airways BA 105
Scheduled: 2040-0755 (7h15m)
Actual: 2110-0744 (6h34m)
G-BNWI (ex. City of Madrid)
B767-300 ER

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5131.jpg

Despite there being a full load, and lots of people crowding around the gate, when the ground crew started boarding, no one moved. Not wanting to hang around for no particular reason, I went to the desk, and was first on. Gradually everyone else followed me. The guy at the aircraft door welcomed me by name (always nice), and pointed me down the aisle. I’d selected a window seat, but ended up swapping to accommodate a couple. When they first asked me I said no (I booked the window for a reason – to look out!), but then saw the person in the middle block of seats and decided that I wanted to sit next to them. They were rather hot! Despite this, I was a bit annoyed in the morning, as the views arriving into DXB was amazing (from what I could see from the middle aisle).

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5133.jpg
View from my window seat

The vast majority of the passengers seemed to be Spanish, which was a shame as they were very loud, and had an annoying habit of standing up in the aisles, leaning over the seats, and having long chats to their friends in the middle of the night.

We pushed back late (can’t remember if a reason was given) and ended up taking off half an hour late. Dinner choices were some sort of beef, or Chicken Tagine. The Tagine was pretty tasty, and the dessert (some sort of chocolate mousse), very nice. Everything was washed down with a few double G&Ts.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5135.jpg

Up in the Air
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5137.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5139.jpg

Despite being squashed down the back in economy, I managed to sleep until about an hour before arrival when we were served a very unappetising tomato sandwich.

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5140.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5141.jpg

We touched down a few minutes early, and after a very long walk to arrivals, I picked up my bag and met up with my aunt and uncle. Below are a few photos from the UAE (United Arab Emirates) part.

Ski Dubai
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5142.jpg

Burj Al Arab and Burg Khalifa (world’s tallest building, closed when I was there)
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5152.jpg


Dubai Fort


Dubai Creek
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5176.jpg

Dubai Souq
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5181.jpg

Aquarium in Mall of the Emirates
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5198.jpg

And the Mall Fountains beneath the Burj Khalifa
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5201.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5203.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5213.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5215.jpg

Day trip to Abu Dhabi to see the Mosque (very beautiful building)
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5223.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5247.jpg

UAE National Car Museum. This place is in the middle of nowhere an hour outside Abu Dhabi in the desert, and is the private collection of one of the ruling Sheiks. Quite a weird and wonderful selection. He was also known as the Rainbow Sheik. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get very close to the Lockheed (ex. Loch Fyne of B Cal).
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5273.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5281.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5283.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5292.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5305.jpg

World’s largest Caravan (8 ensuite bedrooms!)
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5293.jpg

Ex-Bcal Loch Fyne
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5295.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5297.jpg

Abu Dhabi - 7* Emirates Palace Hotel
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5317.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5319.jpg


To get from Dubai to Muscat there is a choice of multiple daily flights on Emirates and Oman Air, or Air Arabia from Sharjah (a few miles from Dubai). When I booked the BA flights I was offered an add-on with Emirates to Muscat, but at that time my aunt and I were planning on driving, so didn’t take it. In the end we decided to fly, so went with Air Arabia as EK and Oman Air were too expensive.

This would be my 3rd flight on Air Arabia, the first being Sharjah – Beirut, and second Damascus – Sharjah, bit back in 2004. They were pretty good, with cheap buy onboard, and good legroom. Since then their operations have increased dramatically, and so the once quiet Sharjah airport is now a mad house. I ended up waiting half an hour for a bag drop. Not very impressed. On the other hand, the lady at immigration was very pleasant, asking me questions about where I enjoyed Dubai etc, which was a pleasant change from the stereotypical immigration agents in the Middle East.

Sharjah (SHJ) – Muscat Seeb (MCT)
Air Arabia G9 115
Scheduled: 0815-0910 (0h55m)
Actual: 0821-0908 (0h47m)
A6-ABN
Airbus A320

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5333.jpg

After waiting so long to check in, by the time I was though immigration and security, I didn’t have much time left before boarding. We were bussed out to the aircraft (an ex-Spanish one), and took off just a few minutes late. The load was pretty good, but there was an empty seat next to me.

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5335.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5336.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5339.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5341.jpg

The views enroute were pretty good, with views of Dubai (and the Pearl and The World developments), as well as the mix of desert and mountains.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5343.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5344.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5346.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5350.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5355.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5363.jpg

Muscat Airport
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5367.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5368.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5370.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5371.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5372.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5373.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5375.jpg

The crew did a buy on board service, but I didn’t buy anything. After doing a loop of the city, we touched down a few minutes early. Muscat doesn’t have any airbridges, so we were bussed to the terminal. Interestingly, visas are only sold from the Travelex in the arrivals area, not from actual immigration staff. My bag was sitting next to the carousel once I had cleared immigration.

I met up with my aunt (who had arrived on the EK service), and we picked up our hire car (my first left hand drive AND automatic, all at the same time!) and headed to our hotel (via the Souq).

The Souq
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5390.jpg

Presidential Palace
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5395.jpg

The Oman Dive Centre beach
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5413.jpg

Camel Burger
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5416.jpg

Nizwa Fort (old capital of Oman)
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5456.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5486.jpg

It was hot (although the car was parked in the sun….)
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5490.jpg

After an all too brief stay in Oman it was time to head back to London. The BA flight operates via Abu Dhabi (my 3rd UAE airport in 5 days), with a 1 hour scheduled stopover.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5494.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5495.jpg

I was dropped at Muscat Airport around quarter to eleven. The LH crew (operating to FRA via AUH) arrived just before I did. They took the ‘First and Business’ queue for the baggage screening, which was twice as long as the Economy one. There were two BA desks open, and no one else queuing so I was checked in in less than a minute.

Security and immigration we both fast, with hardly anyone else waiting. Muscat airport, like many in the Middle East, get busy during the eveing. KLM had their daily flight to Amsterdam (via Abu Dhabi), Swiss to Zurich (via Dubai), and Lufthansa to Frankfurt (via Abu Dhabi), as well as short hops around the Middle East on Gulf carriers (Qatar to Doha, Etihad to Abu Dhabi and Gulf Air to Bahrain). Oman Air of course are also well represented, although their European flights (London, Frankfurt, Munich and Pairs), leave during the day.

Muscat Airport – clean, small and not too glitzy
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5497.jpg

Muscat Seeb (MCT) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)
British Airways BA 72
Scheduled: 0015-0120 (1h05m)
Actual: 0019-0100 (0h41m)
G-YMMI
B777-200 ER

The flight was called an hour before departure – thankfully I didn’t go down straight away as there was an additional screening point beyond which lay….;a small room full of chairs. Nothing to do there whatsoever. Around 2345, the crew came though security too, and headed out to the crew bus. Not long after we followed, with a First and Business bus, then an economy one. The drive to the plane only took a minute. Hoping to get a few photos, I got off the bus last. There were a few ground staff mooching around, but no one paid me any attention, so a took a few craft shots (hence not very well composed!).
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5499.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5501.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5503.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5504.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5505.jpg

Whilst nowhere near full, the majority of World Traveller Plus customers boarded here, rather than in Abu Dhabi, which was the opposite for the other 3 classes. From Muscat, 10 out of 28 seats were taken. In Abu Dhabi, four more people boarded, so there was plenty of space for everyone to stretch out.

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5511.jpg

Safety Card including New First
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5514.jpg

VIP Terminal
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5518.jpg


http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5525.jpg


We took off into the dark a few minutes behind schedule for the short hop across the desert to Abu Dhabi. I was hoping to be able to get a couple of G&Ts in, so I’d be able to get to sleep, but unfortunately on this sector there was only a choice of juice or water.

As this flight was being operated the day after the end of the strike, the crew were actually not standard crew – not that it was obvious. The only give away (other than their name badges) was the fact that I noticed a First Officer going though security with the rest of the crew (complete with hat) in Muscat – then he was the one serving drinks (less hat). Thumbs up to him! He was actually one of the best FAs I’ve ever had – friendly, polite and genuine. I completed a compliment form on the BA website about him, but as he isn’t actually cabin crew I’m not sure it’ll do much to further his flight deck career!

We touched down twenty minutes early into Abu Dhabi. My view, however, was limited for most of the stopover to a long line of assorted Etihad aircraft. The captain originally announced a stop of “hopefully less than an hour”, which ended up being nearly 2 – not what you want when you want to sleep.

RJ next to us in AUH
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5529.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5522.jpg

Abu Dhabi (AUH) – London Heathrow (LHR)
British Airways BA 72
Scheduled: 0235-0625 (7h50m)
Actual: 0251-0603 (7h12m)
G-YMMI
B777-200 ER

Once the new Abu Dhabi passengers had boarded, the crew did their safety announcements again, and we were off. As I was still waiting for my G&Ts, I ordered a few when the trolley came around which helped induce some sleep. This was my first time on BA’s Premium economy, having previously flown on Air New Zealand’s only. The BA seats were pretty comfortable, pretty much on par with NZ. NZ, of course, trumps BA hands down in terms of catering, however, as they serve Business class food versus BA’s economy food.

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5533.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5534.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5535.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5537.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5538.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5539.jpg

An hour before landing a horrible assortment of sugar-loaded rubbish (for lack of better words) was served. The croissant was full of cheese, the orange juice undrinkable, and the fruit bars first ingredient was high glucose corn syrup (or similar). Yuck. I appreciate (but disagree with the fact) that the hybrid crew couldn’t serve proper hot meals, but this was just pain disgusting. A choice of fruit, normal bread and a bowl of corn flakes would have been a world better. Never mind. At least the outbound food was ok.

http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5545.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5549.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5551.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5556.jpg

We touched down just a few minutes after six, and I was though immigration and standing by the carousel by 0625, the original landing time. The bags took a while to come off despite there being no other arrivals at the same time.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5557.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5558.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/Oman/CIMG5559.jpg

I felt that BA did a pretty good job overall. I haven’t flown BA longhaul for a long time, and for the price, I thought the product was pretty good. It was nice being able to upgrade to WTP for only £100 on the way back – the extra space really does make a difference.

Terminal 5 is nice and clean, but hideously poorly designed – hopefully in the newer piers they’ll rely a little less on escalators, but I doubt that that will happen.

Dubai is somewhere everyone should visit at least once – it has to be seen to be believed. And Oman – don’t go there – it’s fabulous just as it is and shouldn’t be overrun by tourists! The Middle East’s best kept secret.


http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently onlineeaa3 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1017 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 22605 times:

Great report. Oman looks like an interesting place to visit, as well as Dubai off course. Although Oman seems to be a bit more genuine than Dubai.

User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5124 posts, RR: 55
Reply 2, posted (4 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 22272 times:

Thanks for a wonderful TR. Seems like BA held her own on your flights. Ya, DXB is quite something isn't it ... not really my taste, but worth a visit once in a lifetime. And, you're completely on the mark below:

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
And Oman – don’t go there – it’s fabulous just as it is and shouldn’t be overrun by tourists! The Middle East’s best kept secret.

Thanks for sharing.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6824 posts, RR: 77
Reply 3, posted (4 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 21809 times:

Hi Gabriel,

very interesting report with nice pictures from Oman. I definitely want to spend a vacation there.

Bad to hear about the dissatisfying BA catering.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinemk777 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1195 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 21432 times:

Nice TR. Atleast I know that BA is consistent, though the catering service can improve greatly!!!

I loved pictures from Muscat....I think someday i will travel to the middle east...and Muscat will definitely be on the agenda.

Dubai seems like fun too but a bit too dramatic....everything seems unreal.... 
Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I’d selected a window seat, but ended up swapping to accommodate a couple. When they first asked me I said no (I booked the window for a reason – to look out!), but then saw the person in the middle block of seats and decided that I wanted to sit next to them. They were rather hot!

Hopefully your eyes were warmed on your way to DXB...LOL



come fly with me
User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8561 posts, RR: 54
Reply 5, posted (4 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 21359 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi Gabriel,

Nice report and pictures as usual, thanks for posting.

Seems all the flights were pretty good, despite the sub standard 'strike' food offered on the return flight.

Interesting comments about Oman, I too hear it's a great place to visit.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineAOMlover From Singapore, joined Jul 2001, 1305 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (4 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 21043 times:

Great report mate !

And it comes at a perfect time for me, as I'll be in Muscat for a three-day trip in May. At what hotel did you stay in Muscat ? Do you have any recommendations about what to do for a short stay there ?

Thanks in advance for your replies.


User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1951 posts, RR: 24
Reply 7, posted (4 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 20650 times:
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Great report and pictures! I like your views from Oman. What a cool place!

767747


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6596 posts, RR: 55
Reply 8, posted (4 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 20217 times:

Hi Gabriel!

Very nice report with nice pictures. Muscat seems really nice and I'll try to visit sometime.

How was the camel burger ?

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1294 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (4 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 20215 times:
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Love that head shot of the BA 744!! Would have been nice if the Burj Khalifa was open, so you could have got some aerial shots! Remarkable to see that FO working as an FA on board your return flight. Glad to see that Oman is still very much Middle Eastern and a hidden treasure!

User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (4 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 19569 times:

Thanks for all the comments so far!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
I definitely want to spend a vacation there.

Definitely do that! Go before it everyone else discovers it!

Quoting mk777 (Reply 4):
Hopefully your eyes were warmed on your way to DXB...LOL

They were!

Quoting AOMlover (Reply 6):
And it comes at a perfect time for me, as I'll be in Muscat for a three-day trip in May. At what hotel did you stay in Muscat ? Do you have any recommendations about what to do for a short stay there ?

I stayed at the Oman Diver Centre, which is about 45 minutes south of Muscat - nice beach and good value (relatively). it's right next to the Shangri-La. You need to hire a car if you are going to stay down there. The day trip to Nizwa was great. i hear that the Musandam Peninsula (in the North) is really nice, but not really doable for 3 days. There are a few wadis near Muscat, they're 4x4 territory though!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 8):
How was the camel burger ?

Delicious! far better than the crocodile burger I had in Darwin. The wedges, salad, hot desert breeze and crystal clear water all helped the flavour I think.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 9):
Would have been nice if the Burj Khalifa was open, so you could have got some aerial shots!

I was so annoyed that it was shut. My uncle had gone up a few days before it was shut "for testing", and said the views were amazing.



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User currently offlineLHR380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (4 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 19138 times:

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
From the tube, you have to go up 3 escalators, go outside, turn around, go inside, then take a lift to the departure hall (none of which is very well signposted). From there you go though security, down an escalator, then another, then another, take a train, up two escalators, then down one more to get to the plane – whoever won the escalator and lift contracts from BAA must have made a fortune.

As soon as you get off the tube there is a bank of lifts that take you directly up to the departure level.

If you take the escalator, you go up, then get the orange bank of lifts inside I believe that again take you up to departures.


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (4 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 18174 times:

Quoting LHR380 (Reply 11):
As soon as you get off the tube there is a bank of lifts that take you directly up to the departure level.

If you take the escalator, you go up, then get the orange bank of lifts inside I believe that again take you up to departures.

Thanks for that titbit. I'm flying back though T5 to Helsinki in May, so will look for the lifts next time! I just don't think that their signage is anywhere as clear as it out to be, especially if you are in a rush - of course it doesn't help that the tube is about 100 metres below check in!



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User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1096 posts, RR: 32
Reply 13, posted (4 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 18081 times:

Nice report Gabriel.

Despite the difficulties BA were having they seemed to deliver a pretty solid product.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Ex-Bcal Loch Fyne

I smiled at this as I live not ten minutes away from this very Loch...

cheers



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlineLHR380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 17869 times:

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 12):
Thanks for that titbit. I'm flying back though T5 to Helsinki in May, so will look for the lifts next time! I just don't think that their signage is anywhere as clear as it out to be, especially if you are in a rush - of course it doesn't help that the tube is about 100 metres below check in!

As you get off the tube and out of the barrier, the lift shaft is directly in front of you, with the escalators off to the left. They are, to be honest, pretty well sign posted in my opinion. The is a sign just as you go the the barrier to the escalators saying use the lifts if you have bags/pushchairs etc baggage


User currently offlinePe@rson From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 19236 posts, RR: 52
Reply 15, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 17809 times:

Excellent trip report!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Camel Burger

I was going to ask why did you eat a burger and chips/wedges in Oman, but I then reread what you put.  



"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 17124 times:

Quoting LHR380 (Reply 14):
As you get off the tube and out of the barrier, the lift shaft is directly in front of you, with the escalators off to the left. They are, to be honest, pretty well sign posted in my opinion. The is a sign just as you go the the barrier to the escalators saying use the lifts if you have bags/pushchairs etc baggage

The next time I fly though I'll have a look, although I just realised my trip to Helsinki in May actually goes from T3, so no more escalators for me!

Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 15):
Excellent trip report!

Thanks



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User currently offlineAI151 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2009, 303 posts, RR: 15
Reply 17, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 16628 times:

Hi Gabriel, great TR and nice pictures. I loved Muscat when I went in 2006 and stayed in a mixture of the Al Bustan and The Chedi.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Despite the very nice architecture, using the Terminal isn%u2019t overly user friendly. From the tube, you have to go up 3 escalators, go outside, turn around, go inside, then take a lift to the departure hall (none of which is very well signposted). From there you go though security, down an escalator, then another, then another, take a train, up two escalators, then down one more to get to the plane %u2013 whoever won the escalator and lift contracts from BAA must have made a fortune.

I've always thought of this as the crystal maze and got totally lost at 0630 once!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
headed off to Heathrow on the tube (which spent 20 minutes in a siding somewhere near Hounslow) straight after work on Friday to Terminal 5.

Is this a typical Piccadilly Line signal failure on a Friday evening during the rush hour?

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Despite there being a full load, and lots of people crowding around the gate, when the ground crew started boarding, no one moved

That's definitely the 1st I've heard that happen. Normally everyone rushes to get on board.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
They took the %u2018First and Business%u2019 queue for the baggage screening, which was twice as long as the Economy one.

This is one thing I noticed as well. All the F and J passengers had to queue up in the same line which made it go so slowly, that in the end I walked up to Gulf Air's Y class counters and checked-in there despite travelling in First Class

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
An hour before landing a horrible assortment of sugar-loaded rubbish (for lack of better words) was served. The croissant was full of cheese, the orange juice undrinkable, and the fruit bars first ingredient was high glucose corn syrup (or similar). Yuck. I appreciate (but disagree with the fact) that the hybrid crew couldn%u2019t serve proper hot meals, but this was just pain disgusting. A choice of fruit, normal bread and a bowl of corn flakes would have been a world better

Over the years BA's on board food service has gone down dramatically. I have a tendency of eating a big meal before going on a BA flight.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
And Oman %u2013 don%u2019t go there %u2013 it%u2019s fabulous just as it is and shouldn%u2019t be overrun by tourists! The Middle East%u2019s best kept secret

Oman is definitely a well kept secret in the Middle East. It's clean and so quiet, much better than Dubai and other places. Like you I hope it doesn't get infested with tourist and ex-pats.

Sandeep (AI151)



Modern Vision. Timeless Traditions...
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 18, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 16072 times:

Quoting AI151 (Reply 17):
I loved Muscat when I went in 2006 and stayed in a mixture of the Al Bustan and The Chedi.

I had dinner on my last night at the Chedi - looked like a very nice hotel, although the incense they had in reception smelt like BO. Nit good. The seafood restaurant on the beach is amazing.

Quoting AI151 (Reply 17):

Is this a typical Piccadilly Line signal failure on a Friday evening during the rush hour?

Everytime I head for LHR it seems to be like that.



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User currently offlineA340600 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 4105 posts, RR: 51
Reply 19, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 15856 times:

Great report, I despise Dubai but agree it's worth seeing. Muscat however is a fantastic place and I met some wonderful people there.

Quoting LHR380 (Reply 14):
As you get off the tube and out of the barrier, the lift shaft is directly in front of you, with the escalators off to the left. They are, to be honest, pretty well sign posted in my opinion. The is a sign just as you go the the barrier to the escalators saying use the lifts if you have bags/pushchairs etc baggage

I can only agree with the writer here, I approached T5 from the tube station the first time the other day and, despite knowing the terminal very well, completely missed the elevators and was left waiting for them where they didn't even stop further up, completely confused.



Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (1 year 7 months 9 hours ago) and read 6640 times:

Hi, sorry for the incredibly slow reply  
Quoting A340600 (Reply 19):
Great report

Thanks

Quoting A340600 (Reply 19):
I despise Dubai but agree it's worth seeing

Yeah, it's an interesting place

Quoting A340600 (Reply 19):
Muscat however is a fantastic place and I met some wonderful people there.

I can't wait to go back sometime

Quoting A340600 (Reply 19):
I can only agree with the writer here, I approached T5 from the tube station the first time the other day and, despite knowing the terminal very well, completely missed the elevators and was left waiting for them where they didn't even stop further up, completely confused.

I hope that the new terminal East will be well designed in this regard



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