mjabbasi From Pakistan, joined Nov 2007, 31 posts, RR: 0 Posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 10689 times:
Officially this is my first TR as I spent too much time enjoying reading others TR's and never got around to posting any of mine. I have traveled extensively in my time (not as frequently as some a.netters who seem to be flying off somewhere at least once a week) but either I never thought of posting a proper TR or the internet wasn't in existence at the time but I do remember alot from most of my past trips and only started taking pics and making vids of my trips since the past 4-5 years. I have nothing before that other than memories in my mind. Here is a list of all the airlines/aircraft I have flown on to date, not in any particular order:
I think that just about covers all the airlines I have traveled on. I like to try out different airlines and it wasn't until I started flying QR to and from LHR that my travel agent (without my knowledge) made me a member of their Privilege Club FF program and I logged up enough air miles (not to mention free gifts such as key rings, calendars, aircraft models etc QR sent me) to bring me upto silver status and I got my first free J class ticket soon thereafter and once I had utilized that, I was suddenly downgraded to burgundy status and soon after that I received a simple beige FF card with no status. By then I decided to divorce QR and started flirting with Oman Air who was a small new comer among the regional Godzillas such as EK, EY and QR and who's J class offering was by far one of the cheapest going. I tried out Oman and was hooked. I signed up with their Sindbad FF program and soon enough achieved silver status which is where I am now. Oman's J class product is by far the best I have ever experienced on any airline, at par with QR's F class product and while I have flown Oman Air on the KHI-MCT-LHR (and vice versa) sector many times (I have family in London so I try to visit them as much as possible) this covers my most recent trip taken about 2 weeks ago to LHR.
Check in and Departure from Karachi (KHI):
Oman Air's winter schedule has their flight to MCT departing from KHI at 6.10am. KHI airport is not very large with 2 round satellites (1 for Intl and 1 for Dom) each parking around 6 a/c at each. This morning there were flights of PIA, Air Blue, EK, EY, GF, QR, BG and WY (Oman) all departing within 2 hours of each other so I was expecting a nightmare scenario at Immigration when my Taxi came to pick me up at 3.30am but surprisingly it was fairly calm but still pretty crowded. The WY J class check in (handled by Dnata who also do EK and EY) was processing a few Y class pax as there were only 3 of us in the J cabin and Y was almost full so I had to wait a good 15 mins before I was called forward. A porter tagged my bag as priority while the check in guy had to have my boarding passes and baggage labels printed out from another desk as his computer suddenly had a problem. It took about 10 mins of waiting and I was handed back my e-ticket, passport, 2 boarding passes, CIP lounge pass and baggage tags with an apology for the wait. My porter then took my suitcase for secondary screening where it passed through the x-ray and disappeared from sight to be loaded on board. Immigration also took about 10 mins as each pax have their pic taken by a webcam type device but the immigration officer was more intrigued by my 10 year UK visa as he had never seen one before so it was quite the novelty for him.
Post immigration, I went through the duty free shops which were those typical 'walk through to get to the gate' types which could best be described as boring and dreary. Taking pics inside the airport terminal is not allowed (and I didn't want to risk it as it was still dark outside being 4.30am) so there are none to see till I was on the plane itself. I by-passed the airline lounges and went through secondary security screening into the common departure area (thankfully not a mile long walk) which was full to capacity, not that I minded. I love the hustle and bustle of a busy airport. I met a friend of mine who was flying to YYZ with EY so we sat together till his flight to AUH was called. The gate where my plane was to depart from had an Air Blue A320 sitting there doing nothing with the cabin crew sitting in the lounge. It was time for my flight to land from MCT and park at the designated gate but the ED (Air Blue) A320 didn't budge and I couldn't see my WY 738. By 5.15am the ED A320 was pushed back and the crew who were sitting in the lounge got up and walked off somewhere. What, why, where I have no clue. By 5.30am boarding for my flight was called and were going to be bussed to the plane from a different gate. This was new to me so I didn't mind. I love planes, I love flying, I don't mind anything. 3 of us J pax boarded a bus from where my WY 738 could be clearly seen. I pulled out my phone and sneaked a pic.
I was the first J pax to board and a female crew member directed me to my seat 2A. The other 2 women J pax also settled into their seats. The cabins on board WY's 737-800's (at least the ones I've been on) seem to be from the period of WY's red/green livery days with dark blue leather seats and not much recline but a nice dagger motif on the bulkhead panels and looking very clean and tidy. Hot/cold towels were offered alongwith a selection of juices and arabic coffee and newspapers. I had a glass of water and juice with a hot towel which were soon cleared away and the doors closed at 6am sharp.
Biman 738 to DAC:
We pushed back at 6.05am and taxied to the runway at a startling speed. I thought only QR used to race to/from the runway but WY beat them to it. A manual safety demonstration was carried out by the crew followed by an animated video. As it was still dark, it was not possible for me to take any pics of the outside so I commenced with my camera from inside once the breakfast service started. Flight time to MCT was 1hr 40mins. Breakfast consisted of an Omelet with vegetables which was pretty much the same identical breakfast they served me on the same flight 5 months before but not bad.
Following the breakfast and another hot/cold towel service I tried to nap for a while but soon we commenced our descent into MCT. Landing was smooth and fast with lots of reverse thrust applied. We disembarked via stairs (the norm at MCT till the new terminal building is completed) and I alongwith the 2 other women J class pax were bussed to the terminal. On the ride there, the 2 women were discussing and complaining how uncomfortable the seats in the 737 were and were hoping the seats on the LHR flight (like me they were also flying to LHR) would be better. We now had a 6 hour transit till WY101 to LHR. Again I did not mind as the WY J class lounge at MCT is beautiful and MCT airport while small is well stocked with duty free shops and restaurants.
mjabbasi From Pakistan, joined Nov 2007, 31 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 10045 times:
Unfortunately it seems the 3 meager pics I have uploaded have used up all 2000,000 bytes of allowable space and I cannot post any more pics (a good way to force one into F class membership) hence below is the link to my Flickr album where the entire pics of the KHI-MCT-LHR trip can be seen:
The WY J class lounge had a fantastic mouth watering array of food/drink available and I love indulging when I travel. If I'm paying for it, I like to make the most of it. After having a second breakfast I tried out the free internet which was excellent and browsed around the airport and caught some pics of the local traffic. MCT is usually busiest late at night when all the European heavies come and go. After 2 hours I decided to go and nap in a quiet area of the lounge and requested the lounge receptionist to wake me up at 11.30am which was an hour and a half before out 1pm departure to LHR. She said they were a bit short staffed that day but will definitely try and they would come looking for me. Sure enough at 11.30am she came and woke me up. I thanked her and proceeded to collect my things and made a quick trip to the duty free shop to buy a few things before some of the lunch items they brought out and checking my email for the last time till boarding for my flight was announced. It was a long walk to the gate from where us J class pax were bussed to the plane. I took as many pics as were possible on the way to my plane (see Flickr link) which was A40-DD which I flew on last year.
I was welcomed by 2 cabin crew at the door and directed to my seat 11A. As I'm sure many by now know, the WY J cabin is in a 1-2-1 configuration, probably one of the few in the industry and beautifully appointed in beige/brown hues giving a very elegant and spacious look. Juices, Champagne, Arabic Coffee, Dates and hot/cold towels were distributed followed by noise cancelling headphones, menus, landing cards and amenity kits. We were still waiting for some last min Y class stragglers so I passed the time waiting by the open L2 door at the top of the stairs taking in the sun and the odd pic.
When we were all boarded and doors closed we were pushed back (rare in MCT) as the safety video was shown and all glasses and towels cleared for takeoff. I had my camera at hand and took pics as we went along although the hand baggage stowage bins on the side of the seat made it difficult to get a good view of the outside. The take off roll was very slow and gradual which I've noticed with WY. Their takeoffs are very slow and gradual on the A330's and the engine power down after takeoff was very noticeable. We slowly climbed to FL390 when the lunch service commenced. The smoked salmon starter was not available so I settled for the Penne Pasta starter, Pumpkin soup with the Lamb and Rice for the main course and Cheesecake for dessert. The food was fresh, beautifully presented and the cabin crew while being rather reserved and formal (not as chatty and talkative as on EK or QR) neither made themselves too conspicuous nor too scarce and politely served everyone flawlessly.
After lunch I began to feel the effects of my over eating and decided to sleep a few hours as the cabin dimmed and the purple/red/blue mood lighting took effect and the seat transformed into a perfect lie flat bed with blanket and slippers provided and I slept a good 4 and a half hours and woke up somewhere over Yugoslavia. I didn't bother with any pre-landing refreshments/snacks except for tea nor did I check out the IFE which btw is very comprehensive and easy to use and kept my screen on the map and air show which also showed the forward and below view cameras.
It got dark as we entered Europe and I decided to check out the on board duty free magazine before we started our descent and picked up a few Oman Air 737 and A330 models for myself and some friends (I'm an avid model collector since the last 30 years and my collection is upwards of 700+ models) and then freshened up in the toilets (which were kept spotlessly clean throughout the flight) and took a peek into F class which appeared empty which I've noticed on other flights. I wonder how does WY generate any revenue from F class because on all my flights, the F cabin has appeared empty. Their J class in itself is so popular and fabulous, they might as well do away with F class because it seems like a tremendous waste of space and the 1-2-1 seating almost identical to J with the exception of the circular designed roof lighting and squared off design of the seats.
It was pitch dark by the time we descended into LHR and we didn't have to hold and came straight in on 27R for a super smooth landing and docked at T3 in between a PIA B773ER and JAL B773ER. As the L2 door opened I was the first off the plane (no F pax) and with my fast track immigration pass, I made it to the baggage hall in 20 mins. The bags took ages to come out, so much for priority which I think means first on the plane but last off. I made a beeline to Boots to get some indigestion medicine and was out of T3 and on my way home.
Overall Oman Air are definitely an airline not to ignore. Their J class product/cabin is by far superior to EK and QR (can't speak for EY as I haven't flown them yet) and their fares remarkably cheaper than the others. I think they will succeed very well as a small niche carrier with select routes and as long as they don't have any ambitions to expand to monstrous proportions out for total global domination, the quality and presentation of their product should soon earn them 5 stars. Their J class seat has already won the Skytrax award for Worlds Best Business Class Seat which I feel is well deserved.
In view of the above, I think I can safely say that Oman Air for the time being will be my preferred airline of choice. Its unfortunate I cannot individually upload my pics here because I was only allowed limited space or unless there is another trick to uploading more pics without being coerced into F class membership? My return trip on WY back to KHI should appear sometime next month.
planejamie From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2011, 576 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 9949 times:
Hello, nice trip report! With the pictures, try embedding the Flickr ones onto the page rather than using the airliners.net uploading tool, that way there's no limit.
I flew WY RUH-MCT-RUH nearly 2 years ago in Economy and I was really surprised by them, the service was excellent (737-800), the crew spoke very good English and were very professional and helpful. I'd put WY between BA and CX in my experiences (my heart is with BA) but if ever I need to connect to anywhere in the Middle East I will always pick WY then SV (even if it means flying MAN-LHR on BA then connecting - I can't stand EK, EY or even QR now).
WY J Class looks bloody awesome and I hope to try it out one day! I agree with your point about F, if you just showed the pictures to someone they'd think it was First!
MH017 From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 1633 posts, RR: 32 Reply 3, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 6887 times:
Thanks a lot for sharing this excellent WY J-class TR !!! I've really enjoyed reading and looking at your Flickr pictures !!!
J-class on WY looks an excellent choice of travel, esp. giving their excellent fares in this class; Looking at your pictures, I really liked the catering as well as the glasses they use !!!
Too bad, you haven't shown us the contents of the ammenity kit; I would be really interested to see this...
Judging by your arrival pictures at KHI, it seems there are plenty of EK-registered planes there (2x IL-76 and 2x 747): any reasons for this - maintenance ?
Looking forward to more of your Trippies: it was, definitely, a great read !!!