capicua From Venezuela, joined Apr 2011, 100 posts, RR: 0 Posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 11390 times:
Welcome to the continuation of my TR on the journey to Oman.
You may read about the flights that got me to HAM from CCS here. Let me pick it up from there.
After catching up with my cousins in Hamburg, replenishing their stock of P.A.N. cornmeal for arepas, empanadas, and bollos pelones and a restful night of sleep it was time to continue my trip to Oman.
The tour operator allowed us travelers to select between Emirates and Oman Air for the flights from Germany to Muscat. Inspired by PlaneHunter’s report on Oman Air to MCT ex MUC in Y and William/Knightsofmalta’s report ex ZRH in J, I was very eager to try out WY and the choice of the airline with the wisp of incense on the tail over the one with the green-white-black-red colored wedge was an easy one.
Even though EK flies out of HAM, WY doesn’t. So how do I get to my Oman Air flight? Enter the Deutsche Bahn: the price of the tour I booked also included free first class railway tickets to/from FRA or MUC from any city in Germany and back after the journey.
I had intended to leave my Hamburg ‘home base’ at 10 in the morning and take the bus to the main railway station in time for the 10:58 departure to Frankfurt airport station. That would have me arriving at FRA at around 15:00 and leave me enough time for a short spotting session on the observation deck of Terminal 2. Unfortunately several telephone calls and e-mails regarding a fraud with my credit card back in Venezuela held me up and in the end I was only able to take the 12:02 train to Frankfurt/Main main station.
Hamburg Hauptbahnhof (I miss the large clock in the hall):
I hopped aboard the train through the closest door and worked my way to the first class wagons inside. I had not made seat reservations expecting the train not to be full, much less so in 1. Klasse, and was proven right. There were plenty of unoccupied and unreserved seats to choose from. I settled into one of them, made myself comfortable and enjoyed the ride on ICE in F.
Crossing the bridges over the River Elbe:
From a rainy, windy grey murk and 9°C in Hamburg the weather kept improving the farther south we got. After Kassel it was all bright sunshine and a lot warmer. A T/A, or ‘train attendant’, would pass regularly through the cars offering coffee, cake and newspapers for purchase. Mini packs of gummi bears were offered free of charge. The train, however, did not do honor to its ‘Express’ title today and managed to build up a delay of over an hour by the time we reached Frankfurt. Of course, at this speed…
…and with several unscheduled stops along the way you can’t expect it to be on time. A few rows ahead of me a Swiss couple traveling all the way from Hamburg to Zurich was not happy at all. With my departure an hour later than planned and the train taking an hour longer than scheduled I could forget my spotting session at FRA. Me not happy at all either!
Eventually we reached Frankfurt/Main main station after 4 p.m.:
This train did not go via the airport so I had to get off and continue the trek on a suburban train. No big deal as these run quite frequently. But by the time I reached the airport, made my way from the railway station through Terminal 1, onto the AirLink to Terminal 2 and then to the entrance of the visitors terrace by the McD’s the observation deck was already closed. Shoot!
Well, now I had an hour’s time until the check-in counters opened. No OLCI possible on this group fare. Let’s check the FIDS:
My flight seems to be on time but what happened to BA that day? Two flights cancelled and a third one delayed:
The check-in desks indeed opened at 19:00 as promised and shortly afterwards I joined the queue to get my boarding pass and leave the bag. This flight seems to gain popularity with travelers who connect through MCT because I saw lots of people traveling on to other destinations such as KTM, MLE, BKK, ZNZ and so forth. Good for WY.
Fortunately by the time it was my turn to check in there were still window seats available in the area where I wished to be seated – way back.
Now with my boarding pass in hand there was still a lot of time to kill until the scheduled departure at 22:00 so I went to inspect every possible corner of Terminal 2, which I hadn’t been to before. People watching was also a good pastime with LA, QF, EK, BA and KC flights being checked in all around me.
Eventually I decided to go airside. Both passport control and security check went very smooth but it turned out that going airside too early is not a good idea in Terminal 2 at FRA. All of a sudden I and many other passengers were stuck in the corridor leading to gates E5 to E8, without access to the actual gate area/holding pen for our flight (which wasn’t open yet). The other gates were closed and there was no possibility to go back landside again. The corridor doesn’t provide enough seats for a full planeload of people. Whoever got hold of one of the few coveted seats would not dare to get up and loose it…
At around 20:45 the WY ground staff showed up and opened the access to gate E8. A first glimpse at our plane tonight: A330-200 A40-DC:
This particular flight held a few firsts for me: first time flying out of Terminal 2 at FRA, first time on Oman Air and even first time on an A330. Although the scheduled equipment was an A330-300, I was more than glad to take the -200 as well.
October 2012 Airline: Oman Air Flight: WY114 STD/ATD: 22:00/21:45 (pushback) STA/ATA: 06:45+1/06:35+1 Route: FRA-MCT Registration: A40-DC Aircraft: A330-200 Seat: 41K
Boarding commenced at 21:15 and was called by row numbers. I spotted only a handful of passengers traveling in J, all the rest were going in Y. The atmosphere upon boarding was very friendly, the F/A’s had placed themselves strategically in each of the cabins to greet the passengers. The colors on the upholstery of the seats reflect the many different hues one may see in the Jabal Akhdar mountain range – or at least that’s what it seemed to me after having been there.
Take-off was from runway 07C right on schedule at 22:00. Before and during take-off the nose camera was switched on and its image shown on the main screens. Unfortunately the airshow was not available on the PTV screens. After the release ping the crew sprung into action and started their service by distributing menu cards and amenity kits. What a pleasant surprise in Y!
The amenity kit contained the usual suspects: a pair of socks and eyeshades, both in WY’s trademark turquoise color, earplugs and toothbrush and paste.
Upon opening the menu I was even more surprised by the offerings than I was by the fact of simply getting one in Y: there were three entrée options to choose from for dinner.
Then hot towels were handed out and while we tried to make up our minds about which meal to select for dinner, Luz, the Philippine F/A taking care of my section of the cabin, came around with beverages and a snack. I chose orange juice to go with the nut and dried fruit mix.
Being seated this far back I was prepared to hear that my food selection was unfortunately not available anymore but Luz gladly placed a tray with my choice of chicken on my table.
Believe me, the food was as good as it looked, from the salmon appetizer all the way through to the fruit crumble cake. But plastic cutlery?
Once the cabin was cleared of dinner service items I watched a few short TV features and then drifted away into the next night of sit-up sleep. Morpheus had me in his grip for a good three hours but eventually I woke up from the general commotion created in the cabin by the lights going on signalizing that the night was officially over.
In the meantime the F/A’s had placed a bottle of water in each seatback (this pic can also double as legroom shot – note the generous pitch):
About 1:30 prior to arrival breakfast was served. Aaah, a much needed caffeine fix!
The idea of a pizza quattro formaggi for breakfast may seem a bit odd, but it actually tasted very good. Don’t let the gooey streaks on the lid of the box mislead you.
While I was munching on my pizza we overflew Dubai:
Eventually it dawned not only within the cabin but outside as well…
…and soon thereafter we commenced our descent into MCT. Turning final for rwy 26:
Landing was at 6:35, ten minutes ahead of schedule. After a short taxi we reached our parking position and sadly this flight was over. I was in Oman!
Buses were waiting for the passengers at the bottom of the airstairs to take them to the terminal building. Once there the first order of business was to get a visa upon arrival. Being seated way back in the plane had me standing close to the buses’ door and therefore I was amongst the first in line for the visa (a typical case of ‘the last ones shall be first’). After about 10 minutes in line it was my turn. The visa officer had a very close look at my passport because all the ones he had seen so far this morning were German and mine was not. They don’t seem to get that many Venezuelans in Oman… Visa fee paid and receipt in hand it was over to the immigration officer who stamped me in. Now I had really arrived in Muscat!
One after another the members of our travel group came trickling out of the baggage claim hall and gathered behind the Omani holding the sign of our tour operator. By the time the last ones arrived, the first ones had already changed some money at the forex office. The exploration of the land could begin.
After reading several TR’s on Oman Air I had very high expectations of my flight with them – and they were all fulfilled. The cabin crew members were all very polite but a bit on the reserved side. The service, however, was outstanding. I definitely would (and did!) fly them again. The only flaws were the non-functioning airshow and the plastic cutlery with the meals. But I got over them.
As subjective as this may be, it also felt especially good flying on an airline with such an elegant livery – certainly one of the more beautiful ones out there
Thanks for reading this far. Feedback will be very much appreciated, as always.
debonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2435 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 11276 times:
Quoting capicua (Thread starter): The tour operator allowed us travelers to select between Emirates and Oman Air for the flights from Germany to Muscat.
Which was your tour operator? EWTC - Emirates World Travel Cologne?
Quoting capicua (Thread starter): Enter the Deutsche Bahn: the price of the tour I booked also included free first class railway tickets to/from FRA or MUC from any city in Germany and back after the journey.
Quoting capicua (Thread starter): I was very eager to try out WY and the choice of the airline with the wisp of incense on the tail over the one with the green-white-black-red colored wedge was an easy one.
The fantastic livery alone makes it worthwile to fly WY.
Quoting capicua (Thread starter): This flight seems to gain popularity with travelers who connect through MCT because I saw lots of people traveling on to other destinations such as KTM, MLE, BKK, ZNZ and so forth. Good for WY.
WY has built a good reputation.
Quoting capicua (Thread starter): The colors on the upholstery of the seats reflect the many different hues one may see in the Jabal Akhdar mountain range – or at least that’s what it seemed to me after having been there.
Quoting capicua (Thread starter): The idea of a pizza quattro formaggi for breakfast may seem a bit odd, but it actually tasted very good. Don’t let the gooey streaks on the lid of the box mislead you.
Very odd breakfast option. I got a hot breakfast on the MUC-MCT flight - which was almost too much, though.
gabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3285 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 10110 times:
Nice continuation of your previous report. WY looks pretty good, can't wait to try them sometime in the future. Your photos on Muscat airport remind me of stepping off the plane there a few years ago...lovely place!
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 4): Nice continuation of your previous report. WY looks pretty good, can't wait to try them sometime in the future.
I'm glad you liked it so far. You should definitley give WY a try sooner than later.
Quoting lychemsa (Reply 5): Did you like Oman? What hotel did you stay in Muscat?
I absolutely liked Oman! It is different from what we are used to on the American continent (or Europe for that matter) in so many ways, but I am convinced that you get the most from such places the more open-minded you go there.
We stayed at the Al Falaj in Ruwi. And then I stayed at my school buddy's place.
SRQKEF From Iceland, joined Jun 2011, 886 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 9767 times:
Great continuation on your Oman series! I also flew with WY last April (BOM-MCT-DXB) although both flights were on a 737, not 330. Both flights were very nice and they even served dinner on the 40-min Muscat-Dubai hop - great service!
Seems like their longhaul operation is nice as well - would love to try it out sometime in the future.
knightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1827 posts, RR: 19
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 8420 times:
Thanks for the interesting report. I greatly enjoyed both this and the previous part. Good to see Oman Air is able to maintain a consistently high standard in all classes - which is actually a lot more than you can say for their much larger rival Emirates!
I hope you had a good time and enjoyed Oman. It's certainly one of my favourite destinations.
Quoting MSS658 (Reply 8): definate at least on par with QR, EY and EK
I can't spreak for those because I haven't tried them out yet. And even though EK is all over the place/world, they haven't set up shop here yet. Maybe for the next Oman trip I should consider QR via Sao Paulo or Buenos Aires?
Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 9): Thanks for the interesting report. I greatly enjoyed both this and the previous part.
You are most welcome and I'm glad you enjoyed the first installments.
Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 9): Good to see Oman Air is able to maintain a consistently high standard in all classes - which is actually a lot more than you can say for their much larger rival Emirates!
The flying public discovering Oman Air may come to think this for sure, but does Emirates really consider WY a rival? Oman Air certainly does and is working hard to outperform them.
Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 9): I hope you had a good time and enjoyed Oman. It's certainly one of my favourite destinations.
I definitely have and share that opinion of yours as well. It's just not a destination right around the corner from here so any upcoming trip there will not be in the near future.