Well it has been a while since my last trip report (about 6 years me thinks....), so this may be a little rusty!
I had misgivings about flying with a no frills airline on a long haul flight. However they were over £100 less than Cathay Pacific (an airline I really like), a premium I couldn't really justify. Overall I have no regrets.
Check in at Gatwick was actually really easy. The staff were, well not friendly, but not rude either. They were however all dressed in full Oasis Uniform and desks were plentiful with ample luggage labels and Hong Kong Landing Cards. I'd already used their online check in to secure my desired seat and I have to say that too is rather good.
Security at 1600 was hellish and shameful. BAA had employed some neanderthal who grunted at confused folk, who couldn't understand why they'd arrived in the UK with two pieces of hand baggage and could only leave with one. Unfortunately when, by virtue of not speaking English, passengers didn't understand, he just did the British thing of shouting loudly, slowly and threateningly at them. One hour twenty minutes later I eventually reached queues end.
Other formalities were a breeze and I must say the crew were extremely warm upon boarding. One of the two crew noticed my bottle of Coke Zero and immediately was pleased to find the only person on earth, other than him, to drink it!
Some reports I'd read said the cabins are a bit tatty. There is some truth to that. Although the planes received new carpets and seat covers - the carpet was already getting very warn. No doubt a warranty issue, but it isn't good. The seats were ex Singapore Airlines (as is the plane) and are now about ten years old. They are still comfortable though and the 32 inch pitch (better than BA
and Virgin on this route) is quite adequate. However some of stickers (such as tray tables should be up for takeoff) were peeling off. The plane is about 18 years old and it does show. However I should stress, over all it is a very comfortable cabin. No amenity kit, just a blanket and pillow.
Before take off we had a very informative welcome from the British Captain. Unfortunately due to air traffic we were 40 minutes late taking off. Take off was a long roll and B-LFB really vibrates quite harshly (as many of the older 744's do) upon take off.
Cabin service started with a round of cold drinks (lemonade, water and some juices). Very quickly after the crew came around with the evening meal. There were no menu cards, but crew just asked which you'd like. A couple of observations here, first there was only one attendant serving one aisle of the front economy cabin, on a full flight, yet sat at the back there wasn't a long wait and everybody got the choice they wanted. Very well done! I opted for Beef Noodles, which was very yummy! Certainly as good as any other airline in the world. There was a roll and butter, a small salad and a chocolate desert. I felt the main course was slightly bigger than usual for a similar flight. The crew were very warm and professional throughout, certainly it didn't seem as if you were being rushed. Cold drinks were also served, but alcohol costs extra. There followed a round of tea or coffee.
I slept for most of the rest of the flight. I am told however the crew came around with water ever half an hour or so. There were also snacks available for purchase. Some South East Asian style pot noodles (which are much larger and more substantive meals than found elsewhere) were available, I forget the rest. Prices were very reasonable and certainly their sale wasn't pushed at all.
Inflight entertain is not as comprehensive as some carriers. I think there were 16 movie channels, most with reasonable content. There were no games or other content. Still it was quite adequate.
About an hour out of Hong Kong a second meal was served. Again it was a full hot meal, I can't remember what though (sorry). Landing was smooth with no reverse thrust. However visibility was awful due to pollution. We used a gate very close to immigration (so no transit train required). The queues at immigration were very long and service slow. This did mean that the luggage was ready and waiting the instant I walked up to the belt.#
Oasis have got to get their Hong Kong ground handling sorted out! While Terminal 2 is very nice (it's not actually a new terminal, just a new check in area), Oasis check in is a disgrace. Their flight leaves just before 0100, so passengers start turning up around 20-2100. By 2100 the chech in queue was 177 people long, with one agent! Needless to say, nobody was impressed! I certainly don't recommend Oasis to anyone with limited mobility, because you have to stand for hours, literally! AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL!!!
Anyway, most of Terminal 2 was shut, but if you get the chance do take a look at the Aviation Experience Cinema, it's great!
Mercifully there was no queue at security and the transit train to the main terminal was ready and waiting. Oasis was lucky enough to have secured to gate right next to the Transit Train station in departures, right next to the food court and duty free shops.
Boarding was equally shambolic at the terminal end, but the crew once more were exceptionally welcoming.
B-LFA is the other ex Singapore Airlines machine and is therefore very similar to that described before. One interesting point is that the configuration merges the forward two economy cabins into one. This creates a very spacious cabin.
The meal service was once more preceded by a round of cold drinks. I'd have preferred skipping right to the main meal, by that time it was after 2am. However this is a minor point. There was a choice of two meals once again. I think some chicken or pork. I had pork, mash potato and mixed vegetables and it was once more very very tasty. The cold drinks were topped up and a tea and coffee service followed. Oasis have got the art of quickly delivering a service, while being polite and not appearing to rush off to a tee. Well done, most airlines fail here.
Once more I slept until almost the end of the flight. About an hour out of Gatwick we were served a hot full English Breakfast, with a couple of tiny little sausages, bacon, potato and scrambled eggs. Of course the usual roll, butter and jam was present. This was served with tea or coffee. The breakfast was impressive as few full service airlines offer such a good morning meal.
Landing at Gatwick was smooth. Our gate was some distance from the main building and we had to wait for it to become available. The South Terminal needs a lick of paint! Queues at immigration were again bad, but not nearly as bad as Hong Kong. The luggage was slow to arrive and seemed to somehow end up on the floor having fallen off th belt. This flight was full of Hong Kong students coming to UK, all of whom bizarrely had a rice cooker. People of Hong Kong be aware, rice cookies are freely and widely available in Britain!
All up flying Oasis is not like flying Ryanair or Easyjet. The service is simple, but comprehensive and of good quality. You can expect tasty free food, free hot and soft drinks, very friendly crews and comfortable seats with perfectly adequate space (better than some fully frilled competition). All up, if you are happy to fly from Gatwick and ready to endure their appalling handling in Hong Kong, Oasis is a very good way to fly.