TR1
Topic Author
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:43 am

NonRev BKK-LHR Part 1--Oman Air BKK-MCT-DXB

Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:54 pm

NonRev BKK-LHR Part I--The Oman Air long-haul experience


The Middle East has long been a crossroads between east and west. Taking advantage of this geographical position, the region's airlines have been expanding rapidly over the last twenty years. Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Etihad Airways have all become household names. Oman Air, however, has been more cautious in regards to long-haul expansion. Starting with a leased A310 flying to London and Bangkok, over the last few months a new fleet of A330s have expanded its formerly modest network to now include Paris, Frankfurt and Munich.

As a self-professed airline geek I've always enjoyed flying and experiencing new airlines. Being an airline employee has made this endeavor a lot easier. When my airline started offering mileage-based ZED fares on Oman Air, I couldn't resist. A trip to Singapore to attend my brother's wedding gave me the perfect excuse to try them out.

At this point you may be thinking to yourself "Oman Air doesn't fly to Singapore." That's correct. After attending my brother's wedding I flew from Singapore to Hong Kong via Manila on Philippine Airlines. I spent two days there with another brother and from there flew to Bangkok on Sri Lankan Airlines. I'm still sorting through my notes on those flights and hopefully I might have enough to do a trip report on these flights.

9 December 2009
Oman Air WY812, Bangkok-Muscat
Economy Class, seat 27J, later moved to 27H. Approximate load 50%
Airbus A330-343X A40-DD

Scheduled departure 6:40am, actual 6:30am
Scheduled arrival 10:25am, actual 9:55am


http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u210/schung63/SDC10558.jpg

I arrived at Bangkok's terminal at 4:45am after spending a short night at the Regent
Suvarnabumi Hotel, a decent hotel close to the airport. At this hour the terminal was alive with activity, with several early morning departures.

Check-in at the Oman Air counter was quick and easy. With a light load I was immediately offered a choice of a window or aisle seat. Despite the assistance of an Oman Air supervisor the agent couldn't list me for the MCT-DXB flight, but she reassuringly said that the flight was wide open. Having received my boarding pass I proceeded to passport control. Although there weren't many people waiting, the line moved very slowly. Fortunately we were directed to an empty VIP lane for processing.

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After walking through what appeared to be a large shopping mall I finally reached the gate. Boarding started at 6:00am for Business Class followed by Economy Class by row number. Newspapers were offered from a cart on the jetway. With boarding quickly accomplished, the Flight Attendants came through the cabin offering hot towels--real towels, not the disposable towelettes many other carriers use--prior to pushback. With a light load we were able to depart ten minutes early at 6:30.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © T.Laurent



http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u210/schung63/SDC10483.jpg
Oman Air A330 Business Class
http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u210/schung63/SDC10471.jpg
Oman Air A330 Economy Class

This A330 still had the new airplane smell. The blue/orange/yellow/brown color scheme was very warm and inviting. Every seat had what appeared to be the latest in AVOD technology. It was nice that the IFE handset was mounted in the seatback ahead of you rather than in the armrest, making it less likely that one would lean against the handset and log off the movie one's watching. In addition there was an USB port mounted on the seatback, very handy for recharging an I-Pod and other devices.

http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u210/schung63/SDC10473.jpg
http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u210/schung63/SDC10472.jpg


The safety video and announcements were done in Arabic, English and Thai. There were several Thai Flight Attendants among the crew, very useful since there were many Thais aboard heading for work in the Gulf.

Once airborne, headsets were distributed. I noticed this aircraft had a mood lighting system installed, although on this flight it was only used in Business class. A hot breakfast was served an hour after takeoff. There were three main course choices this morning: cheese omelet, scrambled eggs, and a vegetarian option. I chose the omelet, which was served with spinach, a spicy sausage, and chickpeas in tomato sauce (maybe they couldn't find the standard baked beans?) Coffee/tea/orange juice/water was offered from the meal cart. What was surprising was the use of heavy china dishes on the meal tray along with plastic cutlery--perhaps a means of lowering weight without sacrificing quality? The meal was delicious, the portions ample.

http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u210/schung63/SDC10477.jpg

After the breakfast trays were collected it was time to play with the AVOD system. There was a wide array of movies and music. Although the system was easy to use, an instruction card would've been very helpful. While the reliability of AVOD systems have been improving, there were still a few glitches. The short subject movies wouldn't work at my seat but luckily the adjacent seat was vacant so I was able to use the video there.

During the flight the Flight Attendants were observed occasionally walking through the cabin offering water. When I took a walk to the aft galley for a diet coke and snacks the Flight Attendant insisted on delivering it to my seat rather than I taking it myself.

http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u210/schung63/SDC10479.jpg

Prior to the second meal service I paid a visit to the washroom. Considering the light load it was still tidy. Surprisingly Oman Air decided to use real towels rather than paper ones--I wonder how much they spend on cloth towels?

http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u210/schung63/SDC10478.jpg

The second meal service was offered about two hours prior to landing. We had a choice of either a chicken or a cheese sandwich served with fruit salad and orange juice. Perfectly fine for a six-hour flight. After the trays were cleared, duty-free merchandise were offered for sale.

http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u210/schung63/SDC10480.jpg

We landed in Muscat 30 minutes early at 9:55am. Since there were no jetways we were bussed to the terminal. Many of my fellow passengers were connecting to Dubai where they simply went through another security check and into the terminal. Since Oman Air's Bangkok staff couldn't list me for the Dubai flight I had to stop at the transfer desk. The friendly Filipino agent was able to immediately clear me since true to the Bangkok agent's word, the flight wasn't full. After showing my company ID he inquired how we were doing. Apparently he has a relative working for us in California--small world! We chatted for a few minutes about Oman and I expressed my interest in returning for a longer visit.

http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u210/schung63/SDC10482.jpg
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With 3 1/2 hours until the Dubai flight I started exploring the Muscat terminal. With a lack of jetways it's compact. While it isn't as busy as other airports in the area, there is still a nice variety of traffic. The terminal had what appeared to be an open-air balcony, but the doors leading to it were locked. Any photography and spotting had to be through the glass windows or from the bus to or from the aircraft.

http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u210/schung63/SDC10486.jpg
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http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u210/schung63/SDC10488.jpg


9 December 2009
Oman Air WY607, Muscat-Dubai
Economy Class, seat 24D, approximate load 75%
737-7Q8 (no winglets) A40-BS

Scheduled departure 2:00pm, actual 1:55pm
Scheduled arrival 3:15pm, actual 2:50pm

http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u210/schung63/SDC10492.jpg
my ride to Dubai

It was finally time to board the Dubai flight. The bus was filled up and we were off to the aircraft. Boarding was through the aft left door where a friendly female Flight Attendant greeted us.

http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u210/schung63/SDC10505.jpg
http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u210/schung63/SDC10504.jpg

While waiting for the final bus load of passengers the Flight Attendants offered those already aboard small cups of water. After everyone from the final bus stowed their hand luggage and settled in we were on our way. After pushback the safety video was shown on drop-down monitors from the passenger service units, with the Flight Attendants in the aisle pointing to the location of the emergency exits.

http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u210/schung63/SDC10506.jpg
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http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u210/schung63/SDC10511.jpg

Immediately after takeoff a fast snack consisting of a chicken pate sandwich, chocolate bar, water and juice was offered. Very nice for a short international flight. Although the aircraft was equipped with IFE, it wasn't turned on.

http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u210/schung63/SDC10512.jpg
http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u210/schung63/SDC10513.jpg
needless to say it was delicious!

Soon enough we were on descent to Dubai, arriving at the gate about 15 minutes early. The original plan was to spend the night in Dubai before embarking on the next part of my journey, taking Gulf Air from Dubai-Bahrain-London. However, as usual when non-reving, things can and will change......to be continued in Part 2.

http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u210/schung63/SDC10514.jpg
http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u210/schung63/SDC10515.jpg

I was very pleased with my experience on Oman Air. While it's a relative newcomer to the international long-haul arena, they do offer a world-class product. With careful planning they should be able to hold their own against much larger rivals in the region.

One note: I apologize for the quality of some of the photos. This was the first time I was using a new Samsung point-and-shoot digital camera rather than the usual Canon Digital Rebel I normally use. Hopefully with I'll get better with more use of it.
 
Bedo
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:18 am

RE: NonRev BKK-LHR Part 1--Oman Air BKK-MCT-DXB

Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:21 pm

Hi TR1!!

Oman Air it's one of the airlines i want to try in the future and seeing your photos think it's going to worth it.

Quoting TR1 (Thread starter):
During the flight the Flight Attendants were observed occasionally walking through the cabin offering water. When I took a walk to the aft galley for a diet coke and snacks the Flight Attendant insisted on delivering it to my seat rather than I taking it myself.

Nice touch!!

Quoting TR1 (Thread starter):
One note: I apologize for the quality of some of the photos. This was the first time I was using a new Samsung point-and-shoot digital camera rather than the usual Canon Digital Rebel I normally use. Hopefully with I'll get better with more use of it.

The photos aren't bad at all.

Thank you for the Trip report i enjoyed it a lot.
bedo
 
palmjet
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RE: NonRev BKK-LHR Part 1--Oman Air BKK-MCT-DXB

Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:57 pm

What a great report from an airline that has rarely been reported on this forum. Much more interesting than reading yet another Dublin - London trip report with 3000 random photos of the carpet, the jetway and railway stations!

Really enjoyed your pics as well. The A330s look very smart in Oman's colours. Glad you had good flights with them. Thanks for posting this. Look forward to the next part.
Eastern - Number One To The Sun
 
jetblue777
Posts: 1197
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:13 pm

RE: NonRev BKK-LHR Part 1--Oman Air BKK-MCT-DXB

Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:25 pm

Wow! Oman Air's economy class and business class is superb! I love the colors and the meal seems decent. Even their 737s looks neat! I think Oman Air is matching up with world class mid-east careers like EK, EY and QR!
It's a cultural thing.
 
The777Man
Posts: 5917
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 1999 4:54 am

RE: NonRev BKK-LHR Part 1--Oman Air BKK-MCT-DXB

Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:34 pm

Very nice report! Great pictures! Oman Air looks very good!

What airline do you work for to get ZED fares on Oman Air ?

Looking forward to part 2.

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
reifel
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RE: NonRev BKK-LHR Part 1--Oman Air BKK-MCT-DXB

Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:29 pm



Quoting TR1 (Thread starter):
This A330 still had the new airplane smell. The blue/orange/yellow/brown color scheme was very warm and inviting.

Looks like Disneyland  Smile


Seriously, Thanks so much! Oman Air used to be this kind of end of the world smallish airline which nobody cares about. A few months ago, on the first days of services out of Frankfurt, I took a flight with another airline from Terminal 2. I was impressed to see their operation. So much staff in real Oman Air uniform, branded boarding cards, branded newspaper rack in the gate area and so on. Staff was also taking late passengers or connecting guests through security etc. Very professional indeed.

And the new livery looks so great compared to what they had before! Even the 737 looks good now.

However a few weeks later on another occasion I saw this flight going from FRA via CDG to MCT. I don't know if this is due to an unexcepted problem with one of the aircrafts and they were luckily able to put both flights together without being oversold, or if the loads of both flights were so light that they deliberately choose to use only one aircraft.

Anyway, since I work for a tour operator in the air department and my sister wanted to fly to Chennai I found a very (actually the cheapest available fare among all) cheap fare with Oman Air and a good connection in MCT. I booked it right away. I also had the joy to talk to their agency help desk in Germany, and although they were all new at this there, they were friendly and did a good work. Wha'ts nice is that they offer free German Railway ticket from any German airport to FRA or MUC without any supplement, as long as your air fare is 300 EUR or more.

Unfortunately my sister had to cancel the flight due to university. No report from her  Sad I was impressed that WY's cancellation fee (at least the fee for the fare she booked) was only 50 EUR. That's incredible for such a cheap fare (she paid something like 520 incl. Tax for FRA-MCT-MAA-MCT-FRA.

Oh, and interestingly the credit card was charged by Oman Air in Muscat (most airlines charge in Germany or have some kind of central accounting somewhere in Europe, i.e. LAN charges from Czech republic if I'm right). By the way, the refund was credited within a few days.

So much for my Oman Air impression (also from agent side), and I must say I wish them all the best.
 
Flightsimboy
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RE: NonRev BKK-LHR Part 1--Oman Air BKK-MCT-DXB

Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:30 am



Quoting TR1 (Thread starter):
During the flight the Flight Attendants were observed occasionally walking through the cabin offering water. When I took a walk to the aft galley for a diet coke and snacks the Flight Attendant insisted on delivering it to my seat rather than I taking it myself.

Great to see a trip report on Oman Air!! Such a contrast of the livery on the fuselage, with those seats inside!! Awesome that the FA brought your drink and snack to your seat... There are gems like these airlines waiting to be discovered and then there is the hype with others!!
 
MHTripple7
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RE: NonRev BKK-LHR Part 1--Oman Air BKK-MCT-DXB

Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:33 am

Wow, I would never expect WY to be such a nice airline! Their A330s appear to be on par with EK, QR, and EY which is great. Those PTVs are also huge!

Thanks for sharing this TR... very rare and exotic I would say.
 
lychemsa
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RE: NonRev BKK-LHR Part 1--Oman Air BKK-MCT-DXB

Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:28 am

Are the crews Omani or international? I hear Oman / Muscat is very nice.
 
TR1
Topic Author
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:43 am

RE: NonRev BKK-LHR Part 1--Oman Air BKK-MCT-DXB

Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:34 am

Thank you everyone for the kind words.....

To answer some questions:

Quoting The777Man (Reply 4):
What airline do you work for to get ZED fares on Oman Air ?

Northwest/Delta

Quoting LYChemsa (Reply 8):
Are the crews Omani or international? I hear Oman / Muscat is very nice.

The male cabin crew members appear to be local Omanis. The females appear to consist of various nationalities. There were several Thai females on the BKK-MCT flight and one who I thought was Chinese from MCT-DXB. I've also heard that Oman is also very nice, not as developed as other parts of the gulf, where the traditional culture still is very much evident. I would've liked to have spent a day or two there. Perhaps next time!

Cheers,
Stephen
 
PlaneHunter
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Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: NonRev BKK-LHR Part 1--Oman Air BKK-MCT-DXB

Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:47 pm

Hi Stephen,

great report, I had been wondering how long it would take to find the first review featuring Oman Air's brand new A330s. WY's product looks excellent in general.

How about taking pictures at MCT - any problems?

Quoting TR1 (Thread starter):
9 December 2009
Oman Air WY812, Bangkok-Muscat
Economy Class, seat 27J, later moved to 27H. Approximate load 50%
Airbus A330-343X A40-DD



Quoting TR1 (Thread starter):
This A330 still had the new airplane smell.

No surprise, considering that the plane had been delivered only ten days before your trip.  Wink

Quoting Reifel (Reply 5):
That's incredible for such a cheap fare (she paid something like 520 incl. Tax for FRA-MCT-MAA-MCT-FRA.

You can also book MUC-MCT-DXB-MCT-MUC for 259 Euro in these days...


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
ba319-131
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RE: NonRev BKK-LHR Part 1--Oman Air BKK-MCT-DXB

Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:27 pm

Hi Stephen,

Nice report & pictures, did enjoy your trip.

Oman Air do impress from this report, look forward to more!

Interesting to see a viewing deck & MCT, that would have been great to visit if open!

Cheers

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
 
airpearl
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2001 7:42 pm

RE: NonRev BKK-LHR Part 1--Oman Air BKK-MCT-DXB

Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:01 pm

Hi Stephen

Thanks for this very interesting trip report - a rare glimpse into the new look and fast growing Oman Air; though I suspect we will soon be seeing a lot more of WY - both in trip reports and elsewhere.

Coincidentally, I had considered taking the BKK-MCT route last month but timetables didn't work out. Still, your TR has whet my appetite!  Smile

Quoting TR1 (Thread starter):
Oman Air A330 Business Class

Impressive, that's the same seat as GF has on its First Class on the A343/A332s. Did this plane have a F class too?


http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u210/schung63/SDC10473.jpg

Legroom looks very good in Y class, even if I'm not such a fan of the color of the seats.

Quoting TR1 (Thread starter):
What was surprising was the use of heavy china dishes on the meal tray along with plastic cutlery--perhaps a means of lowering weight without sacrificing quality?

I can't think of many airlines that serve Y class meals using real china any more. It's almost like premium economy. But very strange that they should combine this with plastic cutlery!

Oman Air seems to offer a very decent product. Thanks for sharing your trip with us, and look forward to your next installment.

regards,
airpearl
 
TR1
Topic Author
Posts: 233
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:43 am

RE: NonRev BKK-LHR Part 1--Oman Air BKK-MCT-DXB

Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:17 pm



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10):
How about taking pictures at MCT - any problems?

Hi Plane Hunter!

I had no problems taking photos at Muscat, either from the terminal or from the bus to the aircraft. Keep in mind I had a small point and shoot camera on this trip--if I had my usual Digital Rebel with a telephoto lens, it might be a different matter. It would have been nice it the balcony I saw was actually a viewing deck and was open. As we all know, it can be a challenge taking photos through glass.

Quoting Airpearl (Reply 12):
Impressive, that's the same seat as GF has on its First Class on the A343/A332s. Did this plane have a F class too?

Greetings AirPearl!

I believe there was a First Class section, but I'm not 100% sure. We embarked/disembarded through Door 2 Left and I took the photo on my way out. When I checked the flight on PARS (the NWA reservations GDS) it showed "P" Class availablity, which normally would be First Class.
 
BOACCunard
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RE: NonRev BKK-LHR Part 1--Oman Air BKK-MCT-DXB

Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:40 pm

Great report. WY looks like a fantastic little airline. I love the upholstery on the Y seats in the 333!

Unfortunately, despite there being lots of photos of the 333 in WY colors plastered all over it, there is virtually no information on this aircraft on the WY web site. Seat maps etc. are only for the ATR and 737NG. However, there is a press release that offers some information about the aircraft: http://www.omanair.aero/wy/aboutus/a..._media_presrelses/releases_311.htm

I am not sure I really understand the F configuration but it sounds very luxurious and J looks amazing.

I also love the use of china dishes and cloth towels, though given that, the plastic cutlery is rather mystifying!
Getting There is Half the Fun!
 
ronerone
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RE: NonRev BKK-LHR Part 1--Oman Air BKK-MCT-DXB

Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:11 pm

Hi TR1,

I am absolutely stunned at the level of service offering by WY on a 6 hour flight!

Two meal servings? That is unheard of! When i flew Y with Etihad to BKK a couple of years back, only one meal was served!

I also am very impressed with the color of the seats in Y and the generous legroom!


I am definitely going to try WY real soon after this TR!


Thanks a lot for sharing!


Regards,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
Sabena332
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RE: NonRev BKK-LHR Part 1--Oman Air BKK-MCT-DXB

Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:57 pm

Great report there, thanks a lot for posting!

I am very impressed about Oman Air's Economy Class, they seem to be the "secret tip" of all airlines.

Do they serve booze and - if yes - do you know what beer brand they serve?

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
TR1
Topic Author
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Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:43 am

RE: NonRev BKK-LHR Part 1--Oman Air BKK-MCT-DXB

Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:53 am

Hi Patrick!

I don't remember if Oman Air serves alcohol. During both meal services the beverages were offered from the meal cart. I only recall seeing coffee/tea/orange juice/water.
 
gardermoen
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RE: NonRev BKK-LHR Part 1--Oman Air BKK-MCT-DXB

Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:53 am

Enjoyed your report with some fantastic pictures.
WIth their current expansion, are there any expansion plans at MCT to include air bridges?
It's somewhat amazed me that all the major Gulf airports/hubs have until recently not had air bridges (DXB, DOH will soon) - especially as when you go back 20 years or so these airports were transit points on wide-bodied long-haul routes. Add to that the temperature factor.

I think we will definitely be seeing more of Oman in the future - it really is being pushed as the one of the next big travel destinations.
 
staralliance38
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RE: NonRev BKK-LHR Part 1--Oman Air BKK-MCT-DXB

Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:25 am

Very interesting TR! I've never heard of Oman Air until now and it looks like they have a good product!
Roar, lion, roar
 
caleb1
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RE: NonRev BKK-LHR Part 1--Oman Air BKK-MCT-DXB

Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:19 pm

I really enjoyed reading your report. It is very thorough and well presented. This airline seems like a real gem!
 
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Qatara340
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RE: NonRev BKK-LHR Part 1--Oman Air BKK-MCT-DXB

Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:25 am

I really enjoyed reading your trip report! I was dying to see a TR of the new Oman Air, and by chance I saw this! The TR is superb, and Oman Air offers a good product, consitent with QR and EK.

I wished you took a photo of the entire busiess class cabin as its interesting seeing what it looks like. The seats look exactly like GF's First Class!
لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله
 
nethkt
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RE: NonRev BKK-LHR Part 1--Oman Air BKK-MCT-DXB

Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:44 am

OMAN AIR is another great way to fly from BKK to Europe.
I'm looking for good fare deals for my trip in MAY'10!!

The business class is so tempting! That's Asiana, Korean, Air China first class seats! And OMAN first itself is almost comparable to SQ/EK suite!!

Thank you for such a wonderful trip reports!
NET  Smile
Let's just blame it on yields.

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