Oman Air Flight Information:
KWY885 25OCT27MAR 0004067 216332 MCTMCT0035 0910BKKBKK J
Actual Departure Time:
Actual Arrival Time:
0.4 years old, delivered to Oman Air in October 2009
I was instantly taken away by the pleasantly saturated afternoon hue of the mood-lighting in the cabin. Perfectly blended with the deep brown tones of Business Class, the entire ambience was rather seductive. Oman Air has something to show, and they were in FULL swing on this flight.
The seat is huge, and extremely comfortable. Exceeding a countless number of airlines’ First Class offering, it would be ultimately strange to find any flaw in this Business Class seat.
A large pillow is placed on each seat over the seatbelts, while an actual comforter, rather than a linen blanket, is placed under the ‘footstool’. Unlike other airlines that chose to forego storage space for additional seat amenities, Oman Air has addressed this by installing personal storage compartments located on the side of the window seats, similar to those on the upper decks of 747’s and A380’s. Of course they can, they’ve removed a seat from each row in Business Class!
Personal storage compartment
Very very nice!
Hardeep, from India, was my first interaction with the crew after boarding. Approaching my seat only moments after I settled in, she was looking smart, fresh, and ready to work. With her blue veil-like material swaying to her flows of movement, she arrived at my seat with nothing but a welcoming smile.
“Hi sir welcome on board. Can I get you anything to drink?”
“May I have an orange juice please?”
My orange juice came with a hot towel
Passengers continued to board while I sipped on my OJ
After the last few passengers had boarded, the ground staff deplaned and the doors were immediately closed at 12:25am. This was followed by an announcement by our Omani purser who welcomed us on board, and informed us that our flight time to Bangkok was 5 hours and 20 minutes.
Oman Air’s boarding procedure seemed quite unique. It seemed that to the best of abilities, the doors are closed at least ten or so minutes prior to the scheduled departure time, whereby all preparations and pre-takeoff services are conducted while the aircraft is still idle hence, ensuring an on-time departure at time of pushback. Perhaps this would change as they improve on their loads, but for now I could sit back and enjoy this great experience!
Headsets were distributed
Another cabin crew, presumably from the Middle East, appeared from the galley with amenity kits and menus.
“This amenity kit is for you”
Kneeling down on the floor, she then proceeded to open my menu and go through the meal service with me.
“Sir this is your menu for the flight”
“We are serving supper after takeoff, and breakfast before landing in Bangkok”
“If you wish to sleep longer, please feel free to fill this form out for an express breakfast”
“Most welcome, would you care to see the wine list?”
The selection listed in the menu was unbelievable, and not even Etihad’s offering on the JFK
flight remotely matches it. There was a dedicated a la carte option, in addition to a Mediterranean style set menu for each meal service. And it doesn’t end here; there were also two options for each set menu where you could choose either the standard of the vegetarian cuisine!
Proper Arabic cuisine offered on an Arab airline; definitely got my vote!
Al la carte selection for Supper
Set menu choices for Supper
Breakfast al la carte
Set menu choices for Breakfast
Tea & Coffee selection
Arabic coffee (and dates) were offered
As on the previous flight, the cabin crew were asked to assume their positions across the aisle for an exit door location demo, which was then followed by the safety video. While we were still idle, the engines had powered on and were spooling in preparation for the upcoming flight. At 12:40am, the aircraft left the remote stand, and we began our taxi to the runway.
Cabin during taxi
Chilling out before takeoff
Meal & drink orders were taken before takeoff
“Can I get you anything to drink after takeoff?”
“I'll have a Bloody Mary please”
“Sir, I just wanted to confirm your order for a vegetarian meal”
“Yes, but would it be possible to choose the vegetarian option from the menu instead?”
“Let me check the catering that was loaded on board and I will get back to you”
Rumbling down the runway, A4O-DC took off at 12:45am, and we began our boutique-hall flight to Bangkok. I have always been a fan of the ground-hugging slow climb of the A340, but the rather powerful lift of this A330 can definitely wow me each time as well.
Lights out during climb
Seatbelt sign off, cabin lights on, and crew began service
“Sir, we have your choices available on board”
“Which vegetarian choice would you like to have? The Western or the Mediterranean cuisine?”
The purser then appeared by my side of the cabin and personally introduced himself in Arabic (narration translated in English).
“Welcome on board sir, my name is Mazen”
“Nice to meet you Mazen”
“It is my pleasure. Is everything alright so far? Are the girls taking care of you?”
“Yes, everything is fantastic, thank you very much”
“Please let us know if you need anything”
“Most welcome.I'd like to offer you this pyjama for your use during the flight”
Pyjamas offered for a 5 hour flight!
Just like Etihad and Qatar Airways, Oman Air has also adopted the same individualized inflight service. Presumably, the same consultant that was first used by QR
, then EY
, was also used for WY
An individualized service can be quite the challenge for the crew, all to the point that 'Inspired Service' on Etihad is internally dubbed as 'Expired Service' behind the scenes in the galley. But things seemed more relaxed on Oman Air. Service was top-notch, and the crew smooth sailing, at least to the eye of the passenger.
It amazes me how all the Gulf Carriers blatantly try to outdo each other. First we had Emirates, then Qatar Airways who seemingly follows their every footstep. Etihad jumped in after learning from the mistakes of Emirates, and now Oman Air, whose closest I can relate to is Etihad, now seems to perfect what Etihad has failed to achieve. Chill out people! it's not the end of the world just yet!
Introducing the Oman Air Bloody Mary!
The Bloody Mary did the job but was not the best tasting one I have had on board. I was quite hungry at the time and even a drink like this was food for me, which probably explained why I was feeling buzz-ish after speed-sipping the entire drink within minutes.
After my empty glass was cleared, my table was set immediately afterwards. This one-course supper service included saffron rice, vegetable saloona, and a lentil stew each placed in a set of three bowls. Other items on my table included a large plate, salt & pepper shakers, silverware & napkin, and a glass of water. Everything was seriously first class!
The rice was very fragrant and not oily, the vegetables were perfectly cooked and went really well with the rice. The lentil stew had fresh curry leaves in it and that is always a taste-bud teaser. All in all, it was one excellent meal. Well done on Oman Air's part!
Once finished I was offered some fruit for dessert in which I declined. My table was then immediately cleared away.
“Will you be joining us for breakfast?”
Fetching the menu from the galley, Hardeep returned back to my seat and kneeled down on the floor again.
“Sir will you be having the express or the full breakfast?
“Full breakfast please, and i'd like to have the Mediterranean option”
“Certainly, and can I get you any fruit and some juice with that?”
“Yes please, some fruit and Orange Juice”
“What about some coffee or tea?”
“May I have a cup of espresso?”
“Certainly, I will be serving your breakfast in a few hours”
After my breakfast order was taken, it was time to explore the wonders of my seat. There really wasn't much that the seat did not offer; from power ports, telephone, to data/media connections, it was all there.
Telephone & IFE control
I made my own bed, now I have to lie in it!
Cuddled up under my duvet
While horizontal on my comfortably spacious bed, I decided to play around with the IFE. By the time I was flying Oman Air, the airline had introduced OnAir WiFi connectivity on board. Unfortunately however, this was only available on one A330-300 (A4O-DB) at the time. Nevertheless, the IFE still had a great choice of movies, shows, and games on offer, From Hollywood to Bollywood, and even an extensive choice of Arabic varieties, Oman Air has really done well with their IFE. The nicest feature was the availability of certain live television broadcasting from stations such as Al Jazeera and BBC, but that too, was seemingly not available on my flight.
Finally, future plans for the IFE were to include the in-flight menu, and the ability to order Duty Free from your screen. The interface was already loaded onto the system, but at the time it was still listed as 'Coming Soon'.
Live television broadcasting
I settled for King of Queens
Falling asleep somewhere during the middle of the King of Queens episode, I was only woken up an hour or so later by the cabin crew who was ready to set my table for breakfast. So soon I thought, and it was time for another full meal!
Service commenced with hot towels
My table was then set with the regular meal-wares in addition to the Arabic Mezzeh starter, in a similar manner to that during the Supper service. The mezzeh platter included tabouleh, moutabbal, shanklish, cheese sambousek, and spinach pastry. I was also offered a selection from the bread basket, and I decided to budge a little on the fasting, and have some muffins.
Cheese sambousek & spinach pastry
The mezzeh platter was excellent, and so were the pastries and muffins, although they weren’t heated properly. The fruit was cold and energizing, and just the way it is meant to be. A great breakfast starter all in all, that was annihilated rather quickly. Once I was through, my empty plates were cleared and replaced with yet a similar setting for the main course. This included egg shashouka, grilled halloumi cheese, and foul medammes; all were of high quality and taste!
AMAZING grilled halloumi
As I was finishing off my breakfast, I noticed Mazen in the aisle speaking with the passengers.
“How is everything so far? I hope that you have enjoyed your breakfast”
“Everything is excellent, thanks”
“That is a very nice camera you got, is it a 50D?”
“Yes it is!”
“So you are a photographer then? Or just a hobby?”
“Just a hobby, and definitely not a photographer .. you?”
“I am still learning, but I recently bought a 1000D”
After the quick chat, Mazen cleared my table and returned to the galley for final preparations.
My seat after 4 hours in-flight
Cabin after the breakfast service
At 8:40am Thailand local time, the seatbelt sign was switched on. This was shortly followed by an announcement by our captain to inform us that we had begun our initial descent towards Suvarnabhumi International Airport (he even pronounced it correctly!), and that our expected time of arrival was to be 9:15am.
During our descent, headsets were collected, and the crew made their final preparations before landing.
One final cabin shot
Even my camera had her own suite on board!
To conclude this wonderful experience, Mazen passed around the cabin handing out gifts to all Business Class passengers.
“Mr. Hawi, I would like to thank you for flying with Oman Air today”
“The pleasure is mine”
“Please accept this gift from all of us”
A ceramic candle cum Arabic coffee cup!
D E S T I N A T I O N
At exactly 9:10am, we touched down at ‘Suwanapoom’ bringing my Oman Air experience to a sad but sweet ending.
As we taxied to the gate, I looked outside the window in anticipation of a morning peak at BKK
, but apart from the usual underutilized TG
A340’s that were ornamentally scattered, I failed to see much. In fact, I have never experienced BKK
to be too congested; passenger or movement-wise. Perhaps it is because the activity is spread across a huge land mass? I would assume this airport to have the most exotic selection of airlines, yet it seems quite challenging to find them all there in one go.
Docking at the gate, the aircraft powered out, and the seatbelt sign was switched off. After gathering my belongings, I deplaned after thanking the crew for their outstanding efforts.
C O N C L U S I O N
I had expected great hardware on Oman Air; that’s for sure. But what I was also expecting was a patchy set of crew who were yet to adapt to this new service, which I am assuming was only launched a few months prior. This was not the case, and everything seemed absolutely flawless.
It would be an enticing idea if Oman Air really wants to remain uniquely boutique but I believe that this has yet to be seen. Etihad made this claim back in the day, and now they seem to only want to be ‘The Best’ in the world. I wouldn’t be surprised if Oman Air decides to join the crowd!
Moreover, the abundance of all the best of frills seems to be a rather huge investment and without any improvement in loads, and more importantly yields, it is even senseless for the richest of airlines to maintain. The natural cycle of life only tells me that cut-backs to reality will more than likely happen. But I would love to be proven wrong!
Having said all that, I definitely experienced exceptional service that is even better than that of my favorite Gulf airline. I thought that we really have seen it all, but now there is Oman Air! They are really something!
This concludes my Trip Report. I hope that you have enjoyed it; your comments are always welcome!
E Q U I P M E N T
- Canon 15mm Fisheye
- Canon 18-55mm
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F L I C K R
F A C E B O O K
R. Wadei Hawi
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