Which Oman Air Business Class Itinerary Should I Book?

On the blog front, this year is all about reviewing new airlines for me. On January 1 I outlined 16 of the airline products I wanted to review in 2016, and I’m off to a good start. I already flew Finnair business class and Air India first class, and shortly will be flying Hainan Airlines business class, which I’m excited about.

Air-India-First-Class - 75
Air India first class

But there are lots of airlines left to sample. It’s easy to push off opportunities as I see them, but I’m trying to take the opposite approach — when I see a good opportunity, I’m trying to take advantage of it.

One of the most intriguing products out there is Oman Air business class, which I’ve been interested in for years.

Their original A330 aircraft feature a business class product in a 1-2-1 configuration, which looks a lot more like an old first class product than business class.

Oman-Air-Business-Class

This product’s days are limited, given that Oman Air’s new A330 aircraft feature a different business class product, which isn’t quite as intriguing. The new product is similar to Japan Airlines’ new business class, which is still a very nice product. It’s just not quite as cool as the 1-2-1 configuration on the old product.

Oman-Air-Business-Class

So I’d like to fly Oman Air sooner rather than later, so I can still experience the old product. Reader Konrad made me aware of some very nice business class fares Oman Air is offering at the moment, for travel between Europe and Asia.

For example, you can fly from Frankfurt to Muscat to Kuala Lumpur in business class for ~1,750EUR. That’s not actually that cheap, but it does seem very efficient.

Oman-Air-Business-Class-1

What I like most about it is that the Frankfurt to Muscat flight is operated by a Boeing 787, featuring the new business class product, while the Muscat to Kuala Lumpur flight is operated by an old A330, featuring their original business class product.

Oman-Air-Business-Class-2

What makes me sort of conflicted is that for half the price I could fly from Cairo to Muscat to Bangkok (or Kuala Lumpur — it’s priced the same).

Oman-Fare-1

The catch is that the Cairo to Muscat flight is operated by a 737, which features a regional business class product. So that’s not quite as exciting to review as the 787. But it’s also less than half the price.

Oman-Air-737

Also, for my mom’s peace of mind, am sort of tempted to avoid Egypt at the moment.

Bottom line

While there aren’t many ways to redeem miles for Oman Air business class, these fares don’t seem half bad, so I’m quite tempted. I’m just conflicted as to whether I should pay twice as much to review both the 787 and the A330, or should just fly out of Cairo and try the 737 and A330.

What do you guys think — should I book one of these tickets, and if so, which one?

Comments

  1. you’re rich, or so I think since you’re a sugar daddy now..go for the 787….nobody wants to read 737 reviews

  2. Both and avoid Egypt for the moment.

    Any chance when in SEA you can review some of the many widebodies flying short hops in the region?

  3. Another vote for FRA. If that’s the new product, the review will be generating page views for years to come since it’s not redeemable for miles and I wouldn’t expect there would be a lot of other reviews out there.

  4. Wait a moment those are one way prices, a R/T ticket FRA-MCT-Kul/BKK/-MCT-FRA will cost less! Why not 4 segments on Oman Air if you are going to spend the money?

  5. Pay twice the price and review the 787 and A330 !

    I’m sure you’ll get your money back by providing us with a review of the 787 rather than a review of the 737! 😉

  6. Gotta stay focused on long-term, Lucky. keep the blog cutting edge, better than all the rest. $1,000 is nothing. Gotta keep the edge.

    Another idea: Maybe Tiffany and Travis and whomever else should get S95 cameras courtesy of OMAT. The picture quality on their reports is sometimes lacking, and in the long term, I really think it’s worth the small investment.

    Thanks for everything!

  7. Regional J product + mom’s worries = you have your answer. Take the 787/A330 itinerary. And on the way back, maybe see if there’s any way you could sample the new JAL J via NRT, or maybe Garuda.

  8. This is just too much fun. And how exciting it must be for Ben to try all these new products. I’m not even going to try to hide my envy.

    It would be tempting to splurge on FRA-MCT-KUL. This would able Ben to better assess WY’s service consistency on long haul routes.

    But…

    CAI-MCT-KUL would be an interesting route depending upon Ben’s positioning flights to Cairo. This could be an opportunity to try yet another new carrier. Egyptair’s LAX-CAI flight, for example. Or Aeroflot (which does have a decent business class product) via SVO. What a fascinating trip report this would be! Especially, if Ben had the chance to spend a day in Cairo. I’m quite fond of Cairo. And a review of the new Ritz Carlton hotel (formerly the Nile Hilton) would be the cherry on top of this particularly delectable sundae.

    BTW…Ben, have you given any more consideration to taking advantage of that great Garuda first class fare from Australia to Amsterdam?

  9. Yet another vote for FRA, for your mom’s peace of mind and since that 787 has the new J product, this is what people will be searching for reviews of in the coming years. You will make up the cost difference in new readers that come to your blog.

  10. At this point do you even use miles anymore (or miles which aren’t just bought for $$$).

    What is the point of having a blog about miles when all you’re doing is spending thousands of dollars on flights and luxury hotels.

    Please start adding a section in your trip reports on how the average reader can get the same flight you’re reviewing on miles.

  11. The relevant opportunity cost is your time, not the incremental $1000 to try the two different long haul products. For $1000 more you knock out an extra product and without dedicating much more of your life to it.

    It’s unlikely you’re going to book a separate Oman Air trip. And not because of the cost, but because your time is a scarce resource and there are plenty of other things to do.

    Go with the 787.

  12. Hey Ben
    Korean Air has both these seats.
    the old oman business class is KE first class on some 777 and old 747. its a nice product but not over the top.
    their new business class which is the same as Oman has now is really a fantastic new product.
    i have flown CX and QR A350 in business and i must tell you that the seat that Oman, Korean Air and JAL have is so much better then the seats of CX & QR (i know you love them)
    suggest you take the new seat

  13. I’ve flown the regional 737 (equipment swap between MCT and DXB). It was nothing to write home about. The one hour flight felt like domestic coach, the product was falling apart and there was no real benefit of being in the front (no priority boarding, no separate bus when parking at a remote gate, no expedited security, etc.)

    Go on the 787.

  14. ben, check the prices from Frankfurt/munich to Bangkok, ,Colombo, Kuala Lumpur…… The rate is just 1500€ return in business and you can test both products

  15. Lucky, could you add Virgin Australia’s new business class to your list? I believe it launches in April.

  16. I think everyone is missing the point. Per the video, they offer/allow use of cell phones in flight?!?! And the dude is standing in the aisle talking on his cell phone midflight. Wow. I can’t even imagine the number of inflight disputes and diversions that would cause in the U.S.

  17. OMG cant wait for you to review Oman Air. Definitely try the FRA service on the dreamliner. I have heard nothing but good things about them!

  18. What would be the price difference to get to CAI vs FRA from the States? I would assume that you would have to fly through Europe to get to CAI and then fly a regional product down to CAI for a few hundred dollars or 25,000+ miles. At this point you are flying either two regional business flights of a Europe business flight (Coach seat). If you want to save a few hundred dollars go thrigh CAI but I doubt the actual price is half to take the 787 when you consider having to get to CAI in the first place.

  19. Go for the 787. Just flew JALs new product and I dont care for their airline at all but that seat is close to perfect! You’ll love the seat!

  20. Definitely the 787 and 332. Knock out the review for both the old and the new product in one trip without spending money again to review the new product later.

  21. For blog purposes, obviously take the FRA-KUL flight, its the one business class seat style you haven’t reviewed yet. On the other hand, $1000 extra is a lot to pay, especially when Oman Air mileage isn’t super useful (and lets be real, while an Oman Air trip report would be interesting and different, I can’t imagine it would be very useful to a majority of your readership either due to the limited route network and the limited miles partners).

    If you still wanted to review that type of seat product, JL flies SS8/9 equipped 787’s (using both the 787-8 and 787-9 depending on the day) between HAN-NRT and it is timed very well for US bound departures from NRT as its a red-eye. Business class seems to be wide open on that route, and its just a quick hop over to HAN from BKK/KUL. That way, your readers would still get a review of that type of business class product (on an airline they are FAR more likely to fly it on), you wouldn’t have to spend $1000 for not much return, and you might even get your first 787-9 review in as well! (I’m not sure if there are specific days they use the 787-8/9 or if they are just based on what JL feels like using at the time, but you could probably at least try to ensure that you timed it so you tried the 787-9). I doubt that many people would be heartbroken to miss out on the extra Oman Air review, especially if you gave us a JL SS8/9 business class one as a replacement.

  22. FRA. You’ll get more miles with your credit card, which you can redeem for premium cabin travel! Or so this blog taught me to…

  23. I prefer ex-CAI reviews. Reasons below:

    1) I believe A330 aircraft are gradually being fitted to the newer 2-2-2 seats. While it’ll be great if you can get on older 1-2-1 config. plane, there is a possibility that you may end up getting the same type of seat on both B787 and A330.

    2) Regional service may be different from medium haul routes like FRA-MCT. It’ll be fun to compare if there is consistency between regional and med-haul offerings. Their B737-800s used on Cairo flight may not be the most comfortable seat, but at least there is something more to compare.

    3) Much attractive fares from CAI! Plus, changes/cancellation fees are much more affordable than the current promotion fares out of Europe.

    Other than seat difference, I think FRA-MCT and MCT-S.E. Asia flights will have very similar products.

  24. BTW if going through CAI is a concern, ex-DEL to Europe also has a great deal on WY Business. Less than USD 1,000 one-way on booking class R. Looks like older 1-2-1 config. planes are used for MCT-LHR (DEL-MCT on B738).

  25. FRA. The 787 seat is far more comfortable for sleeping on the red eye to MCT. The space of the old A330 seat is better enjoyed on the day flight to Asia.
    If you do choose to fly from FRA, don’t bother getting to the airport too early – Oman Air use the dreadful JAL lounge which isn’t worth much time.
    Remember Oman Air also fly from CDG and ZRH, might be lucky enough to find some decent value fares there

  26. My vote goes to CAI. Regardless of the new business product, I have been FRA zillion times and I doubt WY 787 FRA-MCT sector would add much value to the review. Regional business ex-CAI would be so much more usefull.

  27. I would have a look at Flyertalk.com, I see that R fares are available from Europe-MCT-SAE for EUR 1500 R/T.
    Book it with 3 months stay in Asia, and you will come up with some CX-F for the return to the US, and then again you will probably have to be back in the “Gulf-region” for QRs inaugural flight to AKL ?

    A return fair MUC-MCT-BKK is basically the same as a one-way, and then you have the opportunity to either “dump” the return or use it on another occasion.

  28. I have flown the 737 from Muscat to Cairo, and back, about 3 years ago and on both the outbound and the return it was an older 737 in which neither the seats were comfortable, the service was not good, and the amenities poor. This was in stark contrast to flight I took to Muscat on the Airbus plane which had comfortable seats, better service and better amenities.

  29. One more that you mentioned you wanted to fly. Garuda Indonesia from narita to denpensar ROUND TRIP is 2600 dollars. Please do it, it will give you the chance to fly the new JAL business class too!

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