Review: American Business Class A321 Los Angeles To New York
Review: British Airways Lounge New York JFK
Review: Iberia Business Class A340 New York To Madrid
Review: Iberia Arrivals Lounge Madrid Airport
Review: Hilton Madrid Airport
Review: LAN Business Class 787 Madrid To Frankfurt
Review: Oman Air Business Class 787 Frankfurt To Muscat
Review: Oman Air Lounge Muscat Airport
Review: Oman Air Business Class A330 Muscat To Bangkok
Review: Le Meridien Suvarnabhumi Resort & Spa
Review: Oman Air Lounge Bangkok Airport
Review: Oman Air Business Class A330 Bangkok To Muscat
Review: Oman Air New Business Class A330 Muscat To Frankfurt
Review: Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Club Suite
Review: Air France Lounge Frankfurt Airport
Review: Air France HOP Business Class Frankfurt To Paris
Review: Air France First Class Ground Experience Paris
Review: Air France Business Class 777 Paris To Toronto
My connection time in Frankfurt was a bit over two hours, as I was landing shortly before 6PM, and my flight was scheduled to depart shortly after 8PM.
After arriving from Madrid I took the train to Terminal 2D, where Oman Air departs from. I find it funny that the Frankfurt Airport train system says “thank you for choosing in favor of Frankfurt Airport.” Perhaps more accurately it should say “thank you for choosing against Heathrow or Charles de Gaulle,” because that’s the only standard by which Frankfurt Airport would be someone’s first choice (well, unless you’re going to the Lufthansa First Class Terminal).
I just presented a copy of my itinerary to the agent, and he suggested I head to the gate about an hour before departure to retrieve my boarding pass.
The lounge was extremely full when I first arrived, but emptied out at around 7PM, as several flights were called for boarding.
Japan Airlines Lounge Frankfurt
I headed to my departure gate at around 7PM, about 80 minutes before my scheduled departure. The Oman Air flight was departing from gate D1, which required me to clear security again.
Upon arriving at the gate I was impressed to find that my boarding pass and lounge invitation for Muscat Airport were already waiting for me.
The crew showed up at the gate at around 7:20PM, and had a seat in the gate area. Both of the pilots and the male crew (about half of the flight attendants) seemed to be Omani, while the rest of the crew seemed to consist of women from Southeast Asia. They were taking selfies and laughing in the gate area, and finally at 7:45PM boarding was called, starting with business class.
Oman Air 114
Frankfurt (FRA) – Muscat (MCT)
Sunday, February 14
Arrive: 6:00AM (+1 day)
Aircraft: Boeing 787-8
Seat: 12A (Business Class)
I boarded through the second door on the left, where I was greeted by one of the male flight attendants and pointed left towards the business class cabin.
Oman Air’s business class cabin on the 787 is rather intimate, and consists of just 18 seats, spread across three rows in a 2-2-2 configuration.
Not only were the seats themselves beautiful, but I thought the finishes were beautiful as well. The interiors had some quasi-Omani touches, like the sand-colored seat covers, which felt authentic to the region.
These 18 business class seats were staggered, at least for the seats by the windows, as you can see below. The center seats and aisle seats were identical, and were quite private, but not all that spacious.
I had assigned myself seat 12A, which was the window seat in the third (last) row of business class.
I didn’t know what to expect going in, but this ended up being my favorite business class seat ever (for what it’s worth, this is the same business class product that Japan Airlines and Korean Air have on select aircraft).
The window seats offer incredible privacy, thanks to the standard partition position being in the up position, rather than down (as is the norm on British Airways).
The window seats had such privacy, and you didn’t need to step over anyone to access them. Instead there’s a small private walkway for each window seat, located in front of the aisle seat.
The aisle seats themselves were fine, though lacked privacy.
As you can see below, the legroom in the aisle seat was decent, and you had a good amount of space for your feet when sleeping. The seat also had quite a bit of storage.
When you look at the seat itself, the window seat may look similar.
But in reality it’s so much more spacious. You probably have at least an extra two feet of legroom, and you have a massive ottoman which is in no way restricting — that means you can sleep without having to “tuck” your feet into a small foot cubby.
To the right of the seat were several exposed storage compartments, perfect for reading glasses, an amenity kit, headphones, etc.
But I really can’t get over just how much legroom there is. Best of all, there’s so much room under the ottoman that you can store a 22″ carry-on without it taking up any of your legroom.
Waiting at my seat was a pillow and blanket. The pillow was fairly plush, while the blanket was thick without causing me to sweat.
To the right of the seat were the entertainment controls, on a handheld monitor which could be removed from the compartment.
Immediately below that were the buttons to control the reading light and privacy partition.
Then on the left armrest were all the seat controls, which were simpler than you’ll find on many other products — there was no handheld monitor, but rather the settings were built into the armrest itself. They were simple to use, which I appreciated.
On the right side of the seat towards the bottom was a headphone jack and two USB outlets.
Then above that was a reading light.
As boarding continued I couldn’t help but enjoy the Oman Air boarding music. Here’s a short clip of it:
It actually doesn’t sound that great on YouTube, but somehow I really enjoyed it on the plane, perhaps as much as the Etihad boarding music, which is otherwise my favorite.
I should also note I was enjoying this flight so much from the moment I stepped on. There was something which just felt so foreign and fun about the entire experience. After having done a countless number of Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar flights, it just felt different.
About 10 minutes after settling in, one of the business class crew came by with a hot towel, and to offer me a pre-departure beverage. I should note that he was Omani, as were the two other flight attendants working business class.
I mention that since you’d never find an Emirati cabin crew on Emirates or Etihad, or a Qatari cabin crew on Qatar Airways. One of the nice things about Oman as a country is that most of the citizens are in the “working class,” so you actually get to interact with locals no matter where you go. It’s one of the many reasons I love Oman.
Anyway, I ordered a glass of champagne. When I asked what kind of champagne they had, he said he’d check, as he didn’t know off the top of his head.
He returned and said it was Taittinger, which is perfectly nice. A German friend of mine joined me for this flight and was seated in the window seat on the opposite aisle, and upon inquiring as to what type of champagne they had, he was informed it was “a French one.” Insightful. 😉
Within about 15 minutes the entire business class cabin was boarded, and every seat was taken. Business class had three seats for sale shortly before departure, and then last minute three Omanis were upgraded (based on the conversation I overheard), and they were scattered throughout the cabin.
A veiled lady was seated next to me in the aisle seat, and one of the men traveling with her basically demanded that I change seats because she wanted privacy. I (politely) refused. I paid for my ticket and intentionally selected my seat (and for that matter was specifically trying to review the product), so wasn’t about to switch to an inferior seat.
For what it’s worth, a vast majority of passengers seemed to be German, both in economy and business class. It seems Oman Air’s business model is based almost entirely around transporting people between Europe and Asia, and this flight was no exception.
I was eventually offered a pair of headphones. They were rather uncomfortable, and hurt my ears after keeping them on for any substantial amount of time.
I was also offered an amenity kit, which was quite nice.
The kit included products from Chopard.
Then menus were distributed for the flight.
Moments before the door closed the crew came around with Arabic coffee and dates. These dates were more like pralines, and much sweeter than the ones you get on other airlines. Given my sweet tooth, I didn’t mind.
At 8:10PM boarding was completed, and the senior flight supervisor (a slightly older Omani man) came on the PA to welcome everyone aboard “on behalf of the captain and the Sultan of Oman.” He informed us of our flight time of 5hr43min, and our cruising altitude of 39,000 feet.
At 8:15PM we began our pushback, about five minutes ahead of schedule. At this point the safety video began to play, which featured some rather “animated” characters.
We taxied out to runway 18, where we were cleared for takeoff at 8:30PM.
The seatbelt sign was turned off less than five minutes after takeoff, so I quickly headed to the lavatory to change into something more comfortable.
There was one lavatory located behind business class in the center of the cabin, and then a further two lavatories located in front of the business class cabin. They were pretty standard 787 lavatories.
About 10 minutes after takeoff the captain came on the PA to add his welcome aboard, and inform us of our anticipated arrival time of 5AM, almost an hour ahead of schedule.
Once back at my seat I tried to browse the entertainment selection, though they didn’t turn on the system until about 15 minutes after takeoff, so I could only watch the “main” screen with the flight info.
Finally when the system was turned on I checked the airshow and then browsed the entertainment selection.
I couldn’t actually figure out how to display entertainment options on the TV rather than just on the controller, so I consider this to be one of the more complicated business class entertainment controllers out there.
Oman Air entertainment
The selection was fairly good, though, so I watched an episode of “Fresh Off The Boat,” followed by an episode of “Modern Family.”
Oman Air entertainment
Oman Air entertainment
I should note that while I found the controller difficult to use, at least there were no ads, and the system was quite responsive.
I also checked out the wifi situation, which is offered by OnAir. Oman Air has a variety of wifi options, so you can buy a plan either based on how much time or data you want. A full flight plan was $34.99, which isn’t as cheap as Etihad or Lufthansa, but is still quite reasonable compared to Iberia or Singapore.
I do wish it would be a 24 hour plan rather than a single flight plan, given how a vast majority of passengers are connecting on Oman Air between Europe and Asia.
About 20 minutes after takeoff the flight attendants came around to take dinner orders, and ask if passengers wanted to be woken for breakfast.
Finally about 45 minutes after takeoff drinks were served. I ordered another glass of champagne, which was served with mixed nuts.
About 15 minutes after that, tables were set, in anticipation of the dinner service. Each passenger had an individual breadbasket, and was also proactively offered water. I thought the setup was pretty classy.
The menu read as follows:
And the wine list read as follows:
Oman Air doesn’t have the world’s most extensive business class menu, but let me say upfront that the food was exceptional across the board.
I started with a mezzeh, which was nicely displayed and tasted great as well. It also wasn’t too filling, which was a blessing, since I was hoping to get some sleep on this flight, which is something overeating doesn’t usually help with.
About 20 minutes after the appetizer was served, the crew cleared plates and offered the main course. I selected the Omani dish for my main course, and it was exceptionally good. I know it probably doesn’t look amazing, but it was bursting with flavor. Oman Air has one of these “Omani specialties” on every flight, and they were fantastic across the board.
For dessert I had the vanilla cream profiteroles, which were out of this world. It’s possibly one of the best desserts I’ve ever had, be it on the ground or in the air. I also had a cappuccino to go along with the dessert, which was tasty.
The meal service was finished about 1hr45min into the flight, which meant we had about four hours to go until arriving in Muscat.
I was offered a bottle of water, and then reclined my seat to sleep. The window seats in this configuration are fantastic. They’re so private and so spacious, even better than reverse herringbone seats. You can comfortably bend your knees when sleeping with room to spare, which I can’t personally do in reverse herringbone seats. And you couldn’t possibly have more privacy.
The one negative of the seat is that it was quite hard. Not problematically so, but a mattress pad wouldn’t have hurt.
I managed to get some solid sleep, and woke up about 75 minutes before landing, as the crew was slowly turning up the cabin lights in anticipation of arrival.
While I only napped for a couple of hours, it was great sleep.
When the crew saw I was awake they came to set my table for breakfast. The breakfast menu read as follows:
In a way, breakfast service is completely unnecessary on such a short flight. But if you’re going to serve breakfast, I think what Oman Air does is perfect.
Breakfast consisted of a plate with all kinds of carbs (a roll, a baguette, a croissant, a danish, and some pita bread).
Then were was greek yogurt with honey, which I love.
And then a small plate of delicious mixed fruit.
I was also offered some coffee and orange juice with breakfast.
Once the meal service was complete, hot towels were distributed.
We began our descent about 30 minutes out, at which point I turned on the airshow to look at our approach path.
The seatbelt sign was turned on about 10 minutes before our arrival.
We had a smooth-as-could-be touchdown at 5:05AM, and then began our taxi to our arrival stand.
Muscat Airport is in the process of building a new terminal, which is quite close to the runway. Right now the airport doesn’t have any gates, and unfortunately the remote stands are a long distance from the runway.
We finally made it to our remote stand at 5:20AM, after a 15 minute taxi. The only other plane in sight was an Oman Air A330.
It took the ground staff about five minutes to open the door, at which point I descended onto the tarmac. As much as I hate having to take a bus to the terminal, I do love the view of a heavy jet from the tarmac.
There was a bus exclusively for business class passengers, so after a couple of minutes we were off to the terminal, for our roughly four hour connection.
Oman Air 787 business class bottom line
There were so many things I loved about Oman Air business class. First of all, the business class seats were fantastic, assuming you can snag a window seat. I’d argue the window seats are the best business class seat in the world.
The food was top notch as well. I enjoyed the dinner immensely, and thought the breakfast was just the right portion for such a short flight.
Beyond that, there was some “wow” factor which I can’t quite put my finger on. Maybe it’s just that I haven’t flown Oman Air before, and it felt exciting because it was a new experience. As much as I love Emirates first class, this product excited me more, for some reason.
As far as the service goes, it was unique to be served by “locals” in the Middle East. You’d never find that on Emirates, Etihad, or Qatar. But that’s true of the Omani workforce in general, and not just at the airline. I’d say the crew was reasonably friendly and efficient, though completely unmemorable. They didn’t go above and beyond and weren’t proactive, though also were fairly responsive to requests and weren’t actively bad (which is a stark contrast from my return crew from Muscat to Frankfurt — stay tuned for that).
All-in-all, I loved Oman Air!