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By my fourth Oman Air flight I figured I wouldn’t be thrown any curve balls, given how consistent the previous three flights were. Well, this crew was nice enough to keep things interesting, and probably ranks as one of my 10 worst crews ever. And it’s not because they were rude or malicious, but rather simply because they were lazy.
Oman Air 113
Muscat (MCT) – Frankfurt (FRA)
Wednesday, February 17
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300
Seat: 14K (Business Class)
Boarding began at around 1:30PM via a remote stand. The bus ride from the terminal took about five minutes, and the air stairs were attached to the plane’s second door.
Upon boarding I turned left into the business class cabin. Unlike my two previous Oman Air A330 flights, this A330-300 featured Oman Air’s new business class product, which is identical to the one on the 787.
Oman Air’s new A330 business class cabin features a total of 24 seats, spread across four rows in a 2-2-2 configuration (that’s one more row than on the 787). The plane features the Apex Suite, which is also found on select Japan Airlines and Korean Air planes.
It’s an absolutely phenomenal product, at least if you’re able to snag a window seat. I also think Oman Air has the nicest finishes for their seats of any airline which operates this product.
As I explained in the Frankfurt to Muscat review, you absolutely want a window seat in this configuration, as it’s significantly more private and spacious than the aisle seats. You have complete privacy, as the standard position for the shield between seats is “up.”
You also have direct aisle access, as there’s a small walkway which leads to the window seats.
And there’s a ton of room to stretch out, including a huge ottoman. I found the A330 product to be even more spacious than the 787 product, which I guess isn’t a surprise given the the cabin is (marginally) wider.
Meanwhile the center seats don’t have nearly as much privacy, and also don’t have as much legroom.
The same is true of the aisle seats on the window sides, which have significantly less personal space.
Much like on the 787, each seat has an individual reading light.
Then there are also controls for the lighting and center partition.
There’s also a decent amount of storage along the left side of the seat.
Waiting at my seat was a pillow and blanket.
The great thing was that the business class cabin on this flight was quite empty. Of the 24 seats, just a third of them were occupied. I had the entire fourth row to myself. I figured that would translate to fantastic service. I was wrong.
The three business class flight attendants were Omani men, and despite the cabin being pretty empty, they just chatted in the galley rather than offering pre-departure beverages. I was at my seat for 15 minutes before any of them came by to offer a drink. I ordered a lime juice, which was delivered pretty quickly. It was tasty, and served with a warm towel.
About 10 minutes later they came around with Arabic coffee and dates. Again, they had the sweeter variety of dates, as I had on the flight from Frankfurt to Muscat. I’m not sure if the date variety is a function of the route (Europe gets the sweeter ones while Asia gets the packaged ones), or just random.
I was also offered an amenity kit, headphones, and menu for the flight.
At 12:50PM boarding was complete, at which point the captain came on the PA to introduce himself and the rest of the crew, including the other captain (I’m not sure if he was just being nice in referring to the other pilot as such, or if there were actually two captains on the flight, which does happen occasionally). He informed us of our flight time of 7hr15min, and our cruising altitude of 38,000 feet.
Moments later one of the flight attendants came around to take meal orders, which was a simple enough process.
At 2PM we began our taxi to the runway, at which point the safety demo was screened.
After the video was done and no flight attendants were in sight I pushed the flight attendant call button, since they never came around to collect my pre-departure beverage glass, or my Arabic coffee cup. For that matter they hadn’t done any sort of pre-takeoff security checks, best I could tell. Unfortunately no one answered the call button, so I just held onto the glasses for takeoff.
These pilots taxied with a sense of urgency, and by 2:10PM we were at runway 8L.
Once there we were immediately cleared for takeoff, and were being trailed by another Oman Air A330.
The views on the climb out were beautiful, as it was a clear day.
The seatbelt sign was only turned off about 10 minutes after takeoff, as we hit some chop on the climb out.
I decided to browse the airshow.
I always love looking at the airshow when flying to or from the Middle East, given the countries you fly over/around.
After browsing the airshow I decided to watch a show called “Shop Secret Tricks of Trade,” which showed the “tricks” retailers and restaurants use to make us spend more. I was expecting to learn something, though I didn’t — the show was quite boring.
There was no service for about 30 minutes, at which point I was offered the sparkling water I had ordered, along with mixed nuts.
About 20 minutes later my table was set for the lunch service.
The lunch menu read as follows:
And the wine list read as follows:
I wanted to mix it up again on this flight and not order the mezzeh. Instead I ordered the spinach and ricotta pancake, which was extremely
For the main course I also mixed it up and didn’t go with the Omani dish for once. Instead I ordered the salmon, which was perfectly executed. It was warm and flaky, and the sauce wasn’t overpowering.
Finally for dessert I had the chocolate cake. Oman Air scores perfect marks for their desserts, as they were out-of-this-world good on all four flights.
I mean, just look at that — YUM! I also had a cappuccino to go along with the dessert.
The meal was done about two hours into the flight. As I said above, the crew wasn’t rude, but they were just so lazy. They’d plop stuff down on my tray without saying anything, and wouldn’t offer drink refills unless I explicitly asked for them.
After lunch I headed to the lavatory, which was located behind the cabin. There was a flight attendant sitting in the jumpseat immediately across from the lavatory with one sock off, and he was picking at his toenail. Like, going to town on his toenail. Disgusting. Most puzzling was that he made no effort to hide it when he saw me notice it.
At this point in the trip I was tired, so ended up falling asleep. My intention was to just nap for a few hours, but given what an insane couple of weeks it had been, I slept until about an hour before landing.
Upon waking up I pushed the flight attendant call button, though no one responded. I wasn’t especially hungry but figured I’d get the snack if I could before landing. But since they weren’t responding I didn’t bother going to the galley.
About 20 minutes later a flight attendant walked by and I asked if I could have a cappuccino to drink, and he said “we are landing soon.” I find it totally ridiculous that they can’t serve you a drink 40 minutes before landing in business class, especially when it’s only a third full.
For what it’s worth, here’s how the refreshment menu read:
About 30 minutes before landing the captain came on the PA to inform us we’d be touching down at around 6:30PM, a bit ahead of schedule.
The views on approach were beautiful, especially of downtown Frankfurt (unfortunately I couldn’t get a picture which does it justice).
We had a smooth touchdown on runway 25L, and then a 10 minute taxi to the gate, where we parked at Terminal 2, next to a Korean Air 777.
While I enjoyed my flights on Oman Air, I was excited to be heading to the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport for a good night of sleep.
Oman Air’s new business class bottom line
This particular flight on Oman Air was quite a letdown. The seat was top notch (my favorite business class seat in the world), and the food was great. But the crew was lazy and disinterested, and that can really negatively impact a flight. Still, based on my four flights with Oman Air, the lazy crews seem to be the exception rather than the norm.
All things considered I love Oman Air, and am determined to fly them again soon… hopefully if/when they start flying to New York!