I’m Booked: Iberia, LAN, Oman Air, And Air France Business Class!!!

Filed Under: Air France, Awards

Yesterday I wrote a post entitled “Which Oman Air Business Class Itinerary Should I Book?”

As I explained in the post, my goal this year is to review as many new airline products as possible. I’m off to a good start with that goal, as 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.

Yesterday my post was about the decent Oman Air fare I saw between Frankfurt and Kuala Lumpur. For ~1,750EUR I could fly from Frankfurt to Muscat to Kuala Lumpur, which would allow me to sample Oman Air’s new and old business class products (Oman Air is one of the few airlines where the old product is what I’m more excited about).

Oman Air’s old business class

Oman Air’s new business class

Well, I’m a complete idiot, because what I failed to realize is that I could actually fly roundtrip business class for less than the price of one-way business class, as pointed out by a reader in the comments section. I looked at a few potential routings, and eventually decided I’d rather fly to Bangkok than Kuala Lumpur, given that Oman Air has their own lounge in Bangkok, which I’d like to review.

So for ~1,750USD I managed to book Frankfurt to Bangkok via Muscat roundtrip:


The best part? Over the course of the four segments, I’m scheduled to fly on all four types of longhaul aircraft Oman Air flies:

  • One flight will be operated by a 787 with the new business class product
  • One flight will be operated by an A330 with the old business class product without a first class cabin
  • One flight will be operated by an A330 with the old business class product with a first class cabin
  • One flight will be operated by an A330 with the new business class product

So while four flights might be slightly overdoing it, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity before their old business class product goes away.

From there the challenge was getting to and from Frankfurt. I decided to just book Lufthansa first class both ways, since I know you guys are dying for a review of that. Just kidding. 😉

Instead I’ll be flying from the US to Madrid in Iberia’s new business class, and then from Madrid to Frankfurt in LAN’s new business class, which is an awesome fifth freedom route. I redeemed 50,000 American AAdvantage miles for the outbound.

LAN’s new business class

Then on the return I’ll be routing via Paris so I can sample Air France’s new business class product. I redeemed 62,500 Air France FlyingBlue miles for the return.

Air France’s new business class

Bottom line

This trip will be crazy, given that I’m doing it with virtually no time on the ground. But I’m very excited to be able to sample four new business class products over the course of a few days.

Am I crazy for taking this trip? Which business class product are you most excited to read about? 

  1. Wow, so much flying, Lucky!

    Also I can no more wait on review of my favourite airline! FINNAIR!

  2. Didn’t one of your readers point this out, via this reply a few minutes after your post:

    “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?”

    Shouldn’t your reader get some credit for the find? Or did you figure it out independently?

  3. Yes, you are crazy for doing it, but thanks very much. It would be better if you were also staying on some new hotels or cities in this trip, but this would be nitpicking.
    On a related question, would you feel uncomfortable or worried if you did a stop on CAI or just because of your mum?

  4. This is amazing!!! I cannot wait to read this. I fly Iberia all the time from NYC to Madrid and fairly happy with their hard product although the soft product is lacking. Bon voyage!

  5. Have to give you credit for coming through with your new years resolution! Super excited for the reviews!

  6. This is awesome!! Curious though why you are more excited to fly Oman’s old business class over the new one. I think the new one looks so much better.

    Also, is there a trick on finding award availability for AF? I can’t seem to find any across the pond. I really want to fly their new business class.

  7. Wow, but why not explore these cities? Muscat has a Hyatt and Oman is quite safe and peaceful as far as that region goes.

  8. Lucky,

    If the WY lounge in the very outdated MCT terminal is any indication of what the BKK lounge will be like, I think you will be very impressed with the WY experience. Just flew them from MCT to AUH last week, and the ground experience beats the heck out of any western carrier’s business product – given they are working with a hardstand only airport, and over crowded terminal. A very international crew provided excellent service that rivals that of players in the region. Excited for you!

    – P

  9. Wow mostly looking forward to read your OMAN and IB review – and lucky bye the way
    PLEASE what kind of camera do you use for all your nice photos and do you ever have trouble with FA taking photos onboard?

  10. @ Bilad — I’ve been to Muscat, and have visited Frankfurt dozens of times. I’ll be in Bangkok for a few days.

  11. @ Luis — Booking through FlyingBlue, there’s a decent amount of space to Toronto and Washington, both of which feature the new product.

  12. @ Daniel — It was based on the reader’s comment. Sorry, thought I was acknowledging it, but updated the post to make it clearer. Thanks for pointing that out.

  13. Since you love kitsch, book a night at the Grand Hyatt Muscat. It’s about 30 minutes via taxi from the airport, but so worth it. Lounge is nothing worth writing home about, except for the large outdoor terrace.

    Oman is a beautiful country though and very Western friendly. Book a car and drive the Rustaq loop; it takes about 5 hours total (including time exploring the forts) and it gives you a great lesson in the history of Oman.

  14. I’m flying the LAN 787 from MAD-FRA in business class also and will get to test out the new Air France product from LAX – CDG on the 777 next month and i’m looking forward to it.

  15. Found Iberia space in new Business, JFK-MAD and back on the Iberia site. Compared costs of BA Avios, Iberia Avios and AA and AA was the best. Called up (twice) and each time was told that the Business seats don’t show up on their computers – just economy! Asked them to try to book manually and was told twice that it was impossible. In the end, I moved some BA Avios to Iberia and got the seats but very annoyed. Did I give up too early? Was AA telling me the truth?

  16. Great itinerary – keep up the good work. The 2016 reviews are so much more interesting than the EK/LH/CX routine that one normally sees on BA

  17. @ flyingfish — Leaning towards Etihad Guest, since they’re a transfer partner with Citi ThankYou as well.

  18. @ Steven S — Hmmmm, that’s definitely odd. Space should be the same, as far as I know, but sometimes there are system discrepancies. If you called twice, I suspect it was the latter in this instance.

  19. Great, looking most forward to the new AF and WY business class!

    I’m tempted to book a FRA-MAD return just to meet you in the plane 🙂

  20. Are you going to try the paid access to the F lounge and ground services in CDG when flying AF?

    Reread your post about it being possible to and some reader had left comment about it not working on awards and another that AF seemed to offer a bit reduced service level?

  21. I’m glad you’re following through on your resolution! This is a fun one, anyway, so it shouldn’t be as hard to follow as some of the “bad habit” ones.

    Anyway, looking forward to reading about some new/different products, especially in business.

  22. @ No Name — Hmmmm, that’s a toughie. Could plan a nice and long layover, but trying to decide if that’s more useful, or otherwise finally reviewing the Air France business class lounge, which I’ve yet to review. What do you guys think?

  23. Lucky, this is great. I’ll be in Oman in a few months and while I’m flying EK there (A380 F) and QR back (A350 J) I will read your review with interest. Please share anything about the MCT lounge situation as those reviews are thin on the ground.

    I think you’ll enjoy the AF J as well. I flew that YYZ-CDG in the Fall and was really impressed with the hard product.

  24. When I read “I decided to just book
    Lufthansa first class both ways, since I know
    you guys are dying for a review of that.” I though he is mad ! Love your humour ! Safe flights !!!!

  25. Ben, i’m booking JFK to MAD for 2 people in biz using AA miles. Curious what the taxes were for you? I’m booking the rest of the trip on Qatar and appreciate any guidance!

  26. You will find the IB J class experience to be amazingly similar to the AY experience; slow service, middling food, okay seats with tight foot space.

  27. I have a crazy F-experience-suggestion:
    TAAG from Angola have 77W mit F-Class
    and they fly them from Angola to Brazil and Portugal.
    Would love that Report

  28. Well I think I remember a certain well know blogger recently crowned the AF CDG F lounge the world best F ground experience, personally I would love to get it fully documented and checked out if it’s really possible to access it without flying AF F and get the full experience.

    Had it been most other airline I would just take your word for it and considered it the golden truth and called it a day, but this is AF we are talking about here. Will work on awards or just paid tickets? Is it the full service or just a subset off it?

    At the moment excluding the 5 freedom flights of SQ and Emirates the 3 best regularly scheduled J product TATL is AA B77W, AF B77W and SK A330/340 correct?

    AA B77W only fly to LHR right? Which means connecting with BA in most cases, plus the mess that is LHR.

    SK A330/340 would in many cases mean connecting in SK Y+ short haul and the lounge in CPH is not say the TK J lounge in IST or QR J in DOH either.

    And that leaves AF with possibly the F lounge and ground services, if it works would that not possibly make AF J the best J product TATL for routes where there are no direct flight?

    Have avoided CDG like the plague in the past so don’t know the layout well, but would it be possible to do Eu-CDG-LON some time in the future and access the Air France business class lounge? Or does flight to Ireland, Britain and other non-schengen EU country’s leave from a different terminal?

    Have read that Air Europa runs some widebodies BCN-MAD so an award perhaps an award BCN-MAD-CDG-LON/DUB?

  29. Or the Air France business class lounge as part of a US-EU award with the TATL part MEX-CDG on Aeroméxico B788 and then onward to LON or DUB.

    Since you are over 25 now perhaps the Irish will give you a proper car so you really can explore the Ireland this time around.

    If LON you could check out the *A lounges in LHR? Have read that the United, yes United really, is actually good and perhaps better than the LH and SQ J lounges there. A cheap SK PLUS ticket should get you inn if the timing don’t fit with trying SK new J TATL.

  30. lucky, did you book the JFK-MAD and MAD-FRA separately? I can’t seem to book it directly with either the Iberia or BA websites, Iberia only let me book the Frankfurt sector on their planes and BA will only let me route via London or through Germany with AirBerlin

  31. @Luda.

    He booked it with AA, not IB or BA. That might have had a difference.

    But have you tried calling IB and see if a phone agent can book it for you?

  32. hi L,

    Great stuff…do you know if the new Iberia plane is flying from LAX-MAD this summer. I booked two biz seats, aisle and window in same row, for Aug 2016 last fall, and got a notification in Dec. that one of my seats were changed. looked like the new seats were staggered, with only one seat by window per row. Any idea if this is the same new biz class you are riding in, via JFK? (And how did other commenters know you were leaving from JFK, I saw no mention of it in the post? thanks, gary

  33. @Gary

    Somebody asked Lucky about the fuel surcharge JFK-MAD

    And Lucky replayed
    @ Jeff — Total for JFK-MAD-FRA was $97.10, including the mild fuel surcharges on Iberia

  34. @ Luda — I booked it together through American. The Madrid to Frankfurt flight is only in the afternoon so it’s a VERY long connection, which is probably why the websites of BA and IB don’t show the space.

  35. What about the Airberlin business class from Dusseldorf to LAX or Dusseldorf to one of the Carribean locations?

  36. I look forward to reading about Iberia Business. After reading somewhere on the points and miles blogosphere last fall positive words about Iberia business and that there was space in 2016, my girlfriend and I are booked from JFK-MAD in August. The biggest thing is the lie flat bed as I know if I can’t sleep on the flight – which I know I can’t do in economy, premium or otherwise! – that first day will be a waste. I hope I made a good choice for using AAdvantage miles!

  37. @Lucky – I vote for reviewing the paid AF first class ground service and lounge. I know you’ve reviewed this before but it’d be great to get an update and see what its like now. You would also be in a unique position to tell if there is any difference in between a first class passenger and a business class passenger using the service.

  38. I vote for AF business lounge review. Nick could not cover the whole lounge in his review from April because he was not feeling well, if you remember.

  39. It is so ‘funny’ to see how you keep saying you want to review products while it is pretty clear you need to do some reviews to keep the blog interesting to continue your lifestyle. That is fine. Just do not be so hypocrite about it.

    Reviewing a product that is being phased out is a useless review but for you a nice experience and sure a funny read. There is tons of products out there you did not review yet which would make more interesting reviews. Just 2 that come to my mind now is China Airlines First Class, believe it flies to LAX and KLM 787, especially the latter will become available to many people. That would be some value added reviews.

  40. Oman Air use to be fantastic. A real boutique style airline, especially in their business class. Now sadly their service & standards have let them down. They had the best awarding winner J class seat to a mediocre product. I’ve now ‘jumped ship’ to their neighbour, Etihad. It will interesting to read your thoughts.

  41. You will love Oman Air’s lounge in BKK. It’s so cozy and elegant..feels more like an F-Lounge. Same as their old C-class. 🙂 Don’t forget that Oman also offers chauffeur service for their premium pax. Don’t know how many time you have on the ground, but just wanted to mention that.

  42. @Lucky – Review the AF Business Class lounge since you have yet to review it! Keep the F lounge for when you try AF’s new first class! (You will try it, right? 🙂 )

  43. @lucky how do you know which places are newly refurbished and which are older? Whenever i book american i want to make sure i’m on the newest place but besides plane type how can you tell if they’ve refurbished it?

  44. When you write your Air France report, you need to find a clever way to work in what “AF” stands for these days. e.g., Classy AF.

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