Awful Service On Oman Air, And It Got Awkward

Awful Service On Oman Air, And It Got Awkward

141

I’m currently on a review trip to Oman. In a previous installment, I talked about my disappointing Oman Air business class flight from Muscat to Frankfurt, which was the polar opposite of my Oman Air business class flight from Milan to Muscat the night before. What I haven’t addressed in detail yet is the service onboard, which was the worst I’ve had in business class in a long time.

I had a lackluster flight attendant on Oman Air

There was one flight attendant serving me the entire time on the 7hr40min flight from Muscat to Frankfurt. Let me start by saying that I’m sure she’s a nice person, and she wasn’t rude in any way. However, the level of service she provided made me yearn for flying a US airline, which is saying something. For what it’s worth, the cabin was just over half full, so it’s not like the crew was overworked and needing to hustle.

On a good day, Oman Air offers great inflight service. The airline markets its business class product as offering an “unmatched level of personalized attention.” I’ll let y’all be the judge as to whether that was offered on this flight.

To start, this flight attendant just didn’t communicate with words. For example, about 10 minutes after takeoff, she came to my seat holding a paper and pen, and just stood there looking at me:

“Hi… are you taking meal orders?”
“Yes.”
“Could I have the Arabic mezze, please?”
“Yes, one left.”

Okay, then. Next, she brought me some nuts, and then continued to stand there:

“Hi, are you taking drink orders, or…?”
“Yes.”

Good thing I have an infant, so I’m good at figuring out what people are asking for without talking. 😉

She would even ask me questions without speaking. For example, when I was done with my appetizer, she didn’t ask if I was finished with words, but rather she made a hand motion to ask if I was finished (you know, like holding your hand up and then moving it to the side as if you’re cutting something).

It was also clear she just didn’t follow Oman Air’s service procedure. While minor, here’s a concrete example. On every Oman Air business class flight I’ve taken, the crew pours wine and champagne at the seat, first bringing out a glass, then presenting the bottle, and then pouring. She just brought the glass out from the galley already filled.

More significantly, if I didn’t explicitly ask for something, it wasn’t offered. Admittedly not all flight attendants have the same attention to detail and are good at anticipating the needs of passengers, but we’re talking about very simple things. An empty glass? She’d either leave it there or just take it, without asking if I wanted anything else. I also had to specifically ask for cutlery that was needed for particular dishes.

Here’s an example — when she brought me dessert, there were two empty glasses, a soup spoon, and a knife, sitting on my tray. She simply placed the cheesecake on the table next to them. Did she ask if I want anything to drink, remove my glasses, or bring me a fork? Nope!

Talk about a lack of attention to detail!

This service level was constant throughout the flight. It was such a contrast to my flight the night before, where the crew was fabulous. They were proactive with offering drinks, they’d replace cutlery when needed, and they’d communicate in ways you’d expect in business class, like taking meal orders by asking “have you had a chance to look over the menu?”

After the meal, the service transitioned from sloppy to non-existent. In fairness, the crew responded to call buttons, but they otherwise didn’t check if anyone ever wanted anything.

Apparently the airline offers a pre-landing snack on demand, but you would never know that, because they never mentioned the availability of this. This was the sloppiest and most disinterested business class service I’ve had on a long haul flight in… I don’t know how long.

Let me of course acknowledge there are bigger problems in the world, but I write about premium airline products, and airlines make certain claims about the levels of service they offer. So I try to judge those experiences as fairly as I can, and service on this flight fell way short of my expectations.

Service after the meal was non-existent

I brought this to the attention of the cabin manager

About 45 minutes before landing, the crew started preparing the cabin for landing. It was a rare treat to see the crew pass through the cabin without a call button having been pushed. I saw the cabin manager walk by, so I stopped him for a moment.

That conversation started with something like this:

“Hi, I’m just curious, is there no pre-landing snack on this flight?”
“Yes there is a small snack, but it has to be requested.”
“Is that the policy that it’s not offered? I find it strange, I just flew from Milan to Muscat on a 5.5 hour overnight flight, and was proactively offered a pre-landing snack. This flight is two hours longer and a daytime flight, and I’m not offered anything.”
“I’m sorry, that’s the policy.”
“How would I even know it can be requested? It’s not on the menu, and the flight attendant didn’t mention this was even an option.”

Since I had the cabin manager’s attention, at this point I did something I’ve never done before — I figured I’d share some feedback about the negative experience I had with him directly. OMAAT readers often tell me I’m too passive and don’t stand up for myself, so I figured this would be a good thing to test out.

After all, on Gulf carriers cabin managers are actually in charge of the crew, and have some power, so it seemed only fair for him to be aware of the issues, rather than him being caught off guard if I complained after the fact.

I said something along the lines of the following:

“I just want you to be aware that the service on this flight has been very poor, and the flight attendant serving me hasn’t been professional. I love Oman Air and have flown with the airline many times, but this is the worst service I’ve had on the airline.”

I went on to provide examples of the service, and to contrast that to the service I’ve had on past Oman Air flights. He seemed borderline defensive, and I’m not sure my feedback was actually registering with him. I don’t like to badger people, especially when I realize a conversation isn’t going anywhere, and therefore isn’t really constructive. I know when to cut my losses.

I certainly know on some other Gulf carriers, they’d thank you for the feedback and document what happened, while he seemed to mostly be making excuses for what happened.

For what it’s worth, I believe he was an Omani gentlemen, and he didn’t seem particularly customer focused either. He never came through the cabin to greet passengers. As a point of contrast, I had an excellent Filipino cabin manager on the overnight flight, and she came by to introduce herself to each passenger during boarding, and to let them know that she was at their service.

The flight attendant confronted me about my feedback

A few minutes later, the flight attendant who had been “serving” my section approached me:

“I heard you had some problems with my service.”

Oh, this is about to get awkward. Look, I hate the term “gaslighting,” because I think people overuse it to play the victim card. But I think what happened over the next few minutes was basically the definition of it.

I’m not kidding when I say that I stopped for a moment after this interaction and questioned whether I was just losing my mind, and if I was in fact offered amazing service the whole flight, but was just unable to appreciate it.

I shared similar feedback to what I wrote above. I was hoping her response would be “oh, I’m sorry you’re disappointed,” or “I’m having a bad day, I’m sorry,” or “thank you for your feedback, I’ll use it to improve in the future.” Instead I got… mostly the opposite, and one of us must have been hallucinating, because we had totally different impressions of reality. Where do we even begin?

  • “I feel really bad, because I serve from the heart and always smile, and want my guests to be happy”
  • “I constantly go through the cabin to see what my guests want, and I always offer you whatever you want, every time you ask for something I get it for you”
  • “The reason I don’t bring the bottle to the seat is because the captain said maybe there is some turbulence”
  • “All my passengers enjoy my service and have good flight”
  • “When you were sleeping I raised the partition for you so you could rest”
  • “You are so nice and every time we interact, you say thank you, I even tell the crew in the galley how 12K is so nice and he always appreciate what I do and say thank you”
  • “Please, I don’t want you to leave unhappy, maybe we fly together again”
  • “I usually work first class, and good service is important to me”

Honestly, for a moment I questioned my sanity. Was I losing it? But everything she said was somewhere between wishful thinking and a downright lie. If anything, her response makes me feel better about sharing this feedback publicly. Because it’s not “oh, I’m sorry, today wasn’t a good day for me.” Rather it was “my service is amazing, what’s wrong with you?”

I didn’t even know how to respond to what she was saying:

  • It’s interesting how she justified not pouring drinks at the seat by claiming the captain said the flight would be bumpy; the cabin manager didn’t mention this, and this was probably the smoothest long haul flight I’ve had in a long time, as there was no turbulence the entire way (which isn’t to say it’s not true, but it sure is a convenient excuse)
  • She claimed she raised the partition for me so I could rest, which is a minor point to make, but is also an outright lie; it was raised when I boarded, as you can see in the pictures I took when I boarded the plane, and even when I took pictures of the seat in bed mode
  • The only thing she said that was accurate is that she got me whatever I asked for; yes, when I pushed the flight attendant call button to ask for some water, she didn’t deny me, how generous!
  • Just because I was raised right and say “thank you” when I’m served something, doesn’t mean that you’re providing good service
  • I love how she tried to manipulate me into saying she was providing good service by telling me that I was very nice to her, and how she was telling the crew about that; like, what does that have to do with anything?
The partition looks raised to me!
The partition still looks raised to me!

Our conversation must have gone on for five minutes, and it essentially consisted of her trying to convince me that my perception was wrong. She did 80% of the talking, and I did maybe 20% of the talking. It seemed like she didn’t want to end the conversation until I apologized to her for misinterpreting her service, and acknowledging that it was actually world class.

So I was the one to end the conversation. I just said “I’m sorry, I don’t know what to tell you, clearly we have very different impressions of what happened.”

I find it incredibly unprofessional how the cabin manager relayed this feedback to the flight attendant and then “unleashed” her on me. That’s awful leadership. If anything, he should have accompanied her if she was going to approach me directly, or make it clear that she should keep the conversation brief and be apologetic, rather than trying to convince me of a non-existent reality in which she’s providing service that’s worthy of an award.

Suffice it to say that deplaning was a little awkward…

Bottom line

#%&@, I had one strange flight on Oman Air. The service was bad, a total contrast to the exceptional service I had on my Oman Air flight the night before. The flight attendant taking care of me just wasn’t good at her job, didn’t care, or both.

I’m not a combative person, though OMAAT readers have often told me I’m too passive, so I figured this was the perfect opportunity to share some feedback with the cabin manager. For airlines that have cabin managers, the intent is that they’re in charge of the crew, and are people you can share feedback with in a constructive way.

Well, that’s officially the last time I’ll be trying that. The cabin manager was defensive, while the flight attendant then tried to essentially convince me of a different reality.

Dear OMAAT readers, what do you make of this mess?!

Conversations (141)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Ahmed Guest

    Im a regular Business class traveller on Oman air due to work. Their service level as been severely impacted since they fired most of their experienced expat staff at the start of Covid. Replacements since then are low cost, inexperienced staff who have little interest in customer service. The airline is suffering with large losses as traditional customers seek better alternatives. I now use them for overnight flights where possible as the beds are OK...

    Im a regular Business class traveller on Oman air due to work. Their service level as been severely impacted since they fired most of their experienced expat staff at the start of Covid. Replacements since then are low cost, inexperienced staff who have little interest in customer service. The airline is suffering with large losses as traditional customers seek better alternatives. I now use them for overnight flights where possible as the beds are OK and service does matter when sleeping

  2. Frequent flyer Guest

    It’s terrible ! So sorry for that .. Which date was your flight please ?

  3. Anthony Guest

    Ben,
    Don't back down. I can't tell you how many large companies have come back from my complaint/feedback, "we never had that before, or you are the first to ever complain about that".

    The proper response for all things is "I am sorry for this inconvenience or problem to you"

    What they did to you is wrong. Take it as a One Off. When its right, speak up.

    Then take your shot of whiskey courage !

  4. Aylesbury Duck Guest

    Sounds exactly like my recent experience flying Dubai to LHR on BA. Service was non existent. Flight attendants didn’t walk through the cabin once during the flight to ask if water or drinks were wanted. Compared to Emirates it was dire service. The in flight entertainment was also of an appalling standard. In 40 years of travelling it was the first time I found absolutely nothing to watch. Shame you had that service and it...

    Sounds exactly like my recent experience flying Dubai to LHR on BA. Service was non existent. Flight attendants didn’t walk through the cabin once during the flight to ask if water or drinks were wanted. Compared to Emirates it was dire service. The in flight entertainment was also of an appalling standard. In 40 years of travelling it was the first time I found absolutely nothing to watch. Shame you had that service and it was very badly handled. I was going to write to BA but sheesh….

  5. Mary Guest

    I'm a bit shocked by some of the comments on here. Good for you for speaking up and more customers need to do it. But people are too used to hiding behind nasty anonymous online reviews instead of providing direct feedback. The crew handled it very very poorly and made things even worse. Clearly a top down issue with this particular crew.

  6. Duck Ling Guest

    I am a huge fan of Lucky and this blog.

    But I have to admit, there is something about this article that does not sit right with me.

    Mainly, it is the aspect of fairness and perspective. If this same experience in terms of service failures happened on a US or european based airline tomorrow, would the title of the article be 'Awful service on XXX Air'? I doubt it. In fact, reading many of...

    I am a huge fan of Lucky and this blog.

    But I have to admit, there is something about this article that does not sit right with me.

    Mainly, it is the aspect of fairness and perspective. If this same experience in terms of service failures happened on a US or european based airline tomorrow, would the title of the article be 'Awful service on XXX Air'? I doubt it. In fact, reading many of the reviews lucky has done on other airlines where I have been like 'whoa that is awful' Lucky writes it off as a 'quirk' or 'unpolished'.

    Lucky is a well known blogger and I would assume on a large portion of the flights he takes his presence will be known. On many airlines crew have access to the passenger list well in advance and it is fairly common to have a quick google of those names especially if one pops up and you think 'oh, that sounds familiar'.

    Also, as an Inflight Manager myself for a large (non US) legacy carrier I felt there were many assumptions made and that the claim the Inflight Manager 'unleashed' the FA on him is really unfair. The IFM very likely brought his complaint to the FA's attention but I highly doubt he then turned around and said 'right, now go and confront the passenger'.

  7. Vancouver - Char Diamond

    Always appreciate the honesty of your reviews; i wonder to what extent the management of Oman Airwats follows your and further airline related blogs (like how China Eastern followed your blog post in August 2016); you are doing the airlines a favour with your honest reportage.

    And, yes, it was unprofessional and awkward for cabin manager to mention your valid concerns with the flight attendant; moving forward, learning from your experience i will wait until...

    Always appreciate the honesty of your reviews; i wonder to what extent the management of Oman Airwats follows your and further airline related blogs (like how China Eastern followed your blog post in August 2016); you are doing the airlines a favour with your honest reportage.

    And, yes, it was unprofessional and awkward for cabin manager to mention your valid concerns with the flight attendant; moving forward, learning from your experience i will wait until leaving the airplane prior to any concerns; happy and safe travels:)

  8. Droopy Dog Guest

    You should have used the phrase, "recollections may vary..."

  9. Melinda Manning Guest

    I had a similar experience on Singapore last year. The staff basically did nothing unless you explicitly asked for it (including the amenity kits). It was truly disappointing-especially for an 18 hour flight.

  10. Duck Ling Guest

    For those 'this is an awful story/this is a great story' people.

    I doubt Lucky runs this Blog on a daily basis from the goodness of his heart. Views and comments equal advertising revenue. The more views, the more comments, more revenue.

    Just look at the number of comments on this story compared to most others? WAY higher. And it always, always is that way as soon as the story is one of those 'lets get the popcorn out' ones.

    Who can blame him?

  11. Duck Ling Guest

    Looks like we will be seeing some changes at Oman Air soon.

    A new board has been appointed including Christoph Mueller formerly of Aer Lingus and (very briefly) Malaysia Airlines.

    Already announced are route cuts and frequency reductions.

    Cut: Flights from Muscat to Colombo, Islamabad, Lahore, Male and Zurich will be suspended.

    Reduced: Muscat to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Phuket

  12. Marco Guest

    Flew Oman Air LHR-MCT-KHI in Business (with Aeroplan points) and honestly they were my best flights. The FA serving my section on both flights were Thai. They were my most memorable flights.

    The journey actual began with an upgrade to Business on the YYZ-LHR from Premium Economy on AC. So it was business all the way to KHI.

    Ben might delete this but I'll give it a shot (wink)

    Business Class Flights in Nov...

    Flew Oman Air LHR-MCT-KHI in Business (with Aeroplan points) and honestly they were my best flights. The FA serving my section on both flights were Thai. They were my most memorable flights.

    The journey actual began with an upgrade to Business on the YYZ-LHR from Premium Economy on AC. So it was business all the way to KHI.

    Ben might delete this but I'll give it a shot (wink)

    Business Class Flights in Nov 2022: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGXvXZxUyg-1jXknB5VGV9G47L9--6UQe

  13. Jk Guest

    This whole article was a PPP

    Piss poor post

  14. iamhere Guest

    Agree with some of the other comments. Not sure if this deserved an entire article to address. How many times did you receive bad service on airlines?...

  15. iamhere Guest

    Perhaps not talking about the situation with her or perhaps not acknowledging the situation would have been better

  16. Jeff Guest

    You are taking away the wrong lesson from this interaction with a totally unprofessional flight attendant and “manager”. Instead of just sending a negative letter to the airline to report them, you first advised them directly of your concerns.

    You absolutely did the right thing and in a professional manner, and what you need to do now is a send a copy of this write up directly to the airline management, with a copy of...

    You are taking away the wrong lesson from this interaction with a totally unprofessional flight attendant and “manager”. Instead of just sending a negative letter to the airline to report them, you first advised them directly of your concerns.

    You absolutely did the right thing and in a professional manner, and what you need to do now is a send a copy of this write up directly to the airline management, with a copy of your boarding pass, so they know what flight you were on and who you are.

  17. Longrange777 Guest

    She was not gaslighting you!!! Perfect apology? No, but what do you really want? Compensation perhaps? They didn’t respond by apologizing in the right way (subjective) for not getting a pre-landing snack, etc. Stuff happens. We in the hospitality business are not inclined to tell a guest that we “are having a bad day”. You should know that. Good review but you took it too far with your interpretation of how they responded. You brought...

    She was not gaslighting you!!! Perfect apology? No, but what do you really want? Compensation perhaps? They didn’t respond by apologizing in the right way (subjective) for not getting a pre-landing snack, etc. Stuff happens. We in the hospitality business are not inclined to tell a guest that we “are having a bad day”. You should know that. Good review but you took it too far with your interpretation of how they responded. You brought it up to the cabin manager and if he doesn’t respond how you would like then go to corporate feedback.

  18. Sarah Guest

    You wanted to complain, you wanted her to know, but you were too scared to actually be confronted back. Just complain to the airline directly next time if you can’t even dish out her coming to explain her side.

    1. iamhere Guest

      100% agree agree and perhaps he did not want to be confronted about it here as he wrote that readers often say he doesn't stand up for himself.

  19. M1772 Guest

    I flew Oman in Business in 2017 from MCT-ZNZ(5:25 flight time) on a 737. I asked for champagne when asked what I would like for pre departure, the FA responded that the champagne wasn’t yet opened and they didn’t want it to go flat so they would have to wait until after takeoff. After takeoff I had 1 champagne with my dinner service and then the FA’s literally came through ONCE every 45 minutes to...

    I flew Oman in Business in 2017 from MCT-ZNZ(5:25 flight time) on a 737. I asked for champagne when asked what I would like for pre departure, the FA responded that the champagne wasn’t yet opened and they didn’t want it to go flat so they would have to wait until after takeoff. After takeoff I had 1 champagne with my dinner service and then the FA’s literally came through ONCE every 45 minutes to check on the J cabin or to see if anyone needed refills. It was terrible service

  20. Joey Diamond

    This is really unfortunate and certainly awkward. I applaud you Ben for speaking up but if I were in your situation I would have spoken with the flight attendant first to state your expectations. If service didn't improve, then speak to the purser to prevent any surprises.

  21. Dan Guest

    Oman Air is nowhere near the top of the list in anyone’s book. And they are getting worse each day. Fortunately, there are so many other wonderful options for traveling around that part of the world if one must.

    1. Duck Ling Guest

      'Oman Air is nowhere near the top of the list in anyone’s book.'
      They are in the top for me. I can not fault them. My favourite (apex) seats. I have always had great crew. Food is delicious. Muscat lounge great and the airport an efficient little transport hub.

  22. Adrian Guest

    Honestly I am perhaps one of the readers, who are happy that Ben finally said something. I don't know why other people have issues with it. We are paying thousands of dollars and I have little patience putting up with poor service. Ten years ago, I would feel timid about raising issues, but now I will not hesitate to tell the F/A that I will do a follow-up with your customer care and your inflight...

    Honestly I am perhaps one of the readers, who are happy that Ben finally said something. I don't know why other people have issues with it. We are paying thousands of dollars and I have little patience putting up with poor service. Ten years ago, I would feel timid about raising issues, but now I will not hesitate to tell the F/A that I will do a follow-up with your customer care and your inflight manager and you can further discuss with the flight attendant trainer later. I am a passenger and here is my perspective. You don't have to accept it but I will let your company deciding on who is on the right side. Given this review being posted, I have a feeling that Oman Air will definitely approach you soon and you can keep us posted.

    On this post-Covid world, I feel like that I am paying more money for premium travels, and yet I often feel like I am frequently let down. Flying has been downright stressful now, as airports are often strained in terms of capacity and manpower. I don't know if you have to wait ten minutes or an hour to go through passport controls. On arrival, it is mostly a guessing game. Even on airports that have E-gates, you have to worry if the computers will break today. Technology is good but things also break, and airports simply are not ready to cope with any breakdown. For onboard service, I no longer hesitate to ask for something if I don't see them. On my recent overnight Qatar flights, I did not receive any pajama but it was not a big deal since I had an old pair on my carry on. But in the morning, I asked the F/A and she immediately apologized and said that I should get a pair. She just got me a fresh pair to bring home. Since airlines are often going minimum on crews , they sometimes will "forget" if something happen during boarding or if there was a delay in boarding, or if there are some demanding passengers that take away their attentions.

    Lucky, I will just be even more proactive in asking. If I don't see a pre-landing snack 90 minutes prior to arrival, I will ask. The worst case is that they have no such offering, and the F/A will at least try to offer some kinds of snacks. US airlines are the only exceptions and I even bring extra bottle waters and snacks even if I am flying business now. For Cathay Pacific, they don't cater more than one bottle of water per passenger in business class, so I just go to the Pier and grabbed a few bottles of water for the flight. From other out stations, I will just buy a few bottles knowing that no extra will be provided.

    Good job in confronting the inflight manager and the F/A! I hope Oman Air will approach you soon !

  23. Dale Guest

    Why do you continue to review an airline’s business class or first class service? Seems to me one review is enough. Then maybe another a year or so later giving the airline an opportunity to address issues you might have pointed out. And, bearing in mind the reviewer is not the end all, be all in change makers of airline policy. It seems to me you reviewers are merely snobs who enjoy flying “not in...

    Why do you continue to review an airline’s business class or first class service? Seems to me one review is enough. Then maybe another a year or so later giving the airline an opportunity to address issues you might have pointed out. And, bearing in mind the reviewer is not the end all, be all in change makers of airline policy. It seems to me you reviewers are merely snobs who enjoy flying “not in coach” and giving people your opinions. I’ve never heard of you but stopped and skimmed your article, as I have skimmed dozens of others, because I was curious how you would review. You reviewers are in print and on video. How do you make a living? And the airlines and staff must absolutely hate you folks. They have to put up with you so you don’t trash them, but you’re nothing but a pain in their ass I’m sure. Go get a real job. Nobody really cares about how good Oman Air’s business class service is. If you think because you have a platform there are, you live in a fantasy world.

    1. Shaun Guest

      You can always stop following this blog.

    2. UncleRonnie Member

      There are 107 other replies on this thread that show people do actually care about Oman Air's business class service and reviews thereof, Dale. If you don't enjoy this, there's a lot of other things you can go look at on the Interwebs.

  24. Jeff Guest

    Wow, I read these reviews all the time, and I gotta say for the first time this one does not sit well with me, from a reviewer standpoint. Sounded like you were looking to pick a fight of sorts. Just my opinion fwiw.

    1. Ralf Olsen Guest

      Jeez Jeff, do you work for Oman Air? I thought it a thoughtful and balanced review.

    2. DCS Guest

      LOL. If a review that provides a one-sided view of a "reporter" who claims to have been the most basic first-class cabin service is "thoughtful and balanced", I honestly wonder what a biased review would be like!

  25. Stephen Wostenholme Guest

    I travelled economy to Muscat recently and service was lacklustre, nothing offered, no pre landing snack 0 vert disappointing.

  26. Andy Diamond

    Oman Air is going through a restructuring. The main element is shrinking its fleet and consequently its network. Possibly, some other cost cutting measures are taking place. Even if they do not directly affect the service, they might affect the staff's attitude.

  27. Ken Guest

    I think you have overreacted . Writing such big article about some minor issues on a flight. From what I read.. she wasn’t nasty or rude to you .. just the service she provided is not top class and not up to standard… What is your intention of this article? Do you want compensation or you want the crew who served you lose their job? There is no need to go public and put someone’s job at risk .

    1. MKLDH Gold

      People pay a lot of money or miles to fly business class, so they also pay a lot of attention to service quality in business class. Just watch how many commenters echo what Lucky feels about this flight, which I'd argue is preceisely the intention of this article: letting people know what happened and helping them make their travel decisions accordingly.

    2. Samo Guest

      Actually, just standing above you and staring instead of asking what would you like to order is quite rude.

    3. Sonny Guest

      The best thing he did was to expose them. Honest bitter true

  28. Edward Sy Guest

    A review is precisely to offer impressions good and ill . To be quiet on one and effusive on the other is not professional. Indifferent or unenthusiastic service for premium seats are uncompatible .

  29. Ducky Duck Guest

    Those who are saying it may be a cultural issue is completely missing the point unfortunately. International standards do apply as they are competing with other international service providers. Consistency of service/product is how most consumers decide where their money goes.

    I was just in a transpacific flight from the US to Tokyo on JAL. Despite the fact that where I am seated (business class) was only about 25% occupied, the FA did not...

    Those who are saying it may be a cultural issue is completely missing the point unfortunately. International standards do apply as they are competing with other international service providers. Consistency of service/product is how most consumers decide where their money goes.

    I was just in a transpacific flight from the US to Tokyo on JAL. Despite the fact that where I am seated (business class) was only about 25% occupied, the FA did not proactively check to see if I needed anything (very unlike my experience with JAL's own as well as other airlines' business class service). I had to ring/call for the FA multiple times just to get water! I felt like a nuisance! I guess I just had an FA who thought she could kick back because there were only a few of us! It'll teach me to think carefully before I throw thousands of dollars their way again!

  30. GF Kelly Guest

    Ben, I think you are being a little overly dramatic and sensitive. Really, you were offended that the drink was poured at the galley and not at the seat? Things happen and even on Singapore Airlines there is varying degrees of service levels. (The only airline I found consistently five stars is Qatar.) I was just in an Emirates flight from MLE to DXB and they didn’t even offer to take a drink order, and...

    Ben, I think you are being a little overly dramatic and sensitive. Really, you were offended that the drink was poured at the galley and not at the seat? Things happen and even on Singapore Airlines there is varying degrees of service levels. (The only airline I found consistently five stars is Qatar.) I was just in an Emirates flight from MLE to DXB and they didn’t even offer to take a drink order, and I actually had to ask the FA for a drink from the menu and she looked disappointed by that. You also fail to acknowledge that English is not the FAs first language and this might also explain the use of the hands. Should the FA have confronted you, no. However, does this warrant a full article on how you perceived to be wronged because the drink was poured in the galley and you didn’t get a snack before landing? Maybe you should reach out to that other travel blog that seems to never be happy at every hotel or airline he flies and ask for them to submit your grievance in the Compensation Clinic.

  31. jessie Guest

    Same applies to TK arilines : depending on routes (between US, Middle East, Central Asia etc.), the quality of its service and staff attitude towards passengers are quite(or drastically) different. As a forced TK frequent flyers (mainly in Biz), I feel uncomfortable to hear that you''ve been always cheering about 'fabulous hospitality and service' of TK airlines, which is probably not shraed by many TK frequent flyers. I really had enough of TK crew's superficiality,...

    Same applies to TK arilines : depending on routes (between US, Middle East, Central Asia etc.), the quality of its service and staff attitude towards passengers are quite(or drastically) different. As a forced TK frequent flyers (mainly in Biz), I feel uncomfortable to hear that you''ve been always cheering about 'fabulous hospitality and service' of TK airlines, which is probably not shraed by many TK frequent flyers. I really had enough of TK crew's superficiality, and to be worse, sometimes implicitly condescending attitude.

  32. Experienced Traveller Guest

    Do we know what nationality the attendant is ?

  33. Experienced Traveller Guest

    Sounds to me like the flight attendant was not at her best ,perhaps she had been demoted to business class from first class and was just offering you the bare minimum in service . Clearly Filipino attendant on your previous flight was ( as you said ) excellent , perhaps this attendant was a nationality that do not excell at service ( you did not mention where she is from ) . I agree with...

    Sounds to me like the flight attendant was not at her best ,perhaps she had been demoted to business class from first class and was just offering you the bare minimum in service . Clearly Filipino attendant on your previous flight was ( as you said ) excellent , perhaps this attendant was a nationality that do not excell at service ( you did not mention where she is from ) . I agree with how you handled this , I would do the same . Ignore the rude comments in this blog reply , we all need to point out sloppy service in all service industries , we need to get what we pay for , not inferior products and services .

    1. yoloswag420 Guest

      I find it bizarre how he would choose to use nationalities as a reason for disparate service, when there's no implication for causation here.

  34. Simon Vickery Guest

    Stuff happens. Get over it.

  35. Richard Guest

    Very interesting review. I have flown Oman business in the past but usually stick to BA or Qatar (and am quite pleased that Oman is joining Oneworld).
    I completely agree that service should be offered rather than just provided when requested. Lots of people will not request and may even be uncomfortable as they wait for food or drinks to be offered.
    As someone who has lived in UAE, Oman and Saudi (and...

    Very interesting review. I have flown Oman business in the past but usually stick to BA or Qatar (and am quite pleased that Oman is joining Oneworld).
    I completely agree that service should be offered rather than just provided when requested. Lots of people will not request and may even be uncomfortable as they wait for food or drinks to be offered.
    As someone who has lived in UAE, Oman and Saudi (and is quite familiar with GCC cultures), I believe that the stewardess actually did take something from your thank yous, which you correctly attribute to a good upbringing. Politeness or kindness is often misinterpreted as weakness. I have witnessed gruff (but generally kind) colleagues and friends receiving much better service than me while I am presumably made a lower priority by service personnel, simply because they detect that I won't make a fuss or humiliate them. The national/cultural dimensions of this are, I believe, quite interesting.

  36. Derek Glass Guest

    Hopefully one of the things you've learned on this trip is that gaslighting is real and how psychologically cruel it is. When someone stands up to gaslighting, they are standing up for themselves, they are not playing the victim.

    One of the worst things about gaslighting is that others will empower the gaslighter, by suggesting (as you did) that people who call out gaslighting are playing the victim and that you literally "hate" people...

    Hopefully one of the things you've learned on this trip is that gaslighting is real and how psychologically cruel it is. When someone stands up to gaslighting, they are standing up for themselves, they are not playing the victim.

    One of the worst things about gaslighting is that others will empower the gaslighter, by suggesting (as you did) that people who call out gaslighting are playing the victim and that you literally "hate" people who stand up for themselves in this way.

    Hopefully this trip gave you a different perspective on that. The next time you hear someone talk about gaslighting, perhaps you won't be so quick to re-victimise them and empower the gaslighter.

  37. Jake Guest

    Thank you for reporting this to the service manager and most importantly writing this up.

    Oman is not a USA airline, and bad apples are pruned/reassigned.

    Thanks to you, future passengers won't have to endure this non-standard service.

    1. Deepak Guest

      Dude - the entitlement and OMG how can you - attitude is cringe. Business people don’t care for fawning service or freebies. A flat seat and bottle of water. And leave me alone. lol.

    2. BBK Diamond

      @Deepak There are quite of us that pay for our trips out of our pockets, so we have your expectactions. (Not your employers money).

  38. SL Guest

    Wow, what an adventure. I had a wonderful experience on my last Oman Air BC flights on their B787 or A330 last year. I noticed that the male CC are mostly always Omani while the female are foreigners (Filipino, Chinese, other Arabic speaking middle eastern people). I do business in Oman so I know how Omani companies are forced to "Omanize", even though when there are clear gaps in competencies or willingness to work. Omanis...

    Wow, what an adventure. I had a wonderful experience on my last Oman Air BC flights on their B787 or A330 last year. I noticed that the male CC are mostly always Omani while the female are foreigners (Filipino, Chinese, other Arabic speaking middle eastern people). I do business in Oman so I know how Omani companies are forced to "Omanize", even though when there are clear gaps in competencies or willingness to work. Omanis do not like their daughters serving others, even if it is as a CC. Most married Omani ladies do not work.

    A couple of weeks ago I was on a 1+ hour Oman Air B737 flight. There was a good looking Algerian/Tunisian/Lebanese (sorry I can't tell) lady serving the Y cabin alone, while the male CC was lurking around behind her acting busy. I was in the middle of a 70% full Y cabin, and as a result the time between me receiving a hot snack box and the crew coming around to collect the trash was literally like 5 mins. Service was brusque and without a smile. I was pretty sure if there were 2 crews working the cart things would have been much faster, but there you go.... not every Oman Air CC is equal.

  39. DCS Guest

    This "report" has little to no real-world value because by confronting the manager and then the FA, the "reporter" (i.e., the travel blogger) made himself part of the story, thereby irremediably "tainting" it by diminishing objectivity and credibility (akin a researcher who makes themselves part of their own research study). The sense of "entitlement" also makes the "report" cringe-worthy.

    The way to handle this incident in a way that could have made a difference would...

    This "report" has little to no real-world value because by confronting the manager and then the FA, the "reporter" (i.e., the travel blogger) made himself part of the story, thereby irremediably "tainting" it by diminishing objectivity and credibility (akin a researcher who makes themselves part of their own research study). The sense of "entitlement" also makes the "report" cringe-worthy.

    The way to handle this incident in a way that could have made a difference would have been to document just the facts and provide them directly to the airline as feedback without confronting the crew, whose defensive reaction should have been expected.

    Cheers from aboard the business class of SIA flight SQ 26 from SIN to JFK through FRA on which service has been flawless

    1. Jeff Reich Guest

      I fly a lot and I am an editor of a print magazine. The style in which Ben wrote puts the reader in his position. So I totally disagree with your opinion. The best way to explain something sis to simply make it first person and say, "This is what happened to me." I have never had a FA treat me this way, especially in Business class.

    2. Splash Guest

      What the heck are you going on about?!?

  40. Ryan Guest

    Uh oh! Guess who’s probably getting banned for life!!!???!!!!

  41. NRGlobal Guest

    This seems like a Fawlty Towers in the sky episode (a hilarious British TV comedy with John Cleese from the 80’s)

  42. Shara Guest

    That is such a rude thing to say.

  43. D3kingg Guest

    I expect 1 out of 5 stars review. Was this the review and no rating ? In the Middle East you have to get angry and belligerent when making a complaint. Ben sounds like a gentleman which is a rarity these days.

    1. DaBluBoi Guest

      I think the least he's given an airline was 4/10. Curious to see if this will breach that threshold...

  44. DN Guest

    One thing here is certainly clear: you are a racist bigot.

  45. CXP Member

    At least they responded when you pushed the call button. Try that on United.

  46. Ross is a tool Guest

    You’re a tool for this ridiculous “logic”.

  47. Tw Guest

    I’d be interested to hear what the response of Omar Air is. Hopefully you followed up with airline directly

  48. Shara Guest

    Not defending her at all, but don’t partitions come down when taking off?

  49. Dehoy Guest

    There is nothing wrong with letting people "know what time it actually is", when necessary, Ben.

  50. kimshep Guest

    Question, Ben - I don't recall you mentioning to the Cabin Supervisor the state of maintenance of the aircraft?

    Personally, as your pics of the bathroom show, the J lavatory in particular presented its own substandard experience. Yes, I know that the frame was an older one, but for an airline that apparently drags aircraft from service randomly - presumably to address maintenance situations, which in turn affect customer satisfaction - i would have...

    Question, Ben - I don't recall you mentioning to the Cabin Supervisor the state of maintenance of the aircraft?

    Personally, as your pics of the bathroom show, the J lavatory in particular presented its own substandard experience. Yes, I know that the frame was an older one, but for an airline that apparently drags aircraft from service randomly - presumably to address maintenance situations, which in turn affect customer satisfaction - i would have also mentioned this. Perhaps you did - and just failed to mention it in your review summary of your discussions with him. It would have been 're-assuring' to hear from him "thank you, I have / will write this up for our maintenance crew."

  51. Lee Guest

    Ben, being passive is not the issue. Will change result from providing feedback? People are the way they are. People know themselves. And, people tend not to change (even with feedback). Likely, other passengers will have offered feedback to the airline . . . yet, that crew is still there. Because, organizations tend not to change (even with feedback). So, you have a choice: 1) accept the poor service or 2) use a different airline.

  52. Lee Guest

    If this is the case, what explains Ben's good experience on the same airline the night before. Your logic is flawed. You are conclusory.

    1. Shayla Guest

      Honestly, I was thinking the same thing but I can't imagine why he had so many previous excellent experiences with the airline If this were the case.

    2. Straight Talk Guest

      WRONG, Lee

      The flight attendant on his previous flight was Filipino (kind and gracious, professional). Flight attendant on second Oman flight was different nationality.

  53. Felix Guest

    “I usually work first class, and good service is important to me”

    Call that luck you did not end up with her in first class...

  54. Sergio Díaz Guest

    You have to make a formal complaint to the airline, with names of those involved. That the flight attendant has jumped on you and complained to you for telling her superior that her service was bad is very disrespectful to you as a passenger.

  55. Henry Guest

    I flew Oman some time again and also had two very different flights. First one way great. Second one, MCT-KUL was WEIRD. There were some traditional clothed customers, probably Omani, and my FA did the bare minimum for me and was talking and laughing with the guys in front of me the whole time. I had to ring the bell constantly, even asking for my empty plates to be removed. When those guys started vaping...

    I flew Oman some time again and also had two very different flights. First one way great. Second one, MCT-KUL was WEIRD. There were some traditional clothed customers, probably Omani, and my FA did the bare minimum for me and was talking and laughing with the guys in front of me the whole time. I had to ring the bell constantly, even asking for my empty plates to be removed. When those guys started vaping (I am not kidding) I rung the bell and told him that there was some smoke in the cabin that he should investigate. He got the memo and from then he was proactively bringing me drinks, even while we were landing (in paper cups). When I came back from the bathroom there was an Oman Air notebook and pen on my seat. I did not complain about it, I was essentially bribed haha.

  56. joe maune Guest

    Yes ppl. it is time to tell the truth like Ben did. You have paid a whole lot of money to fly premium and you get such appalling attitudes towards you. The purser is downright uncapable the way he handles the situation. The FA confronting like you that..is the peak of sarcasm and bad comedy! To all of you..may this be a lesson learned moment. Be aware which airline you take and spend your money.

  57. Globetrotter14 Guest

    I think you just had a terrible FA which reflects poorly on the purser and also on the airline. I had a similar experience on Etihad. JFK-AUH in A350-1000 was great, not so much from AUH-IAD in B787 and Swiss GVA-JFK. QR is the gold standard and wish other airlines strive to match the level of experience it offers in both hard and soft product.

    1. Pat Guest

      QR has a great product in the air and great lounges on the ground, but good luck if you have a situation where you need to deal with their customer service / call center,they are one of the worst I have dealt with in industry.

    2. Andy Guest

      I agree. QR have no clue how to deal with complaints other than to blame the passenger.

  58. Beachfan Guest

    I would think best practices would be to say something directly to the attendant earlier on. “ I would appreciate it if you would let me know…./ ask me…”

    1. WT... Guest

      What??? Whise accountability is it to provide the service??? Ben should provide it to the FA and not the other way around??? Seriously, blame the victim mentality.

  59. globetrotter Guest

    In the six wealthy Gulf states, native born first class citizens (those whose fathers are citizens) do not work on the frontline dealing with the public, especially females will not travel outside the country alone, without male chaperone, working as FA. The expat population is higher than that of citizens. East Indians comprise more than half expat labor force, probably followed by Egyptians and Filipinas. I suspect she was Indian though appearance can be deceiving....

    In the six wealthy Gulf states, native born first class citizens (those whose fathers are citizens) do not work on the frontline dealing with the public, especially females will not travel outside the country alone, without male chaperone, working as FA. The expat population is higher than that of citizens. East Indians comprise more than half expat labor force, probably followed by Egyptians and Filipinas. I suspect she was Indian though appearance can be deceiving. Of course, it is cultural difference but it is a lame excuse. You cannot use it to justify your indifference or the lack of interpersonal skills when you work with global crews and deal with global customers with different expectations, social-economic classes and traditions. You definitely do not need training for this as either you have it or you do not. There are lots of things in life you must learn on your own without being schooled or trained for. None of the locals with whom I interacted in Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lankan had positive perception toward them. The cabin manager failed miserably on the job and needed to be demoted and transferred to behind the scene position. Ben, I sincerely hope that you will not stop dispensing your discontent in a professional manner as always, either directly with the higher-up on aircraft or via writing to the head quarter/ social media personnel and keep us posted of their response.
    I will fly SQ later this year to see if the experience will correlate with what the majority of opinion about SQ is. I am ecstatic to visit Singapore and Malaysia exactly three decades after my last visit. However, I cannot find fault in their culture and their leadership. It seceded from Malaysia in peace decades after Britain relinquished its colonialism. Its economy is more robust, advanced and free from corruption and bribery compared to that of Malaysia's and others. To my knowledge, Singapore is the only country that faces no adverse experiences with its Muslim population. All major faiths followers and ethnic groups in the country co-exist in peace and harmony and none of them tramples on each other's rights and freedom. Thanks to the leadership of its first president Lee Kuan Yew.

    1. K4 Guest

      Yes but you’re not really looking at Ben’s exact complaints.

      The FA came to Ben’s seat, to take the order, but did not speak. Perhaps the cues were there, other passengers already ordering? Ben somehow knew what she wanted? Although it is strange to just stand there, there must have been some context. I’m not saying this is good service, and could be considered rude but it isn’t actively a rude action, just passively, and...

      Yes but you’re not really looking at Ben’s exact complaints.

      The FA came to Ben’s seat, to take the order, but did not speak. Perhaps the cues were there, other passengers already ordering? Ben somehow knew what she wanted? Although it is strange to just stand there, there must have been some context. I’m not saying this is good service, and could be considered rude but it isn’t actively a rude action, just passively, and again if you’re from a culture like India or the UK stating the obvious is culturally seen as a sign that you are of lower intellect.

      The glasses were not topped up. Perhaps the training is such that alcohol is not proactively offered on an Islamic airline? Perhaps other FAs have worked in other hospitality where they do proactively top-up, and have kept their habits? Why was the water not done? I can’t say, but I’ve had more than one experience on Emirates first were I had to ask several times for more sparkling water during my meal, including using the call bell, and even been given still instead of sparkling. On various airlines I’m asked ice and lemon, and I always respond, ice no lemon, the amount of times I’ve been served with ice and lemon or no ice at all is countless. Emirates first is considered to have good service. I’ve had the same issues with water on SQ and QR as well. Strangely no such issues on EY or BA, but does that mean that BA has better service than SQ? No chance, it just means British people are more picky about how they drink their water. I kind of get it, British drink wine, and lemon in the water isn’t exactly complementary, most Singaporeans don’t care and they like the extra flavour. It’s cultural. Why does this guy (me) want ice but no lemon? Doesn’t compute to a Singaporean. Makes total sense to a European.

      I could go on, but the key takeaway is, her service was not good, but I can totally see why she thinks there’s nothing wrong with it.

      I’ve seen elements of these things even in EK First, but overall the service standard is high. Generally I’m served at least a few times by more than one FA, I can see how this would be too much to handle if it was the same FA making the same errors again and again. Had 2-3 different FAs being doing rotations Ben would probably not have even picked up on these things.

  60. Sam Guest

    Funny Ben, i had exactly the same experiance (albeit economy as sinbad silver member) with Oman air last year. The philippina cabin manager i had on my first flight was great, welcoming me personally, moving me to the exit row and even serving me first during the meal service. On my second flight i was served by a moroccan woman( i know because i half moroccan myself so i recognize the accent) who was absolutly...

    Funny Ben, i had exactly the same experiance (albeit economy as sinbad silver member) with Oman air last year. The philippina cabin manager i had on my first flight was great, welcoming me personally, moving me to the exit row and even serving me first during the meal service. On my second flight i was served by a moroccan woman( i know because i half moroccan myself so i recognize the accent) who was absolutly horrible like you describe, borderline rude even. Oman air is great usually but it can be a mixed bag.

  61. Steven Guest

    What were the hours of this flight (hard to tell from photos as it's dark in some and light in others)? Absolutely love silence, lower volumes and less up and down the aisle clomping of FA and passenger feet, particularly on red-eyes. Sounds like simple communication from the FA at the beginning of flight (ie- challenges speaking in English, desire for lower volumes or anticipated turbulence) would have been ideal.

    Feel like service in general...

    What were the hours of this flight (hard to tell from photos as it's dark in some and light in others)? Absolutely love silence, lower volumes and less up and down the aisle clomping of FA and passenger feet, particularly on red-eyes. Sounds like simple communication from the FA at the beginning of flight (ie- challenges speaking in English, desire for lower volumes or anticipated turbulence) would have been ideal.

    Feel like service in general is shifting around the world. Ideas of hierarchy and subservience are shifting. At the end of the day, it would be nice to have a consistent set of standards put forth by the airline and employees can decide (for their own good and that of their clients) if being an FA is the right fit. For the cost of business and first class fares (with miles, points or cash), it is reasonable to expect service.

  62. Not QR's CEO Guest

    The question readers want to know: will Oman Air now ban you for your negative review like a certain other gulf carrier's reaction to a travel review they didn't like?

  63. Sam Guest

    Congrats Ben, I think you met my ex girlfriend

  64. Randy Diamond

    Having traveled internationally for over 40 years, you learn that people in different cultures think and act differently. What you think it should be - may not how others from different countries think it should be. Not just in air travel but culture of people on the street.

    I think you should be more low keyed - and do your reviews after the fact.

    1. ArnoldB Guest

      Yeah no. If you are offering your services to an international audience you should adhere to international (minimum) standards. This is not the time for cultural relativism.

  65. Ray Guest

    For some reason, every time it's a Filipino/Filipina assigned to my cabin, be it business or economy, I always feel cared for. They're always smiling and warm. This is why I don't mind flying Philippine Airlines sometimes even if they don't have the best planes.

    1. Mike O. Guest

      Hence a lot of them are nurses and caregivers globally.

  66. Lukas Guest

    Please keep standing up for yourself, we appreciate it. Thank you,

  67. Ella Guest

    This brought back memories of my last long haul flight on South African on J. Order what you want. We decide what you get. If you want cutlery you have to ask for it. Don’t ask for anything else, you won’t get it.

  68. Maryland Guest

    Good for Ben. Many shy away from speaking up when service is sub-par. Oddly with age, I have become more comfortable nicely voicing my disappointment. If your feedback is not given nothing will change.

  69. CXTraveller Member

    “I usually work first class, and good service is important to me”

    Well, Ben, it was supposed to be your First Class experience, and then you got downgraded to Business Class with this level of service. I can't imagine if you were in First Class and she's the one serving you. Crazy!

    If she really cares about delivering good service, then understanding the needs and expectations of your customers is paramount. It doesn't sound like...

    “I usually work first class, and good service is important to me”

    Well, Ben, it was supposed to be your First Class experience, and then you got downgraded to Business Class with this level of service. I can't imagine if you were in First Class and she's the one serving you. Crazy!

    If she really cares about delivering good service, then understanding the needs and expectations of your customers is paramount. It doesn't sound like she or the Manager is trying to see the situation from your prospective. Your blog is quite popular, so it'd be interesting if Oman Air read your reviews and proactively reaching out to you.

    The worst part of all the shortcomings (in my opinion, other than the confrontations with the cabin crew) is the fact that they did not inform you of the optional meal toward the end of the flight being offered. You can't expect everyone to know all the offerings in a business class product, and they should be up front about them. One example I recall from my experience is on SQ Business Class flying IAH-MAN-SIN on their A350-900. This one is minor compared to the meal situation. Slippers were not given, and I thought it wasn't part of the offering. So I flew the first segment without it. On the MAN-SIN segment, I noticed some fellow passengers were given slippers, so I asked. The cabin crew informed me that I had to request it due to environmental reason. Eventually, I got a pair (to me, that's a cost cutting effort disguised as environmentally motivated effort), but it's annoying that I wasn't informed that slippers can be requested. The right way to do this is to ask every passenger whether he/she would like a pair instead of putting a pair on every seat regardless one wants it or not so that you can minimize waste while maintaining a high level of services.

    1. Morgan Diamond

      100% agree with your point about the on demand/by request amenities. If something is not offered to you then that is not good service. Because how do you know then if it is offered and even then I think its also average as it shouldn't be my responsibility trying to source the said amenitity.

      I flew from EWR - SIN in premium economy a few days ago and was astounded that I had to ask...

      100% agree with your point about the on demand/by request amenities. If something is not offered to you then that is not good service. Because how do you know then if it is offered and even then I think its also average as it shouldn't be my responsibility trying to source the said amenitity.

      I flew from EWR - SIN in premium economy a few days ago and was astounded that I had to ask for eyeshades and earplugs. I have flown EK or QR economy on flights half the length and (cheap plastic) amenity kits are on the seats with those basic amenities.

      In all honesty it is really smart marketing and business sense from SQ. As on my flight barely anyone else had eyeshades or ear plugs as people don't know about/can't be bothered asking. I can imagine they are saving serious amounts of money and then publicly they can look the the good guy by citing the environment.

    2. Noa Guest

      In last few months I've had to proactively ask for a blanket in Royal Maroc business class 5 hours overnight flight, and proactively ask for eyemask/socks in Thai business class 6 hours overnight flight.

      So it seems a lot of airlines are moving to this systenm

    3. Lama Lada Guest

      I noticed these cost saving measures on SQ as well. FA will ask you, would you like tea, coffee, or soft drinks, for example? They conveniently leave out wine, beer, spirits and more expensive things. How smart!

  70. Morgan Diamond

    What ethnicity was the flight attendant? Was she Omani? It would be good know especially on an airline like Oman where all the are the FAs are from all over the world.

    I am not surprised the cabin manager was defensive as the cabin manager sets the standard for other FAs so surely he was seeing the fact she was pouring the drinks in the galley, not passing through the aisles etc. and if he...

    What ethnicity was the flight attendant? Was she Omani? It would be good know especially on an airline like Oman where all the are the FAs are from all over the world.

    I am not surprised the cabin manager was defensive as the cabin manager sets the standard for other FAs so surely he was seeing the fact she was pouring the drinks in the galley, not passing through the aisles etc. and if he wasn't saying anything then he is a bad and certainly shouldn't be a cabin manager.

    What were the other business FAs like (service wise)?

  71. GUWonder Guest

    Having flown on both QR and WY on a few segments this month, I find QR FAs seem to do more for me more consistently than WY FAs. Maybe it has something to do with QR treating me as some kind of VIP/CIP even in economy class, but even otherwise it seems like QR FAs are somewhat more consistent within their own ranks than WY FAs are within their own ranks.

    1. CXTraveller Member

      The consistency of delivering great services on QR is unmatched these days by any airlines, based on my experiences. That's one of the reasons why I think they have the best Business Class product out there.

    2. Henry Guest

      Agree, QR is the best in terms of flight attendants, even on the ground, though I knew it could be a hard work to catch up our intention and thoughts.

  72. Ehud Gavron Guest

    Ref above comment about "maybe she was Indian", the point of uniforms isn't just the outfit. Whether military, LEOs, or FAs, the idea is that you are "uniform in presence" not just in clothing. Whether you come from India or Singapore or the UK or countries entirely hostile to good customer service like the US, when donning the clothing uniform you present the (uniform) face of the company to the customer.

    We don't "excuse" someone...

    Ref above comment about "maybe she was Indian", the point of uniforms isn't just the outfit. Whether military, LEOs, or FAs, the idea is that you are "uniform in presence" not just in clothing. Whether you come from India or Singapore or the UK or countries entirely hostile to good customer service like the US, when donning the clothing uniform you present the (uniform) face of the company to the customer.

    We don't "excuse" someone for not talking because they don't speak English. We don't "excuse" someone for smelling like herbs and spices because of where they were born. Similarly where an FA grew up is irrelevant to the task the FA signed up for and is paid for -- to provide top notch customer service.

    I'm with Ben 95% on this one. My nits:
    - If you were given barely the modicum of service, an effusive "thank you" doesn't speak well as to how you "were brought up." It says you're willing to accept subpar service on the face of it, and passively aggressively post on it later. If you got shit service, tell the lady "Thank you for the water... would you please let me know what I need to do to ensure that I don't have to press the call-button again to get more?"
    - When the FA came by to have the tete a tete with you, that was so wrong on the part of the airline and her supervisor... all I can add is that once you realized it wasn't going anywhere positive you could (I say "could" and not "should" because it's your call... I'm just pointing out an alternative) have said "Thank you for coming by to chat. I don't think we see eye to eye on this. For the remainder of this flight please let me know of any "optional" services available to passengers who request them. Oh, and fill up my empty water glass.

    Service with a smile requires two things. The smile means nothing without the service.

    With a name like mine I've had no end of poor service on arabian airlines. This has lowered my expectations accordingly. Unlike airlines that care about customer contact, experience, feedback, and respond accordingly, these airlines don't care.

    Like one guy above me said... write the airline. Good luck with that, Ben.

    1. K4 Guest

      This reply, likely to my post honestly doesn't show much cultural awareness.

      Indians do not believe in having to explain themselves when they are 'right'. This is a more common trait amongst older men, not generally younger female FAs. However, the concept of 'right' is well understood by these older men, because as elders they have the final say in family matters. It's not a question of, our daughter will go to study in London...

      This reply, likely to my post honestly doesn't show much cultural awareness.

      Indians do not believe in having to explain themselves when they are 'right'. This is a more common trait amongst older men, not generally younger female FAs. However, the concept of 'right' is well understood by these older men, because as elders they have the final say in family matters. It's not a question of, our daughter will go to study in London because she wants to, it's a matter of she will study at Harvard because dad said so. Nobody really questions this.

      Is this wrong? Perhaps. Is it something the society is looking to change? No. Does it mean that because Americans don't think like this, they will change. Certainly not.

      You don't excuse someone for not talking because they don't speak English? I am not going to give an example of a flight in an international airline, but are you going to knock on the door of a home in Sendai, Japan, and 'not excuse them' for not being able to speak English? Good luck with that!

      You don't excuse someone for 'smelling like herbs and spices' because your cuisine likely does not have any, and it's not being cooked in your home. American cuisine smells like beef fat and frying oil, sometimes smoke. So these are excusable smells but spices are not? Total lack of perspective and sheltered thinking if you ask me. Nobody should smell, but I'm sure a lot of American homes smell like grease to other cultures.

      As I did mention in my post, Americans often present details in a conversation, which even to a British person would seem absurd to mention being that they were so obvious.

      Example:

      UK:
      Mother: Take your brolly (British slag for umbrella).
      Child: Ok

      USA:
      Mother: Kids, the weather forecast mentioned that there is a 35% chance of rain between 4-6pm today. So I'm advising you to take umbrellas with you. If you don't you stand a 35% chance of getting wet.
      Child: Do we need to take them or not?
      Mother: I said I am advising you to do so.
      Child: I need an affirmative answer. Yes, or no.
      Mother: I cannot give you an affirmative answer.
      Child starts screaming

      You get the picture.

      Further points,

      Saying thank you has no relevance to whether the service was good or not. It means he is thankful for being brought the drink. It does not mean it was done correctly.

      What is the issue with using the call button? Again lack of cultural awareness. Preemptive service is good, but service on demand isn't a bad thing either. This is not me defending the FA, far from it, but your statement 'please let me know what I need to do to ensure that I don't have to press the call-button again to get more?' is condescending. Overall he had a bad experience, but telling Ben he should have told them you shouldn't have to ask for what you want is exactly like the FA not being vocal. You're not asking for what you need until prompted and this is exactly what Ben originally complained about so this is silly advise.

    2. Nice Try Guest

      As an American mother, wow. Not even close. But thanks for trying to push a false narrative about how we parent... Quoting you "Total lack of perspective and sheltered thinking if you ask me."

    3. K4 Guest

      @ Nice Try
      This is not about how American's parent, and was not meant in that way.
      It's more about how they go about their conversations.
      I don't mean to be prejudice.
      Not one way is worse or better.
      British leave too much to assumptions.
      Americans often cannot progress without exact specifics.

      Both have their place.

    4. Phillip Diamond

      Being polite and saying thank you very definitely speaks volumes about how you were brought up! Not everyone likes confrontation and “what I need to do to ensure that I don't have to press the call-button again to get more?” is downright arrogant and aggressive in my opinion! Ben is going to write about his experience whether he speaks up in flight or not - it’s his job! So our definitions of passive aggressive differ enormously!

    5. Experienced Traveller Guest

      an interesting point , perhaps the flight attendant recognised Bens surname .

  73. Marc Guest

    Ok, I see 2 things here:
    1) she understood perfect service way different from what you think it should be. (no judgement intended)
    2) Giving feedback is probably more difficult than getting it right first time. :) I think it was impossible for them to keep their face the way you had delivered the feedback. In some cultures that’s quite important. So you got to phrase it a bit differently.

    1. Morgan Diamond

      How would you phrase it differently?

    2. Daniel from Finland Guest

      How? The way Ben described it, he gave his feedback in an extremely corteous and polite way.

  74. JL Guest

    That must have been a very awkward and difficult moment when the FA came to you to defend herself.
    However I am glad you stood up for yourself and told them what you had to say, even though they ruined your intention.
    You did the right thing, and I hope this won’t be your last time speaking up.

  75. K4 Guest

    I think some of this might be down to cultural differences.

    Whilst I like to read a critical review, as opposed to one that just says everything was fine, I can see why this might be interpreted differently by both sides.

    Was the attendant Indian by any chance?

    Less words are often not considered rude by a certain subsection of Indians. Admittedly, this is usually older men. My father and father in-law both ascribe to...

    I think some of this might be down to cultural differences.

    Whilst I like to read a critical review, as opposed to one that just says everything was fine, I can see why this might be interpreted differently by both sides.

    Was the attendant Indian by any chance?

    Less words are often not considered rude by a certain subsection of Indians. Admittedly, this is usually older men. My father and father in-law both ascribe to this mentality. For example, if I'm discussing a situation with my mother, often my father will chip in with, 'get to the point' 'just tell them it can't be done' 'why do you discuss every detail?'. Similarly, my father in-law, have no issue sitting in total silence, even when talking on the phone, its as if the term 'awkward silence' is not a thing for him, and would never make casual conversation just to fill a gap.

    Another thing to bear in mind, especially with regard to the 'cutting something' gesture to ask if you had finished, many people flying have headphones on, and I actually find it a hassle when I am in the middle of a movie, and a FA comes over, and I do not wish to be rude, so I take my headphones off to hear exactly what they are asking. Sometimes if this is during a meal, this is every few minutes and is quite annoying. Is it wrong to watch TV whilst eating? Yes. It is, I was raised in Europe and this is frowned upon. Is it wrong when the TV screen is right in front of the dining table on a flight, and half the cabin are in their pyjamas whilst eating dinner? I think a different set of rules apply here, and I'm sure every passenger doesn't take their headphones off every single time. In this case the hand gesture has its benefits.

    Regarding toping up alcohol, Oman being an Islamic country; it may be cultural, again that it is not proactively offered. This could also come from training, or lack thereof. I know during Ramadan crew are specifically told not to proactively offer alcohol.

    Airlines like BA top up your drinks unless you ask them not to, British people are generally bigger drinkers than most other countries too.

    I can see why the FA might 'think' she was giving good service. A mixture of her culture, training and experiences with passengers has probably led her to believe this is the right way to do things.

    Objectively, your review of the service is more accurate, but on the flip-side, Americans do have a habit of stating the obvious and spelling out very basic details too. Back to BA, in F, With a half empty glass, I've had attendants come over, with the bottle of wine and show it to me and I just nodded and they topped it up. No words were exchanged. I had this with a British FA on Emirates too.

    I think Singapore Airlines pushes the anticipation and false kindest a little too far. On a SQ flight LHR-SIN my seat was not reclining into a bed, and the FA was trying to fix it. My wife spoke to me in Hindi, words to the effect 'What is this woman doing' in a somewhat rude tone. The FA did not look Indian at all, but responded in Hindi, My apologies, these things sometimes happen. (the seat being broken). My wife was clearly embarrassed. It turned out the FA was from the far north bordering Tibet hence she was indeed Indian despite looking east asian. In an attempt to neutralise the situation I started making friendly conversation with the FA. It turned out that she already googled me (before the interaction), and knew my businesses my occupation etc. I found this a little over the top and wondered if all SQ FA's do this for all customers. It was just business class!

    Oman air seems to be the other end of the spectrum. Even on the good flights you describe they don't seem to be going the intrusive route.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ K4 -- All valid points, and I appreciate where you're coming from. For what it's worth, the flight attendant wasn't Indian. Regarding drink top-ups, it wasn't just alcohol, but the same applied for water. Interesting story you have there about Singapore Airlines!

    2. K4 Guest

      Thanks Ben.

      I think the tip of the iceberg was saying that she told the other crew you were nice.

      You being nice is not relevant to the bad service she gave you, and like my point about the headphones, I take them off to hear the FAs every single time and give them proper verbal answers, because that's on me, that's my politeness, and has no relevance to the fact that I'm getting annoyed.

      ...

      Thanks Ben.

      I think the tip of the iceberg was saying that she told the other crew you were nice.

      You being nice is not relevant to the bad service she gave you, and like my point about the headphones, I take them off to hear the FAs every single time and give them proper verbal answers, because that's on me, that's my politeness, and has no relevance to the fact that I'm getting annoyed.

      Also, I wouldn't read too much into people telling you to voice your opinions to the staff directly more often. I think you take the right approach. Often verbal confrontation does not change the outcome. I know when I'm dealing with customers, I stick to the policies. Them getting angry has no bearing on how I deal with the issue. I'm more likely to make exceptions for someone who is grateful and understanding of why I cannot accommodate certain things, than someone who demands it. I won't be less helpful to an angry customer, but if they're unwilling to see why it can't be done that might affect how much I'm willing to budge. It is my own company so I have the power to make exceptions. I know it may be different for staff, and emotions may be more relevant in their decisions.

    3. Icarus Guest

      It’s presumptuous to assume someone doesn’t speak a language or understand it because they don’t look like they do. I also research clients online. You should expect this if you’re on social media , LinkedIn etc.

      Indians are amongst the most xenophobic people I deal with. Didn’t “ look Indian”? Yet you admit not being familiar with groups in your own country.

    4. K4 Guest

      Yes it was presumptuous of my wife to do that.

      However, two points to note:

      1. She is of Pakistani origin herself, whilst Pakistan has border regions with China too, I'm not sure if they have that ethic mix or not like India. Also bear in mind not all South Indians understand Hindi. Some do some do not. They look different too, but not always.

      2. More importantly, I think it's a safe...

      Yes it was presumptuous of my wife to do that.

      However, two points to note:

      1. She is of Pakistani origin herself, whilst Pakistan has border regions with China too, I'm not sure if they have that ethic mix or not like India. Also bear in mind not all South Indians understand Hindi. Some do some do not. They look different too, but not always.

      2. More importantly, I think it's a safe assumption to make that an East Asian looking person working in Singapore Airlines, has a higher likelihood of being Singaporean than Indian!

      Still doesn't make it fair for her to say 'What is this woman doing?' but that was not me.

      I am well aware that you don't need to 'look Indian' to speak one of the many languages. You don't need to look any ethnicity to be able to speak any language. It doesn't mean that its very likely an East Asian looking person working in Singapore Airlines, has a higher likelihood of being Singaporean...

      Making a comment in another language assuming someone will not understand is just presumptuous, and of little consequence really, quite extreme to say this is Xenophobic.

    5. GUWonder Guest

      People from Ladakh, the other China-bordering Indian hill regions and from elsewhere in Eastern India are Indian and often understand and speak Hindi. Same for the Chinese Indian community in Bombay and some other parts of western and northern India. It’s risky to assume people don’t understand Hindi based on how the person looks. I know lots of Russians and others from the former USSR who understand a lot of Hindi because they either studied...

      People from Ladakh, the other China-bordering Indian hill regions and from elsewhere in Eastern India are Indian and often understand and speak Hindi. Same for the Chinese Indian community in Bombay and some other parts of western and northern India. It’s risky to assume people don’t understand Hindi based on how the person looks. I know lots of Russians and others from the former USSR who understand a lot of Hindi because they either studied it or watched a lot of Indian movies during the Soviet era.

    6. Santos Guest

      It’s risky to assume someone from Singapore wouldn’t understand Hindi regardless of ethnicity. One of the official languages is Tamil, after all…

    7. K4 Guest

      @Santos

      I speak Hindi and can tell you for a fact Tamil is not intelligible to me at all.

      I can make out more Farsi and Arabic than Tamil.

    8. Santos Guest

      I think you’re being a bit myopic. Have you spent time in Singapore? I lived there for years. I have white friends who know conversational Tamil and by proxy know Hindi just from having life-long Indian friends. I have a friend who looks black but is half Tamil half Norwegian. I have ethnically Chinese friends who love Bollywood and can sing the popular songs from the last 35 years—in Hindi—by heart. All born and raised...

      I think you’re being a bit myopic. Have you spent time in Singapore? I lived there for years. I have white friends who know conversational Tamil and by proxy know Hindi just from having life-long Indian friends. I have a friend who looks black but is half Tamil half Norwegian. I have ethnically Chinese friends who love Bollywood and can sing the popular songs from the last 35 years—in Hindi—by heart. All born and raised Singaporeans. It’s a multi-cultural society by design and in practice.

    9. K4 Guest

      @ Santos

      Yes spent a lot of time in Singapore. Been going for years.

      I’ve always communicated in English there.

      A very low proportion of Tamil people in India speak Hindi. Perhaps this does make me myopic. Maybe Singaporean Tamil speakers speak more Hindi?

      I know North Indians residing in Singapore and obviously they speak Hindi and I expect them to. I don’t go to little India or Mustafa centre and expect them to...

      @ Santos

      Yes spent a lot of time in Singapore. Been going for years.

      I’ve always communicated in English there.

      A very low proportion of Tamil people in India speak Hindi. Perhaps this does make me myopic. Maybe Singaporean Tamil speakers speak more Hindi?

      I know North Indians residing in Singapore and obviously they speak Hindi and I expect them to. I don’t go to little India or Mustafa centre and expect them to speak Hindi though. Simply because in India not many South Indians actually speak Hindi.

      I spent a few years in Dubai, I had a Keralan driver, he didn’t speak a word of Hindi.

      The SQ FA looked East Asian, all the less likely they would speak the language…

      Honestly, I’m well aware there might be a Japanese person who’s studied Hebrew, or a Canadian who’s learnt Khmer, but we are talking about probability here.

      Not many Japanese speak Hindi, even less speak it on Singapore airlines. She looked more Japanese than Malay, there was a higher likelihood of her understanding Hindi as a Malay Chinese than a Japanese, but being from a mountainous northern region, she looked a lot more Japanese or northern Chinese than Singaporean or SE Asian. The probability of a NE Asian speaking Hindi is lower than that of a SE Asian.

      I personally would not have spoken about the FA in this way no matter what language, but I can see why my wife did not think she would understand.

    10. GUWonder Guest

      I understand Hindi, but I don’t understand most Tamil. Many or most Tamils outside of India don’t seem comfortable with Hindi or have limited to no extensive grasp of Hindi. Most of the Singaporeans of Tamil descent don’t have much if any connection with Hindi, but Singapore and Malaysia also have Indian non-Tamil communities who are often Hindi-speakers. Tamil is indeed an official language in Singapore. Hindi is not.

    11. K4 Guest

      Not forgetting people from the GCC countries whom understand it because all their house staff speak it, and often have been raised by maids and servants.

    12. Phillip Diamond

      There is only one culture that matters here and that’s Oman Air’s culture. How is the airline training their staff? What are they teaching them to do? What service are they expected to deliver? Staff are recruited to deliver Oman Air service. If Oman Air isn’t teaching their crew that communication is key, how on earth are they going to make service personalised!?

      I wasn’t present, but based on what Ben is saying, I...

      There is only one culture that matters here and that’s Oman Air’s culture. How is the airline training their staff? What are they teaching them to do? What service are they expected to deliver? Staff are recruited to deliver Oman Air service. If Oman Air isn’t teaching their crew that communication is key, how on earth are they going to make service personalised!?

      I wasn’t present, but based on what Ben is saying, I absolutely cannot see how the FA might 'think' she was giving good service.

      This chimes with my own observations of Oman Air crew - where the cabin manager is Omani, they consider themselves king/queen and all foreign (to Oman) crew are their servants (but not for the passengers). That creates a very disjointed team that does not work well together, and independently it shows in each individual. Similar on Royal Jordanian!

    13. Ken Guest

      "Only one culture that matters here and that's Oman Air's culture"... Exactly

  76. Daniel from Finland Guest

    Wow! This is starting to remind me of a British comedy show, or candid camera, or something. And reminds me on TAAG Angolan :)

    Ben, I'd like one more episode. Could you send Oman Air some feedback and report back? It would really be interesting to hear what the airline has to say to all this. Regardless of whether they by now know that you are a blogger, it would be great to see if...

    Wow! This is starting to remind me of a British comedy show, or candid camera, or something. And reminds me on TAAG Angolan :)

    Ben, I'd like one more episode. Could you send Oman Air some feedback and report back? It would really be interesting to hear what the airline has to say to all this. Regardless of whether they by now know that you are a blogger, it would be great to see if their HQ takes a stand as defensive as the crew or if they actually see an issue here. I mean, all airlines have some variation in on board service, but this is huge.

  77. DenB Diamond

    Ben's confrontation provided us with valuable informative content. Too bad he's "never" going to do that again ;-)

  78. Chucky Guest

    So, they're joining Oneworld this year. But are we recommended to fly with them or avoid them based on these mixed experiences?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Chucky -- Hah, that's a great question. So Oman is a beautiful and generally hospitable country that's worth visiting. Furthermore, Oman Air often has attractive premium fares, and on a good day, is excellent.

      If you're up for an adventure and come in with limited expectations, absolutely fly with Oman Air. If you value consistency, avoid Oman Air like the plague.

  79. Santos Guest

    Absolutely unprofessional for the cabin manager to escalate this in flight. Super awkward, sorry you had to go through that.

    As for the Kafka-esque Twilight Zone of disparate perceptions and expectations, that is exactly what I’m going through at the moment in Germany. I’d been to Berlin once and it was lovely. But Frankfurt is kind of a nightmare in terms of going about even the simplest tasks. For example, being charged €60 by...

    Absolutely unprofessional for the cabin manager to escalate this in flight. Super awkward, sorry you had to go through that.

    As for the Kafka-esque Twilight Zone of disparate perceptions and expectations, that is exactly what I’m going through at the moment in Germany. I’d been to Berlin once and it was lovely. But Frankfurt is kind of a nightmare in terms of going about even the simplest tasks. For example, being charged €60 by a ticket inspector on the S-bahn for having incorrect fare zones, even though the fare I paid was €4 more than I should have. Or asking for extra napkins in a kebab shop and having the staff angrily ask me if the food was bad. I just laugh it all off because travel is an adventure but yeah, the speed bumps can be quite something.

  80. NedsKid Diamond

    I think this was a very fair review and appreciate your style of framing expectations, such as what the airline advertises and past experience, and then reality of what happened.

    You have a legitimate complaint and they shouldn’t solicit feedback or pretend to be interested in it if they don’t want to handle it correctly. Clearly a poor leader by example in that cabin. I’m sure that his tone and messaging with the crew...

    I think this was a very fair review and appreciate your style of framing expectations, such as what the airline advertises and past experience, and then reality of what happened.

    You have a legitimate complaint and they shouldn’t solicit feedback or pretend to be interested in it if they don’t want to handle it correctly. Clearly a poor leader by example in that cabin. I’m sure that his tone and messaging with the crew member regarding your feedback was not constructive and probably dismissive. When I was an airline station manager I used to get jokes from the Air Canada and United agents because I’d sit in their gates across from mine if I got a complaint on an agent and I wanted to observe them. Much easier and more productive to address when I could say that here’s the feedback I got and here is what I just saw myself (and given this was in the US northeast I could get away with saying to someone not receptive “Well did you cock your head to the side like that when talking to the customer?”).

    The theme that I get from reading your blog is that you value consistency with an airline, and what is consistent for one is not necessarily consistent for another but both can make for a great experience framed within the brand image and given expectations. I think you are definitely justified here given that framework. And I think a short winded apology, as you mentioned, would have improved impressions quite a bit. Service recovery is just as important a part as the service itself and that’s where I see Oman Air really fell flat.

  81. Gerwanese New Member

    Regarding "unmatched level of personalized attention", since you asked readers to judge - I'd say that statement is absolutely true, just not in a positive way. At least I never had a flight before matching this low level. ;)

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Gerwanese -- LOL... touché!

  82. JK Guest

    Ben I'm glad you raised the issue, and I agree with the previous comment, this seems to be very much a leadership issue with this particular crew. I hope someone from their management team reads your post as it is very constructive. FAs have to understand we notice if/when they cut corners as we know what to expect onboard. Imagine if on Qatar your FA asks for your meal order and you say you will...

    Ben I'm glad you raised the issue, and I agree with the previous comment, this seems to be very much a leadership issue with this particular crew. I hope someone from their management team reads your post as it is very constructive. FAs have to understand we notice if/when they cut corners as we know what to expect onboard. Imagine if on Qatar your FA asks for your meal order and you say you will just eat later and they inform you there is no dine on demand - it would definitely stand out. Reminds me of that FA you had on Emirates who wanted to keep all of her stuff in your assigned suite. Your FA was highly unprofessional. I hope they get back to you about this because it really is a bummer when you have a lacklustre crew.

  83. JT Guest

    "Well, that’s officially the last time I’ll be trying that."

    I hope you don't mean that, although I feel the discomfort it caused. Seeing how the situation was handled is incredibly informative and tells people something useful.

    It's interesting that some airlines deny compensation unless the aircrew were informed of the problem on board. You highlight the challenge with that position, where the service is poor.

  84. Andrew Guest

    See this is where I get confused by your reviews Ben and maybe it’s just we value different things in business class. You were quite harsh on Swiss the other day and rave about Oman. Say what you want about Swiss but I find their food, service and hard product consistent and to me that’s important. A specific airline experience should basically be the same each time and I don’t like on middle eastern airlines...

    See this is where I get confused by your reviews Ben and maybe it’s just we value different things in business class. You were quite harsh on Swiss the other day and rave about Oman. Say what you want about Swiss but I find their food, service and hard product consistent and to me that’s important. A specific airline experience should basically be the same each time and I don’t like on middle eastern airlines consistency between hard and soft product can be all over the place to excellent to downright bad. Swiss is never bad.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Andrew -- You're right, consistency is important. And it's why I love airlines like ANA, EVA Air, JAL, Singapore Airlines, etc., because they deliver with every experience. You're also right that Gulf carriers can be very inconsistent, and that's a big problem.

      Regarding SWISS, the airline might be consistent, but it's just consistently not great, if you ask me. Yes, it's nice to know what to expect, but when that experience consists of lackluster...

      @ Andrew -- You're right, consistency is important. And it's why I love airlines like ANA, EVA Air, JAL, Singapore Airlines, etc., because they deliver with every experience. You're also right that Gulf carriers can be very inconsistent, and that's a big problem.

      Regarding SWISS, the airline might be consistent, but it's just consistently not great, if you ask me. Yes, it's nice to know what to expect, but when that experience consists of lackluster bedding, not great seats, an IFE screen a decade past its prime, assembly line-esque service, etc., that's not something worth seeking out.

      At that point I'd rather take a US airline, where you'll at least consistently get good bedding and a great seat, and you can forget about the rest.

      Oman Air is absolutely a wild card, and can't be relied on for good service. Sometimes the airlines is amazing, and sometimes the airline is pretty awful.

    2. Andrew Guest

      Thanks for the reply and I see your point. I am sorry you did have to go through that with the flight attendant. Good job standing up for yourself!

    3. EN Guest

      Based on your side of the story and how you described it, I'd say that it starts from the top. It sounded like you could already tell that the manager wasn't very good, so no point in bringing up a complaint at this point. For me , I rarely complain to someone directly or during the flight. It almost never results positively. What are you trying to get out of it? Did then to take...

      Based on your side of the story and how you described it, I'd say that it starts from the top. It sounded like you could already tell that the manager wasn't very good, so no point in bringing up a complaint at this point. For me , I rarely complain to someone directly or during the flight. It almost never results positively. What are you trying to get out of it? Did then to take your feedback and improve? How often does that happen anywhere. If you want compensation, I'd just write into customer service. Therer are good FAs and bad ones on any airline. I'd say the service sounds allot like the typical United service. Maybe I haven't gotten enough business in other airlines but it doesn't sound THAT bad. Another thing, how was her English? Maybe it wasn't that great and she wasn't comfortable speaking it so she tried to rely on have gestures. Maybe she thought you had eat buds or headphones on. Sometimes people just aren't great at anticipating another persons needs.

  85. TravelinWilly Guest

    The cabin managers usually set the tone, and this seems to be a top-down problem.

    I had a similar issue in AF first class a year ago. Very unsettling to be sure.

  86. DT Guest

    Some people believe they need to get defensive in order to avoid accountability. While the flight attendant was defensive, the cabin manager should not have put her into that situation in the first place, as obviously, he was also being defensive and pushed her to deal with the problem herself rather than being accountable.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Daniel from Finland Guest

Wow! This is starting to remind me of a British comedy show, or candid camera, or something. And reminds me on TAAG Angolan :) Ben, I'd like one more episode. Could you send Oman Air some feedback and report back? It would really be interesting to hear what the airline has to say to all this. Regardless of whether they by now know that you are a blogger, it would be great to see if their HQ takes a stand as defensive as the crew or if they actually see an issue here. I mean, all airlines have some variation in on board service, but this is huge.

9
JT Guest

"Well, that’s officially the last time I’ll be trying that." I hope you don't mean that, although I feel the discomfort it caused. Seeing how the situation was handled is incredibly informative and tells people something useful. It's interesting that some airlines deny compensation unless the aircrew were informed of the problem on board. You highlight the challenge with that position, where the service is poor.

5
TravelinWilly Guest

The cabin managers usually set the tone, and this seems to be a top-down problem. I had a similar issue in AF first class a year ago. Very unsettling to be sure.

5
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
5,163,247 Miles Traveled

32,614,600 Words Written

35,045 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT
  • December 20, 2023
  • Ben Schlappig
11
Oman Air Awards With Aeroplan Are Back!