Good morning from Muscat, as I’ve reached the turnaround point of my review trip to Oman. I just flew Oman Air’s Boeing 787-9 business class on the very short 5hr40min overnight flight from Milan to Muscat.
While I’ll have a full trip report soon, in this post I wanted to share my initial impressions. It has been years since I’ve flown Oman Air business class on a non-regional route. I’ve long said that Oman Air is one of my favorite airline brands, and that Oman Air has one of the world’s best business class products.
So, has my opinion changed? No, not at all. Actually, Oman Air is even better than I remember, and my flight was beyond great. While Oman Air has a couple of quirks, this must be among the most incredible experiences you’ll find in business class on an overnight flight of this length. I can’t wait for Oman Air to join oneworld later this year!
As you read the below, contrast this to my SWISS A330 business class experience that I just shared my initial impressions of, and remember that my SWISS flight was two hours longer. Oman Air is just in a completely different league.
In this post:
Oman Air’s 787 business class Apex Suites are awesome
Oman Air’s Boeing 787s have Apex Suites, which are among my favorite business class seats in the world. If you haven’t yet flown in this product, you might not think much of it, based on the 2-2-2 layout.
However, the window seats in this configuration are tough to beat. There’s a shield that goes up between the aisle and window seat, so it’s probably the most private business class seat in the skies. Best of all, there’s no small footwell that you have to squeeze your feet into, but rather you have virtually unlimited space when in bed mode.
The reason these seats aren’t more popular with airlines is because they’re an inefficient use of space, as they give so much real estate to each passenger. This remains one of my favorite business class seats.
Another cool thing is that Oman Air’s 787-9s have a forward business class cabin with four rows, and then a rear cabin with just a single row of seats. That rear cabin almost makes you feel like you’re in first class, as you feel like there are just six seats (never mind that these are typically the last seats to fill up). The views from the seats are awesome as well.
Oman Air’s business class amenities are phenomenal
Oman Air’s business class amenities are among the best offered by any airline. For one, Oman Air offers top notch bedding, including a comfortable pillow, a cozy blanket, and even a mattress pad. The crew is also happy to perform turndown service for passengers.
On top of that, Oman Air partners with Amouage on its amenity kits, which feel super high-end. This includes a lip balm, a facial moisturizer, and even a cologne. Many of the basic amenities, like dental kits, are readily available in the lavatories.
Oman Air even offers pajamas and slippers in business class. Yes, even on an overnight flight that’s this short. I love the quality of the pajamas and slippers as well. This is a weird thing to point out, but the slippers are the heaviest I’ve been offered on any airline.
Oman Air’s business class food & drinks are delicious
Oman Air has a dine on demand concept in business class, with the option of enjoying two meals on the flight. The food quality and presentation almost felt more like what you’d typically find in first class rather than in business class.
Service began with drinks and mixed nuts. I ordered champagne, and Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut was on offer. Oman Air has a great service procedure, with all meals being served directly onto the tray table, wine being poured at the seat, etc.
To kick off the meal, I had a roasted pumpkin and yellow lentil soup, which was as tasty as it was pretty.
Then for the main course, I had the prawns machboos, which was one of the best dishes I’ve ever had in business class.
Next up was a cheese plate.
Last but not least was dessert, which consisted of a raspberry and white chocolate frangipane.
After a brief food coma, it was time for even more food. Breakfast consisted of a fruit plate, as well as a selection of bread, including a croissant, a danish, and a roll.
Of course a vast majority of people won’t have two meals on this flight since it greatly limits the ability to sleep, but I figured it was my job. 😉
Oman Air’s entertainment is good, Wi-Fi is laughable
While not to the level of Emirates’ ICE system, Oman Air’s ARIA entertainment is a huge improvement over what the airline used to offer, as there were hundreds of movies and TV shows.
Of course as an avgeek, my favorite inflight entertainment feature is always the airshow.
Okay, I’ve had nothing but praise for Oman Air up until now, so let me point out the worst part of the experience. Oman Air uses OnAir for its inflight entertainment, which is known for offering among the slower connectivity in the sky.
Not only that, but Oman Air’s Wi-Fi pricing is beyond absurd. Like, it’s not just a little high, it’s outrageous. A full flight Wi-Fi pass costs $39.90. Okay, that’s high, but I can live with that. But wait, that pass has a data limit of 150MB. That would last me about 30 minutes, at most.
Meanwhile the three hour Wi-Fi pass costs $24.90, and is limited to 40MB of data. Suggesting that 40MB is an acceptable amount of data for three hours of connectivity is even more laughable than the pricing.
Oman Air, you’ve gotta change this pricing, stat. This isn’t just about it detracting from the overall experience, but there’s no way Oman Air is maximizing revenue with this pricing. I’d like to think I’m one of the least price sensitive people when it comes to the cost of inflight Wi-Fi, since I exclusively work remotely and fly all the time. But this pricing gives even me pause, and I chose not to connect on this flight.
Oman Air is such a great little airline, with an amazing inflight product. While my good inflight experiences with the airline go back many years, I think Oman Air’s business class soft product is even better than before.
It’s clear that the airline puts a lot of effort into providing a great business class experience, and that’s refreshing to see, especially at a time where so many airlines go in the opposite direction. Now if only the airline put the same amount of effort into not swapping planes and downgrading people. 😉
What’s your take on Oman Air’s Boeing 787 business class?