You know how I’m currently on a review trip to Oman to sit on a couch? Well, I’m still enroute to Oman, but unfortunately my trip just took a bit of a turn, which I feared could happen…
In this post:
Oman Air has swapped planes and downgraded me
On Saturday, I’m supposed to fly from Muscat to Frankfurt on Oman Air in first class. That segment was what motivated me to book this entire trip, because Oman Air has a ridiculously cool Airbus A330 with the awesomest retro interior ever. It has a first class cabin with six seats, as well as a couch in the middle of the cabin.
Sure, Emirates may have showers, and Singapore Airlines may have double beds, but this product just looks like such a charming throwback, and it’s the single product that I’ve most been wanting to fly.
When I wrote about having booked this itinerary, some readers warned me that Oman Air does sometimes swap planes, so I knew there was a risk of that. I tend to manage my reservations very closely, and while the airline hasn’t informed me of any changes to my itinerary, I do notice on ExpertFlyer that my flight now shows as being operated by an A330-200 rather than an A330-300, and the latter doesn’t feature first class.
To think that less than 24 hours ago I was the only person to be booked in first class, and now I’m not even booked in first class… or at least I’d assume I’m not?
Obviously this is disappointing, though one consolation is that the A330-200 operating the flight appears to be one of the “ancient” ones, also featuring a very cool business class interior that’s a throwback. I love Oman Air’s retro interiors!
I understand aircraft swaps happen for operational reasons, but the way that Oman Air is going about this is more than a little shady, in my opinion. The airline sells first class tickets, and then with quite some regularity swaps out the plane. That’s not cool. Either don’t sell first class, or operate reliably.
Sure, once in a while swaps happen, but it looks like the airline has now swapped planes for four of the past seven days. That just reflects careless scheduling, and not an acceptable level of operational disruptions.
I’m curious to see how Oman Air handles this
Oman Air is a boutique airline, and only has four jets that have first class cabins. I was the only person booked in first class on this flight. Despite that, the airline hasn’t reached out or informed me of the downgrade, which you’d think would be a common courtesy in such a situation. I only know about this because I constantly monitor my reservations.
I’m only passing through Muscat for several hours, so I’m curious to see what happens when I get there. Anyone want to place their bet as to how this plays out? This kind of situation is a new one for me (specifically, a downgrade on a smaller airline where I’m not familiar with policies), which is kind of exciting, frankly, as I enjoy learning from any new experience.
To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if I show up at the transit desk in Muscat, and they issue me my business class boarding pass as if nothing happened. Then when I explain I was downgraded, I wouldn’t be surprised if they shrug their shoulders, and that’s that.
My hope — and this should be the bare minimum in a situation like this — is that they proactively advise me of the downgrade, still give me access to the first class lounge with all ground services, and offer some sort of compensation (heck, I’ll take a bottle of Amouage cologne, or partial first class catering!)
It’s too bad that this flight is to the European Union rather than from the European Union, because if it were the latter, EU261 would apply (for non-EU airlines it otherwise only applies when departing the EU).
Anyway, the reason I’m writing about this now rather than waiting to see how this plays out is because I’m curious how OMAAT readers would handle this, or if anyone has experience with this on Oman Air This is my first time being downgraded in such a way on an airline where I don’t know the policy, so I want to be sure to approach this right.
I don’t want to be at all unreasonable, but I also feel like I should push back a little if they don’t want to even let me in the first class lounge, or acknowledge the downgrade.
I had planned a review trip around being able to fly Oman Air’s awesome old A330 first class. Unfortunately the airline seems to swap planes pretty often, and I’m the latest “victim” of that. While I’m of course bummed about this change, I don’t actually care that much, other than being curious how the airline handles this situation. I’m incredibly lucky to do what I do, and business class will be great too.
Let this also be a warning — if you’re also booking an Oman Air A330 first class ticket, be prepared to be disappointed with a swap. For that matter, if you don’t get swapped, enjoy the experience even more, knowing how lucky you are!
Anyone want to guess how this will play out? What would you expect from the airline (in terms of treatment and acknowledgement)?