Review: Oman Air First Class Service By Design

Filed Under: Oman Air

In the next installment I’ll be reviewing my Oman Air first class flight from Muscat to London. It’s going to be a long review, so I wanted to write a separate post first about Oman Air’s unique “Service by Design” concept.

There are quite a few airlines that let premium passengers pre-order their inflight meals.

This comes in different forms. For example, Singapore Airlines offers “Book the Cook,” where first and business class passengers can choose their meal in advance of their flight, and they can choose from a much more extensive menu than what would be available onboard.

Other airlines, like American Airlines, let you pre-order your meal if you’re in first or business class, but you can only choose from what would otherwise be available onboard, in addition to a few special meals for those with dietary restrictions. The primary benefit there is simply that you can be sure you get your first choice, rather than actually getting anything different.

On paper, Oman Air’s Service by Design concept is the most impressive program I’ve ever seen for being able to customize your first or business class inflight meal.

On June 29 I received the following email from Oman Air:

Thank you for choosing Oman Air. We would like to introduce to you our new initiative “Service by Design” crafted exclusively for our discerning First Class passengers originating from Muscat.

With “Service by Design” you can now pre-order your in-flight meal up to 24 hours prior to flight departure from Muscat with a flight duration of more than 5 hours. Simply select your meal preference online and our cabin crew will be happy to serve it to you at your convenience.

We hope you enjoy our new service and we wish you a pleasant flight with us.

It’s cool that they proactively reach out to customers about this, though reaching out on June 29 for a July 1 flight seems like pretty short notice, especially since you have to select your meal at least 24 hours in advance. In other words, I had less than 48 hours to select my meal. You’d think this would be something they’d send out a couple of weeks prior to the flight.

Anyway, the email directed me to this webpage. I entered my last name and confirmation number, and was blown away by how many choices I had.

I could literally customize every little aspect of my meal, including a soup, salad, appetizer, main course, dessert, cheese, and even pre-landing refreshment.

The selection was really, really impressive. There were four soups to choose from.

Then there were two salad options.

And seven appetizer options.

And 18 main course options.

And eight dessert options.

And one cheese option.

And four pre-landing refreshment options.

Here’s the selection I chose (though there was no way I was going to be able to finish everything):

Bottom line

On paper Oman Air’s first class “Service by Design” concept is the most impressive I’ve seen from any airline. This is only available in first class (and not in business class), so very few passengers will be eligible for this.

I’ve never seen an airline that lets you choose from such a huge selection with every course in advance quite like this, and it seems like an area where other airlines could match Oman Air.

How was their execution of this onboard? Well, you’ll have to wait for the next installment…

  1. Very good review! Being used to travel on the best first class products available (paid tickets, no points or gimmicks), I will definitely give Oman Air First class a try.

  2. @Endre, why don’t you once again for the 13456th write that you fly PAID first class?? Because that’s really relevant in your comment. People who actually do don’t talk about it……

  3. @KG Hater detected. Try not to hate and get inspired to make the right steps instead… That is if you want to enjoy a similar lifestyle

  4. Is Endre really Debit posting under a different name?

    Only being able to choose one appetizer seems a bit stingy, for a first class flight of this length. Yes, I know there is a soup and salad course to choose as well, but in comparison, Emirates lets you have soup, salad, plus 3 appetizers as well.

  5. @Endre – If I may, you always say that you fly on paid tickets in First Class. However, I recently was reading a Qatar Qsuite review on this site (the JFK-DOH leg) and noticed that in the comments you said:

    “I will never pretend to fly first class again. Now I will only pretend to fly Q-Suites.”
    – Endre

    I will attach a link below of the review and the comment should be the 9th one on it.

  6. Endre, these posters are modest so I am going to help them out here. What they are saying is:

    Their d*ck is larger than yours. Many times over. They are ready to compare it side by side anyday, anytime.

  7. Just got email from Garuda asking me to choose F class meal among 18 dishes CGK LHR and 15 dishes LHR CGK, nicely presented in two menues. First time I see this in Garuda F.
    They call it “Book your meal”.

    Similar dishes as many on SQ book the cook.

    Too bad Garuda discontinue LHR as of oct 28. Wonder where they will use that LHR aircraft? (Garuda only have 2 aircrafts with F class)

  8. I thought there was going to be “light, judicious editing” when needed?

    The food choices sound delicious! It’s just about everything I would have chosen, so I’ll be anxious to see how the actual dishes compare to their lofty descriptions.

  9. Why would you plan what you are going to eat 2 days before a flight?

    What happens if you had a great meal the night before or a big breakfast that same day? Who the hell plans the things they are going to eat days in advance!

  10. If only this was a standard across the major airlines and not just some small middle eastern one. Why cant the great things come to the US 🙁

  11. @schar

    You do realize that the reason that airlines offer this ‘service’ is to cut costs. The less food options they need to prepare saves time which equals money.

    Imagine if Ben pre-ordered a meal but changed his mind on board. The crew can then easily say ‘Well Mr. Ben you pre-ordered meal A and we are all out of meal B’ and Ben would probably nod his head in resigned agreement.

    Now imagine if Ben didn’t pre-order a meal. As a first class passenger he would rightly expect everything on the menu to be available. Imagine then if crew told him that his choice was not available! Ben would be extremely upset and no doubt a fuming paragraph or two would be written.

    Make no mistake about it meal pre-ordering is a cost saving measure by the airlines

  12. I sort of agree with majik, above, about it cutting costs, but my take on the cost-cutting was different, though majik makes a very good point.

    What jumped out at me was that all selections were chosen by selecting a radio-button (choose one) vs. having check-boxes (choose all that apply in case multiple items are desired).

    Now this may be understandable for main courses, but for appetizers, many (most?) people choose more than one, and the same thing with dessert, where one might want, say, ice cream and fruit. Those are not options here.

    And this really does smack of cost-cutting. Hey, making a profit isn’t a crime, but being so blatant about it isn’t smart.

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