Review: Oman Air Business Class A330 Bangkok To Muscat

Filed Under: Oman Air, Other Airlines

Oman Air 818
Bangkok (BKK) – Muscat (MCT)
Wednesday, February 17
Depart: 9:00AM
Arrive: 1:00PM
Duration: 7hr
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
Seat: 12K (Business Class)

This flight boarded a full 50 minutes before departure, so I had the business class cabin to myself for a good 10 minutes before any other business class passengers showed up. Upon entering through the forward door (on this flight they boarded through both jet bridges) I was pointed towards the right aisle, where my seat was located.

This was the same plane I had from Muscat to Bangkok, featuring Oman Air’s old business class product. There are a total of 20 seats, spread across five rows in a 1-2-1 configuration (with three rows in the forward cabin and two rows in the rear cabin).

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Oman Air business class cabin A330

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Oman Air business class cabin A330

For this flight I assigned myself seat 12K, the window seat in the last row of the forward cabin.

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Oman Air business class cabin, seat 12K

Moments after settling in the senior flight supervisor came by my seat to welcome me aboard. She was from Thailand, and an absolute gem. We talked for a moment about Muscat, where she has lived for eight years, working for Oman Air. She was extremely friendly and took ownership of the flight, telling me to let her know if there’s anything “her” crew can do to improve.

She offered me a pre-departure beverage, suggesting I perhaps have an orange juice, fresh lemon juice, water, or champagne. I selected a glass of champagne, which was served with a warm towel. I appreciated that drinks were always poured at my seat — she first brought out the glass, and then the bottle of champagne, from which she poured.

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Oman Air business class pre-departure champagne & hot towel

Moments later she came by with an amenity kit, headphones, and the menu for the flight.

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Oman Air business class amenity kit

Also waiting in the console by my seat were the pillow and blanket.

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Oman Air business class cabin pillow & blanket

Over the next 30 minutes the cabin slowly began to fill up. Of course I was happy to just sit there and listen to Oman Air’s lovely boarding music.

There were only three other “paid” business class passengers, and then seven operational upgrades. I only know this because I overhead the crew mentioning it during boarding — “we have more than four passengers, we just had seven upgrades because economy is oversold.”

Oman Air sure knows how to fill economy — on three of my four flights it was oversold. I imagine being an elite member with Oman Air gives you consistently great odds at operational upgrades.

Eventually some of the other business class passengers arrived, and the senior flight supervisor engaged them in conversation as well. I was the only non-Omani business class passenger, and she asked all the others whether they were on holiday or business.

The two I overheard both said they were in Thailand for medical treatments — one for his father, and another for himself.

One thing I have to say about Omani people in general is that they’re extremely friendly. Truly hospitable, friendly, kind people, which I haven’t found to consistently be the case among locals in neighboring countries.

As I sat there one of the other flight attendants, who was also from Thailand, came by to welcome me aboard and refill my champagne.

At around 8:40AM I was offered Arabic coffee and a date, which I accepted.

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Oman Air business class Arabic coffee & date

At 8:45AM the door closed, thanks to boarding starting so early. Around this time the senior flight supervisor came on the PA to inform us of our flight time of 5hr55min, anticipating we’d arrive in Muscat a bit early.

At 8:55AM we began our pushback.

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Pushback Bangkok Airport

As we started our engines the senior flight supervisor was trying to get the safety video to play, though seemed to be having issues. Moments later she said “cabin crew, manual safety positions.”

She had the Arabic-speaking flight attendant read the announcements (since he seemed to be the only crewmember who could speak both languages). That ended up being rather unfortunate, since he really struggled with reading English. It was clear he was just sounding out every word written down without actually processing it. Not that I can really judge, since I can’t read any languages which use different “characters.”

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Departure gate Bangkok Airport

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Thai Airways A330 Bangkok Airport

Our taxi to runway 1R was quick, and the safety demo was slow, so the crew was in the aisle until we were holding short of our departure runway at around 9:05AM. It was about halfway through the safety demo when the captain came on the PA to say “good morning to everyone, cabin crew please be seated.” The senior flight supervisor looked like a deer in headlights when she heard that, and motioned for the flight attendant reading the announcements to hurry up.

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Taxiing Bangkok Airport

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Taxiing Bangkok Airport

Within a couple of minutes we were cleared for takeoff, and began our takeoff roll.

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Taxiing onto runway Bangkok Airport

The views on the climb out were typical for the Thai countryside, and five minutes after takeoff the seatbelt sign was turned off.

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View after takeoff from Bangkok Airport

10 minutes after takeoff the other Thai flight attendant working the aisle came by to take my lunch order.

The menu read as follows:

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And the wine list read as follows:

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There are some airlines on which I look forward to dining in first class, but it’s rare in business class. Usually in business class I expect a good meal, but not a memorable one. After my last two flights on Oman Air I was actively looking forward to my lunch.

The flight attendant said it would be about 45 minutes until lunch was served, so asked if I wanted a drink in the meantime. I ordered a cappuccino, which was served on a cute tray with a chocolate.

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Oman Air business class cappuccino

Eventually my table was set — I was offered the usual breadbasket, and just had a sparkling water to drink.

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Oman Air business class lunch table setting

While I loved the mezzeh I had on the last two flights, I figured I should mix it up, and ordered the linguini as the starter. It was fantastic.

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Oman Air business class lunch starter — linguini pasta

For the main course I once again ordered the Omani dish. It was still excellent, though perhaps my least favorite of the three Omani dishes I had so far on the trip (but still very good).

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Oman Air business class lunch main course — Omani lunch

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Oman Air business class lunch main course — spice-scented rice

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Oman Air business class lunch main course — traditional chicken saloona

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Oman Air business class lunch main course — roasted pumpkin and root vegetables

For dessert I had the tangy citrus tart, which was once again incredible. Seriously, three of the best desserts I’ve ever had have been on Oman Air, both in terms of presentation and taste. I also had a cappuccino to go along with the dessert.

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Oman Air business class lunch dessert

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Oman Air business class lunch dessert — tangy citrus tart

As the meal finished I was also offered a bottle of water. The entire meal service was great once again, and was completed about 90 minutes into the flight. This crew was on top of their game — the flight attendants were friendly and attentive, and genuinely seemed to enjoy their jobs.

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Oman Air business class bottled water

After the meal I watched a few sitcoms, including “The Odd Couple” and “Mike & Molly.”

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Oman Air entertainment system

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Oman Air entertainment system

As I finished the second show I ordered a coffee with milk, which was once again served on a tray, this time with a small cookie rather than a chocolate.

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Oman Air business class lunch dessert — coffee with milk

Then I witnessed something I’ve never before seen on a plane. I’ve seen plenty of people pray on planes, though on this particular flight everyone in the forward business class cabin prayed at the same time. I was the only one not praying. A couple of them were praying out loud.

It was sort of a surreal experience to be on a plane and be the only person in a cabin not praying. I’m not a religious person, but in a way there was something beautiful about the situation, and it’s probably what I remember most about the flight.

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Oman Air business class cabin

I ended up napping for a couple of hours, and then about 75 minutes before landing the pre-arrival snack was served, which was once again tasty. I had a glass of champagne to wash it down.

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Oman Air pre-landing snack

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Oman Air pre-landing snack

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Oman Air pre-landing snack

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Oman Air pre-landing snack

I was also offered a hot towel after the meal.

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Oman Air hot towel

Unfortunately the airshow didn’t work on this flight, so I wasn’t able to track the progress of the flight.

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View on approach to Muscat

The view as we approached the coast of Oman was beautiful.

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View on approach to Muscat

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View on approach to Muscat

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View on final approach to Muscat

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View on final approach to Muscat

We had a smooth touchdown on runway 8L at 12:05PM, and then began our long taxi to our remote stand, once again passing Muscat Airport’s new terminal.

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Muscat Airport new terminal

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Taxiing Muscat Airport

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Gulf Air A320 Muscat Airport

Within five minutes we were close enough so I could see the traffic on the tarmac, including two Oman Air A330s, as well as a Cargolux 747.

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Parking stands Muscat Airport

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Oman Air A330 Muscat Airport

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Cargolux 747 Muscat Airport

We ended up taxiing past them, and parking one “row” of parking away.

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Oman Air A330 Muscat Airport

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Oman Air A330 Muscat Airport

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Cargolux 747 Muscat Airport

We got to our arrival stand at 12:20PM, at which point the seatbelt sign was turned off.

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Arrival stand Muscat Airport

Upon arriving it was another five minutes until the boarding door was opened. At that point I got into the business class bus, which was fairly empty and departed within a minute or so.

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Oman Air A330 Muscat Airport

As usual, the views on the tarmac were pretty awesome.

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Plane upon arrival in Muscat

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Plane upon arrival in Muscat

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Plane upon arrival in Muscat

Oman Air business class bottom line

This was another fantastic flight on Oman Air. The food was excellent, and the service was probably the best of the three flights. The senior flight supervisor really took pride in “her” airline. Oman Air is a really special airline, especially when you get to fly their old business class product. While Oman Air perhaps isn’t objectively the world’s best airline, I grew fond of them very quickly, and am determined to fly them again soon.

Stay tuned for the Muscat to Frankfurt review, which was on Oman Air’s A330 featuring the new business class product. That flight was a stark contrast to the previous three, as it had among the worst service I’ve had on any airline (not counting British Airways).

  1. Great review, thanks as always, I love the look of the cabin it just looks stylish and classy even if it is the old product. Food looks very tasty too.

  2. Great review as always.. Regarding everyone praying at the same time … Thats the beauty of Islam

  3. “One thing I have to say about Omani people in general is that they’re extremely friendly. Truly hospitable, friendly, kind people, which I haven’t found to consistently be the case among locals in neighboring countries.”

    great review, but this social commentary is hilarious considering your experience of the country & its people consists of sitting in the national airline’s business class for <14 hours…

  4. It’s always nice when an employee takes pride in their company, you know that the company takes care of their employees in return. Always a good feeling.

  5. Lucky, can I ask why you keep choosing the last row of the cabin?
    Generally these are not recommended seats according to seatguru because of the proximity to the galley and/or toilets.

  6. Very interesting review as always! Thank you, Lucky!

    Just on a side note: I find it a bit strange that passengers discuss their medical treatments with the FA… I wouldn’t want to talk about that with strangers. In fact, I would even find the question of whether I am travelling for business or holiday slightly unpleasant. Why should they be concerned about that? But that might be a cultural thing, or maybe it is just me?

  7. re “One thing I have to say about Omani people in general is that they’re extremely friendly. Truly hospitable, friendly, kind people, which I haven’t found to consistently be the case among locals in neighboring countries.”

    Lucky, if by neighbouring countries you mean UAE, Kuwait and Qatar, I have to strongly agree with you. In general, some of the most unfriendly, self-absorbed and above all, rude people I have experienced. On the other hand, in general, people from Yemen are very friendly. Bottom line, different cultures and economic/cultural background.

  8. Lucky, when I click the “Oman Air Lounge Bangkok Airport” link at the top of this page, it takes me to an Oops page. Is this because of a server update, or is it a broken link?

  9. Oman and Bahrain are generally know to have the most friendly and nicest locals in the GCC. They are also the 2 least wealthy countries in the GCC. Coincidence?

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