Review: Oman Air A330 Business Class (SLL-MCT)

Review: Oman Air A330 Business Class (SLL-MCT)

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FROM: SLL
TO: MCT
CABIN: Business
DATE: February 2022
REVIEW RATING:
BEN SAYS: Oman Air offers an incredible business class experience on a short 80 minute domestic flight, with flat beds, friendly service, and a tasty snack.
15

After a few lovely days at Alila Hinu Bay, it was time to continue our journey to the other side of Oman. Oman Air is one of my favorite airlines, and we were able to fly Oman Air’s incredible A330 business class from Salalah to Muscat. What an awesome flight it was.

How I booked our Oman Air business class tickets

Oman Air operates several daily flights between Salalah and Muscat, and the airline is a fairly new partner of Air Canada Aeroplan (I love how many partners Aeroplan has). I managed to book business class on the following flight for 15,000 Aeroplan points plus $36.60 in taxes and fees per person:

02/20 WY908 Salalah to Muscat departing 5:40PM arriving 7:15PM

This particular flight was even operated by an A330. Most other frequencies in the market are operated by the 737 MAX. Frankly I would have preferred one of those flights purely to review a new product (even though it’s inferior), but unfortunately this was the flight that worked best schedule-wise, and had award availability.

Oman Air business class boarding

In the last installment I reviewed Oman Air’s Al Khareef Lounge at Salalah Airport, so let’s pick up at the departure gate. Our flight was departing from gate 4A, and boarding was scheduled to start at 4:40PM, one hour before departure.

Oman Air departure gate Salalah Airport

In reality, it’s just the gate that opened up an hour before departure. Boarding passes were scanned as you entered the gate, and at that point you were already considered to be on the plane, for all practical purposes.

Oman Air departure gate Salalah Airport

The inbound flight arrived right around the same time, so we could see passengers deplaning through the doors. Our flight seemed to be pretty packed (especially in economy), with mostly locals traveling.

Oman Air departure gate Salalah Airport

At around 5PM boarding finally started, with business class and those needing extra time being invited to board first.

Oman Air jet bridge Salalah Airport

Oman Air business class cabin & seats

Let me say upfront that I’ve reviewed many of Oman Air’s premium products before, including Oman Air’s old A330 business class, Oman Air’s new A330 business class, Oman Air’s 787 business class, and Oman Air’s 787 first class. So I’ll keep this review fairly brief.

This flight was operated by Oman Air’s A330-200 featuring the new business class product, which consists of Apex Suites. This is one of my favorite business class seats out there. Oman Air’s A330-200s have 30 business class seats, spread across five rows in a 2-2-2 configuration. The forward cabin had three rows, while the rear cabin had two rows.

Oman Air A330 business class cabin
Oman Air A330 business class cabin
Oman Air business class cabin A330
Oman Air business class cabin A330

I assigned us seats 15A & 15B, the window and aisle seat in the last row of business class on the left. While the aisle seats in this configuration are nothing special, the window seats in this configuration are among my favorite business class seats out there.

Oman Air business class seats A330
Oman Air business class seats A330

Why are the window seats so great? Because they have a huge amount of privacy and space. There’s a partition that goes up between the two seats, so you basically have a suite of sorts when you’re in the window seat in this configuration.

Oman Air business class seats A330

There’s no small footwell you have to put your foot in, but rather you have a huge ottoman on which you can place your feet. There’s also storage underneath the ottoman.

Oman Air business class seats A330

In the window seats you also have direct access to the aisle, as there’s a path in front of the aisle seat.

Oman Air business class seats A330

To one side of the seat were the entertainment controls and partition controls, and to the other side of the seat were the seat controls.

Oman Air business class entertainment controls
Oman Air business class seat controls

The tray table extended from the center armrest, and there were also a few exposed storage areas along this part of the seat.

Oman Air business class seat storage
Oman Air business class seat storage

Unfortunately Oman Air doesn’t have individual air nozzles on the A330, which is a feature I value.

Oman Air business class overhead console

There were two lavatories located in business class between the two cabins. They were fairly small, though did have windows, which is kind of cool.

Oman Air business class lavatory A330

I think this might be the world’s best A330 business class hard product.

Oman Air business class amenities

Boarding was quite hectic, as there were a ton of families in economy, and many parents weren’t doing a great job controlling their kids. Also, I was amazed by the number of people using their smartphones without headphones, whether they were just watching TV on their phone, or making a phone call with the loudspeaker on.

Since everyone boarded through the second set of doors, I should have probably booked us in the forward cabin, in retrospect. Fortunately Oman Air has some relaxing boarding music, which is among my favorite airline boarding music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8toeSnA-ww

Shortly after settling in, one of the friendly flight attendants offered us a choice of a hot or cold towel. So many airlines have cut towels during the pandemic, so it was nice to see those make a return.

Oman Air business class warm towel

We were also offered pre-departure drinks, with the choice of lemon mint juice or orange juice. I selected the former, and it was served with a cover.

Oman Air business class pre-departure drink

We were also given a bottle of water, a pair of headphones, and a hygiene kit.

Oman Air business class amenities

The headphones were fine, but nothing special.

Oman Air business class headphones

The hygiene kit had a face mask, two anti-bacterial wipes, and two packets of hand sanitizer.

Oman Air business class hygiene kit

There was also a pillow at each seat, with blankets available upon request.

Oman Air business class pillow

Oman Air departure from Salalah

At around 5:30PM the main cabin door closed, at which point the captain made his welcome aboard announcement, informing us of our flight time of 80 minutes. Shortly thereafter the inflight supervisor made his announcement, informing us that the crew spoke Arabic, English, French, Bosnian, and Swahili.

Generally speaking, Oman Air has male cabin crew from Oman, and then female cabin crew from other countries. So in that sense the airline is similar to Saudia, and different than Emirates or Qatar (though unlike at Saudia, the men generally work pretty hard as well).

A couple of minutes after the door closed we began our pushback, at which point the safety video was screened.

Pushing back from Salalah Airport

Oman Air’s safety video is destination focused, and is kind of cool.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cWrg8Y12EI

By 5:35PM we began our taxi, and just 10 minutes later we were cleared for takeoff on runway 25.

Taxiing Salalah Airport
Taking off from Salalah Airport

We had a smooth climb out of Salalah, and I had a great view of the engine and wing from my seat.

Taking off from Salalah Airport

Oman Air business class meal service

The inflight service began just 10 minutes after takeoff. The two meal options were described as chicken tikka with a prawn sandwich, or a vegetable sandwich with grape leaves. We were asked what we wanted to drink with it — Oman Air doesn’t serve alcohol on domestic flights, so I just ordered a water.

I selected the non-vegetarian option, which was beautifully presented. The main plate had a prawn sandwich and chicken tikka, then there were two bread rolls, and then there was a fruit tart for dessert. Yum.

Oman Air business class snack

The vegetarian option was a bit different, and came with a side salad rather than dessert. The dish otherwise looked pretty good.

Oman Air business class snack

After the meal I ordered a coffee, which was served on a cute tray with a cookie and some milk.

Oman Air business class coffee

There was a local guy serving our aisle, and he was super friendly.

Oman Air business class entertainment & Wi-Fi

Oman Air has a pretty decent entertainment system, with a variety of movies and TV shows.

Oman Air entertainment system

Rather frustratingly, you can only browse the selection via the handheld monitor, though. Or maybe there’s something I’m missing?

Oman Air entertainment options

As usual, I just watched the map for most of the flight.

Map enroute to Muscat

Oman Air does have Wi-Fi on A330s, but it’s ridiculously priced. For example, a full flight Wi-Fi pass costs $39.99, and comes with just 150MB of data. This has to be some of the worst Wi-Fi pricing of any airline nowadays.

Oman Air Wi-Fi pricing

Unfortunately even Oman Air’s new Boeing 787s have this ridiculous Wi-Fi pricing, so here’s to hoping that this is lowered over time.

Oman Air approach to Muscat

Oman Air prepares cabins for landing really early, and that’s particularly evident on a flight like this. 40 minutes before arrival the first officer made an announcement informing us that we were at 39,000 feet and would be landing at 7:10PM. A few moments later the crew started preparing the cabin for landing, meaning seats had to be put upright, etc. This was basically just the halfway point of the flight!

On the plus side, it was easy to stay occupied with the amazing sunset views we were treated to.

Approaching Muscat

We ended up touching down in Muscat at 7:05PM, and were at the gate 10 minutes after that.

Arrival gate in Muscat

It was quite a walk to the arrivals hall, but soon enough we were in a taxi to our hotel.

Bottom line

80 minute domestic flights don’t get much better than what Oman Air offered on this flight. Our flight was operated by an A330 with Apex Suites, and we were offered a tasty snack and had friendly service. Oman Air really is a phenomenal airline, and I hope the carrier follows through on joining oneworld.

The only real real criticism I have of Oman Air is the Wi-Fi pricing, which is ridiculous. That’s not an issue on a flight like this, but the same pricing applies on longer flights.

If you’ve flown Oman Air, what was your experience like?

Conversations (15)
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  1. Christopher Guest

    Following the same trip plan. But how did you book this via Aeroplan? SLL isn't a recognized airport in the Aeroplan portal (and MCT is the only airport there for Oman). Log in to another country's instance of Aeroplan? Or...a phone call?

  2. Max Guest

    Flew just recently WY from DXB to MCT in their 738 and it was just WOW - even if we didn't have the Apex Suites. On our short 40 Mins flight their seats are kind of US F, but with personalized service and food.
    Didn't miss the Suites at all.

    Our flight MCT-MUC was amazing, from the hotel-like Check-in until security and their amazing Lounge and on board product.
    Amenity kit from Amouage!

    Flew just recently WY from DXB to MCT in their 738 and it was just WOW - even if we didn't have the Apex Suites. On our short 40 Mins flight their seats are kind of US F, but with personalized service and food.
    Didn't miss the Suites at all.

    Our flight MCT-MUC was amazing, from the hotel-like Check-in until security and their amazing Lounge and on board product.
    Amenity kit from Amouage!
    The flight was FULL even in C but still the service was amazing.

    This have been our first two flights with WY and for sure not the last ones.
    And Oman is a super beautiful country!

  3. Ted Guest

    “We were also offered pre-departure drinks…and it was served with a cover.”

    Serious question: Why? Because Covid might “land” on your beverage? I don’t understand the point here. Purely optics with no science? I just find it irritating.

    1. Steve Diamond

      Its a drink cover, calm down its not a big deal. Probably helps the FAs not spill any of the drink. Plenty of things about covid-theatre to actually get mad it, this isnt one of them haha.

  4. Dr Awadalla Guest

    I have been charged 640€ for upgrade Mct to CDG. The problem is that I never asked for biding any upgrade although Oman air pretends I did.
    Many mails and SMS sent with Oman air haven't solved the issue. I am a silver Sinbad card holder and will never recommand this company.

  5. Jeff Guest

    Do you feel there was value for the points and cash on a 80 minute flight in Business class? I know your brand is about business and above for flights but would be interested to know the paid business and economy fares, and the redemption economy points fare for this flight. Hard to believe that there is value in the redemption for this short of a flight. The points would be better used towards a longer flight.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      Ben's not looking for value first. He's looking for review material.

    2. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Jeff -- I do think there was still value. Economy would have cost 7,500 points, so I essentially paid 7,500 additional points to "upgrade." I would have gotten lounge access with Priority Pass anyway, but accounting for the time we spent boarding, we were in our seats for around two hours. I think spending an extra 7,500 points for two hours in a seat that's this much more comfortable is worth it.

      I totally...

      @ Jeff -- I do think there was still value. Economy would have cost 7,500 points, so I essentially paid 7,500 additional points to "upgrade." I would have gotten lounge access with Priority Pass anyway, but accounting for the time we spent boarding, we were in our seats for around two hours. I think spending an extra 7,500 points for two hours in a seat that's this much more comfortable is worth it.

      I totally get not everyone values things the way I do, so for those who don't earn a lot, I can appreciate prioritizing differently. But I usually don't run out of points, so I'm always happy to redeem for a premium cabin when the value is good.

    3. Jeff Guest

      Thanks for the reply and explanation. I do appreciate this part of OMAAT, the ability to have a discussion/ask questions on a topic without it turning into the usual internet flame war.

  6. Richy Guest

    Hallo....
    Kann mich dem Kommentar nur anschließen. Bin schon oft mit Oman Air geflogen...und bestätigte dass es eine fantastische Fluggesellschaft ist. Auch bei Problemen ist man super kulant und zuvorkommend.
    Durch eine Flugverspätung verpasste ich den Anschlußflug.
    Sehr schnell wurde ich umgebucht...bekam ein super Hotel....auch Passagiere aus der Economy Class...
    Rückflug am nächsten Tag wurde ich in die First class umgebucht...und ein Geschenk als Entschuldigung für die Unannehmlichkeiten.
    Das kann...

    Hallo....
    Kann mich dem Kommentar nur anschließen. Bin schon oft mit Oman Air geflogen...und bestätigte dass es eine fantastische Fluggesellschaft ist. Auch bei Problemen ist man super kulant und zuvorkommend.
    Durch eine Flugverspätung verpasste ich den Anschlußflug.
    Sehr schnell wurde ich umgebucht...bekam ein super Hotel....auch Passagiere aus der Economy Class...
    Rückflug am nächsten Tag wurde ich in die First class umgebucht...und ein Geschenk als Entschuldigung für die Unannehmlichkeiten.
    Das kann ich kaum von einer anderen airline behaupten. In den 10 Jahren...mit denen ich schon fliege ...hatte ich nie etwas negatives erlebt.
    Und....ein oman Urlaub ist ...1001 Nacht...sofern man diesen nicht über einen Reiseveranstalter bucht...

  7. Mohammed azad Guest

    It has been 2 year ,Oman air had NOT REFUNDED MT TICKET.
    no answer 2 my email .
    Mohammed azad

  8. Mike Guest

    It may be my age, but for shorter flights, or any flight I won’t go to sleep on, i much prefer the older style business class seats, the non lie-flat ones. My all times favourite was the British airways cradle seat.
    While lie flat is ideal for sleeping, i never seem to find a comfortable cradling seating position. The angles just don’t work.
    My point is not to criticise Oman Air, obviously, just...

    It may be my age, but for shorter flights, or any flight I won’t go to sleep on, i much prefer the older style business class seats, the non lie-flat ones. My all times favourite was the British airways cradle seat.
    While lie flat is ideal for sleeping, i never seem to find a comfortable cradling seating position. The angles just don’t work.
    My point is not to criticise Oman Air, obviously, just to offer an alternative view. The same kinda applies to seats with doors. They’re great on longer flights when you want to isolate yourself from the cabin while sleeping, but on shorter flights, it feels unnecessarily confined.

  9. Peter Brown Guest

    You should have flown Oman Air before they increased the number of biz class to 6 per row from 4. A major step backwards They had a great product and ruined it.

    1. Hiro Guest

      Ben has flown the old spacious business class as in the link provided in the article.

      It amazes me despite the "downgrade", the airline still offers one of the best business class seat product, if not QSuite or the Room.

  10. BenjaminGuttery Member

    I'm literally wanting to book an Oman trip after this! We had a wonderful time in early 2020 in Qatar. So Oman sounds very similar, but more relaxing with muss less tourists! Thanks Ben!

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Peter Brown Guest

You should have flown Oman Air before they increased the number of biz class to 6 per row from 4. A major step backwards They had a great product and ruined it.

1
BenjaminGuttery Member

I'm literally wanting to book an Oman trip after this! We had a wonderful time in early 2020 in Qatar. So Oman sounds very similar, but more relaxing with muss less tourists! Thanks Ben!

1
Christopher Guest

Following the same trip plan. But how did you book this via Aeroplan? SLL isn't a recognized airport in the Aeroplan portal (and MCT is the only airport there for Oman). Log in to another country's instance of Aeroplan? Or...a phone call?

0
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