- Introduction: An Open-Ended Journey To Oman
- Review: Iberia Business Class Airbus A330 (MIA-MAD)
- Our COVID-19 Testing Mess At Madrid Airport
- Review: Four Seasons Hotel Madrid
- Review: Iberia Lounge Madrid Airport (MAD)
- Review: Iberia Business Class A320neo (MAD-MXP)
- Review: Sala Montale Lounge Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP)
- Review: Qatar Airways Business Class Boeing 787-9 (MXP-DOH)
- Review: Qatar Airways A320 Business Class (DOH-SLL)
- Oman Entry Requirements: My Experience
- Traveling As A Gay, Married Couple: My Philosophy
- Review: Alila Hinu Bay, Oman
- Review: Oman Air Lounge Salalah Airport
- Review: Oman Air A330 Business Class (SLL-MCT)
- Review: W Hotel Muscat, Oman
- Review: Alila Jabal Akhdar, Oman
- Review: The Chedi Muscat, Oman
- Review: Primeclass Lounge Muscat Airport (MCT)
- Review: Turkish Airlines A321neo Business Class (MCT-IST)
- Review: Turkish Airlines 737 MAX Business Class (IST-CPH)
- Review: AC Hotel By Marriott Copenhagen Bella Sky
- Copenhagen Airport’s Awesome COVID-19 Testing Center
- Review: SAS Lounge Copenhagen Airport (CPH)
- Review: Eventyr Lounge Copenhagen Airport (CPH)
- Review: SAS Business Class Airbus A350-900 (CPH-MIA)
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.
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.
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.
At around 5PM boarding finally started, with business class and those needing extra time being invited to board first.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In the window seats you also have direct access to the aisle, as there’s a path in front of the aisle seat.
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.
The tray table extended from the center armrest, and there were also a few exposed storage areas along this part of the seat.
Unfortunately Oman Air doesn’t have individual air nozzles on the A330, which is a feature I value.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We were also given a bottle of water, a pair of headphones, and a hygiene kit.
The headphones were fine, but nothing special.
The hygiene kit had a face mask, two anti-bacterial wipes, and two packets of hand sanitizer.
There was also a pillow at each seat, with blankets available upon request.
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.
Oman Air’s safety video is destination focused, and is kind of cool.
By 5:35PM we began our taxi, and just 10 minutes later we were cleared for takeoff on runway 25.
We had a smooth climb out of Salalah, and I had a great view of the engine and wing from my seat.
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.
The vegetarian option was a bit different, and came with a side salad rather than dessert. The dish otherwise looked pretty good.
After the meal I ordered a coffee, which was served on a cute tray with a cookie and some milk.
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.
Rather frustratingly, you can only browse the selection via the handheld monitor, though. Or maybe there’s something I’m missing?
As usual, I just watched the map for most of the flight.
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.
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.
We ended up touching down in Muscat at 7:05PM, and were at the gate 10 minutes after that.
It was quite a walk to the arrivals hall, but soon enough we were in a taxi to our hotel.
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?