13th August 2014 at 15:00 #590605
Anonymous13th August 2014 at 15:00 #590606
Muscat airport is undergoing major expansion, just like many of their Middle East counterparts.
I arrived at the airport and used the dedicated Business/First Class check in section of the terminal which was efficient. It has its own entrance and porters ready to take any luggage to the check in desk. You still come out into the main terminal and use the main security area. Although the airport was fairly busy, getting through security was quick.
The lounge was very spacious with good views of the runway. There was a small food and drink area, but with a large variety of cold/hot food and drinks. There was plenty of seating space both on sofas and dining tables. Once the board was updated to advise “boarding”, I headed to the gate. Most of the economy passengers had boarded by this point using buses. There was no priority boarding lane but it was not busy so it didn’t matter. From hereon the boarding process became a shambles. Some people were told to hold back while others just allowed to board the next available bus. It turns out that there is a dedicated mini bus for Business Class, while First Class passengers receive their own personal car to drive them to the plane. This was very badly communicated!
Once on board I was directed to my seat, 11A. Window seats have an incredible amount of storage space by the side of the seat while middle seats have none! The seat is one of the widest and most comfortable in the sky. There is a lot of room for both working and relaxing very comfortably. Privacy aside, I found this to be on par with, say, Cathay Pacific First Class in terms of space. What fails the seat, however, is that you are very exposed, even in the sleeping position. There is a little bit of privacy at head level but that’s about it. This is also what sets Oman Air’s First Class product apart from its Business Class. The First Class seat is very similar (just a slightly bigger version of the Business Class seat), but with raised sides for increased privacy.
There are two Business Cabins – a mini cabin of two rows at the front, just behind First Class and a slightly larger one with three rows behind it. I would recommend the smaller cabin which is in front of the wing. I did not feel disturbed by the presence of the galley or lavatories just behind. There was a decent in-flight entertainment system with a large screen, wifi at a cost plus cellular roaming. Local Amouage products are provided in the amenity kit, with separate sets for men and women.
Shortly after take off, the meal service began. This was very hit and miss and you could clearly see a difference in service level between the two aisles. Food orders were taken starting from the back of the second Business Class cabin, which meant that my first choice was unavailable by the time they got to me. When the food was served, it was very average and disappointing. There is a distinct lack of attention to detail. For example, the cutlery set contained two sets of knives and forks for both starter and main, as well as cutlery for dessert. When they collected my empty starter plate in which I placed my used cutlery, they took them out and handed them back to me. On that basis I only needed one set and the crew were clearly unaware that a second set is provided.
Overall there was little presence in the cabin by the crew other than for one lucky gentleman in 10E whom everyone seemed to know – including the captain. The crew all spent a lot of time talking to him and he was even moved to the sofa area of the First Class cabin for further socialising with one of the pilots. I have no issue with that, as long as the crew looks after the remaining passengers, which I did not feel was happening. If Oman Air wants to be seen as an international carrier, they need to work more on their service.
A couple of hours before landing, a snack and drinks were served, while 20 minutes before landing there was Arabian coffee and dates. Those could have been served a little sooner as I felt that it became a rushed walk through the cabin asking if anyone wanted coffee and dates and then rushing off to fasten seat belts for landing.
Just before landing, priority immigration cards were handed out to passengers in premium cabins which was a welcome touch when arriving into a busy Heathrow Terminal 3!
I was looking forward to my flight with Oman Air (and maybe that was the problem) but I was very disappointed. The hard product is solid but there are so many refinements that need to be made to bring the soft product to an international standard if they want to stand alongside the other Middle Eastern aviation giants.13th August 2014 at 19:15 #590607
Very poor airline. Lost my bag between Dubai and Muscat and then spent 2 weeks basically lying and fobbing me off.
The only helpful people I came across were the staff in their London Heathrow office. Otherwise the staff in Muscat appeared to be semi-competent and most likely people rejected by the more professional airlines like EK and EY.13th August 2014 at 21:17 #590608
Thanks for a very comprehensive and interesting review14th August 2014 at 08:09 #590609
Travelled RUH-MCT-RUH back in March, boarding in RUH is always a shambles irrespective of airline, but I was told as a business class passenger that it was to my advantage that the economy passengers boarded before me! Although the person that told me this could not advise what the advantage was!
In flight service was good on the two hour journey. But the arrivals and immigration at MCT is also very poor. I agree about the departure lounge which was good, but the departure buses was also the same shambles as the reviewer experienced.
Flight back was good, service was good just a shame the whole flight was spoilt by a baby crying and screaming for the entire journey14th August 2014 at 23:15 #590610
5 years back service & food were boutique style & very good, however they were losing millions & started to downgrade everything. Hence the poor quality nowadays.
However, cuts or no cuts the crew service level is ununderstandable & very bad. So something is seriously wrong with Linda Celestino GM Inflight Services hold on her watch.15th August 2014 at 11:17 #590611
What a shame….
Most of the J class reviews I read are similar to this one.
A M A Z I N G hard product but very sloppy service. A pity as given the investment Oman have made in their aircraft, their lounges, their cabins they could really carve out a nice little niche market – if their service was up to scratch.
I guess Mr 10E must have been a senior member of staff travelling? Very unprofessional to be showering him with attention while ignoring the other passengers.
In terms of J class being held back to board last – i’ve also experienced this with Qatar Airways. I always thought it was perhaps due to dedicated transport when boarding by bus. But when I have departed an airport with air bridges it has been the same.15th August 2014 at 11:30 #590612
Yes ferguson it was air bridge at RUH, he tried to tell me at first that they were waiting for the cleaners to leave but I had seen them leave the airbridge and jump in a van. RUH T1 is a bit of a joke, like arriving at the gate last month for my BA flight to find the fast track lane was the only lane and the queue twisted around the airport!
The service I received on the flights to and from MCT was good, but then it was only two hours
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.