Trip Report from Singalaidean Travels.
Oman Air is an airline that has pretty much been under the radar. While they operate to a total of 47 destinations, most of them are in Asia with just 7 in Europe. When it comes to frequent flyer programs, we know the popular ones like United MileagePlus, Qantas Frequent Flyer or Singapore Airlines’ KrisFlyer. How many of us have heard of Sindbad, Oman Air’s frequent flyer program?
Still, their limited network and virtually unknown presence in other parts of the world does not mean that they do not put thought and quality into their products. After hearing a lot of experiences onboard Oman Air, I thought it will be appropriate for me to finally hop onto this airline that I know so much, yet so little of.
I was invited to indulge in the offerings of the Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge where many airlines also utilize. It is one of my favorite lounges due to the ease of finding a seat and the tasty food offerings. The lounge is open 24 hours a day and this time, I arrived in the wee hours of the day to find a nice selection of hot food already prepared. There was also a small area where finger food such as sandwiches is served.
While the selection of hot food was pretty limited, you can definitely count on the delicious Nasi Lemak. The sambal just explodes in your mouth and wakes every of your taste buds. You will be left yearning for more! I ate this at 5 a.m. and this may not sound like the ideal kind of breakfast to start the day for anyone not from Singapore or Malaysia but this is how we kickstart our day!
Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge Nasi Lemak
I flew during the period when Oman Air’s Kuala Lumpur flight went through Singapore before continuing to Muscat. Right now, both Kuala Lumpur and Singapore flights are standalone.
I was warmly welcomed onboard by the crew and ushered to my seat at 14A. I chose the second Business Class cabin just after door 2L as it feels more intimate with only 8 seats. The cabin between doors 1L and 2L has 12 seats. However, the disadvantage of choosing the second cabin is that you will have an entire load of Economy Class passengers walking past you during boarding. It is a small tradeoff for a more intimate cabin in my opinion.
The timing of this flight meant that we would get to see the sunrise at its best at a slightly low altitude. The beautiful view is complemented by clouds and of course, the mandatory airplane wing. A very simple breakfast consisting of a muffin and danish pastry was served.
Shortly after breakfast service was completed, we commenced our descend towards Singapore Changi Airport. Interestingly enough, this flight took 49 minutes runway to runway, my longest flight on the KUL-SIN sector in terms of duration.
Singapore to Muscat
After just around 45 minutes of lingering around the gate area, boarding was once again called and this time, we are bound for Muscat.
The standard drill was executed – hot towels, welcome drinks etc.
The Airbus A330-200 simply rockets off the runway, even when carrying the load for a 7-hour flight. I was then able to indulge in the view of Singapore from above as we made a u-turn after rocketing off runway 20C.
One thing I absolutely love above Oman Air is that they set your table up individually instead of putting everything on a glorified cafeteria tray. Each item is brought to you and displayed on the huge and sturdy tray table, creating a true restaurant dining experience. A bread basket consisting of several different pastries was also placed at the corner.
My order was taken by A, a flight attendant from Tunis. She recommended that I pair each course with a different wine to get the most out of my dining experience. For my appetizer, she suggested the Taittinger Brut Reserve champagne I was already having.
For my main, A recommended a 2013 Laurenz V “Singing” from Austria to pair along.
I guess you can almost never go wrong with fish on a plane. The fish was well cooked and flavourful. The herb crushed potatoes also filled me up pretty well, complemented by the roasted vegetables by the side.
I chose a tea to go along with dessert.
I also took the chance to chat with her about her time in Oman Air. Hailing from Tunis, she has been with Oman Air for a few years and enjoys her time with the airline. We also discussed on the product offering and apparently, she said most crews prefer the old Business Class product (the one featured here) to the new one.
After the meal service was done with, the cabin crew dimmed the lights and closed all the window shades for passengers to sleep. A asked if I wanted a turndown service – how could I reject? She advised me that there were no mattresses for sleeping but she could use another blanket to make the seat softer which I agreed. It turned out to be a wonderful choice.
I only slept for an hour as I did not want to miss much of the flight but it was an hour of top quality sleep. Before I knew it, we were around 90 minutes to landing and the pre-landing snacks rolled out of the galley. Oman Air does very well in this aspect, offering food that is delicious and not too filling. Contrary to the usual snacks of pies and sandwiches from other airlines, they always have something new to offer.
From left to right: Pineapple and Coconut Cake, Rice Paper Spring Roll and Minced Beef Fatayer
Each passenger was then given a bottle of water. Soon, I found myself looking down at Arabian peninsula.
Oman Air performed above and beyond my expectation. The Business Class product was probably comparable to some other airlines’ First Class offering. Unfortunately, they do not operate any flights more than 8 hours or so. They would be a perfect airline to fly on for a long haul or even ultra long haul.