fbpx

Review: Oman Air First Class Muscat to London

Flight Number
WY101
Aircraft
Boeing 787‑9
Duration
7 hours 50 minutes
Date
February 2022
Rating

I flew Oman Air First Class from Muscat to London at the end of my trip to the Middle East an eight-hour flight onboard the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. 

Having flown on quite a few of the world’s top First Class carriers so far, with just a few more to go on my bucket list, I was especially curious how the more boutique experience on the Omani flag carrier’s most luxurious premium product would compare. 

In This Post

Oman Air First Class – Booking

I was able to book Oman Air First Class for 65,000 Aeroplan points as per Aeroplan’s “Within Atlantic zone” award chart, which I’d consider a pretty good deal for eight hours of First Class flying. 

Oman Air has recently become a new partner of Aeroplan, so Aeroplan points are definitely the best currency to use if you’re looking to book Oman Air First Class or business class en route to or from the Middle East. 

Oman Air First Class – Ground Experience

Prior to departing Muscat, Oman Air First Class passengers are eligible to access the Oman Air First Class Lounge, which is a magnificent space that’s absolutely worth setting aside a few hours to experience.

The interiors are inspired by Omani architecture, with chromatic gold details incorporated throughout, high ceilings, and velvet furnishing. The lounge is also considerably spacious for the relatively few First Class passengers who pass through, offering plenty of privacy and exclusivity as a result.

Oman Air First Class Lounge Muscat 

The dining services are also excellent, with à la carte table service and a visually impressive bar with an equally remarkable top-shelf liquor selection. Furthermore, service in the lounge is outstanding, and the staff are highly attentive due to the low number of guests in the lounge at once.

Oman Air First Class – Cabin

After finishing up lunch in the lounge, I was whisked away to the gate by an Oman Air representative, boarding the plane relatively late and just as the crew was preparing for takeoff.

Oman Air First Class – Jetway view

Still, I had a chance to admire the First Class cabin as I took my seat. Just like in the lounge, the cabin is decked out in a series of beautiful gold and grey hues, demonstrating great attention to detail throughout the cabin design. 

Oman Air First Class – Cabin

The decor embraces Omani heritage and national identity, such as the Islamic pointed arches set into the front wall surrounding the Oman Air logo, which is evocative of the Royal Opera House in the capital of Muscat. 

Traditional elements of the cabin are combined seamlessly with modern and sleek finishes, such as the metal seat numbers etched into the walls of each seat, to create a striking and beautiful look for the cabin overall. 

Oman Air First Class – Cabin

Oman Air First Class consists of eight First Class suites in a 1-2-1 configuration across two rows, each with direct aisle access. 

The suites feature sliding doors with ornate lattice work, which can be drawn closed for complete privacy. Meanwhile, the lie-flat bed is among the longest available on commercial airlines. 

Oman Air First Class – Seat 2A

Oman Air and Etihad Airways are two of the few airlines to install First Class within the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, so it’s a fairly narrow cabin compared to the flagship First Class products of other airlines on bigger aircraft. 

Oman Air First Class – Seat 2A

The middle seats might be best for couples travelling together who wish to interact throughout the flight. Meanwhile, the window seats are great for any situation, whether you’re flying solo or as a couple who just prefers to sit by the windows. 

Oman Air First Class – Seat

As there wasn’t much time between boarding the plane and taking off, I explored the Oman Air First Class seat features with a sense of urgency. 

Immediately as you take your seat, you’ll notice the 21-inch high-definition “Aria” entertainment screen located directly in front. Below the screen is an ottoman that’s equipped with a seat belt, meaning that it can serve as a buddy seat for dining or relaxing with a companion. 

Oman Air First Class – Entertainment screen and ottoman
Oman Air First Class – Ottoman

The ottoman can also be opened to store a small personal item or a backpack, as the airline had opted not to include overhead bins in the First Class cabin. For larger carry-ons, there is a separate compartment in the galley where the crew will help you keep your items.

Oman Air First Class – Ottoman storage

A literature pocket is found along the lower seat wall.

Oman Air First Class – Literature pocket

The seat wall extends into a small surface space, ideal for placing a drink during the flight without having to deploy the tray table.

A small indented nook houses the headphone kit, while a flap opens up to reveal the entertainment controller, which can be withdrawn and held in your hands.

Oman Air First Class – Seat console
Oman Air First Class – Entertainment controller

The seat controls are accessible via both a touch screen and a series of buttons which can be found near the armrest closest to the window. The electronic touch-screen controls are more advanced and let you fine-tune the seat positions to a very high level of granularity.

Oman Air First Class – Seat controls

The headphone jack and a USB port can be found just underneath the armrest, slightly hidden.

Oman Air First Class – Headphone jack and USB port

Finally, towards the base of the seat, you’ll find a relatively narrow but deep storage unit, which may be useful for keeping your tablet or laptop secured.

Oman Air First Class – Storage compartment

Meanwhile, located on the opposite seat wall is an air nozzle and a reading light, allowing you to adjust for lighting and temperature control within the suite.

Oman Air First Class – Air nozzle

Like most First Class seats, the tray table pops out of its holder from the side – a large and sturdy piece that can slide back and forth.

Oman Air First Class – Tray table

A snack bowl and a minibar with a few soft drinks are located at the far end of the suite, along with another little storage nook. Oman Air has very much taken a leaf out of their more established Middle Eastern airline peers, like Emirates and Etihad Airways, with their minibar offering.

Oman Air First Class – Snack bowl
Oman Air First Class – Minibar

The doors to the First Class suites slide shut to create a private space. These were locked in place for takeoff and landing, and can only be unlatched during the flight itself.

The doors are also manually adjusted, rather than electronically, and might require a bit of elbow grease to move them from their default stowed positions.

Oman Air First Class – Closed doors

The outer seat wall itself houses a vertical storage space, a convenient place to hang your street clothes after you change into your pajamas for the flight.

Oman Air First Class – Garment storage

Lastly, if you’re sitting in the middle seats, a divider between the seats can be brought up for added privacy in the event that you don’t know your seatmate.

Oman Air First Class – Middle seats, lowered divider
Oman Air First Class – Middle seats, raised divider

Oman Air First Class – Amenities

Oman Air offers a beautiful Amouage-branded bespoke amenity kit, wrapped in a sleek maroon coat of leather with a small gold Amouage tag embedded on the front. 

Oman Air First Class – Amenity kit

I was very impressed with how jam-packed the amenity kit was. Items included standard amenities like a silk eye mask, socks, earplugs, hairbrush, toothbrush, and mouthwash.

Plus, the amenity kit did a fine job of showcasing one of Oman’s top luxury brands, featuring high-end creams and moisturizers by Amouage along with their signature Dia Man fragrance in the male amenity kit. 

Oman Air First Class – Amenity kit contents

The menus provided were also presented in a leather-bound book, another elevated touch that carried through the deep brown colours and lattice-like motifs of the Oman Air First Class experience. 

Oman Air First Class – Menu
Oman Air First Class – Menu

The menu for the flight read as follows:

And the wine list read as follows:

I was told that pajamas were provided on request for this flight, and so naturally I requested one. However, a few other travellers who recently took Oman Air First Class said they were offered proactively.

Either way, the Oman Air pajamas are a soft, plush, and comfortable pair, with a distinctive colour scheme of navy and gold.

I continue to wear my Oman Air pajamas around the house these days, which is the true marker of an outstanding set of airline pajamas, though I’d note that they’ve shrunken quite a bit in the wash. 

Oman Air First Class – Pajamas

Oman Air First Class – Meal Service

After takeoff, I asked the crew to wait a little bit before taking my meal, because I had just eaten a big lunch in the lounge. Naturally, I still wanted to sample as wide a range of Oman Air’s onboard offerings as possible, so I wanted to give my stomach a few hours to digest first. 

The crew were of course more than happy to oblige. Oman Air First Class operates on a “dine on demand” concept, meaning that you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want.

Thus, I spent the first hour or so of the flight relaxing and filming some videos. Then, after a couple of hours, we started the meal service, which features a wide choice of Omani, Arabic, and international cuisines.

I kicked things off with an amuse bouche, a small and light smoked tuna dish with saffron labneh. I found it to be a tasty opener, albeit a little bit hard in texture. The presentation was undoubtedly visually pleasing, as were all the dishes that followed. 

Oman Air First Class – Amuse bouche

Next up, it was time for one of my favourite First Class rituals: caviar and champagne. Oman Air serves up Iranian Royal Beluga caviar in First Class, along with a customary mother-of-pearl spoon, a quintet of blinis, and a variety of accompaniments that’s among the most numerous I’ve seen alongside any caviar presentation. 

Oman Air First Class – Caviar

The Iranian caviar certainly packed a punch – it was strong and salty, with a slight sourness to it and a continually lingering aftertaste. The crème fraîche and lemon juice in particular certainly helped to balance out the intense flavours.

I went easy on the alcohol during the flight, mostly because I had drank up a storm in the lounge earlier. However, I naturally couldn’t resist a few glasses of Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé champagne to go with my caviar. 

Oman Air First Class – Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne

As a side note, I just love the plating style that Oman Air uses in First Class, with jagged brown lines cutting across the sparkling-white plateware that represents the Omani mountains. 

For my next appetizer, I ordered a helping of the red pepper tomato soup, a repeat order of what I had enjoyed in the lounge a few hours earlier. The croutons melted pretty much immediately, balancing out the bold pepper and tomato flavours and adding and a nice texture to the soup. 

Oman Air First Class – Red pepper tomato soup

After the flight attendants presented a dish, I was also quite impressed that they’d then come by with a pepper mill to taste. That’s a nice extra step that elevates the dining experience, which I haven’t encountered on many other airlines. 

My multi-course lunch would continue with a third appetizer of marinated poached prawns and stuffed squid with seafood – essentially a seafood medley, which is always something I’m excited for as an ardent seafood lover.

I thought this was a very creatively executed dish, and I loved the umami of the stuffed squid pieces in particular. Furthermore, I thought the jellied beets that were mixed in with the seafood were an intriguing concoction by the chef.

Oman Air First Class – Marinated prawns and stuffed squid appetizer

Eventually, I moved on to the main course. I would’ve asked the crew to see if I could have two main courses, but at this point, I could only realistically stomach one, so I went with the braised lamb shank with pearl onion gravy. 

Oman Air First Class – Braised lamb shank with pearl onion gravy

While still tasty, I’d say that the lamb didn’t quite meet my admittedly very lofty expectations. Lamb is one of the signature dishes in this part of the world, and I was expecting Oman’s national carrier to execute the dish near-perfectly.

Digging into the cuts of lamb, I thought the taste was absolutely there, but the texture was dry. Of course, it’s tricky to prepare lamb perfectly on a plane, but I recall Singapore Suites pulling it off on a flight a few years ago!

As a redeeming factor, the pearl onion gravy helped to balance out the dryness a little bit. Overall, I thought it was a great dish, but not the spectacular showing I was hoping for. 

Finally, the meal service was concluded with a coconut mousse cake with mango sauce. I love both coconut and mango, and I thought this was a superb Southeast Asian-inspired dessert to wrap up the meal.

Oman Air First Class – Coconut mousse cake with mango sauce

I’ll share a few thoughts on the service flow during the meal service and the flight itself. Oman Air’s service was enthusiastic, friendly, and personable; however, that enthusiasm perhaps came at the cost of a level of professionalism.

I certainly felt that the service culture was more casual than some other airlines around the world, such as the leading Asian carriers or perhaps Etihad Airways, where service is carried out with the utmost professionalism and delivered in a unified and polished style by the entire crew.

This isn’t necessarily a negative remark about the Oman Air crew’s service; instead, it’s simply something to consider if you have a personal preference about onboard service in First Class. 

I also appreciated the flight crew taking great interest in my photography and videography. They were keen to impress and be involved – for example, by happily holding up the champagne bottle and show it to me while I took photos and videos.

Oman Air First Class – Wi-Fi

Prior to takeoff, I was provided with a complimentary Wi-Fi code in an envelope, which is a courtesy that Oman Air extends to First Class passengers. However, rather disappointingly, the free Wi-Fi was limited to only 100 megabytes, and the crew declined my request when I asked if it was possible to get another code. 

Oman Air First Class – Wi-Fi envelope

Oman Air’s paid Wi-Fi offerings are also rather expensive, with relatively stingy data caps. A full flight pass costs US$39.90, and still only offers 150 megabytes of data.

Faced with a poor selection, I simply purchased a 5 MB plan for US$4.00 to send off a few messages, and then worked offline for the rest of the flight. 

Oman Air’s onboard Wi-Fi is a weakness of their product, in my view, and the airline would do well to offer more generous plans as a differentiating factor to the competition.

Oman Air First Class – Entertainment

Navigating through the 21-inch “Aria” entertainment system, I found a variety of movies and TV shows to pick from. The movies included a wide range of recent releases, while the TV shows had a variety of genres on offer.

Oman Air First Class – Movie selection
Oman Air First Class – Movie selection
Oman Air First Class – TV selection

As per usual, I opted to tune in to the airshow for most of the flight, which uses the Panasonic system. 

Oman Air First Class – Airshow

Oman Air First Class – Bed

Oman Air offers a dedicated restroom for First Class passengers at the front of the cabin, housed in a unit in the very middle of the galley space in the Boeing 787’s nose. The restroom was a nice size given the more limited space constraints on the 787, and was fitted with Amouage amenities, cologne, and hand lotion.

Oman Air First Class – Restroom
Oman Air First Class – Restroom amenities

This daytime flight from Muscat to London wasn’t long enough to need a full night’s rest, and Oman Air doesn’t actually operate any flights of a longer duration.

With that being said, a long and wide lie-flat bed is still a welcome luxury for Oman Air First Class passengers, whether it’s to sneak in a quick nap on a daytime flight or sleep for most of the journey on an overnight service. 

Oman Air First Class – Bed
Oman Air First Class – Bed

The seat can be converted into lie-flat mode using the touch-screen controls or the analog buttons, and the crew was also available to assist for turndown service. Additionally, the raised partitions for middle seats and the manually operated doors at every suite create complete privacy around your sleeping quarters. 

I enjoyed wrapping up this very pleasant eight-hour journey by lying down, relaxing, and nursing my food coma for the last half-hour or so as we approached London.

Oman Air First Class – Views upon descent into London

Conclusion

Not quite among the world’s absolute best, but comfortably in the second tier just behind them, Oman Air First Class is very much worth trying out now that it’s an easily accessible Aeroplan reward if you’re headed to the Middle East.

Oman Air combines an excellent ground experience with luxurious First Class suites, strong onboard catering, a distinctively friendly service style, and a wide range of amenities.

The emphasis on Omani national identity throughout all parts of the First Class experience is particularly admirable, from the cabin finishes inspired by Oman’s landscapes, to the visual elements evoking Islamic architecture, right down to the plateware motifs inspired by the country’s dramatic mountain landscapes. 

No effort has been spared to offer an extremely well-rounded flying experience, and I’d say that the airline only needs a handful more improvements in certain areas – and most notably, a beefier route network – to truly compete with the world’s best. 

Indeed, I do wish that Oman Air would consider launching some longer routes in the future, perhaps to North America, in order to bring its top-tier offering to a wider range of travellers. For now, you’ll find this boutique carrier delivering an outstanding First Class experience on any journey to, from, or through its little slice of the Gulf. 

3 Comments
  1. Timbo2

    Only one main course ??? your slipping…

  2. iv

    Thanks for the review. Were you able to do seat selection prior to the flight? I’ve had no luck on their website.

    1. Geoff

      I have the same question, also been trying to select seat from their website for the business class flight I booked using my Aeroplan points.

Your email address will not be published.

Have an Account? Click here to Login

Shopping cart
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping