This trip was part of my Phuket, Thailand itinerary from late December 2022 to early January 2023. There were a total of eight flights and one train ride, which made this an eventful trip, to say the least.
After experiencing JAL First Class in December, I was extremely excited to experience Oman Air first class to see how it compares. I struck gold and found an excellent deal for my return from Thailand.
This time around, it was Oman Air in First Class from Bangkok BKK to Frankfurt FRA via Muscat MCT. What’s more, This routing was perfectly timed with my connection on Delta to JFK and made my return from across the globe extremely efficient.
As a bonus heading westbound also gave slightly longer flight times, and having read many other reviews on the Oman Air First Class experience, I was very interested in maximizing opportunities to try the food and experience the range of services.
Due to the length, I will split this review into two articles. One covers the journey from Thailand to Oman, and then one covering the trip from Oman to Germany. Obviously, the fabulous lounge in Muscat will also get its own review.
Booking A Oman Air First-Class Ticket
This trip was a steal, and I ended up handing over only 100,000 Air Canada Points plus C$100 in taxes and fees. That was outstanding value for 13.5 hours of flight time in first class, plus experiencing plenty of time in the Muscat First-Class lounge. I must confess that I thought this was one hell of a deal!
I did have an alternate route on offer. Direct from Phuket (HKT) to Muscat (MCT) and then connecting to Etihad to Abu Dhabi (AUH) and onwards to Washington IAD. Unfortunately, I missed the Aeroplan booking window for this, even though it was equally efficient in getting me back to the USA.
I must say that I really like the flexibility of Air Canada Aeroplan for points bookings. In the end, I booked my trip about four weeks before the flight.
Interestingly, I was originally going to take the Oman Air routing FROM Frankfurt To Bangkok in late December. However, I changed my itinerary when I saw the same route open up in reverse just two weeks before my trip, given that the westbound had longer flight times. Heading the other way meant I would get more time to sample the delights of Oman Air on my trip.
The only odd thing about the booking was selecting my flight seats. I ended up calling Oman Air to do this, Although it must be said the phone service was awesome from Oman Air. They were Incredibly efficient and professional, and the wait time was less than a minute. I was able to complete my seat changes within five minutes.
The Ground Experience In Bangkok
My positioning flight to Bangkok from Phuket didn’t work out too well this time. I took a last-minute flight from HKT to DMK, Bangkok’s second airport, and I had prearranged an airport transfer. However, I got unlucky; the first flight was delayed by about an hour. This meant my planned transfer went from 2h50 m to just 1h50 m, not including either luggage delivery or the transfer service itself.
To make matters worse, I also had to check in a bag since Lion Air only allows 1x carry-on. This was unfortunate, and I lost another 15 minutes waiting for the bag to arrive at the belt. Building up on my misfortune, the traffic congestion delayed my transfer. The airport transfer took 15 minutes to arrive instead of 5 minutes or less.
By the time I got in the car it was already 18:35! The drive time to BKK was 35 minutes, meaning a 19:05 arrival for an international flight scheduled at 20:05; I was cutting it very close indeed.
On the flip side, I didn’t have any checked bags, so I only had to pass through security and immigration and then head to the gate. I boarded my flight around 7:30 pm, which was not long at all. Considering the desk closes at 7:55 pm!
Sadly there was no time to check out the Oman Air Lounge in BKK Airport or much else, and the whole experience was rushed and hectic.
Oman Air First Class Check In
Online check-in was very easy and began 48 hours prior to departure. I did this immediately once I saw an email prompting me to check in online.
Due to my late arrival at Bangkok Airport, I did not have a chance to try the check-in at BKK. I went straight to security and then thru immigration. Obviously, Oman Air First has access through the priority security at BKK. This proved incredibly quick and convenient, and I probably would have missed my flight had this not gone quickly.
Once through, I briskly walked and sometimes ran to the gate. It is approximately a 9-minute walk from the Premium Security Exit to the Oman Air Gate E9.
The Oman Air First Class Lounge and Boarding
Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to try the Oman Air Lounge at BKK. One day on a future trip, I’ll certainly try this and post up a review of how it stacks up against other lounges like the JAL first-class lounge.
Oman Air First Class Boarding
Today Oman Air was using gate E9 located at the end of the E Pier. On the plus side, while a distant gate is not ideal, it did make for a nice quick tour of BKK Airport, which looks as good as any in Asia!
I was one of the last to board this aircraft since I arrived for the 20:05 flight at a timely 19:45!! Wow, so close. I was definitely cutting it too close for comfort. However, I’m super grateful that I did not miss this flight. It absolutely helped to have an online Check-In and only carry-on baggage.
I was impressed that immediately upon boarding, the crew greeted me with, “Mr. Dadi, we have been waiting for you.” This was my first witness to the incredibly personalized service of Oman Air, which continued through the remainder of my entire journey with them.
Oman Air First Class Cabin and Seat
The Oman Air First Class Cabin is beautiful. It is well appointed, and being on a new aircraft, and everything screams “I am new,” not to mention elegant.
I did note that the hard product on Oman Air seemed to be very similar, perhaps next-generation version of the Japan Air Lines B773 First Class seat I flew several weeks earlier.
Oman Air First Class Seat 2A
The Oman Air seat is almost the perfect seat and features the following:
- The Oman Air seat is almost the perfect seat and features the fowling:
- Spacious leg room.
- A front Ottoman storage compartment that doubles as an extra seat in flight, so you can dine with your travel mate on Oman Air using this Ottoman.
- Additional storage on the opposite corner of the seat which also has some complimentary beverages, two sodas, and bottled water.
- A storage compartment on the side panel, which also has a large fold-out table.
- Two different touch displays for IFE and seat controls.
- An additional large side panel storage, with power and USB ports.
- Ambient personal cabin lighting that is dimmable
- Individual Air Nozzle and Reading light, I’ve never seen a seat with this, but it’s right up by your face on the side of the Suite panel, very unique and personalized design.
- Pull-out coat storage on the door panel.
- A full panel door that closes shut, giving incredible privacy at the seat.
The Oman Air First Class Amenity Kit
Oman Air offers an Amouage amenity kit to its first-class passengers. It is full of a broad array of very useful toiletries. I thought the contents and the amenity kit were high quality, and since I had two flights, I ended up with two of these. Kudos to Oman Air for making these useful and memorable.
- Lip Balm
- Hand and Body Lotion
- Eye Mask
- Ear Plugs
- Hand Sanitizer
The Inflight Entertainment & Wifi
The Oman Air first-class IFE system was pretty impressive. The screen is large, and there are many different ways to control the interface. Two touch screens (one pulls out) on the side panel and the touch screen TV itself.
Oman Air also provides a set of solid noise-canceling headphones. I did not try these.
I mostly used the IFE system to learn about Oman culture. A whole tab and section covers different sights to see in Oman and includes pretty spectacular photography. After viewing it, Oman is definitely a place I’d like to visit.
Oman Air First Class Wifi
The lead flight attendant came to me after our take-off and personally offered me a wifi voucher. The presentation was quite classy. First, he sat on a single knee and told me a bit about the flight, and then offered the voucher as a letter in an Oman Air envelope.
Unfortunately, I learned it was only free for 100MB of use. Oman Air does offer a full range of wifi services, but all are paid, which is very disappointing for First Class. What was actually a bit shocking was the price for a full flight pass $39.90! That means if I opted for wifi connectivity on both my flights, it would be almost $80! That’s pretty outrageous, honestly. Even a three-hour pass is $24.90, and one hour starts at $11.90.
I opted to save this first voucher and would use it on my second flight, where I also received a second one. Together, I used the vouchers for some messaging and light web surfing, which lasted about two hours.
The Oman Air pre-flight ground experience is phenomenal; I had a truly welcoming and pleasant crew on both flights, perhaps with a slight preference for the first flight.
First, the crew came around to offer warm nuts and a fresh hot towel and introduce themselves. Then we received our choice of pre-departure drinks. I opted for an Orange Juice drink over Ginger Juice.
Then the flight attendant came by to personally hand over both the Amenity Kit as well as the flight menus.
Finally, after we had already departed the gate for the runway, another flight attendant came by to offer Arabic Coffee and a Date. This was not collected before take-off, allowing more time to enjoy it. I loved the coffee and the date – so tasty!
Seriously impressive service by Oman Air!
Oman Air First Class Meal Service
I switched things around a little when it came to eating and sleeping on these flights. On my first flight from Bangkok to Muscat, I opted to eat first and sleep later. On the second flight, I did the reverse and slept prior to landing. I did this to space out my meals and allow time to try more food on the full journey.
The meal service began in the cabin about 15 minutes after take-off.
The Oman Air flight experience is a journey through food – which tends to be incredibly delicious and served perfectly. If you have the chance to try the carrier, try not to eat too much before your flight so that you can savor all the different cuisines and options available to FC passengers.
My absolute favorite feature was the Caviar, which was served with many equally soft and tasty accompaniments.
The wine and drinks menu is exquisite, and I tried a sampling of red wines through my flights. Unfortunately, I neglected to try the champagne on either of my flights, of which Oman Air has a very impressive collection.
One really odd thing I also experienced on my second flight is that Oman Air is quite stingy about passengers taking the menus from the FC cabin. Unfortunately, even though I asked twice on my first flight, I wasn’t allowed to keep the (paper) menus, which was very odd. It’s possible they could have been confusing it with the leather cover booklet, which is obviously far different than the paper menu.
After the meal, I opted to catch a few hours of sleep, I asked for turndown service, and I recall that the flight attendant pulled out the bedding materials but didn’t actually set them up for me, which was a little odd. In the end, I had to set up the bed myself.
The bedding materials are stored in the “ottoman” across the first class seat and include a thin bedding pad, a blanket, and a comforter. The materials are comfortable.
For sleeping, the Oman Air suite is awesome, the door closes, and you can turn off the dim lights from the side panel – you can have a very private and comfortable sleeping experience. Both my flights were very comfortable in this regard.
Arrival at Muscat MCT
About 30 minutes before landing, the First Officer came on the PA and greeted us (in Arabic and English), advising our arrival time of 11 pm, which is a couple of minutes early. The approach and landing were uneventful, and before you knew it, we were on the ground, at the gate, and off the aircraft.
The transfer process at MCT was just as easy as when I used Salam Air. You quickly navigate the lower floor of the airport to the central “meeting point” where the three airport wings meet. Proceed through Customs/Immigration, or you can proceed through to the Transfer Desk and thru Transfer Security.
This time, I found the transfer desk to be full. I’ll also note some staff were upset that I was taking a picture of this area; you can see for yourself below if I took something offensive. I just want to show the range of airlines available at this desk. Note that not all airlines are staffed at the transfer desk, so it’s important to check this carefully if you are doing self-transfers in Muscat.
Muscat airport is both beautiful and highly efficient for transfers. Security is exceptionally efficient.
After a quick security check, I made my way to the upper levels to the Oman Air Lounges to wait for my connecting flight to Frankfurt.
So far, on the first leg of my trip, I am more than impressed with the Oman Air first class experience. However, not everything is truly outstanding; hopefully, things will get even better on the next leg. One thing to keep in mind, though, is I find paying for wifi on a transcontinental first class unforgivable!
- So much food!! Dine on Demand with many, many options.
- Caviar is a huge plus – I was lucky to have it twice.
- More personalized Ground Services with a dedicated Lounge.
- Brand new plane, with an excellent seat.
- Lots of privacy – both within the plane, as well as in the Lounges.
- Positive, very happy, and friendly crews & agents on all parts of the journey.
- Excellent Customer Service
- The aforementioned privacy – or lack of people – is a bit odd at times. It was most noticeable in the Oman Air First Class Lounge, where I was one of just three guests during the overnight bank.
- The Crew, Flight, and Ground Teams were extremely gratuitous and very caring, but there was an “oomf” X factor that was missing in the service (something I experienced on JAL).
- The Bathroom should be cleaned after every visit – this was a stand-out component of JAL, and was not done on either of my Oman Air flights. I also noticed that, unlike JAL, the flight attendants did not assist with taking your clothes before and handing them off after.
- Make-up of the bed – I had to do some things myself rather than them being done for me.
- Not able to take the food/wine menus. This was just odd on the first flight, but I did get permission on the second.
- Expensive wifi – unlike other First Class carriers, Oman Air still charges their premium customers for the internet. The 100 MB of free internet is limited in use, and to have full wifi on both flights would cost ~$80, which is pretty steep.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10