Oman Air was the airline that carried me on my final leg to Muscat back in 2011. I remember that day well, two things were notable: 1) I was served a hot sandwich on the 45 minute flight between Dubai and the capital. 2) My company failed to meet me at the airport for my midnight arrival and I was forced to sort myself out (nice company to work for, huh?).
Since that day I have always been fond of the national carrier and it seems other travelers share that same good experience as Oman Air has just won two awards at the World Travel Awards 2015: World’s Leading Economy Class 2015, and World’s Leading Airport Lounge – Business Class 2015.
Sadly, I cannot speak to you about the Business Class Lounge. I can say that Oman Air deserves the economy class award.
Last summer I was traveling in Europe and decided to book my flight with Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates. I mostly fly with Emirates Airlines to be honest, as they have the best flights to LA from Muscat. But, I booked Etihad because it was the cheapest flight and I thought, “How different can Etihad be from Emirates and Oman Air?”
Mostly it was a fine experience until returning to Muscat from Munich. The Oman Air flight from Munich was direct, while I would be transiting Abu Dhabi, strike one. It took 1.5 hours just to check-in and leave my bag, compared to Oman Air’s short line and electronic check-in machines, strike two. After boarding the plane I realized that all the Gulf National Locals, holidaying in Germany causing the delays at check-in with their oversized bags were nowhere to be found, strike three. It seemed that everybody was on Gulf Time and thought getting their VAT refund was more important than boarding the plane.
As you know, due to security concerns, the plane cannot depart with the luggage of missing passengers. So, Etihad staff just left the door open and welcomed everybody aboard no matter how late they were. I would have rather seen the staff close the door after 30 minutes of being late, gathered all the offending passengers’ luggage, and left it all behind.
To mock me, I watched out the window the direct Oman Air flight to Muscat, which was scheduled to leave 40 minutes after my Etihad flight, departed on time. I should have chosen more wisely.
Oman Air Press Release: Oman Air Scoops Two Titles At World Travel Awards 2015