Oman Air Swaps My Plane Swap: What An Journey

I’m at the moment in the course of a assessment journey to Oman, and my major motivation for taking this journey was flying Oman Air’s distinctive Airbus A330 first-class from Muscat to Frankfurt. As I’ve written about, a day previous to my flight, I observed that my aircraft was scheduled to be operated by an Airbus A330 with out first-class. I used to be curious how the airline would deal with it, so right here’s the replace…

Oman Air swapped my flight to yet one more sort of A330

Initially, my flight was imagined to be operated by one among Oman Air’s epic retro A330-300s, that includes a six-seat first-class cabin with a sofa within the center. It’s such a cool product, and a throwback to a unique period.

Retro Oman Air A330 first-class

Once I observed that the flight not had first-class, the seat map mirrored that the airline had swapped the flight to an A330-200 with the service’s retro enterprise class, in a 1-2-1 configuration.

Retro Oman Air A330 enterprise class

I used to be enthusiastic about this, and seen this as a comfort prize, as a result of this can be a distinctive enterprise class product that’s surprisingly nice, and which you gained’t discover on another airline. 

Nicely, a number of hours later, there was one other replace — the airline swapped the flight to an A330-200 that includes the service’s new(ish) Apex Suites, which is in a 2-2-2 configuration.

New(ish) Oman Air A330 enterprise class

I used to be bummed to see this, since I simply arrived in Muscat having flown Oman Air’s Boeing 787 enterprise class, additionally that includes Apex Suites.

Oman Air positive takes an fascinating method to plane scheduling. I can’t assist however surprise if the service’s operations crew simply performs darts each morning to determine the place to ship every aircraft, or…?

My Oman Air floor expertise in Muscat

Since Oman Air hadn’t reached out to me relating to being downgraded from first-class, I used to be curious to see how the airline would deal with this on the airport. Would the airline acknowledge what occurred and attempt to do one thing to make it proper?

Upon arrival in Muscat, I headed to the Oman Air First & Enterprise Lounge with my enterprise class boarding cross (which I managed to print by means of on-line check-in). I defined to the pleasant brokers that I used to be booked in first-class, however had seemingly been downgraded.

Oman Air First & Enterprise Lounge Muscat

They have been completely confused, however after exhibiting them my ticket affirmation, they did certainly acknowledge that I used to be downgraded. To the service’s credit score, the lounge employees proactively invited me to make use of the primary class lounge in the course of my keep, and even provided to escort me to the gate. Evidently that is customary within the case of downgrades, since an OMAAT reader who was just lately downgraded on the identical route skilled this as nicely.

I’ll have a full assessment of the Oman Air First Lounge quickly, nevertheless it positive is sweet and unusual. I imply, it has round 75 seats, but I used to be the one passenger there for seven hours. I don’t know why Oman Air has first-class, however I’m not complaining. Given the dimensions and full underutilization of the lounge, right here’s to hoping the airline permits oneworld Emerald members into the lounge when the airline joins the oneworld alliance quickly. Anyway, let’s not get sidetracked…

Oman Air First Lounge Muscat

About 4 hours into my layover within the lounge, a supervisor got here to satisfy me. I’d assume she had been made conscious of my put up. She was very good and apologetic, defined that the swap was for “operational causes,” and inspired me to achieve out to my preliminary reserving supply for a refund on the distinction in price between first and enterprise class.

Our interplay was temporary. I simply thanked her for reaching out, and instructed her that I used to be a bit disenchanted as a result of I used to be so trying ahead to experiencing that product, and that I take pleasure in flying with Oman Air. I defined it wasn’t her fault, although, and that I used to be positive I’d nonetheless have an excellent flight.

Humorous sufficient, she responded to that with “you might be very good, I assumed you’d be extra indignant.” Hah. Whereas I share my experiences on the weblog (each optimistic and unfavorable), I’m not going to stroll round with a chip on my shoulder or take out any unhappiness with airline employees over what occurred.

My takeaway from this plane swap…

Clearly I’m disenchanted that I didn’t get to expertise my “dream sofa,” however this doesn’t materially change my opinion of Oman Air. Relatively I’ve three foremost takeaways from this.

To start with, there’s a lesson for me to be taught right here as a shopper. Oman Air swaps these planes round far more typically than it ought to, and I must plan and set my expectations accordingly sooner or later. Now, I’m nonetheless decided to fly this A330 first-class product, so I could find yourself having one other “swing and a miss.” However I’ll additionally attempt to pad my schedule a bit extra subsequent time, in order that I can change round my itinerary final minute if want be.

Second of all, even the world’s prime airways don’t often present good service on the bottom. Throughout irregular operations, there’s not an airline on the planet I can consider that constantly does proper by clients. Whereas I do assume Oman Air ought to do higher, different airways would attempt to get away with the identical. Maybe the takeaway subsequent time is to as a substitute fly a route departing the European Union, the place I’d legally be entitled to compensation in a state of affairs like this.

Final however not least, I’m at the very least happy that the lounge employees proactively provided me entry to the Oman Air First Lounge in the course of my keep. They clearly didn’t learn about my state of affairs, since they have been caught off guard by my downgrade, however they supplied me entry to the lounge with out me even having to ask.

That’s the way it ought to be, however I might additionally see a situation the place the frontline brokers aren’t even empowered to try this, and simply say “you may have a enterprise class boarding cross, too unhealthy.” So it might have been worse, in that sense…

Subsequent time I’ll have extra flexibility…

Backside line

Whereas my Oman Air journey hasn’t precisely performed out as I hoped, that’s life typically, and I’ve nonetheless had plenty of enjoyable. Oman Air swapped my flight kind a retro A330 with first-class, to a retro A330 with out first-class, to a “new” A330 with out first-class. So sadly I simply obtained two back-to-back flights with Apex Suites.

I had a stunning layover in Muscat on the Oman Air First Lounge. Sadly issues utterly modified once I boarded my flight to Frankfurt, which was a catastrophe. Keep tuned…

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