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Oman Air First Class Suite reviewed, London Heathrow to Muscat (Part 1)

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This is our review of Oman Air First Class on the Boeing 787-9, between London Heathrow and Muscat.

This review is part of our series on my recent review trip to Oman as a guest of Oman Air and the Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz Carlton Hotel in Muscat.  My flights and hotel were complimentary but HFP paid for its own incidental costs. If you are not familiar with Oman you can read our overview here to set the scene.

My review of the Gulf Air lounge in Heathrow Terminal 4 – which is the one used by Oman Air – is here.

Oman Air has a special page on its website dedicated to the Boeing 787-9 First Class Suite which you can find here.

Oman Air Boeing 787-9 review

Overview

Oman Air flies twice a day between London Heathrow and Muscat.  The morning flight leaves London at 8.25am, arriving at 6.50pm.  The overnight flight leaves at 8.50pm, arriving at 7.15am the following day.

I went for the day flight in order to experience as much of the service as possible.

It is worth noting that, whilst I flew during Ramadan, Oman Air was offering a full service including in-flight alcohol.  The only obvious impact of Ramadan was the very lightly loaded cabin – I had First Class to myself – because travel falls away sharply during this period.

Whilst Oman Air also flies from Manchester to Muscat, this service is on a Boeing 787-8 and does not have First Class.

Review Oman Air First Class Suite Boeing 787-9 London to Muscat

Oman Air First Class on a Boeing 787-9

Not many people will ever get to fly the Oman Air First Class Suite.  The product I am reviewing is only used on the two planes which serve one route – Muscat to London.  That’s it.

The rest of the Boeing 787-8/9 fleet is two class.  A poorer First Class seat exists on some older A330 aircraft but this is in the process of being phased out, I believe.

Oman Air First Class comprises of just eight suites, so there are just 16 suites in the entire fleet!   SeatGuru quotes an 80-82 inch seat pitch, a 76 inch bed length and 30 inch seat width, although you shouldn’t read too much into these numbers.  Just accept that it will be more than big enough!

Here is a seat map from SeatGuru:

Review Oman Air First Class Suite Boeing 787-9 London to Muscat

As I had the whole cabin to myself, there was obviously little noise or disruption in the cabin at any point.  In general, you might prefer Row 2 because you are further away from the galley and loos.  All suites have direct aisle access, of course.

My suite

The cabin photo higher up this page is a generic PR photo.  I have dropped a few of these into the review because they give a different impression to my own images.

I was in 1A.

The first impression was an interesting one – the cabin has no overhead bins.  None.

A lot of airlines have removed overhead bins from the middle of their cabins, because it makes the cabin feel more spacious.  I don’t remember seeing a cabin which has removed them entirely.  Your hand baggage can be placed in a storage unit under the foot stool or stowed by the crew.

It is a very stylish aircraft.  The colour scheme is not dissimilar to the one that Virgin Atlantic is going to be using on its A350 aircraft, with a lot of warm tones.  Business Class gets the full effect, with First Class being more muted with a stronger use of brown and cream.

With just two rows of suites, you are not short of windows.  I had three.

Around your Oman Air First Class Suite

Your suite has a door.  The design is interesting, feature a traditional Omani lattice look which allows sunlight to stream through when the cabin windows are open.

As with the Qatar Airways Qsuite and the forthcoming British Airways Club Suite – both of which are Business Class products – the door is not full height.  This is not the new Emirates 777 suite, where you are fully hidden away from the world.   It does appear to be higher than the BA and Qatar Airways suite doors.

The door gives you additional privacy when sleeping, although anyone walking down the cabin can see you over the top.  If you are sat in the middle pair of seats, there is a full width divider separating the two seats so that you can get the same level of privacy.

I kept my door open, except when I was filming it for our video – see here.

The PR picture below gives a slightly false impression before the door looks full height, which it isn’t.

Review Oman Air First Class Suite Boeing 787-9 London to Muscat

Let’s take a tour of the suite

Here is a view of the middle pair, with the central divider down:

Review Oman Air First Class Suite Boeing 787-9 London to Muscat

and from the other direction:

Review Oman Air First Class Suite Boeing 787-9 London to Muscat

The 787-9 is a relatively narrow aircraft and the aisle seemed a little tight.  All of the food was hand delivered from the galley, although as I was the only passenger this may have been purely for convenience.

Let’s take a look at my window seat.  You can see:

  • to the far right, a (closed) wardrobe for a jacket
  • to the far left (opened unit) a small minibar of soft drinks
  • the IFE screen

Review Oman Air First Class Suite Boeing 787-9 London to Muscat

Here is a view in the other direction – what you can’t see is the felt-like finish on the walls of the suite which as well as being cosy probably helps with sound insulation:

Review Oman Air First Class Suite Boeing 787-9 London to Muscat

The next photo is looking forward when seated.  Note the impressive imagery on the TV screen, which did add something to the feel of the cabin.  The foot rest can act as a buddy seat if you want to dine with your partner or a colleague.

The foot rest flips up to provide storage space for your hand luggage if you want to keep it with you, given the lack of overhead bins.

Review Oman Air First Class Suite Boeing 787-9 London to Muscat

This shot shows the ‘1A’ numbering, the catch to latch and unlatch the door and the closed wardrobe:

Review Oman Air First Class Suite Boeing 787-9 London to Muscat

Here is the minibar and a small storage area close-up:

Review Oman Air First Class Suite Boeing 787-9 London to Muscat

This image shows how narrow the aisle is:

Review Oman Air First Class Suite Boeing 787-9 London to Muscat

This view is from my seat, looking across the centre pair towards the single suite on the far side of the cabin.  All doors are open and the divider is down:

Review Oman Air First Class Suite Boeing 787-9 London to Muscat

Making the seat into a bed

I wasn’t keen to sleep as it was a morning flight.  However, the crew generously agreed to make up a bed on the seat adjacent to mine so I could try it out.  See:

Review Oman Air First Class Suite Boeing 787-9 London to Muscat

and

Review Oman Air First Class Suite Boeing 787-9 London to Muscat

Despite my 6’2′ frame I was happy with the length of the bed.  Your feet are free and not tucked in a cubby hole, which will come as good news to the people who find that layout impractical.

Oman Air First Class amenity kit

Whilst this was a day flight, a full amenity kit was provided.  This was branded Amouage and came in a leather bag.

I had only ever seen Amouage at Jumeirah properties in Dubai and assumed it was a house brand.  I was wrong.  It turns out that Amouage is a very successful Oman-based business.  Not only does Oman Air offer it but there was a large Amouage boutique at the Al Bustan Palace hotel and in Muscat Airport.

Oman Air First Class amenity kit Amouage

The contents were relatively standard although the containers were larger than average – especially the EDT – and will keep me going for a few trips in the future!  You got a moisturiser, hand and body lotion, lip balm, Colgate mouth wash, EDT spray, razor, shaving cream, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, a comb, socks, earplugs and an eyemask.

In terms of bag design – and I have both bags sitting in the office as I type – the burgundy one I got in Business Class on the return trip is more to my taste but both are very smart indeed.

Navy pyjamas were also provided.  I didn’t wear them on the flight but I did use them in the hotel and they fitted well.

I didn’t take any photographs of the loo, but it is noticeably larger than you would expect – although clearly not in the same league as the combo shower / loos found on some A380 aircraft.  The loo is a Japanese-style one that can act as a bidet if required!

Coming up in Part 2 ….

This is the end of Part 1. Part 2 of our Oman Air First Class review can be found here and looks primarily at the food and drink available.  It is also contains a short video (the video can also be watched on our YouTube channel by clicking here).

You can find out more about Oman Air’s First Class Suite on its website here.

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Oman Air First Class Suite reviewed, London Heathrow to Muscat (Part 2)
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Comments

  1. Eric the Half a Bee says:

    Pedant alert – only EK new F is fully enclosed, SQ new F is still open at the top.

  2. Shoestring says:

    not sure I like the idea of a built-in bidet! so it’s a combined lavatory bowl and bidet?

    • Jonathan says:

      I assume Rob means a Japanese style toilet seat? I seem to recall JAL have them onboard as well.

    • Lady London says:

      Yes. The loo in my bathroom in Kyoto “surprised” me with that. Spraying toilets were also accidentally “found” in a couple of disabled loos in Austria! If it was private, i might be a fan. But not if it’s not just “mine”.

  3. Got to love a EDT, almost finished the DG from Qatar’s old amenity kit. Have they all been completely rolled out?

    • Nick_C says:

      I remember on ANZ 35 years ago, they had Burberry Cologne in the lavatories in Economy. And very nice it was too. I switched to it for about 10 years. I’m surprised more product placement deals aren’t done.

    • Andrew says:

      Although to note that Amouage doesn’t make EDT but rather EDP which is stronger and lasts longer. It’s also significantly more expensive than Armani – they have a concession in Harrods and 100ml is just north of £200.

  4. James S says:

    OT – I bought some more Iberia Avios via groupon deal which are showing in the Iberia account now.
    I do not have the option to combine via the Iberia page, and when I try to combine via Exec Club I get the following appear:

    *********
    – Which way do you want to move Avios?
    You can only move Avios from British Airways to Iberia Plus – you cannot move your Avios back again.
    – British Airways to Iberia Plus

    **********
    The account is over 90 days old as I have bought and transferred Avios in this way before (showing in history).

    Has anyone else had issues with combining?

    • Shoestring says:

      Only about a million of us!

      You need to move them IB to avios.com to BAEC

      This probably means opening a new avios.com account

      • James S says:

        Perfect thanks!

        I already had the avios account but thought it was obsolete in honesty.

      • I’m really confused about avios.com! If you can open a new account, how come they closed them all and moved us to BA?

        • Shoestring says:

          I think in practical terms you would join AerClub or Vueling Club – I haven’t bothered yet (my free 500 Avios never materialised when I tried to join AerClub). My wife can do direct points transfers IB—>BAEC. I can’t, so it might turn out I need to start up a new avios.com a/c but I’ve currently only got 1000 points sitting in IB so just not bothered.

          The avios.com a/cs that got closed were meant to simplify things/ cut out duplication https://www.avios.com/gb/en_gb/about-us/avios-travel-rewards-programme-is-changing?from=contactus#faqs

        • They didn’t. They closed Avios Travel Rewards Programme, which used avios.com for transactions.

          Think of it like a ‘third party seller’ on Amazon. Amazon remains whilst the third party sellers come and go.

  5. AmandaB says:

    Sadly when Oman air goes wrong they are dreadful. They forget how to speak English, promise they will help and then don’t, and pass you from pillar to post laughing behind your back in Arabic. I will NEVER fly with them again.
    A shockingly bad experience

    • mvcvz says:

      To be fair, that’s not dissimilar to BA.

    • Alex M says:

      I wonder how laughing in Arabic is different to laughing in let’s say German? :-/

      • Shoestring says:

        hhhhhhhhhh vs your pick of hey, hee, ha, ho and hoo

        A Prussian, a Bavarian and a Swabian are sitting together drinking beer. A fly falls into each one’s mug. The Prussian pours away his beer with the fly and orders a new beer. The Bavarian picks the fly out of his mug with his fingers and continues drinking. The Swabian picks out the fly and then forces it to spit out the beer it has drunk. Hee hee, hee, hoo, hoo!

        • Alex M says:

          in my culture it were Englishman, Scot and Irishman.

          • Shoestring says:

            for an insight into the unique German sense of humour, you have to watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1v4BYV-YvA and realise that this is an essential part of the New Year rituals for most Germans (don’t worry, it’s in English). Thigh slapping stuff – must be fun in the Raffles family come midnight December 31st 🙂

        • Alex M says:

          I watched the video – that’s exactly how imagine Raffle’s dining room in his Kensington den.

  6. Lady London says:

    Pretty sure Amouage used to have a shop opposite Selfridges. That’s also practically opposite the main Marks & Spencer branch at Marble Arch that used to be such a draw for shoppers from thé Middle East.

    The Amouage store was always packed. Various Oud perfumes seemed to be a specialty.

    • There was a shop called Arabian Oud opposite Selfridges. Never went in so no idea if Amouage was running it.

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