This article looks at how to book Oman Air flights using frequent flyer miles.
In 2019 I did a trip to Oman, a country I had wanted to visit for some time, with Oman Air. I had planned to return with my family last October – I never got to visit any of the mountain resorts on my earlier visit – but, of course, coronavirus got in the way.
Whilst the country is now reopening, this will be a harder trip to rebook in 2021. British Airways has dropped its direct flights to Muscat. Any Avios trip is likely to involve buying a connnecting flight from Dubai or using Qatar Airways and changing in Doha.
There is an alternative, however.
How to book Oman Air with frequent flyer miles
If you want to try Oman Air‘s excellent product to Muscat – links to my reviews are at the bottom – you don’t have many options if you want to use miles.
Whilst Oman Air has dropped its Manchester route, it will continue to fly from London Heathrow to Muscat.
Oman Air is not in any major alliance
Oman Air is NOT in a major airline alliance. However, it does have one airline partnership which you can use – with Etihad Guest.
Here is the Oman Air redemption chart when you are paying with Etihad Guest miles – click here (PDF).
Scroll down to Muscat-London and you see:
Economy – 22,000 Etihad Guest miles each way
Business – 44,000 Etihad Guest miles each way
First – 80,000 Etihad Guest miles each way (but see below)
But there is a snag ….
Based on reports over the last year, it seems that Etihad Guest has stopped you being able to book Oman Air First Class.
So …. you need to ignore the reward chart on the Etihad Guest website. It seems that you can’t book First Class unless something has changed.
The good news ….
Business Class IS still bookable with Etihad Guest miles.
It seems that two Business Class seats are released per flight. Availability for Etihad Guest miles matches that shown on the Oman Air website if you create a Sinbad frequent flyer account and search for seats.
The taxes and charges for Business Class are around £325 return from Heathrow, which is excellent value compared to British Airways business class redemptions.
Amusingly, it is substantially cheaper to redeem Etihad Guest miles for a Business Class seat on Oman Air from London to Muscat (88,000 miles return) than to book on Etihad itself from London to Abu Dhabi (roughly 125,000 miles return).
Even if British Airways does resume flights to Muscat at some point in the next year or so, Oman Air via Etihad Guest is substantially cheaper than using Avios on British Airways. The BA route used to cost 100,000 Avios off-peak or 120,000 Avios peak plus £500+ of taxes and charges.
Earning Etihad Guest miles
Even if you do not have any Etihad Guest miles, you can get them by transferring American Express Membership Rewards points. Some options are at the bottom of this article.
Oman Air redemptions can also work for connecting to a BA flight
Whilst it is possible to redeem Etihad Guest miles to fly direct to Oman from London, it can also help with connections from British Airways.
Dubai to Muscat, for example, is just 3,000 miles each-way in Economy. This is using Etihad Guest miles to book Oman Air flights. It may be good value compared to paying cash if you are connecting from a BA flight to Dubai.
Some background reading ….
If you are not familiar with Oman you can read our overview here to set the scene.
More importantly, my review of Oman Air’s very impressive First Class Suite is here.
How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (May 2021)
Etihad Guest does not have a UK credit card. However, you can earn Etihad Guest miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards. These are:
- American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 20,000 Etihad Guest miles. This card is FREE for your first year and also comes with two free airport lounge passes.
- The Platinum Card from American Express (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 30,000 Etihad Guest miles
- American Express Rewards credit card (review here, apply here) – sign-up bonus of 5,000 Membership Rewards points converts into 5,000 Etihad Guest miles. This card is FREE for life.
Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Etihad Guest miles which is an attractive rate. The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Etihad Guest mile. The Gold card earns double points (2 per £1) on all flights you charge to it.
Etihad Guest is also a partner with the HSBC Premier Mastercard (0.5 miles per £1 spent) and HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard (1 mile per £1 spent).