Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How to book Oman Air flights using Etihad Guest miles, whilst we wait for it to join oneworld

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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 in 2020 – I never got to visit any of the mountain resorts on my review visit – but, of course, coronavirus got in the way.

Whilst Oman is now open to tourism again, 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.

How to book Oman Air with frequent flyer miles

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 continues to fly from London Heathrow to Muscat.

Oman Air is not in any major alliance – yet

In Spring 2024, Oman Air will join the oneworld airline alliance, alongside British Airways. The airline confirmed to us in a recent interview that this is on track. This will, in 2024, allow you to use Avios for Oman Air flights.

If you want to book Oman Air flights for miles today, you can’t use Avios. 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)
Oman Air First Class

But there is a snag ….

Etihad Guest has stopped you being able to book Oman Air First Class. The last online report I can find of this being possible via Etihad Guest is from 2019.

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.

How to book Oman Air with frequent flyer miles

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.

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, although this looks less likely now that Oman Air is joining oneworld, Oman Air via Etihad Guest would be substantially cheaper.  The BA route used to cost 100,000 Avios off-peak or 120,000 Avios peak.

Anecdotally, taxes and charges for Business Class appear to be around £700 return which is similar to British Airways levels to the Middle East.

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 at a 1:1 rate.

Cards which earn Membership Rewards points at 1 per £1 spent include:

Check the rules carefully to see if you qualify for any particular bonus. This HfP article explains the American Express sign-up bonus rules in more detail.

Redeeming Etihad Guest miles for Oman Air

Air Canada is also an option

It is worth flagging that Oman Air recently became a partner with Air Canada’s Aeroplan programme.

Even better:

  • reports suggest that Aeroplan members can book Oman Air First Class rewards
  • Air Canada does not add surcharges to redemption bookings so the taxes and charges required will be far lower than Etihad Guest wants
  • you can also book Air Canada partner redemptions online (Etihad Guest partner redemptions can only be booked via telephone and the quality of agents can be, ahem, variable)

The snag, of course, is that it is virtually impossible to earn Aeroplan miles in the UK at a decent rate. The best option is by converting Marriott Bonvoy points at 3:1, or converting American Express Membership Rewards points to Marriott Bonvoy at 2:3 and then onwards to Aeroplan at 3:1.

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.

Another option is flying from the UK to Doha, on BA or Qatar Airways, and then on to Muscat. You can redeem Qatar Privilege Club Avios for seats on Oman Air between Doha and Muscat – this is a slightly odd ‘one route’ partnership that the two airlines have. You can learn how to transfer Avios between the British Airways and Qatar Airways programmes in this article.

Some background reading ….

If you are not familiar with Oman you can read our overview here to set the scene.

My 2019 review of Oman Air’s very impressive First Class Suite is here.

My hotel stay, at the Al Bustan Palace, managed by The Ritz Carlton and bookable on Marriott Bonvoy points, is reviewed here

My review of the Oman Air business class lounge in Muscat is here. 

Finally, my 2019 review of Oman Air business class is here.


How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (January 2023)

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.

Cards earning Membership Rewards points include:

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.

Comments (11)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Sandgrounder says:

    Oman also have a very efficient status match programme, I joined Sindbad and emailed my Qatar gold membership card across at 8am one day last week, I was Sindbad gold by 11.30am.
    Sindbad (at) omanair.com
    You don’t get the upgrade vouchers with a status match though sadly.

  • Paul says:

    We’ve just come back from a week in Oman. Connected on BA via Dubai on the way out and Kuwait the way home (as that’s where availability was).

    Really enjoyed Oman and recommend the mountains. Had a great couple of days staying at the Alila on points.

  • R says:

    I can’t seem to find anything on Aeroplan, has anyone else seen?

    • kai says:

      Strange, I can’t see any availability either, must be a glitch as there were loads the last time I looked a couple of weeks ago. Much cheaper to book via Aeroplan and first class is available.

    • Paul says:

      Huh, yeah that’s annoying, I was looking last week and agree there was plenty via Aeroplan but can see nothing now. Is availability still there to redeem on Oman via other channels?

  • John T says:

    Rob and Rhys, you both use the phrase “of course” regularly on this site. For example, here Rob has said “of course, its virtually impossible to earn Aeroplan miles in the UK’.

    In Rhys’s Aerotel review yesterday he said “Of course, the highlight of the Aerotel (apart from having somewhere to crash) is the open-air pool and bar”.

    This comes across as condescending and unwelcoming to your readers – it’s as if you are saying ‘I can’t believe anyone would not know this’ and its almost beneath you to have to waste time typing it out.

    If all your readers knew everything you were writing about they would have no reason to read the site.

    Perhaps a little more humility in future?

    • Rob says:

      Fair point. We treat it as more of a figure of speech but I see where you’re coming from.

      We DO actually look for a level of existing knowledge from readers, and you wouldn’t like the way the site would need to be written if we didn’t. It’s about where you draw the line.

      • AliB says:

        Fair play to you for humouring this. I personally know nothing about Aeroplan but when you said “of course”, I used my brain to know this meant there were few options in the UK to earn Aeroplan miles and didn’t find it condescending or unwelcoming.. Maybe I’m just one of those old fashioned, types that doesn’t look for a reason to nitpick and complain unnecessarily. I commend myself

    • Mo says:

      Not that deep. Relax mate

  • Hardpack says:

    Ah, the good old days of AUH-MCT on BA First and return same evening

  • Robert says:

    Oman Air has been removed from Aeroplan for reasons unknown. When contacted, Aeroplan and Oman Air would not elaborate. This is as of 48 hours ago. Hopefully it gets resolved. I was in the middle of constructing a trip and need 1 more segment booked.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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