Introduction: It’s the most wonderful time of the year
A Tale of Two Lounges: SATS Premier T2 and the Qantas SIN Lounge
Malaysia Airlines B737 Business Class SIN-KUL
Malaysia Airlines Business Class Golden Lounge KUL
Malaysia Airlines A330 Business Class KUL-NRT
Japan Airlines Business Class Sakura Lounge NRT
Japan Airlines B77W Business Class NRT-LAX
The Westin LAX
The Westin Westminster
Aloft Boston Seaport
The Consolidated AA Domestic First Class Experience
American Airlines Flagship Lounge JFK
American Airlines B772 Business Class JFK-LHR
American Airlines Arrivals Lounge LHR
The Great Northern Hotel, London
Sheraton Grand Park Lane, London
Westin Paris Vendome
Courtyard by Marriott Madrid Princesa
Four Points by Sheraton Barcelona Diagonal
The Consolidated Intra-Europe Business Class Experience
Royal Air Maroc Business Class Lounge CMN
Royal Air Maroc B737 Business Class CMN-ACC
Ethiopian Airlines B787 Business Class ACC-ADD
Ethiopian Airlines Cloud 9 Business Class Lounge ADD
Ethiopian Airlines Q400 Business Class ADD-DAR
Protea Hotel by Marriott Dar Es Salaam Courtyard
Qatar Airways A320 Business Class DAR-DOH
Qatar Airways Al Safwa First Class Lounge DOH
Qatar Airways A330 “First” Class DOH-MCT
Oman Air B737 Business Class MCT-DXB
The Grosvenor House Dubai
Qatar Airways Business Class Lounge DOH
Qatar Airways B772 Business Class DOH-BLR
The Ritz Carlton Bangalore
Vistara A320 Business Class BLR-DEL
Cathay Pacific A330 Business Class DEL-HKG
W Hong Kong
Touring Cathay Pacific’s HKG Lounges
Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class HKG-SIN
I had a 4 hour layover before I could board my Oman Air flight to Dubai. I really don’t understand Oman Air’s business model- in the current environment, they could make a killing by operating a DOH-DXB shuttle service with a technical stop in MCT. You wouldn’t even need to disembark or anything in MCT, you’d stay on the plane, paperwork would be done and you’d be off again to DXB. That could at least bring down the overall flight time significantly, rather than having to kill hours in Muscat’s very unimpressive airport.
I’d never flown Oman Air before but Qatar had rebooked me in Business Class so I was going to get a chance to explore their flagship lounge and cabins. I was excited as I always am when trying a new airline for the first time. I imagine I’d have been less excited had I known my bag was in the process of getting misplaced (which will be a separate post unto itself)
The lounge is a good summary of Oman Air. It’s not dumpy, but it’s far from impressive. It’s certainly a nice and quiet place to sit and wait out a transit, but there’s nothing to distract you for a long layover. This model aircraft at the entrance was the sum total of the entertainment options available.
I arrived in the late morning and the place was deserted. Plenty of seats were available with high chairs, sofas and loungers.
There’s a tiny bar area, but all the booze is MIA on account of Ramadan.
The centerpiece of the lounge is a stained glass dome that hovers above the central dining area. It’s impressive when the mid-day sun shines down.
Less impressive was the food selection. It was a mish mash of Western and Middle Eastern options, and the food was predominantly stews and starch. The staff were helpful enough and tried making suggestions though.
There was also some fruit, prunes and nuts
And a small salad bar.
The desert selection was extensive, but most of the cakes and pastries on offer just tasted like reconstituted sugar lumps.
There was a full sized Nespresso capsule machine.
I had high hopes for the lounge spa as a means of passing time, but was disappointed to learn that it was closed/under repair/otherwise incapacitated. There were instead recliner chairs with a massage function.
As for showers? Don’t get your hopes up. There is one shower in the entire lounge, in the main loo, and it looks like this.
If you need to get work done, there are two iMac computers with really tiny, weird keyboards. There’s also a printer that didn’t have any paper.
I get the sense that Oman Air is holding out until the new Muscat terminal is built, and then might decide to do a fancier facility there. But in the meantime, the existing lounge is definitely not on par for what you’d expect in the Middle East. I think there’s a reason that Oman Air doesn’t get mentioned in the same breath as Etihad, Emirates or Qatar.
So the lounge was mediocre, but it was nothing compared to what awaited me on my flight…