Photo review of Oman Air flight from Muscat to Paris in Economy
This is the connecting flight on a KUL – MCT – CDG trip; the KUL-MCT flight was described here.
The previous FR ended just before the security check, where waiting was minimal because few passengers seemed to be connecting to another flight. A short connection in the middle of the night does not help make a terminal seem very attractive.
Actually, we spent hardly more than half an hour in the terminal, from our arrival by bus to the departure by another bus. It obviously did not help having a good idea of what MCT is really like.
MCT is plane spotter-friendly, but there are only WY planes around, and my pictures are quite blurry, too.
You can guess that there will be a bus when the gate is at the lower level, but there is actually no jetbridge in MCT (a new terminal should open soon).
Another unwritten rule of airports is that the tarmac level is less attractive.
Boarding of Flight WY133 is already announced
After our BP was checked, we arrived in this purely functional room – I mean by that that there had been no serious attempt of decoration.
But Allah be praised! The kids who had been so noisy on the flight from KUL were not connecting to CDG :)
There are a couple electric plugs, but none was powered.
On the other hand, if your laptop's battery has enough energy (which is likely if you flew in on a WY A330, since all seat have power ports), and if your cell phone ca receive a SMS here, you can get two hours of free internet connection.
This allows me to display the current corporate screenshot
I did not need to wait all that long before boarding of the flight was announced. You can tell a flight to CDG from abroad at that - many passengers speak French, quite loudly so - they bunch up at the door, avoiding any semblance of a waiting line
This demonstrates their mastership of French and of two dimensional space, a possible basis for their complex of superiority. It also reminds me that my vacation is unfortunately soon to be over. There is no jostling though, possibly because all know that there is nothing special in being among the first to board the bus.
We quickly reached this 332, too close to be able to take a picture of it in full
The plane is A4O-DA, whose first commercial flight was on 13 August 2009.
I let the other passengers board – no ground staff hints at any picture taking restriction.
This is the A330 next to ours. It is not the moon, but an artifact caused by a projector.
There is only me left on the tarmac, and therefore about time to board
The advantage of being the last passenger boarding from the first bus is that I have nobody behind me, and that I can therefore take all my time to take pictures of the J cabin, or rather the second J cabin – there are three rows in the first one and two in this one.
A royal seat pitch
The seat diagram is 1-2-1. In order to put things in perspective, this is the layout chosen by its 332… in F. I was told that WY will change to a less generous layout soon, so hurry up if you want to indulge in this space at J prices !
It makes it possible to have storage space alongside the windows.
I like the subdued color scheme; the decoration is a world apart from EK's showy taste.
I nevertheless must leave this luxurious environment and reach the economy cabin.
… where there is much more economy in the seat pitch
I had not paid attention to these footrests on the previous flight.
There is of course not much difference between a right window seat on the previous flight's 332 and the left window seat of this one.
The seat pitch and the space for the hand luggage is equally satisfactory
The safety card, with an equally veiled passenger
The safety card was placed on a table folding in two parts. The dimensions are 43 cm x 25 cm, a crucial (really?) information which was missing in the previous FR.
The IFE screen's diagonal is roughly 10.5
Don't expect me to bring a magnifying glass and count the pixels next time, but the resolution is very good.
Distribution of hot oshiboris
Nice, even though they are small
To be accurate, they are twenty centimeters, and rather thin
The safety demonstration is on the IFE. We have again the passenger veiled in blue and her son
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome on board Oman Air, please pay attention to the safety demonstration.
Please buckle up your safety belt by inserting the end into the buckle (Thanks to the Arabic speaking colleague who translated the subtitles)
Since I am not very obedient, or rather since you can buckle up and watch the planes, this is a local one.
Off we are for a 5,583 km flight. It is still yesterday where we shall be today.
A view views of the coast while it is inhabited
Mecca is at ten o'clock, but it won't last
This 332 has power ports at each seat in economy, like the one operating the previous flight.
It has a green indicator light which indicates the presence of the power plug, not of power.
I have a proof with the dark indicators of my camera's battery charger.
But do not worry: like in countries where there is tap water only a few hours per day, you only need to leave the computer and charger plugged in at all times in order to receive power when there is some. There was power for my laptop at 11:50, Omani time.
Mecca already turned 45° in relationship to the plane
A breakfast is strangely served at a time which is too late for a dinner French time, and too early for a breakfast Omani time. I ate it all this because you never know if there will be enough food later, but this was definitely not the best advertising for Omani gastronomy.
My wife chose the option Omelet drenched with tomato sauce with stodgy potatoes and spinach (this was not in the menu, which was not displayed on the IFE), and did not like it. She was not hungry at that time in the night, anyway, and only took a few nibbles of it.
I went to the toilets and found out that sinks are not always plugged at the beginning of a WY flight.
On the other hand, the cleaning supervisors in MCT are less watchful than I am and did not notice this paper cup under the sink's furniture. Quite frankly, I suspect than no other passenger saw it.
The cabin in semi-night mode, with a very corporate blue mood lighting.
Distribution of bottles of water as previously
The amenity kit did not change either
The seats hardly recline at all, but I'll nevertheless manage to sleep.
We are there two hours later:
Mecca turned another 45° whereas the plane gave the impression of being motionless in the absence of turbulences during the night, and flew in a relatively straight line according to the airshow.
Another hour and a half of sleep to get there.
It will be more and more difficult to turn toward the holy place for the prayer at sunrise
It is not dawn yet at our desination, but already 11:30 am in MCT, which is no reason to call this a lunch.
I should have taken this picture before biting into it. It was not that good, but it was edible.
What about the IFE? I only checked the audio offering, which is not overwhelming, but reasonably varied.
Zoom on the classical music. I am always amused by classical musicians being called generically Various Artists.
I enjoyed Brahm's German Requiem played by Various Artists. The headphones are OK, but cannot handle the sound dynamics, from pianissimo to fortissimi.
What else can be done with this IFE? Buy duty free items?
No, don't rely on WY to show off your wealth on your wrist
Just because this passenger wears sportswear with a hood does not mean that it is cold. Quite on the opposite, the temperature was pleasant and well regulated, whereas it is often poorly controlled on board long haul planes, with sometimes ice-cold air drafts which can be killers.
We are getting close; this is the end of a long night which lasted nearly twenty hours, due to the season and the time zones.
Another view of the FAs' uniform, while the passengers start standing up.
A last look at the aircraft which brought us here:
It was indeed a 332
I like the livery
Going up Terminal A's Arrivals corridor airside that I was not familiar with.
A Hainan Airlines A330, which now operates a direct flight to Hangzhou.
The same aircraft, nearly from up front
On the other hand, I failed to eliminate the reflexions in my pictures of B-KQI, a CX 77W CX.
A jam in the corridor: it is not a passport check, but a simple narrowing of the way.
Reaching the immigration counters, manual in the background and automated in the foreground.
There was nearly nobody at the automatic gates , good thing since only one out of two was in operation. The manual counters were quite efficient, actually, to the advantage of the automated gates was limited.
Arrival in the luggage delivery room which is both too small and poorly designed, because it is a cul-de-sac.
There was hardly any luggage with priority tags, and ou own arrived just afterwards, 24 minutes after the plane reached its parking position. (It's a work of art behind, called Renovation in progress).
It was maybe not pure chance: our luggage hat been labeled SHOCON (SHOrt CONnection) and Quick Transfer, i.e. to be handlded in priority in order not to miss the connection in MCT. Our luggage probably ended up in the priority luggage container. I had not seen the staff attach these labels at the check in in KUL.
All we have to do now is go through Terminals A and B, without a glance at these drivers waiting for EK passengers having some Elite status,
My best regards to the Flight Reporters based in Madagascar, at the sight of this MD A340,
… and reach the Paris public transport system which is not overloaded on a Sunday morning at dawn.
How do you recognize that you are a back in France? Seeing locals wearing familiar clothing, although their clothing may be more familiar to me than to you.
I have nothing on Muscat or Paris, so I propose a bonus on Kuala Lumpur, seen from the top of the KL Tower. Actually, from the observation platform whose inclined windows are spot clean, which justifies not going to the much more expensive open air platform.
In the center in the foreground, the 288 m high Maybank Tower, 4th in height in KL. In the distance, above the horizon, you can barely make out the triangular shape of the 310 m high Telekom Tower, the second highest tower in KL.
The Telekom Tower's knife blade
There is a very long lawn on the left of the first picture. A runway? Correct! Simpang Airport (WMKF) has been replaced by Subang (SZB), anf then by KLIA (KUL) has been Kuala Lumpur's first airport. It is now surrounded by the urban sprawl, but resisted to the appetite of real estate developers and it still being used by the air force, the police, emergency services and a small flying club.
The unavoidable Petronas tower, one hiding nearly completely the other.
The Saloma Theater Restaurant, in the foreground above, close to the Petronas Towers, offer a show for tourists with a buffet.
In the right third of the first picture…
… a partially hidden light green area is Merdeka (Independence) Square, with the giant screen which appeared in the tourist bonus of the previous FR.
The building of Malaysia's Railways Administration, in front of Kuala Lumpur's station.
Two very different marvels of Islam in Kuala Lumpur: the National Mosque in the foreground, and the Museum of Islamic Art behind.
Islamic art is also in modern architecture, like the Dayabumi Complex, an office building whose sixteen pointed star floor plan and mashrabiyah –like façades remind of this cultural heritage.
There are mosques too, of course, like the Federal Territory Mosque, which opened in 2000. The twenty-two domes are in glass fiber and epoxy resin: planes are not alone in using lightweight material.
What is covered with domes is not necessarily a mosque. These golden domes belong to the Islamic courts of Kuala Lumpur.
Behind the building housing the local offices of the powerful MITI (Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry), the domes of Kuala Lumpur's High Court.
Construction is brisk in KL. I failed to locate this building with Google Maps.
There are also Christian buildings in this Muslim country. St John's Cathedral was built in 1888, which makes it one of the oldest buildings in Kuala Lumpur. St John's College rented some roof space to Proton, the national car manufacturer.
A convent? Almost true. This primary school is heir to a school opened in 1899 by the Congregation of the Holy Infant Jesus. The present building were built in 1911.
In the centre of this picture, in the distance…
… the blus roofs of the Culture Palace (Istana Budaya), a major theatre for the performing arts, on the left, and the National Gallery of Visual Arts, on the right.
The National Palace, i.e. the official residence of the head of state, completed in 2011.
This infrastructure is not touristic, but nevertheless indispensible: this is a sewage treatment facility at the foot of the tower.
A swimming pool is nice, less so when it is quasi-permanently in the shade of the tall buildings around it, like that of the Concorde Hotel. A monorail line runs in the foreground, with Bukit Nanas station on the left.
A swimming pool is much better when it is at the top of a tall building, like the Taipan Tower (It probably doubles up as a firefighting water tank).
I'll end on a lighter tone. My wife was attracted by the design of the brand new swimming pool of the Capsquare 2 residence and innocently took this picture.
She had not even noticed this woman tanning on the pool side, and only I would think about enlarging the picture enough to discover that this sunbather had unhooked her bra, which may not be common practice in KL. (My wife had a good laugh when I showed her)
There is stuff for all from KL Tower's observation deck on a sunny weekend day!
Cabin crew 8.5
Muscat - MCT
Paris - CDG
Similar aircraft, similar flight duration, and similarly smiling and efficient FAs. The catering is nothing to rave about and its nature is strange, given the time it is served. This flight was on schedule at its destination, but I penalize the day lost on the way in because of the connection which would be missed had we tried. WY could not expect to get away with that! MCT is a small airport where there is little walking. The boarding room at tarmac level is functional only, without any attempt at making it more pleasant, but we were there only enough to use the free internet access (if you can receive a SMS). Excellent fluidity and exceptionally quick luggage delivery in CDG. Terminal 2A is very far from CDG's train station. The RER train was empty on a Sunday morning, which made it easier with bulky luggage, but this long train ride is not very pleasant. Thanks for reading me all the way to here!
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