Starting of 2017 with my Umrah Series, Flew WY374 to Muscat Operated by Oman Air's Boeing 737-900ER Presenting my 14th Trip Report (7th on Flight-Report.com)
CMB-MCT (15th January 2017) Oman Air/WY374/Boeing 737-900ER
Watch the entire video of this trip report:
Since this trip was for Pilgrimage Purposes, my agent handled the entire Planning process from the allocation of the date of travel as well as the airline and visa formalities My inetial plan was to fly out of CMB on the 5th of January on Kuwait Airways which would have given me a wide bodied experience on their brand new Airbus A330-300 on the CMB-KWI-CMB sector as well as their sole surviving Boeing 747-400 from KWI to JED and their Airbus A320-200 on the return sector, but this wasn't so with the date of departure rescheduled for the 15th January,with my agent booking my seats on Oman Air which meant that had to fly via. Muscat Had never been to Oman so I agreed and went ahead with their plan. Since I was booked on Oman Air I immediately got my PNR details just to find that three out of the 4 sectors would be operated on their narrow bodied Boeing 737's with the Onward flight to MCT on their new Boeing 737-900ER, never flown on this variant before so that got me excited. The second and more important surprise was that one sector was to be operated by Oman Air's Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner! Now that was something worth waiting for! However I didn't get my hopes up since the sector operated by WY671 kept rotating their aircraft (probably due to pax load since this flight was assigned to the Hajj Terminal at Jeddah which meant it was solely for Umrah Pilgrims)
Here's what my Umrah 2017 flight itinerary looks like:
Spoiler Alert! So as expected I didn't get the 787-8 so my entire trip was on the Boeing 737,didn't complain since I would definitely prefer the Boeing 737 any day over the Airbus A320-200 and thank God that Oman Air didn't operate them!
Check-in/Immigration With my Departure scheduled for 20:25 hrs and with Colombo-Bandaranaike International Airports runway being resurfaced and extended, as I had to comply with the new regulations set by AASL,I checked-in Online and was at CMB five hours ahead of departure,which was absolutely monotonous!
Arriving at CMB at 15:00 hrs, I waited for the other members of my group and we proceeded to the check-in counters at 15:45 hrs, with most of us having checked-in online, it was a matter of proceeding directly to the dedicated online check-in counter to drop off our luggage and head straight to immigration.
Cues at Immigration where quite long mainly due to the fact that most of the flights operating to and from CMB where all rescheduled due to Runway Maintenance. Passport formalities where completed in around half an hour which left me with over 3 1/2 of idle time at CMB before the scheduled departure
Aircraft Logging in to FR24,I noticed that my sector out of CMB was on WY's Boeing 737-900ER so that was something to look forward to.
Here is my ride to Muscat! A40-BK a Boeing 737-900ER parked alongside Turkish Airlines Airbus A330-300 and Korean Air Airbus A330-300 on the tarmac at CMB
Sri Lankan Airlines Airbus fleet at CMB being prepared for departure
Trip Report 14
With a new type of aircraft being added onto my list as well as a new destination and the exceptionally good reviews of WY and its Economy Class Product, my expectations were quite high for this flight.
WY374 was assigned to Gate B3 on the ground floor and the gate opened just over an hour before departure.Getting into the gate was a rush since the gates at the ground floor have a common entry path and the regular 4 gates had another gate set up due to the runway project.
Upon boarding and with final clearance for take off, a medical emergency occurred in the forward cabin which resulted in the passenger being offloaded and departure delayed.
Airline: Oman Air (WY/OMA) Aircraft: Boeing 737-900ER Registration: A40-BK Flight: WY374 Seat Number: 32A From: Colombo-Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB/VCBI) To: Muscat International Airport (MCT/OOMS) Departure Gate: B3 Departure Time: 20:25 (+1hr Delay:Medical Emergency) Date: 15th January 2017
By the time I had checked-in most of the window seats in the forward cabin were occupied which left me with little choice so I selected Seat 32A, which proved to be a good choice on this Boeing 737-900ER situated just behind the wing.
The seat was equipped with state-of-the-art IFE manufatured by Thales with my favorite feature being its interactive maps and wide rage of content offered for this Medium Haul flight with a striking resemblance to the IFE on 9M-LNV my flight to KUL on Malindo Air a few months ago.
The crew had their work cut out mainly due to the Medical Emergency as well as taking care of the other passengers, the Pilot updated us passengers at regular intervals so we weren't left in the dark,since the delay was of a concern of most of us passengers including the 16 pax travelling with me since we had a connection in MCT.The delay was handled well by the crew with Water being distributed
The Passenger seated the row opposite me expressed his concern to a FA regarding the delay and was ensured that if his iteneary was on WY, his onward connection to RUH would wait for him at MCT however if the delay was a major one,he would be accommodated on the next available flight to his destination.This didn't satisfy me mainly since if a delay of a high magnitude was faced,all of us in Ihram (the traditional white cloth worn for Pilgrimage) would end up having to wait until evening (8 hours plus) for the next WY flight to JED
So I decided to check out other options available which where a very few, the flights to Saudi Arabia were all scheduled close to each other with just 10 to 15 minute gaps, which ruled out RUH and DMM. So as per my rights as a passenger, I would have to ask WY to put me on another carrier so that I would reach JED from MCT in the shortest possible time.
However this wasn't to be as everything was sorted out within an hour and resulting us having a quick connection at MCT with just an hour and a half to spare so that would be quite tight since it was our first time to MCT for all those in my group.
Meal service commence just over Kerela, India with the Options being Chicken,Fish or Veg. (the Veg. Option being Pasta) Chose Chicken for my meal and received it piping hot!
A Bread Roll,Water, Cold Chicken Salad accompanied the Fried Rice and Spicy Chicken which tasted excellent! Dessert served was Traditional Sri Lankan delicacy: Watalappam! (A Pudding made out of coconut or condensed milk, jaggery, cashew nuts, eggs, various spices, including cardamom, cloves) Tried it once at Home but didn't fancy it that much but then again I decided to taste it this time round at it tasted great and i surprised myself by finishing the entire serving.
Descent into Muscat
Overall apart from the Medical Emergency and the Delay,the flight remained uneventful, after glancing through the IFE, I drifted off to sleep and woke up a little prior to the descent into Oman where my onward connection to Jeddah awaited me.
Colombo - CMB
Muscat - MCT
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