The airline with the best average rating is Oman Air with 7.8/10.
The average flight time is 6 hours and 13 minutes.More information
This is my first Dreamliner flight !
I last left you just as I was arriving at the security check-point in the transit area.
I have just come up a set of escalators from the arrivals level, transit security checkpoint.
Arrival bloc from the DOH-MCT flight was at 12:24am and this was taken at 12:40am.
I took an elevator up 1 floor, where there is an airport hotel and one other non-Oman Air lounge. The Oman Air lounge is just behind me to my left as I take this. I like that not everything is so linear with regards to the architecture.
Entrance to the lounge. You can just see the set of elevators to the right of the photo (there are in fact 2 columns worth of elevators).
The lobby of the lounge. The sign against the wall has the following list : private family room, the atrium lounge, business center, prayer room, restaurants, family room, play room, nap room, spa & wellness center, Oman experience.
The welcome was efficiently standard, nothing more, nothing less. My name was used.
When you enter the lounge, you end up "snaking around" to the various sections. While it's easy to get disoriented, I feel that it adds to the intimacy and calm that one should expect from what is supposed to be an exclusive place.
The upper level would be closed on both of my visits.
As you can see on the screen, it is 12:44am. As a time of reference, arrival bloc from Doha was at 12:24am.
This is the "2nd" dining section of the lounge, the "1st" section being closer to the entrance, where most of the guests were.
Wait staff is present but there is minimal interaction. Nonetheless the lounge is very clean and free of dirty dishes laying around.
The hot food offering was a little different. On this occasion, the hot food offer was better at the front section, but obviously it was quieter to sit back in this area. Cold / sweet selections were more or less the same in both sections, but they were not of any particular interest to me. I also wanted to keep space to discover what was going to be served on board for a 2:20am departure.
I would have loved to play with the Nespresso machine but I did not really feel like being awake the entire flight. For my biological clock, it was 1645, Eastern Standard time.
Based on an 11am arrival time in to Bangkok, it would be midnight for back home. The easiest is really to try to get in to the rhythm of the meals.
These 3 images are from the "front" dining section. I thought it was very much appropriate they have an "Omani food corner" and I ultimately took just a little bit of a bunch of each of them just to taste. Everything was delicious. I really had to hold back from eating any more.
I took a glass of suleimani tea and otherwise kept myself hydrated with the bountiful supply of bottled water.
I did not seek out any shower, but from what I have read, I did not miss anything (shower-only cabins, no toilets en-suite).
I head out of the lounge around 1:25am to walk around and discover the terminal a little bit.
As I would be boarding my first Dreamliner flight, I wanted to be present when boarding began.
Before talking about the flight, I actually wanted to share some screen shots of the online check-in I did on my phone back in Dallas.
I should note there are 4 different 787 configurations for Oman Air, 2 for the 788s and 2 for the 789s. As someone who constantly verifies the seat maps up until departure, I was unable to do so with Oman Air. Via the "change seats" link on their website, I was hit with a notification that my reservation is not eligible (!?). I will elaborate a little bit more on this on the return leg BKK-MCT. That said, in the few days leading up to online check-in, Flightradar24 was showing that the flight would be a 788. I know I should not be trusting an external website, but it is hard to obtain other information on the OmanAir website via one's booking. The only way to see my seat assignment was through "manage my booking" and then to the "passenger details" section (not the flights section), where the ticket numbers were displayed. The company had also recently updated their mobile app, but it was hard for me to see how it was updated.
The actual check-in process was lengthy and I was not able to visualize the entire cabin for the MCT-BKK flight, seeing only rows 10-11-12, which is what lead me to think it was definitely a 788, but at least with the Apex seats because my seat was 10A (and not row 1, which is the old Kenya Airways configuration).
Oh, and I never had any success signing up for Sinbad, at least on my iPad. I would try to designate my password and it would be refused even though I was satisfying all the "1 uppercase", "1 number", "1 symbol" requirements. Oh well.
WY811 / 11APR
MCT - BKK, Boeing 787-9, A4O-SE, seat 10A
MCT departure gate C8
Actual vs. scheduled departure : 0237 / 0220
Actual vs. scheduled arrival : 1127 / 1120
Flight time : about 5:20
I would be heading to gate C8. Everything after C4 is actually behind me, I turned around to take the first photo above in the series of 3.
The blue LED lights were cool in the arrivals hall, but they're kind of cheesy to me at this point, even if they seem like "runway lights" (was that even their intention ?).
This is how you obtained free wi-fi in the terminal. You scan your passport and obtain a code. Nope, no one is watching what you're doing online. I did it, for $h*ts and giggles. (I hope it is ok I used that phrase.)
After having the boarding pass scanned, heading to the boarding pen. The doors to the jetbridge would be to the right of the columns.
Around 1:50am (for 2:20am departure), someone opened the doors and passengers just started going. There was no announcement. A moment later, the flow of passengers stopped, the door was closed, and then another moment later, we were released again. I love it.
The 2 lanes would bring us to the same spot, only 1 jetbridge being used for door 2L.
Air conditioned jetbridges !
All hail glass jetbridges, however, they are terrible for photography, with reflections all over the place.
The verification of the boarding pass at the door was standard, directed to the left. Only a small number of passengers in Business Class were in front of me, so I was able to get a couple of non-busy photos.
I would be up over there in the window, 10A. To give you an idea, in the foreground, that is where the passage way is to get to the window. So you can kind of see how you would get to seat 11A.
Seats 10B and (my seat) 10A respectively left to right. Rows 11-12-14 towards the back. There was one more row just after door 2, row 15.
Interesting point : a crew member "bumped" in to me from behind as I was taking photos of my seat. He said sorry as I turned around and then handed me the amenity kit, the pajamas, and the menu folder. It was definitely not the same welcome as on QR !
That's a (yummy) peach smoothie with the welcome hot towel, brought by a different crew member from the one who bumped in to me.
If there was any downside to the otherwise very pleasant seat it's the lack of storage space or compartments right there with you. I ended up putting the amenity kit along side where the headphones are stowed. There was enough space where the magazines were for the leather binder and I put the pajamas in my bag (I never open them for my collection haha). The blanket and seat cover stayed put on the bench even during takeoff.
At departure time, 2:20am, the Captain kept us informed that in fact there was a passenger whose behavior would not allow him to travel with us to Bangkok, so the authorities were assisting in having him and his luggage offloaded. Ultimately, the incident proved efficient (we saw the passenger and the authorities in the (glass) jetbridge and we pushed back with only a 17 minute delay.
I like this screen. The ETA of 10:19am is not quite accurate, it should be 11:19am, not sure why the anomaly.
Everything was really dark so photos were not possible to taxi and take off.
Once airborne, the divider between myself and my neighbor went right up !
Some practical information again as seen this time on the remote control. The ETA is now more accurate. (A 17 minute delay would not affect the ETA by one hour.)
I find the menu and beverage menu in the leather folder to be really classy. (Somehow, it ended up in my bag. The crew came around looking for them but didn't go too much out of their way either.) Ultimately it's one of the few things that actually sets Oman Air apart.
So, it's kind of a weird menu. When the flight attendant came by to ask if I wanted to eat, I didn't really know how to order. I should have understood I could have anything in any order.
Yoghurt with mango compote, crush granola.
The 'crush granola' is more like simple nuts … but still acceptable !
The breakfast pastries tasted way better than they look !
Granola with raspberry coulis, crush nuts.
I ended up mixing the yogurt and the granola together … it was better that way (than with the milk).
Steamed fillet of king fish with honey soya sauce, yellow rice, roasted bell peppers, zucchini, mushroom, asparagus and fried ginger.
I know, some weird choices. Overall the meal was OK. You can't really mess up yogurt and granola. The fish was dry but the taste was there with the sauce. Some of the asparagus was pretty much raw.
Service was courteous and with a smile without being rushed. The cabin crew were present, which is a good point, given the time of the flight. Service was all via tray, no carts to be seen and no noise coming from the galley.
I don't think this is a function I would use on the plane. I mean, what about logistics ??
I managed to get changed in the lav by door 1R, having to go through the galley space. I set up my bed like this, in anticipation of the flight report, of course !
View from the other end.
I got hooked on the series "Killing Eve", which was available on both QR and WY to satisfy my binge watching.
I had quite a nice couple hours "nap" actually.
The window shades were definitely locked by the crew. This is about an hour before landing as the crew announces descent in a few minutes.
At least we are not brutally awaken by the cabin lights coming on. That is a pet peeve of mine.
One thing that would have been nice is a proposition from the crew for a hot towel and / or some juice or coffee. I definitely was not hungry but at the very least the proposal would be nice.
There would be no farewell from any crew member except when leaving the aircraft.
Just look at those wings.
Short finals to 19R.
Quick placement of the jetbridge. It must be sweltering out there.
I leave my seat like this. Note that the divider was still up, no one asked us to put it down for landing.
On the arrivals level. The Frenchies would come barreling out from CDG a little bit further down.
I would head towards the C-gates for my Bangkok Air flight to Phnom Penh (find the time of 1340, codeshare flight MF9489), all the way from the E gates. Gate C1-A would later change.
View heading up towards the transit security checkpoint.
I am wondering if I could have gone to any transit security checkpoint or would they have directed me to the one corresponding to my gate ?
I will leave you here, next up : BKK-PNH on Bangkok Airways.
The Oman Air lounge at MCT carries its own identity, with the various "sections" making it feel less factory-like. The regional hot dishes were delicious, I wish I had 5 stomachs. While the catering staff was present, I didn't notice any other Oman Air staff other than at the entrance, though I would not have needed them for anything anyway. (Why is there an in-flight entertainment part to the lounge scores ?)
The non-lounge areas of MCT are new and correspond to what one comes to expect from a worldly airport nowadays. Airports in the United States have catching up to do. The access to the wifi is certainly unique.
The apex seats are great, except for maybe lack of in-seat storage. The cabin was spotless and the IFE up to par with a nice balance of Western, Middle Eastern and world selections. I'm not sure if I felt "more refreshed" or "less tired" with the Dreamliner cabin ?
Departure time is 2:20am, so even those in the tourism industry don't necessarily want to be awake and working at that hour. Catering was fine despite an odd menu. Service was "through the motions," however, I did note the crew passing through to check on passengers as they ate. I otherwise equated this to a Transatlantic East Coast departure to Europe. A hot towel and a proposal for juice, tea, or coffee prior to arrival would have been nice, although I am sure a request would not have been refused.
Transit at BKK was smooth and I will see you in the next report for the continuation.
Everything was operationally smooth and comfortable and I was quite satisfied with my first Dreamliner flight !