Oman Air going downhill

Old Jul 9, 19, 2:19 am
  #1  
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Oman Air going downhill

WY used to be my absolute favorite between europe and Asia. Recently however I have been quite disappointed. The obvious cost saving cuts, like inferior food in the lounge, less stuff in ammenity kid, no more chauffeur service (for a few years already) are all more than understandable, and since their hard product in Seat is great as well as their prices I dont mind at all.

But:

Serving only one meal on a 9 hour flight from MCT to MNL isnt acceptable at all. THe flight departs at 9 am and a breakfast is served consisting of an appetizer and a main course - no desert. After that passengers only get a small snack for their longest flight. not only that but the quality of food has decreased tremendously - beetroot gravlax wasnt edible shrimps as well the lowest possible quality.
I strongly recommend to bring you own food for this flight....

cheers,
Querulant
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Old Jul 9, 19, 4:04 am
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Originally Posted by querulant View Post
WY used to be my absolute favorite between europe and Asia. Recently however I have been quite disappointed. The obvious cost saving cuts, like inferior food in the lounge, less stuff in ammenity kid, no more chauffeur service (for a few years already) are all more than understandable, and since their hard product in Seat is great as well as their prices I dont mind at all.

But:

Serving only one meal on a 9 hour flight from MCT to MNL isnt acceptable at all. THe flight departs at 9 am and a breakfast is served consisting of an appetizer and a main course - no desert. After that passengers only get a small snack for their longest flight. not only that but the quality of food has decreased tremendously - beetroot gravlax wasnt edible shrimps as well the lowest possible quality.
I strongly recommend to bring you own food for this flight....

cheers,
Querulant
I agree with all that you have said.
Most of my flying is on their "737 redeyes"s to the subcontinent so my pain is far greater.
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Old Jul 9, 19, 4:51 am
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Originally Posted by EYrevanchist View Post
I agree with all that you have said.
Most of my flying is on their "737 redeyes"s to the subcontinent so my pain is far greater.
Ouch!
I must confess i would still choose to fly with them even if they wouldnt serve any meals at all - 850Ä for DXB-MCT-MNL return in C is a great price for the hard product. It is just very upsetting to see that they are saving on the wrong ends.
Interestingly I got to learn that an ex F&B Manager from Quatar from Australia is now the WY F&B director and he is apparently battling a lot of corruption inside his procurement department but then again not a reason to basically stop reasonable catering all together.

When I pointed out my disappointment about the food one flight attendand said: "its a disgrace and I am embarrased but we cannot do anything, please write a complaint letter". Guess that is what I will do as I doubt that someone from WY is reading here.
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Old Jul 9, 19, 4:05 pm
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If I remember correctly, on MCT to MNL they used to serve lunch after takeoff and the usual WY style snack platter before landing. I find WY catering far superior to other ME competitors (but on par with QR) in both quality and presentation. IMO the food in the lounge hasn't change for years. As well as the onboard wine, which has literally been the same exact wines on all routes for the past few years. I foresee a lot of changes in the soft product coming up for WY as they have been "too-premium" in the market and eventually they will need to cut costs. Having said that they have updated their dinnerware to more contemprorary designs, which I can't decide if I prefer the previous or current one.

Nonetheless I will be on the MCT to MNL sector next week so will see if there are any differences in service.
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Old Jul 9, 19, 9:43 pm
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Definitely agree with HKprince, the thread title sounds too harsh IMO. I had a recent trip CGK to Europe return that I already reported here https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/othe...l#post31234469 thus I'm not going to repeat myself too much. I'm not sure whether the OP was referring to Y that I've never flown, but C product is definitely fine and almost on par with QR, even more for catering, I found WY food slightly better regarding both quality and quantity; on CGK leg 8 hours flight, one full meal and one snack is more than enough to me.

It was my first flight with them thus I cannot compare with "the good old times" where maybe WY offering a more lavish product but I can imagine maintaining the same level for long would have driven the airline into financial trouble. At the end WY is selling C class to Europe from CGK at least 30% cheaper than any other airline thus it is still fine to me.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 10:47 am
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@HKprince: would be great if you could report back on your experience next week and if you are up for a beer in MNL let us know how you found it. I unfortunately forgot to take photos of the food and the menu but as far as I remember it was a choice of:
Starter
Beetroot Gravlax - i ordered it, found it indebile. I am working in the seafood industry, particularly with Salmon and had a hard time to actually identify this as actual Salmon.
Fresh fruits
Muesli

Main
arab breakfast: worse than before, cheapest cheese around, significantly less than before, terrible bread
kingfish
omelette

Snack:
small burger with sandwich: burger was ok, sandwich with Spam, didnt touch it.
or an arabian dish, which I forgot the name of
@Bob: Yes, I was referring to C and as said I am not expecting two entire full 3 or 4 course meals on that flight. However I found the amount and quality of the food really the worst I have experienced in a very long time. Indeed the wine menu ist still exactly the same and the wines are decent.

Again their product is still great considering the seat, nice crews and great prices. I would still buy fly with them if they would not serve any food alltogether. I just think the cost cuttings on food are not very smart.

BTW: I understand, that the MNL route might be a little special for them. a) it is their longest, all others are less shorter than 8 hours. b) its basically their shuttle for OFW (overseas filippino workers) and hardly gets any revenu in C. In fact on my last 3 segments, before the flight there were always 4 or less people booked in C the day prior to the flight and then almost full on the actual flight, so many op ups are given out c) they sell upgrade for 240€ most of the time which is a steal. So while the amount of food might be alright for a 6 hour hop to europe or 5 hour flight to BKK it is imho not enough on almost 9 hours to MNL but maybe MNL C is just not important enough create a food concept which differs from the shorter flights.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 11:48 am
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Has anyone else had problems with their schedule changes due to the 737 groundings? I have been rebooked 8+ hours later several times now without notification until a day or two before (all on short haul), and WY refuse to refund or change my new reservations without paying their cancellation/change fees.

They have also refused to refund the difference between the cost of the itineraries I booked and the much cheaper middle of the night alternatives they rebooked me onto, which is in breach of their own T&C's.

Unreliable schedules is one thing, but stiffing your customers is quite another (especially when WY will no doubt receive substantial compensation from Boeing)

Very poor.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 8:20 pm
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I flew in J with Oman BKK>LHR>BKK last month and it was fine. Dreamliners on each leg but two different configurations (First cabin to/from LHR but not to/from BKK). Food was very good, as were the seats and service generally. In fact the only thing I didnt like was the lounge at Muscat. I would be entirely happy to repeat the experience which I found to be comparable with Qatar and Etihad. The low sale price I paid was the icing on the cake.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 5:26 am
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Originally Posted by DarrelT View Post
I flew in J with Oman BKK>LHR>BKK last month and it was fine. Dreamliners on each leg but two different configurations (First cabin to/from LHR but not to/from BKK). Food was very good, as were the seats and service generally. In fact the only thing I didnt like was the lounge at Muscat. I would be entirely happy to repeat the experience which I found to be comparable with Qatar and Etihad. The low sale price I paid was the icing on the cake.

I also wasnt so hot on the lounge in MCT. I feel like the reviews by bloggers are over the top and illustrate how many are simply promoting products. I thought for all the care that went into building a new terminal and for the revamped business and first class on the 787 that the business lounge seemed like cheap build quality and poor design (e.g. small bathroom area at least for men given the amount of people using the lounge, poor shower, closed off upstairs that would make the lounge much less crowded, lack of views etc etc). I am glad I didnt have more than an hour to spend there. It just strange to me as other aspects of the airport experience like the premium check-in and security area are well thought out and really nice.
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Old Jul 15, 19, 9:56 pm
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I too was underwhelmed by the food on WY. In May I took the morning flight (around 8am i think) from LHR - MCT in F. Had breakfast in the lounge and was looking forward to a nice lunch after a few hours once on board. Upon boarding I was presented a menu containing nothing but breakfast items (not even anything that you could consider a lunch course). I explained to the crew that for a flight that leaves at this time, is lunch time in Muscat, and by the time we land it will be dinner time. Further, most would have eaten breakfast in the lounge prior to boarding. I was politely told to make a complaint, but I said that doesnt fix my immediate issue.

After a while (the crew could see I was not happy) came back to me an offered me a full lunch service with Beef tenderloin (i forget the starter) and a nice desert. Of course I was very happy with the service recovery, however I asked how they could suddenly magic a lunch menu out of thin air. They replied 'this is the crew meal, sir!' . 10/10 for whoever used their initiative, however 0/10 for Oman Air ops thinking it is ok to serve an inferior meal to their passengers and a meal appropriate for the time of day to their crew!
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Old Jul 16, 19, 7:07 am
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@ jamiegutz - thanks for your report, disappointing though it was in terms of catering issues - not least given that you were in F.

As you say, excellent service recovery by crew, but a very poor approach taken by WY itself in designing such a poor menu in relation to scheduled departure, sector length, and local arrival time. This clearly hasn’t been thought through sensibly, and one has to wonder if is just the start of a BA-style penny-pinching approach to the premium cabins (though even BA has begun to make improvements in that area ....) .....

I did enough flying with Oman over the last 12 months to retain my Sindbad Gold. All my sectors were in J class and I was impressed with every meal (and snack) I was given, as well as standards of presentation. But if your experience is indeed reflective of an overall lowering of standards then it’s clearly not a good omen for the longer term.
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Old Jul 23, 19, 12:11 am
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So have just completed my MCT-MNL leg with WY last week. There have been some changes to the catering, I believe I had the same menu as @querulant. Took the liberty of taking some pics for future reference to anyone curious about WY catering.

The first meal service is breakfast which had an omelette option, the Arabic breakfast option or a kingfish dish with rice served with a tamarind sauce. For appetisers there was the usual choices of yoghurt, granola, cereal as well as the salmon option. IMO the option to serve breakfast makes sense regarding the timing but also is quite flexible as you can choose a 'lunch-style' meal like I did.

I went with the beetroot gravlax for the starter which I found to be of excellent quality. I really adore that WY actually bothers to get creative with their dishes by going for daring culinary choices such as this beetroot infused salmon or tuna with poached mangoes etc. This is so much better than other airlines for example BA that have such boring options such as roast chicken or beef tenderloin. I believe @querulant didn't find the beetroot gravlax edible, though to me it was faultless and well executed.

MCT-MNL appetiser



For the main I went with the kingfish, which again I must commend the high quality of the fish and great presentation. Although less memorable, it was still well above the standard of most middle eastern carriers (or any EU/US/Asian carriers for that matter) and perfectly acceptable. Understandably there was no desert, as logically you don't eat desert after breakfast. So I can understand why WY choose this style of service, in the end it ultimately benefits the passenger the most as there is still an option to skip 'breakfast-style' dishes.


MCT-MNL Breakfast Main



Now the second meal service is where things changed. Previously on this sector I was served a platter which consisted of various snacks both sweet and savoury. This time there was a choice between a beef burger or a chicken sandwich. I went with the beef burger which turned out to be a mini slider which was relatively unappealing. This is the first time I have been disappointed with anything served on WY. The meal was served on a tray with a muhammara dip, some flatbread, a couple vegetable slices and a desert. I found both the quantity and quality lacking, nonetheless I was still full from the first meal service so wasn't really an issue for me.

MCT-MNL second meal


What I will say however, is that the catering on my EU leg was excellent, I was served seared tuna and lobster as an appetizer which was of restaurant quality and you could tell the ingredients were top notch. For the main I had a great Arabic spiced chicken breast with lemon goat cheese and lamb biryani which was executed to perfection. There was a full breakfast on offer too, but I decided to skip it and just have a fruit platter.

Last edited by HKprince; Jul 23, 19 at 12:18 am
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Old Jul 24, 19, 5:12 am
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@HKprince - many thanks for the detailed catering report and photos

These things are so often subjective, but your positive (overall) assessment is not dissimilar to my own experiences. Itís a few months now since my last WY sectors ; but with more ahead of me before too long, Iím very encouraged by what you have to say here.
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Old Jul 30, 19, 3:38 am
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Hi Hkprince,

thanks a lot for the report and the pn.
First of all, I agree, that when coming from europe and having had already two full meals on the previous flight the catering is definitely more than sufficient.
In my case I started the journey in Muscat and skipped breakfast in the Hotel due to the early departure and did not have enough time to take a full breakfast in the lounge (also didnt find it to look very appealing and was looking forward to the great meals onboard I experienced before, I mainly skipped the lounge food). Btw. I availed of the Free night offer at the RItz Carlton in Mascat, which was great.

Gravlax: I stand firm on my believe that this is a product of horrendous quality.
Snack: Was surprised to see that photo as I only got the sandwich and the burger but not the ice cream neither that reddish cream cheese.

Anyhow, since the hard product and the crews are so great as they are right now and the prices so outstanding (however cant find a reasonable price for an upcoming euro trip as well as to dxb in october) I will continue to fly with WY. Just need to get used to it that they very great days of awesome food & chaffeur service are gone.
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Old Jul 30, 19, 3:55 am
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WY104 LHR-MCT 0825 departure.

My wife and I took advantage of the upgrade option on this flight back in April, I can only compare with Qatar J class. (Seats 14A/B)

The positives were that I found the seat very comfortable & spacious, I preferred it to the Super Diamond seat on Qatars B788 & A350, in particular the larger footwell.
Not quite as good as the Q-suites, however I also liked that as a couple you could be side by side with a window view, with direct aisle access.
We thought the food quality/quantity was better on Qatar & also the presentation on Qatar is so far superior.
We asked for the meal to be presented about 2 hours into the flight, as we had a breakfast in the lounge, but it appeared straight after take-off along with everybody else.

The cabin crew appeared to want the main meal service out of the way as quickly as possible & the crew were not quite as polished or attentive as Qatars cabin crew.
Also, the drink service was lacking somewhat,we had to ask all the way through the flight.

Overall, Qatar J is superior to Oman J, but with some tweaks here & there, would not be far behind.
Apologies for the quality of pics below, taken with my smartphone.























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