Oman Air, B788, Configuration: 18/249 ZRH-MCT-DXB, Business Class
Business Class Lounge, Muscat Airport:
There was only 1 counter available for Business Class check-in and the waiting time was rather long as the check-in staff were serving economy class passengers who were carrying excess check-in bags and did not want to pay for excess baggage. So the discussions seemed endless until they finally found a solution and I could check-in.
Boarding started almost 1 hour before take-off (Ground staff explained that the captain wanted to depart 15 min ahead of schedule) but at the end the airport slot was not available and we departed on time. The Business Class section is very small with only 18 seats and each seat offers plenty of space and privacy. The booking on this flight was very light with only about 6 passengers in the front section. The crew was efficient but not charming or friendly. Service was done quickly as this was a 10pm departure and passengers wanted to sleep. I did the same and opted for a breakfast rather than a dinner which was served 2 hours before landing. (A bit too early for my preference as the flight time was only 5.30 h)
Arrival at Muscat was a tedious experience. We landed on time but the stairs were not available for 15 min for disembarkation. After the stairs finally docked on the plane there was a further 5 min delay for the special business class bus. Meanwhile, all economy passengers had already disembarked via the rear stairs and all 3 passenger buses arrived at the terminal building at the same time. Most passengers had connecting flights and went upstairs where a small security checkpoint was located and worked very efficiently.
On departure from Muscat airport, I visited the lounge in the rather old airport terminal and was pleasantly surprised. It was a large stylish lounge. There was a bar area as well as a self-service area are where drinks and food was presented. Friendly staff were available everywhere. Food choice was good, warm and cold breakfast items were available as well as fruit and other snacks. I did not see any alcoholic beverages, but I expect they were available in the bar section.
Boarding took place again via buses and the small cramped waiting area was packed with people and many were standing in line for the wrong flights. It was a bit chaotic and there were no dedicated gates or doors for business class passengers. After all buses finally arrived at the aircraft at the same time there was another short delay as the cabin cleaning seemed not to be finished.
The crew at the boarding door was very friendly and efficient and boarding was quick. There was a small breakfast service on this flight which was only about 50 minutes long. Aircraft was an Airbus 330-200. Configuration: 20/196