(Note: This is a self-funded trip, not a sponsored post.)
For the average traveler like me, flying Business Class on a long-haul flight is THE GOAL. (With fares costing around USD 5,000 one way, First Class flights are usually exclusive for ultra rich middle-aged rich businessmen/women or serial miles collectors.) I had to specify “on a long-haul flight” because depending on the airline as I found out, some Business Class cabins for flights lasting 1-5 hours do NOT have 180-degree fully flat reclining seats, and I think I speak for everyone when I say that we are primarily paying for space and the ability to lie down on a plane when we fly Business Class. The food and/or liquor, amenity kit and extra nice service follow after that respectively, I think. In addition, paying 2-3 times the price of an economy flight for business class on a 1-3 hour flight doesn’t seem practical either.
Luckily, I had the opportunity to experience a flat bed seat for the first time when I upgraded my economy class flight aboard Oman Air during my trip to Europe earlier this year. Full disclosure: at around USD 380 it was (naturally) the cheapest one way ticket from Manila to Berlin I could find at that time. But thankfully the airline emailed me about their bidding program weeks before my departure and my flight (even though booked through Expedia) was eligible! I bid the lowest possible amount for the Manila to Muscat leg which was USD 260 (oddly this was cheaper compared to the shorter Muscat-Frankfurt flight) and they eventually accepted it! Given that it was an 8.5-hour flight, I think it was justified and worth it. Who ever said booking the cheapest ticket doesn’t pay off?
The journey of course begins with the Business Class lane at Manila airport’s check in counter. I was handed my boarding pass, lounge pass and even a 15-minute complimentary shoulder massage voucher which I didn’t get to use due to lack of time. (Another service I regrettably wouldn’t be able to use later on as a Business Class passenger is the limo service Oman Air offers at selected airports.) Since Manila Airport does not have a special express immigration/security screening lane for Business and First Class passengers, the ground staff offered to accompany me but since I didn’t understand what she was offering at that time, I stupidly declined.
I made my way to the Club Manila Lounge and while it was nicely furnished, like the other lounges at NAIA Terminals 1 and 3, the quality of the food was sub-par compared to other international airport lounges.
It was now time to board and what a beautiful morning it was that day. I was led to my window seat with direct aisle access and sooo much privacy, handed my amenity kit, menu, welcome drink, one tasty piece of an Omani date as a welcome treat and pajamas I requested. Sadly, they only had a baggy, XL size left. (Could they have intentionally given me an XL to prevent me from bringing it home? Ha, like I was ever going to let that stop me. lol)
Their Business Class amenity kit was a chic Oman Air-branded bag that contained the usual sleeping mask, socks, ear buds, razor with Schick shaving cream, toothbrush with Colgate and moisturizer, lip balm, eye gel and lotion from Omani luxury fragrance, skincare and accessory brand Amouage. (It is worth noting however, that upon closer inspection these items were Made in China. :/)
First thing I noticed and savored every moment of was the spaciousness, then I toyed around with the seat controls. I couldn’t believe I was lying down in an airplane! My entire flat bed was the length of 4 windows! That’s 4 economy class seats! After the novelty wore off, I took my pajamas to the toilet and I was genuinely shocked: the size of the toilet was exactly the same as those in economy class! This is not what I paid extra for. Anyway after 5 seconds I got over it and did my best to change clothes in the limited space. I went back to my window seat and I took advantage of the natural morning light to take lots of selfies.
I couldn’t believe I was lying down
in an airplane! My entire flat bed was the length of 4 windows!
That’s 4 economy class seats!
Eventually, breakfast was served. There was only one option (continental) and it consisted of fresh juice, fruits, yoghurt, cheese and delectable pastries, as if they were baked at a 5-star hotel. Shortly after, it was mealtime again. Sometimes, flying seriously feels like being a newborn infant. I mean think about it: someone decides when to feed you and makes sure you are entertained by the TV in front of you so that you won’t throw a tantrum. They even give you blankets to sleep and wake you up when it’s time to do so.
More selfies below to showcase how spacious it was
For lunch I picked the traditional Arabic mezzeh (appetizer sampler) and thick-cut steak. The potato croquettes were moist and good although the broccoli weren’t so fresh. Dessert was traditional vanilla ice cream with fresh white chocolate shavings and nutella.
For the remainder of the flight, I unwound by forgetting my cares and watching a couple of movies like I always do when I’m not flying on a budget airline. Overall, the food and service were good, but not particularly exceptional and exceeding expectations. Nonetheless, I would gladly fly Business Class with Oman Air again, especially now that I won 50,000 Sindbad miles in a contest they held a month later. 🙂
Economy Class “amenity kit.” Can you say, downgraded? lol
On the way to Frankfurt at twilight!
Fast forward to weeks later: Oman Air held an online contest and I was one of the winners who won 50,000 Sindbad miles!! :O All I did was submit one of the selfies above and more importantly a literal award-winning caption. Everything fell into place and this flight was a #blessinginthesky 🙂