Some of you who may follow my irregular Instagram account may have noticed over the last year and a bit that I find myself in Salalah every month. I'd love to say it's because I am just silly about Salalah, or delirious about Dhofar, etc etc.
Alas no, I find myself in Salalah for work, which is not the topic of this post but I felt I had to explain why I am in Salalah so much.
All of 2013, I must say, Oman Air were great - flights always left more or less on time - we always landed on time, and everything was great.
Then, 2014 came along. It started out just like 2013, and I had now completed enough sectors to get a silver Sindbad card which is thoroughly useless save for one tiny thing - it gets you lounge access - not to any particularly great lounges, but still, better than nothing. I've flown on Oman Air twice this month (well, two return trips, so 4 flights) and both trips have had nasty delays.
Back on the 2nd April, I was on a 8:30am flight to Salalah which actually left closer to 10am, then the return flight which was supposed to go at 5:55pm but ended up leaving at around 9pm - not very good, but then again, shit happens.
So yesterday I find myself once again heading down to Salalah, and on a later flight in the morning - and it left on time, more or less - great. Last night, however, was ridiculous - once again the people on the 5:55pm flight were delayed, and my flight, supposed to leave at 7:50pm ended up leaving once again, around 10pm - again - not very good, but shit happens.
The reason for my gripe? We were boarded onto the plane, which was chaotic because there were two flights leaving SLL, both Oman Air, and both heading to Muscat. But not one single TV screen or display in the entire departures hall at the airport had any information at all on which gate you should go to (there are only 3 after all) - or what was the expected departure time for the flights. We were boarded onto the plane at 8pm, and sat there for 2 hours - no water, and no explanation until people started getting restless and finally the captain (or was it the co-pilot, I forget) came on and made up some rubbish about waiting for 4 more passengers. And so we waited, and waited, and waited. Still no water offered, the AC wasn't working too well because the plane doors were open. I wasn't a happy bunny.
Now, once upon a time, a few years ago.... I was a little bit late in getting to the airport for a flight to Toronto (via Abu Dhabi). It was an Oman Air service to Abu Dhabi then Etihad over to Toronto - code share with Oman Air. I got to the airport at sometime around 5am - 55 minutes before my flight departed to Abu Dhabi. The
Then, to put the cherry on top, when we landed in Muscat, it was a full hour before I got my luggage, and then, the parking lot. But the parking lot is not Oman Air's fault, it's OAMC's fault, and yes, they are deserving of being called muppets.
We all know the parking situation at the airport isn't great, and we know that OAMC prefer to have their staff park nice and close to the airport buildings and have their paying customers park further away - but hey, we'll survive. What really pissed me off last night, after all those damn delays was my parking bill - RO 15.500 for a day trip to Salalah - the amount - whatever, company pays it not me, but this, this one thing really took my breath away: The payment machines don't accept bills any larger than RO 10. Imagine if you'd gone on a 2 week holiday and had a few hundred rials bill to pay for parking (it could happen) - you'd have to pay in denominations of RO 10!!!! Muppets, absolute bloody muppets.
Anyway, I feel better now. Have you had a crap time with Oman Air lately? Care to share?!