The Oman Air Flight WY 0232 from Hyderabad to Muscat was delayed by an hour and a half on Saturday. Once, Oman Air was known for punctuality and professionalism. Punctuality and professionalism seem to have flown away from the windows of the Oman Air aeroplanes. The passengers were boarded 20 minutes before scheduled departure. It was expected that the flight would take off on time. Then came the announcement that there would a slight delay due to a technical glitch. The pilot announced that the technical issue was resolved but they have to wait for the engineer to sign the papers, who was not at the airport. After two more announcements to pacify the passengers, the engineer arrived to sign the papers finally.
The Sultanate of Oman is known for its friendly people and hospitality. But, the scene at Oman Air’s check-in counters presents a totally different scenario. A family traveling on Oman Air for more than 2 decades narrated a harrowing experience. The family had checked-in online and allotted seats. The allotted seats were changed by the check-in staff at Hyderabad Airport saying that the aircraft was changed and also the seat numbers. They blamed that the Oman Air staff at Muscat changed the seats without consulting them. This could not be confirmed from Oman Air at Muscat. It seemed to be a case of passing the buck.
At the Hyderabad check-in counters, Ali and Mohammed Hussain brought disrepute to Oman Air with their rude and unprofessional behavior. A family was traveling and two members could not travel due to exigencies. Ali and Mohammed Hussain insisted that the family of 2 remaining passengers pay for 4 (four) kilograms of excess weight. They did not consider that 2 other passengers from the same family were not traveling and they would not get a refund too. No bag exceeded 30 kgs. This is the same story in Amman and London. Their supervisor gave excuses and said that even if a bag exceeds 200 grams in weight, the Muscat office of Oman Air are sending pictures of the excess weight and also issuing notices to staff on duty at Hyderabad. Senior pro-Nikhat seemed to be embarrassed by her colleagues’ irrational behavior. Nikhat tried to solve the issue in an amiable way. Nazia Khan was cheerful and friendly too.
If some rotten fish at check-in counters spoil the hard-earned good name of Oman Air with their unbridled rudeness, Oman Air is bound to lose the goodwill of passengers and they may be constrained to opt for other friendly and professional airlines. The staff may change for the better pastures too if bosses are pushing them to the extremes. There are many passengers (labour class) who travel with just a handbag. What about their 30 kg free baggage allowances? Under no circumstances, the flight will be overweight with luggage of passengers.
Oman Air should get back to professionalism and punctuality and the sooner the better!