Keeping a large group of Europeans quiet and mannerly for 7 hours inside a metal tube, while simultaneously making them feel that their business class tickets were worth it, often largely revolves are a single concept – to get everyone plastered as quickly as possible, so that they make their own merriment, fall asleep, or emotionally gaze out the window for the remainder. This flight very much felt into that bracket, with largely holidaymakers kept in a comically peaceful, yet stocious state, for the entire duration of the journey – bar one or two very unusual disagreements from either side of the cabin over football.
Airline: Oman Air WY123
Route: Muscat – Munich (Approx. 7 hours)
This flight promised to bring the headphone-free in-flight entertainment early on, when a handful of breakaway German business class travellers nearly staged a boarding area mutiny, over Oman Air permitting both business and economy passengers to board at the same time. The lack of ‘priority’ was clearly too much to take for these high-flyers, who started loudly arguing that it should be business class first (actually, the bridge to the plane later forked in two, one pathway for each class, making this mutiny an entire waste of time). I knew after that, my fellow passengers would be providing countless hours of enjoyment.
Kicking us off on this afternoon-time Europe-bound jaunt – aside of course, from the compulsory several glasses of champagne, which came refilled with greater dedication than I’ve invested into my entire professional education – was the Arabic mezze.
I’ve probably spent more time sampling Arabic cuisine across the Middle East, and my years in Asia, than most Westerners – but I feel a great relief of honesty in saying that I still don’t really know what an authentic mezze should actually taste like. I’ve come to accept that it will generally consist of some random dips, maybe a bit of hummus or a few olives, and perhaps a couple of pieces of flatbread.
That is effectively what I was provided with on this flight (along with another glass of champagne, which I highly doubt is a normal integral part of the authentic mezze experience), along with some spicy meat. Assisted by my complete unawareness of what a legitimate mezze should look and taste like, I correspondingly found it delicious.
Next up was the herb encrusted salmon; as you can see from the picture, it was drenched in some kind of sauce and looked truly very well encrusted – but despite outward appearances, and perhaps because I was by then completely sloshed, it tasted surprisingly bland. I’m somewhat keen not to truly throw this course under the bus, because it could have perhaps been great – but suffice to say I actually made a note of this on my phone, so sure was I that I would never otherwise remember this course.
Unfortunately, when it came to dessert, and with time and liver damage ticking on, I decided it might be best to give it a skip in favour of a wholesome glass of water and some shut-eye. Based on being asked would I be joining for dessert, it also very much appeared that more alcohol was the primary dessert option – and so, at this late stage of the afternoon, I surprised even myself by opting to begin the long journey back to sobriety.
Overall, this meal probably best suited the audience it received – lashings of alcohol, accompanied by some rather upmarket dining options; to be remembered and treasured by approximately nobody in the cabin, since we all got off with only a vague recollection of the entire flight. Having said that, it kept us fed and almost certainly allowed for more beveraging on full stomachs, without actual in-flight fights taking place – so for that, I think I speak for the entire cabin when I say I am truly grateful.