What’s an Oman Air Stopover

If you’re flying Oman Air internationally from basically anywhere on their network, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be flying through Oman en route to your final destination, that probably means a stop at Oman Air’s hub in Muscat. It’s an awesome city and to encourage people to actually explore Oman, rather than just flying through it, The flag carrier has implemented a free stopover service.

This is not a new concept and variants of this concept exist within the industry, take Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines or Finnair’s Stopover Program for instance.

An Important Distinction between Oman Air Stopover & Layover

At this point, it is important to make the distinction between a stopover and layover as Oman Air is a bit vague on the difference. Oman Air has two different programs targetting transit passengers. One of the programs is aimed at passengers who have around 8-24 hours of layover in Muscat. While the other is aimed at passengers, who wish to spend a few days (3 max) in Muscat before continuing onto their journey. In short, they are two similar but different concepts and apply to two different groups of travellers of circumstance.

Stopover

A stopover, as discussed in this article, focuses on what it says on the tin – a stopover in Muscat. Oman Airs program specifically allows you to visit Muscat for up to 3 days where the airline will pay for one of the days you stay so you can explore the city for just that bit longer. This, of course, is heavily advertised as a key feature when flying with Oman Air.

This works in many ways, for timid would-be adventurers who fear long-haul flights, the Oman Air Stopover in Muscat program is the perfect way to break up the trip. For seasoned travellers, it offers a way to bolt-on an additional location while also boosting the local tourism economy.

Importantly, unlike a forced layover, aside from the hotel and with exception to the visa fees you bear the cost of travel around the city, and cost of travel between the airport and hotel.

Layover

A forced extended layover, which also technically known as a Stopover Paid-by Carrier (or STPC for short) is when you are forced to transit for an extended period of time due to an organic layover, as opposed to voluntary layover. In other words, what this effectively means is that you are forced to transit because of the airlines routing rather than because you have chosen to stay at the airport for an extended period.

In Oman Air’s case, if you have an organic layover of more than 8 hours, the airline will provide a few amenities to tide the time over.

What’s on Offer with an Oman Air Stopover

And who are they?

Stopovers are the bane of any traveller’s existence – there’s nothing worse than being stuck in an airport for hours on end with nothing to do. It’s no surprise they want to develop their own tourism sector if you’re sitting around doing nothing.

With middle eastern airlines increasingly being used as a global transit hub, they are definitely making an effort to have you actually visit, rather than just connect. You only have to wonder where Doha would be without Qatar Airways, or where Dubai would be without Emirates.

It’s, therefore, no surprise that Oman Air has developed a campaign to encourage stopover visitors to visit Oman. Who are Oman Air you say? well…. as one of the lesser-known airlines in the middle east, it has much more of a boutique feel than their Gulf rivals. Not surprisingly, few know about its stopover program. The airline prides itself on serving traffic originating and departing in the country, but does offer onward connections that take advantage of its strategic location on the Arabian Peninsula.

In effect, Oman Air offers passengers travelling through Muscat to stay for up to three nights, with the airline picking up the tab for one night if at least two nights are booked. With no current service to the Americas, Oman Air primarily serves passengers travelling between Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Historically…

The stopover program with Oman Air is nothing new. Originally, the national carrier of the Sultanate only offered a stopover program to Business and First class flyers (the link is still live to a certain degree – doubt it works though), allowing them a  stay at the Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, for a night – with breakfast no less.

A year later it relaunched, this time with the Grand Millennium Muscat, this time the difference was that it opened the program to all travelling classes. A few months later it changed hotels to the Sundus Rotana Muscat.

At time of writing, none of these hotels are on offer (currently the Park Inn by Radisson is available) with a few other 3* and 4* hotels. It’s safe to say that the stopover program is here to stay but since the hotels are always in rotation so your mileage may vary when you intend to book.

How to Book a Stopover with Oman Air

Booking is not the easiest but the information is there on its website.

However, instead of booking a multi-city trip (like with Singapore airlines) or have a button to elect a stopover (as with Finnair), Oman Air requires you to submit a request for a flight itinerary, similar to how it is done with a travel agent.

Hotels on Offer

Remember that the hotels change often so its always good to keep an eye on the offers out there.

3 Star Hotels/Resorts2 Nights3 NightsValidity
Tulip Inn Down Town Muscat$63$11531 December 2020
Ramee Guestline$92$1291 Oct – 31 Dec 2019 & 1 Jan – 30 Apr 2020
Ramee Guestline$77$1071 May – 30 Sep 2020
4 Star Hotels/Resorts2 Nights3 NightsValidity
Tulip Inn Muscat$72$1151st January to 31 December 2020
Park Inn by Radisson Muscat$81$12030 April 2020

Things to be aware of…

…When making an Oman Air Stopover Booking

Airline Rules

  • Only valid for Guests travelling on International Oman Air flights on both outbound and return journeys.
  • Offer available for travel to all destinations, excluding travel where the final destination in Oman.
  • On some tickets, a charge will be applicable if you choose to stopover in Oman. Please read the terms and conditions on your ticket carefully.
  • Maximum one “Oman Stopover offer” per booking.
  • This offer cannot be combined with any other promotional offer by either Oman Air or the participating resorts\hotels.
  • Obtaining an Oman Visa is the Guest’s responsibility. Visa Requirements: Single entry visas valid for 1 month are issued on arrival at Muscat International Airport for nationals of over 52 countries. Complete updated visa details please visit:www.rop.gov.om.

Accommodation Rules

  • Oman Stay 2 Pay 1 and Stay 3 Pay 2 stopover offer must be as part of a minimum 2 nights stay or maximum of 3 night stopover stay in Oman.
  • The additional night (s) must be purchased for stay at the same resort\hotel as the Free Night in the same room category and occupancy.
  • The complimentary offer includes room accommodation and tax & service charges for one night. Certain resorts\hotels may grant additional benefits.
  • Nights should be used together without division
  • Rooms are subject to availability at time of booking.

7 COMMENTS

  1. I have a confirmed booking last sept6to fly back home to manila.online booking from manila and it was paid by credit card.but it was cancelled due to pandemic for further notice. I would like to rebook again so I can go home before the end of the year
    What will I do because I called many times but unfortunately most of them (Oman Air)offices no one answering the call
    Please advice
    Thank you

    • Did you buy your ticket direct from Oman Air or through an agency?

      If through an agency, the agency’s T&Cs would apply.

      assuming you booked direct – if the carrier cancelled the flight (and likely due to Oman air not operating any flights during that time) you should be able to request a refund. You would want to check the carriers refund policy as a result of Covid to exactly know what to do in these instances. I would advise emailing them as well as you may get a response that way as well as while you contact over the phone.

      once established you can either rebook with the credit with Oman air or seek.

      as another step – log in to manage your booking – you may want to try using the refund form -> https://www.omanair.com/uk/en/manage-bookings/refund-form

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