In July, I had to fly from Athens to Amman on Friday, and it’s the only day when Aegean Airlines is not operating flights to Jordan. The only option was to take Royal Jordanian airlines, which is a oneworld member. It was a good reason to status match with Airberlin topbonus, so I could get priority checkin, baggage and lounge access.
Royal Jordanian Crown business class review
- Flight: Royal Jordanian RJ 132
- Athens Eleftherios Venizelos (ATH) – Amman Queen Alia International Airport (AMM)
- Direct flight: duration 02h10m
- Economy class -> Business class with bid upgrade
- Aircraft: Embraer 175
- Seat: 1A
I booked a flight with Royal Jordanian airlines in economy class, but used Go Crown bid upgrade service. Go Crown bid upgrade was available in My Booking section of RJ.com website. The lowest amount to bid was 100, my upgrade bid was only 110. Two days before departure I received email with congratulations on upgrade.
I checked in online and had only carry-on with me, so I didn’t have any counter check-in experience.
Royal Jordanian lounge in Athens
Athens airport is a StarAlliance hub, so there was no oneworld lounge. But as I was flying Royal Jordanian Crown business class and had Airberlin topbonus gold status, I was able to enter one of the contracted lounges in international A-zone of Athens airport.
The lounge was quite good. Definitely not comparable to Aegean or Lufthansa StarAlliance gold lounges, but it served the purpose. You can read separate review of the lounge here.
Royal Jordanian business class flight
Royal Jordanian flight 132 is operated on Embraer 175 with 1-2 seat configuration. I chose seat 1A so I can seat alone. Business class cabin was half empty, while economy class was almost completely full. The cabin looks a bit dated, seats were worn out and slightly dirty. There was already pillow on the seat and I asked for an additional blanket.
Food and drinks
Shortly after taking off, I was approached by a very polite and nice flight attendant. She asked me what would I like to drink, but as there was no food/drinks menu I had to ask “what do you have?”. She asked again what do I want, and we had to play this game two more times, just for the fun of it.
To my surprise, Royal Jordanian was providing alcoholic beverages, including champagne. I asked for a glass of champagne. I got a strong feeling that the crew didn’t know how to deal with such request. First the flight attendant asked a male colleague to help her find it, another 10 minutes they could not open it, next 5 minutes they were looking for a glass.
When I finally got server the glass, I was wondering what brand is it, if it is even champagne or just sparkling wine. The flight attendant went back and returned with a small bottle of Tattinger champagne. I couldn’t be happier :).
Royal Jordanian is also offering selection of Jordanian wines in business class. I have tried Jordanian wine in Amman and it’s quite drinkable and enjoyable. They have only 3 different producers, but they taste more or less the same.
Every passenger in business class cabin was offered a cup of traditional Jordanian coffee with cardamom. Can’t say I’d drink it ever again, but was a fun experience.
There was no food selection, so everyone got served the same plate of Arabic meze (eggplant, cheese pie, filled tomato and falafel), salad with dressing and bread/pita. I liked the food a lot, apart from the cheese pie. The dow became soggy after heating up.
After lunch, the flight offered me a refill of champagne, which I couldn’t deny. And glass by glass I finished entire bottle of Tattinger.
None, apart from Royal Jordanian magazine. But it’s not a big issue, given the flight duration of 2 hours only.
I was very pleased with my Royal Jordanian business class experience. I had much lower expectations, but a bottle of champagne definitely raises it up. The crew was nice and polite, food was very tasty and the seat is much better than most of European airlines have in business class. We arrived on time to Amman Queen Alia International Airport and quickly left the aircraft.
The only negative moment was dirty and worn out cabin conditions, but I personally prefer old Embraer 175 over new Boeing 737.