Flashed my boarding pass and was permitted back into departures. The new Royal Jordanian Crown Class lounge was due to open in April 2008, then June 2008 and last I heard it was mid-July 2008 - which means I had to use the old lounge. While I was slightly bummed out about that, I consoled myself with the fact that I am going to be there again on the return in August and hopefully it'll be open then. Either way, there had been some changes to the existing lounge since I was there in April 2007.
There were now computers against the back wall, and free wireless throughout the lounge. Fast wireless! However, some things remained the same such as the large television...
... and the food area. The old Business Centre (small glassed off room with the PCs in it) was now the smoking room. Anyway, the six hours passed quickly - not only was the wireless fast and free, but the plugs in Jordan are the same as the UK - so I didn't run out of battery either. Two trip reports passed the time nicely!
I also visited the bathroom, and this is where RJ show they are trying to upgrade the product as much as possible.
Proper towels and even monogrammed ones...
I really can't wait to see the new lounge in August if it's open. Queen Alia International Airport remains the worst one I've ever been to for it's sheer ugliness and boringness. I didn't take any pictures, as I didn't want to make your eyes bleed.
"Gate closed" for boarding at 1:35am, however we didn't board until 1:55am. No explanation was given, and our flight was listed both at Gate 2 (correct) and Gate 12 (incorrect) on different electronic departure boards in the airport. I had assumed they were all linked, but not at QAIA!
I was first on board and settled quickly into 2A. The three RJ A310s recently went through an interior and engine refurbishment at a cost of 10 million Jordanian Dinars (basically 10 million Euros) to see them through to the 787 delivery. The new seats are Recaro ones, the same as on Aer Lingus, and other airlines.
They have lots of legroom as well, however Row 1 is the place to be. As there is no seat in front, there is extra room as the bulkheads don't have cut outs in them, so essentially you get more face space.
The Crown Class flight attendant introduced herself to me, and her and her helpers were magnificent throughout the flight. We had a welcome drink (Guava juice for me) and she took orders for after take off. We were also issued stickers to put on our seats to indicate whether we wanted to be woken up two hours before landing for the breakfast service. That was a nice touch!
We ran out of time for the full English safety demo - it was cut off near the end, and we were into the air about 35 minutes late. Once aloft, I went to hit the toilet - and found out that it hadn't been part of the upgrade. We love blue loo!
Immediately after, we were served our light snack before lights out.
Smoked salmon on bread, cheese on bread, and ham on bread, with some desserty things and a salad. Very nice and perfect for such a late night departure - I also had a champagne, then popped my seat into the sleeping position and attempted to sleep. I basically cat napped as I do, cause I don't sleep well on planes. Snoring indicated others were more successful at sleep!
I got up about 2.5 hours before arrival (the preparation for the breakfast got me up). The breakfast menu was distributed and looked a little like this -
Fruit, bread and the tray arrived...
Followed by a gorgeous smoothie, of which a couple of people asked for seconds of. It had strawberry and banana in it... Cathay do a good one too, as do Qantas.
Next came the big serving cart for us to order our breakfast from.
I chose a bit of everything basically, as I always do when presented with the cart! A la cart, loving it!
Breakfast was nice, I particularly liked the sausages, they were great! Afterwards, I had a Danish. We'd made up some time along the flight so we weren't far behind schedule at all by the time we reached Thailand.
Besides the portable movie players, they also have main screen entertainment available, and this is it finishing.
Our friendly Crown Class flight attendant graciously allowed me to take her picture for this thread. She was wearing the traditional Jordanian clothing, which one F/A wears on each long haul sector. I like them, there are also many variations with other colours etc.
Before landing, we received our Crown Class gift, which was blown glass this time. The last sector was a digital alarm clock. You always get something, which is nice. We completed the feedback questionnairs and landed in Bangkok.
We were at the gate promptly.
Once again Royal Jordanian show their true colours in their service and food offerings. The new lounge should be good if the changes to the old one are any indication of what might be coming soon. The airline should be extremely good once the 787s come on stream with modern IFE - but they're certainly making progress!
I hope you enjoyed this report, please comment - I've been travelling now for 30 hours and I'm still not in Sydney, so comments help to keep me going Any questions, ask away!
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
Qantasistheway From Australia, joined May 2008, 318 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 18516 times:
WOW! The string of trip reports that you are creating have gotten me hooked! I was going to put off reading yours as a best for last idea, but once I started reading another domestic US TR......well lets just say this trip was a bit more interesting! Congratulations on managing to still be sane at this point of such a long trip but I'm sure it will be worth it in the end!! Enjoy the final flight. BA or QF? And enjoy Sydney.
Cheers from Sunny London
BA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8699 posts, RR: 54
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 17648 times:
The new RJ J product certainly looks much better than the old one and it appears there is some form of continuity in the improved service levels too, quite fancy giving them a go myself before the 310's leave the fleet for good - thankfully a while still with the 787 program the way it is.
Pawsleykat From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 1978 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 17325 times:
Aha! The trip report I have been waiting for.. and it was definitley worth the wait.
The pictures are stunning and the food makes me want to go out and grab something to eat now
Glad you enjoyed the flight and I believe you now that we should fly RJ on our trip to Thailand next year
First Class passengers are my favourites. They can't get any further forward without an ATPL.
ClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4803 posts, RR: 22
Reply 11, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 16026 times:
Quoting OA260 (Reply 1): Also the uniforms are unique and very nice.
Only one F/A wears that one - and it seems only Long Haul. The girls are usually in red skirts and jackets and white tops with small thin lines running down them. The guys are in black trousers and white tops.
So do I... I've not been served from a cart even in F on BA, and I have to say it has a certain class about it. The flight attendants also work really hard to plate the food you choose in front of you in such a way that it looks good. They can't be sloppy with bits of the portions all over the plate - very well trained and worth every penny they earn.
Quoting Spk (Reply 17): The F/A is Thai as I can read the name tag (Tippawan). RJ employs quite a few Thai F/A.
Yes, that was her name - and she was definitely Thai as she did announcements in Thai for the passengers also.
Quoting Pblaketas (Reply 18): Gee the couches in the lounge look comfortable!! Big cushions!
They aren't bad at all - it's a lounge in the true sense of the word!
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!