Is Royal Jordanian under-estimated in the Mideast?
To start with, I am biased. I have worked at Royal Jordanian for 18 years, but I left 14 years ago. Furthermore, I have not flown with RJ for almost three years. Having said all this, I will try to be as impartial as possible.
I traveled from Dubai to Amman and back on a Y/J ticket (staff ticket with a confirmed economy seat upgradeable to Crown Class subject to load).
At Dubai I checked in and requested an upgrade, the RJ supervisor was very courteous and I got my upgrade on the spot. The Crown Class was full I must have taken the last seat.
This was a morning flight on an A321 which had leather seat and IFE. The aircraft could have looked better, but it was clean and bright. The breakfast service was a little bit disorganized, but the Cabin Crew smiled and were very courteous. One thing I missed on that flight was the Ya Hala Service (the cabin crew wearing a modern traditional dress) which branded the Crown Class for years.
At Queen Alia International Airline I checked in at the Crown Class Check in which took a few minutes. I was invited to the Lounge pending the change of my boarding pass. The Crown Check in has its dedicated security check point and takes straight to desk 1 at immigration. the whole process took a few minutes and everyone was friendly.
The new Crown Lounge is awesome, spacious and overlooks the apron. It has a game room with a pool table and kids playing room. Hot food and snacks are served. It is a great improvement over the previous lounges and provides free wi-fi and dedicated TV viewing stations. It is a pleasure to spend time there.
The flight back was a night flight, the service was similar to the breakfast service and the Cabin Crew were as courteous, efficient and friendly as their colleagues.
The service and equipment are great and it is a far cry from what they offered a few years back.
However, Royal Jordanian needs a more definitive Brand, something that will make it stand out in the crowded MENA region and among its partners in One World.
Kudos Royal Jordanian, keep it up!
Written by Oussama Salah, an aviation expert based in Abu Dhabi.