Review: Royal Jordanian Crown Business Class B787-8, Amman – Tel Aviv
Royal Jordanian Airlines offers flights to and from the Kingdom of Jordan through it’s connecting hub in Amman, Jordan. It has recently refreshed it’s long haul fleet with this Boeing 787-8 aircraft series, which features a fully flat seat. Competition for connecting flights throughout the Middle East is steep. How would Royal Jordanian’s Crown Business Class measure up to its competitors?
This post is one chapter on our trip to Jordan, Israel and France during the end of the pandemic. This trip was enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and Alaska Mileage Plan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
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✈️ Read more from this trip:
- Introduction: Driving 1,265 kilometres in Jordan, Israel and France via Icelandair, Turkish Airlines and Royal Jordanian Business Class
- My Favourite Long Layover Restaurant at SeaTac Airport: 13 Coins
- The Club at SEA Business Lounge, “S” Concourse, Seattle Tacoma, USA
- Icelandair Saga Business Class: Seattle – Reykjavík
- Icelandair Saga Business Class: Reykjavik – Paris Charles de Gaulle
- The Residence Inn by Marriott Paris Charles de Gaulle Central Airport, France
- Salon Paul Maxence Lounge, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 2A, France
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 2A, France
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Paris – Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Business Lounge: Istanbul International Airport, Turkey
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Istanbul – Amman
- What to Expect Driving through the Kingdom of Jordan
- Dead Sea Marriott Resort and Spa, Jordan
- Top Five Tips for a Day of Canyoning – Hiking the Wadi Mujib Trial, Jordan
- Petra Marriott Hotel, Jordan
- How to Tackle the Ruins of Petra, Jordan
- Is it Worth Seeing Petra by Night?
- Al Manara, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Saraya Aqaba, Jordan
- Going Local: Al Mohandes Cafeteria, Aqaba, Jordan
- Memories Aicha Luxury Tented Camp, Wadi Rum, Jordan
- Getting Sandy in Wadi Rum, Jordan
- The St Regis Amman, Jordan
- Views from the Citadel in Amman, Jordan
- Royal Jordanian Crown Lounge, Queen Alia International Airport, Amman, Jordan
- The Petra Lounge, Queen Alia International Airport, Amman, Jordan
- Royal Jordanian Business Class: Amman – Tel Aviv
- The Sheraton Tel Aviv, Israel
- The Intersection of the World’s Religions, Visiting Jerusalem, Israel
- Visiting Tel Aviv’s Beaches, a Day at Gordon’s Beach, Israel
- The Dan Lounge, Ben Gurion International Airport – Terminal 3, Tel Aviv, Israel
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Tel Aviv – Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Miles and Smiles Lounge, Istanbul International Airport, Turkey
- iGA Sleep Pod, Istanbul International Airport, Turkey
- iGA Lounge, Istanbul International Airport, Turkey
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Istanbul – Paris
- The Westin Paris Vendôme, Paris, France
- Returning to the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
- What’s Left of the Notre Dame Cathedral, Sacré Coeur and Montmartre, Paris, France
- Bateau Mouches Seine Cruises, Paris, France
- Le Cafe de la Paix, Paris, France
- Bouillion Pigalle, Paris, France
- Le Café du Trocadéro, Paris, France
- Extime Lounge, Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal 2B, France
- Icelandair Saga Business Class: Paris – Reykjavík
- Icelandair Saga Business Class: Reykjavík – Seattle
Review: Royal Jordanian Crown Business Class B787-8 Queen Alia International Airport Amman – Ben Gurion International Airport Tel Aviv
When I researched way of getting in between Jordan and Israel, flying by aircraft looked to be the better option over traveling by vehicle between the two countries. I would avoid the issues surrounding exit stamps near a Jordan border (demonstrating entry into Israel – even without an Israel stamp).
Royal Jordanian has a monopoly on this route between the two countries. Paid tickets are pretty expensive, given the limited supply on flights that run two or three times a day. Surprisingly, for a short distance, flights don’t occur every hour as you might expect in some domestic markets.
Instead of taking an early 7 AM or a late 11 PM flight, I noticed that on Wednesdays, Royal Jordanian operated their wide body Boeing 787-8 aircraft at a more reasonable 5 PM between the two cities. I ended up redeeming 6,000 BA Avios Executive Club points and $290 USD for this flight, transferred in from American Express Membership Rewards.
It is also worth mentioning that when I booked this flight, I was only able to get seats assigned one behind each other, and not within the same row. It appears that Royal Jordanian blocks much of their seat map until check in, as when we checked in at the airport, we were able to get seats assigned together on an outer row, without any challenges.
For more information on how this flight was booked, please see the trip introduction.
Heading to the Gate:
After checking in with the Royal Jordanian Crown Class check in at Queen Alia International Airport Amman, and a visit to the Royal Jordanian Crown Lounge, we headed off to the gate.
The Queen Alia International Airport has a futuristic feel as a result of its arched ceilings and it’s concrete curves. The terminal has a lot of daylight, as a result of giant floor to ceiling windows.
We located our departure gate. Despite being the Royal Jordanian home base, there wasn’t any line management or other markings separating boarding. This is something that you typically expect with any international airlines carrier in a global airline alliance.
The sleek looking Royal Jordanian Boeing 787-8 was parked outside the gate. The Royal Jordanian black livery is among the most unique looking planes worldwide, and could almost be substituted for a private corporate aircraft if you removed the gold Royal Jordanian text across the fuselage.
Boarding Royal Jordanian:
We arrived to the gate at 4:30 PM, which was the marked boarding time on our boarding card. Despite this, the pilots arrived to the gate at about 4:40 PM. We had boarding officially start at 4:55 PM.
There was an announcement in Arabic that boarding would start with Group C. followed by business class “…at your leisure”. As mentioned, there was no line management or lane for business class. As a result, we ended up getting stuck in the throng of people which included a family of five in front of us, despite first in line at the counter.
Royal Jordanian Airways
RJ 344 – Business Class (O)
AMM – TLV (Amman Queen Alia International Airport – Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport)
October 19, 2022
5:05 PM – 6: 15 PM (scheduled)
Booked: Boeing 787-8
Flown: Boeing 787-8
On Board Royal Jordanian Business Class:
We eventually boarded onto the Royal Jordanian Business Class product on their Boeing 787-800 series aircraft. Royal Jordanian’s long haul fleet is limited to the Boeing 787-8 series product pictured here.
The Royal Jordanian Business Class features the seats. You’ll find these seats on Royal Air Maroc and they used to be featured on United Continental series aircraft.
The Royal Jordanian Business Class is set up in a 2 – 2 – 2 configuration. Royal Jordanian installed Collins Aerospace Diamond family Business Class seats. These seats have been around for a while. While they aren’t exactly world class leading anymore, they do recline to a fully flat seat suitable for trans-continental sleeping.
The seats are angled outwards towards the fuselage windows, which is great for. the window passenger, but less than great for the aisle passenger.
The centre bank of seats are angled towards the right hand side of the aircraft. This makes the seats on the right hand side aisles a little less private than those situated on the left hand side of the aircraft.
Moving onto the seat itself, each seat offers a large individual monitor for entertainment.
Each seat offers some elementary seat controls. The most exciting feature about the seat controls are the lumbar supports that are offered. I wouldn’t expect massage features or ten way adjustable seats as these seats are among the most elementary versions.
The console offers a wired remote control used for the entertainment system. In addition, there was a small magazine pouch for the “in flight” magazine and safety card.
In the space behind your shoulders, there was a small dead zone containing a spot for a bottle of water, along with an Empower power outlet. It’s a bit of an odd spot for a power outlet, since there isn’t anywhere practical to park a laptop while charging. It’s primarily small enough for cell phone charging.
The Royal Jordanian Boeing 787-8 features in flight personal air nozzles. This is something that I always really appreciate while travelling, since its always comforting to be able to adjust your own temperatures.
Pre Departure Services:
There wasn’t much in the way of pre- departure services for this short flight from Amman to Tel Aviv. There was no pre – departure beverage offered for this short flight. Even a small bottle of water was conspicuously absent.
While we waited for the flight to fully load, Royal Jordanian presented photographs in the Kingdom of Jordan. The photographs were inspirational, although they seemed to be a bit older, lower in resolution and a little less slick than the high definition photographs that we see on Emirates or Turkish Airlines.
Departing Queen Alia International Airport – Amman:
We had an on time departure from Queen Alia International Airport. As we taxied out to Runway 26, we had a computer animated safety video play. While it was unique, it wasn’t particularly memorable.
We pushed back from Queen Alia International Airport Amman. We had a number of interesting aircraft next to us. We spotted a Royal Jordanian Alia Jet (Elle in Arabic) next to us, along with a United National Humanitarian Air Service jet parked on the runway apron.
We departed on Runway 26 and had views of the desert surrounding Amman, Jordan. We eventually saw some mountains near the Dead Sea, which were picturesque and unique for flying over this part of the world.
The Kingdom of Jordan certainly has a unique landscape. It’s well worth getting a window seat if you happen to arrive or depart during the day light hours.
The Meal: A Snack
After we got to cruise altitude, a small snack was dropped off at our seat. Given that this was a short forty five minute flight, with one hour and fifteen minutes gate to gate, I wasn’t expecting too much food.
The snack box contained a chocolate milk, which was cool in temperature, but not refrigerated cold.
I did enjoy the snack box, which was pretty simple in taste and wasn’t all that fancy.
After the snack box, we continued on towards Tel Aviv. The sun was setting over our corner of the world, so we had an orange glow coming through the cabin of the aircraft.
Before descending into Ben Gurion Tel Aviv, I took a look at the rear of the business class cabin. There was space available for an in flight snack bar. It wasn’t particularly set up for this short flight.
In flight, I also experimented with the fully flat seat. The seat does recline into a fully flat seat that allows for a flat bed for sleeping. While the bed was comfortable for sleeping, it would be awkward for your window partner seat mate to have to get in and out while your bed is in the fully flat seat mode.
If getting undisturbed sleep is important to you, I would recommend choosing a window seat or perhaps a seat without someone travelling next to you- if you are lucky enough to be able to get a cabin that is not completely full. A passenger trying to get out while these seats are reclined will be stepping over the aisle passenger since there is no aisle access without climbing over.
Landing in Tel Aviv, Israel:
I wasn’t sure what to expect landing in Israel for the first time. The blockaded Gaza Strip to the south likely caused some unique approach issues for all aircraft to navigate through and around when approaching Israel.
We would end up flying over Israel over the Mediterranean, where we took a northern approach into the Ben Gurion International Airport. We had a beautiful view of the Israeli Coastline, along with a high density view of some of the settlements within Israel.
Our flight track almost replicated the realities of landing in Israel, and avoided all the challenging areas of Israel and this particular region.
Touching down at Ben Gurion, we rolled up next to a Delta Airlines Boeing 777.
We disembarked in to the Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv Israel. While I wasn’t really sure what to expect, the place was buzzing with tourist and other visitor arrivals. We located our entry cards, and proceeded down the concourse towards the immigration area of Ben Gurion International Airport.
Travelling Royal Jordanian Crown Class didn’t give us any preferential access at the Israeli Customs and Immigration Line. We ended up taking quite a bit of time getting cleared through security. It took quite a bit of time to get through the immigration and baggage re-claim circus.
It took us a long time to get through the Ben Gurion International Airport and transferred over to The Sheraton Tel Aviv hotel. Some of this was likely due to the security measures, whereas others was likely due to a lot of travellers arriving at the same time.
- It took us about seventeen minutes in the immigration line.
- It took us about thirty five minutes waiting for out checked luggage at baggage claim.
- It took us ten minutes in line at the only money changer at Ben Gurion
- It took us another thirty five minutes get a taxi from the taxi queue.
- It took about thirty five minutes travel time into Gordon Beach from the airport.
In all, it took us about two hours and ten minutes from setting foot off the plane to being comfortably in out hotel. It seemed like an unusually long time, or longer than I would have expected.
My Thoughts on Royal Jordanian Business Class:
Royal Jordanian offered a simple business class service. While they offered a fully flat bed on their Royal Jordanian Boeing 787-8 Crown Business Class aircraft, much of the other business class features were missing or absent.
In general, there were limited priority services. Aside from a dedicated Royal Jordanian Crown Business Class check in in Amman, the Royal Jordanian Crown lounge could have been accessible through Priority Pass. Priority boarding was non existent, there were no pre-departure beverages, and the snack was pretty straight forward. Aside from being allowed disembark first, there wasn’t much that you’d consider upscale to this short experience, making economy class likely the better value between the two cabins on this route.