Review: Royal Jordanian Crown Business Class Barcelona to Amman (BCN-AMM)

First Class Giraffe in Royal Jordanian Business Class A320
Royal Jordanian’s A321 business class seat

Introduction

Flight Details:

  • Date of flight: August 4, 2019
  • Where: Barcelona (“BCN”) to Amman (“AMM”)
  • Flight time: 4 hours 25 minutes
  • Flight #: RJ108
  • Seat: 2J
  • Paid flight / points: Paid

I was originally booked in economy class for my flight to Amman so was fully expecting to be sitting in the back of the plane. While waiting at the gate area the gate agent made an announcement asking “Mr. First Class Giraffe to check in at the counter.” I was delighted when he informed me that the economy class cabin was overbooked and since I was a Oneworld Sapphire elite member I was given a complementary upgrade to Crown Business Class.

Cabin

Royal Jordanian flies their A321 in a 2-class configuration with 20 business class recliner seats and 147 economy class seats. The seats are covered in an attractive grey leather accented by royal red seatbelts. The cabin is starting to show it’s age e.g. there was a small chip in my armrest where the tray table folds out. It was totally serviceable, but could use a refresh.

Royal Jordanian’s A321 business class cabin
Royal Jordanian’s A321 business class cabin

Recommended Seats

I’d avoid row 1; the close proximity to the bathroom and galley may prove bothersome. The seats are fairly spacious coming in at 19″ wide with 46″ of pitch. While not lie flat the seats recline via electronic controls on the armrest into a cradle position, which is more than suitable for a short 4-hour flight.

Electronic seat controls / the chip on the armrest
Electronic seat controls / the chip on the armrest

In-Flight Entertainment

Each seat was outfitted with a small LCD in-flight entertainment system (“IFE”) that came out from the armrest. The downside of a retractable IFE is that it must remain stowed during takeoff and landing. The system was loaded with a variety of Western blockbuster and classic movies, Bollywood hits and over 100 music stations. You can’t really compare this antique to modern IFEs like you’ll find on Royal Jordanians long haul Boeing 787, which I got to experience last year flying from Bangkok to Hong Kong. I mostly used it for the moving map as I focused on my Kindle for most of the flight.

Royal Jordanian In-Flight Entertainment
Royal Jordanian In-Flight Entertainment

Amenity Kit

The amenity kit was produced by Acqua Colonia and was fairly basic. There’s really nothing to complain about here for a medium hall flight, but from my understanding they distribute these kits on their long haul flights as well.

Acqua Colonia amenity kit
Acqua Colonia amenity kit

The kit contained socks, an eye mask and toothbrush with toothpaste.

Acqua Colonia amenity kit contents
Acqua Colonia amenity kit contents

Service

Service was fantastic on this flight. Upon boarding I was offered a cup of qahwa arabiyyah or cardamom-flavoured Arabic coffee. It was served from a silver coffeepot and poured into Royal Jordanian branded ceramic cups.

Royal Jordanian qahwa arabiyyah
Royal Jordanian qahwa arabiyyah

A pre-departure beverage (“PDB”) was then offered. The offerings included water, orange and apple juice. I chose the water, which was served in a Royal Jordanian branded glass cup. It’s still shocking to me that so many American carriers serve PDBs in single use plastic cups.

 pre-departure beverage ("PDB")
pre-departure beverage (“PDB”)

Food and Beverage

After takeoff printed menus were distributed and drink orders were taken.

Royal Jordanian business class food menu
Royal Jordanian business class food menu

They had a nice variety of alcoholic beverages including Jordanian white, red and rosé wine.

Royal Jordanian business class beverage menu
Royal Jordanian business class beverage menu

I ordered a glass of the Taittinger Brut Réserve, which retails for around $50 a bottle. The champagne was served with mixed nuts in a ceramic ramekin.

Taittinger Brut Réserve and mixed nuts
Taittinger Brut Réserve and mixed nuts

There were 2 appetizer options: Arabic mezze or Western. I chose the Western option, which consisted of thinly sliced roast beef, cheese and tomatoes. The beef was tasty albeit a bit dry.

Western appetizer
Western appetizer

My friend ordered the Arabic mezze, which included baba ghanoush-abagannuc; burnt eggplant salad with garlic, olive oil. Apparently it tasted better than it looked.

Arabic mezze appetizer
Arabic mezze appetizer

I ordered the salmon teriyaki served with carrots, potatoes and broccoli. The teriyaki sauce had the consistency of a gel. The fish itself was fine once you removed the thick sauce.

Salmon teriyaki main
Salmon teriyaki main

My friend ordered the lamb madras served with carrots, broccoli and yellow basmati rice. The lamb was tender and just melted in your mouth.

Lamb madras main
Lamb madras main

For dessert I had the magic bar and a coffee. The magic bar was the best part of the meal. It had a buttery graham cracker crust and creamy coconut filling. Delicious!

Magic bar dessert
Magic bar dessert

Overall Verdict

First Class Giraffe Approved

There’s nothing better than a complementary upgrade at the gate. Holding aside the upgrade, the hard product was comfortable for a 4-hour flight and the service was exemplary. The food wasn’t great, but the dessert made up for what the appetizer and mains lacked. If you’re looking to fly direct from Barcelona to Amman, Royal Jordanian is your only option, but it’s a good option.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s