- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The kit contained socks, an eye mask and toothbrush with toothpaste.
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.
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.
Food and Beverage
After takeoff printed menus were distributed and drink orders were taken.
They had a nice variety of alcoholic beverages including Jordanian white, red and rosé wine.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My friend ordered the lamb madras served with carrots, broccoli and yellow basmati rice. The lamb was tender and just melted in your mouth.
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!
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.