Review: Royal Jordanian Crown Lounge Amman

Royal Jordanian Crown Business Class Lounge entrance
Royal Jordanian Crown Business Class Lounge entrance

Read more from this trip – 17-days in Europe and the Middle East:

Introduction

Lounge Visit Details:

  • Date visited: August 7, 2019
  • Where: Queen Alia International Airport
  • Class: Business Class Lounge

After a lovely stay at the Hilton Dead Sea Resort and Spa I made my to Queen Alia International Airport (“AMM”) with about 2-hours to spare before my flight to Tel Aviv. There’s several layers of security you’ll have to pass through before check-in. There’s a checkpoint at the perimeter of the airport patrolled by a heavily armored urban assault vehicle, dogs and guards with machine guns. Once you make your way to the airport entrance you’ll have to pass your bags through an x-ray scanner and go through a metal detector. For travelers flying business class or One World Ruby, Sapphire or Emerald elite members things should get easier from here.

At the far right of the terminal is a dedicated Crown business class check-in lounge. After entering I was asked to take a seat while the agent worked through the check-in formalities. In a matter of minutes my bag was tagged and I was directed towards a dedicated premium immigration and security checkpoint. I walked down a very a long hallway and first approached immigration. There wasn’t anyone in front of me so I breezed through and made my way to security. Again, nobody was in front of me. Amazing. I’d estimate it took me no more than 10-minutes from entering the the Crown-check-in lounge to exit security.

Crown business class check-in
Crown business class check-in

The Crown business class longe is located immediately after the security checkpoint. It’s open 24-hours a day, which is quite unusual.

Access

Customers flying First or Business Class on any OneWorld airline can use the Crown Lounge. OneWorld Emerald and Sapphire members can also access the lounge and may invite one guest to join them; however, the guest must also be traveling on a flight operated and marketed by a OneWorld carrier.

The Crown lounge is also a Priority Pass Lounge, but accessing it with your Priority Pass membership comes with some additional restrictions. Access is restricted to 3-hours prior to scheduled flight departure and access may be restricted due to space constraints.

Seating

At the time of my visit the lounge was under renovation so part of the seating area were closed. Consequently, the parts that were open were very crowded. I managed to find a spot in the “library” at the edge of the construction. It was a choice between dealing with some construction noise or being surrounded by screaming children. I opted to deal with construction noise. The seating looked worse for the wear, but maybe they’re replacing the furniture as part of the renovations.

Library seating area
Library seating area

Next to the library seating they had a variety of English and Arabic language newspapers.

Library newspapers
Library newspapers

Pro tip: Try to grab a seat in one of the individual TV suites. They may be claustrophobic, but offer a great deal of privacy.

Private TV suite
Private TV suite

Food and Beverage

I decided to peruse the food selection since I hadn’t had lunch. There were a few hot food items available including falafel and chicken fajitas. Despite there being tongs available to serve the food nobody seemed to use them and instead just grabbed the food items with their hands. Giraffes would never engage in such savagery. I was shocked!

Hot food items
Hot food items

Next up they had ramekins of hummus. Thankfully these were covered in plastic wrap so prying hands couldn’t contaminate them with germs.

Hummus
Hummus

Those looking for a healthy option will be pleased to find a salad bar station. The salad and vegetable topping all looked reasonably fresh.

Salad bar
Salad bar

The next station had pre-packed sandwiches. They were mostly bread with 1 thin slice of either meat or cheese.

Pre-packaged sandwiches
Pre-packaged sandwiches

The beverage selection was fairly standard with Aquafina bottled water, Fanta, Diet Coke, Coke and Sprite.

Non-alcoholic beverage selection
Non-alcoholic beverage selection

Note that alcoholic drinks are not available in the Crown Lounge during the month of Ramadan. My visit didn’t coincide with holy month so they had a variety of adult beverages available including chilled JR chardonnay.

JR chardonnay

There was also a bucket filled with warm Amstel beer. Behind the counter they had a selection of hard liquor. I couldn’t tell if someone should have been staffing the bar, but people freely walked back and served themselves.

Amstel beer and hard liquor selection
Amstel beer and hard liquor selection

The Bathroom

I normally don’t write about the bathroom in lounges or hotel rooms, but the situation in the bathroom at the Crown Lounge was horrifying and worth a mention. There are normally shower facilities available by the bathrooms, but they were closed for renovations during my visit.

The bathroom was small and poorly ventilated so was it was hot and the stench of body odor, urine and sewage was overwhelming. There was a line to use the facilities and while waiting I witnessed not one, but two men come out of their respective stalls, disrobe and begin washing their genitals at the bathroom sinks. I understand that the showers were closed, but when is this ever respectable behavior?

Overall Verdict

First Class Giraffe Not Impressed

I’d avoid the Royal Jordanian Crown Lounge at least until renovations are complete. It was crowded, had unhygienic bathroom facilities and a lackluster food offering. I’ve been impressed with Royal Jordanian in the past so hopefully they sort this out.

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