Vienna to Amman in Royal Jordanian Business Class
After checking in and spending time in the lounge we moved to the gate, although somewhat earlier than necessary. We ended up waiting quite some time before boarding was called to board buses to the remote stand. This ended up taking even longer after we discovered their priority boarding for business class.
The two Royal Jordanian staff seen at check-in turned up at the gate and worked with the local Austrian staff. Even on this route there are clearly regulars as the RJ staff warmly greets specific pax. The first bus turns up. Boarding is called. Nothing mentioned about status but very, very clearly they state business class customers please remain seated, only economy please now board. After about 10 minutes of squishing people onto the bus they swap it for another. Waiting for stragglers until the last person has boarded. One of the staff walks around and personally double checks if each person waiting is in business or not. Finally once the last person turns up, they literally stuff them onto the bus and it drives off. More waiting.
Finally another bus turns up and the few of us remaining are all finally welcomed to board. So we all end up on an empty bus (these have only a few seats in them, so we could all sit if we wanted), and head off to the plane. Even then we get stuck as a plane has its engines idling. After a few minutes the bus driver has had enough and drives the really long way around. As you can imagine this whole process took a long time! On boarding it was obvious some J pax had decided to jump on the earlier buses. So after eventually finding our Airbus but it did seem to take forever for one reason and another and we departed late.
It was a full flight, their narrow body aircraft feature varying sized business class cabins. The A319 has a row less, the 321 has a row more and equipment seems to vary. Relatively comfy but it is a mid-haul product. We had row 1 with the bulkhead with just enough room to stretch out but we are short. In flight entertainment on this flight was certainly average at best and a step down from the top airlines. Nevertheless it is functional and has a small selection. In business class the screens are in the armrests.
Not long after takeoff menus were provided for the lunch service. Was the first international flight for Jacqueline in business class so no complaints from her.
One of the big differences with RJ is food serving. Let’s begin with the entrée though, soup or appetizers. I went for the latter.
Next up is the mains. Now while you can read the menu which is all quite nice, they don’t exactly ask you what you like. Instead after a bit of waiting they move through the cabin with the trolleys with all the main meals plated, à la carte. That is you can see the mains on the plate then you pick and they’ll serve the sides you want with it. The clear advantage of this is, you see what you’re choosing. It all appears much fresher or at least better quality, possibly from serving a whole bowl of rice for instance rather than reheating individual portions. It also means you pick exactly what you want and skip what you don’t.
Mains to choose from were Fillet Steak w/ Pepper Sauce, Chicken Breast with Café De Paris Sauce, Baked Salmon with Dijon Mustard Sauce and Ravioli in what I think was a rose sauce. Sides included roast potato, mixed vegetables and rice. Some examples are below.
Dessert is served in a very similar nature, with a choice of sweets or a cheese plate.
Service was good, they’re efficient considering the added complication of their meal service. Meals are heated up then serving commenced with more meals coming straight out the galley to refill the trolley. They move through the cabin swiftly and nobody is left waiting. There’s a small choice of alcohol. Their standard affair is Moët and a red & white from Jordan. At least on the European routes they appear to switch between two menus, one for the first half of each month the other covers the latter half. A couple French wines go nicely with this changing menu.
The flight was otherwise comfortable, the hard product is perfectly ideal for this length of flight during the day. Staff mostly kept to themselves for the remainder of the flight.
On arrival we got stuck in a distant bay, so had to take another bus to the terminal. It appears mostly the widebodies get access to the aerobridges. Noticed an AF A330 sitting there, apparently delayed or cancelled. At Amman buses are again divided into classes however in this case business class gets a regular coach like vehicle with seating. Economy gets the large people carrier. We were connecting through to Al-Aqaba this time but would be visiting Amman on the way out of the country. We proceeded to the main Royal Jordanian lounge in Amman Airport.
Flight details: RJ128 VIE-AMM, on a Airbus 320-200 F-OHGX in business class, seat 1H. Flight length: 3:30 hr, 1521 miles.