Royal Jordanian 787 Flights To The US

Back in the day, redeeming American AAdvantage miles to the Middle East was really tough. The only airline partner that American had in the Middle East was Royal Jordanian, which in terms of quality certainly isn’t in the same league as the “big three” Gulf carriers (Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar).

Over the past few years American miles have gone from being among the least valuable for travel to the Middle East, to being among the most valuable:

That means you can now redeem American miles for travel on two of the “big three” Gulf carriers.

Etihad-Abu-Dhabi
Etihad tails at Abu Dhabi Airport

Is it time to rethink Royal Jordanian?

It might just be time to take another look at Royal Jordanian. They’re one of the most recent airlines to take delivery of the Boeing 787, and before the end of the year all of Royal Jordanian’s North America flights will be operated by 787s. This replaced the A330s and A340s that they were previously flying to the US.

Royal-Jordanian-787-Business-Class-4
Royal Jordanian 787

Via airlineroute.net, here are the dates as of which Royal Jordanian will be commencing 787 flights to the US:

  • Amman to New York JFK as of November 4, 2014
  • Amman to Chicago as of November 30, 2014
  • Amman to Montreal to Detroit as December 1, 2014

Royal Jordanian’s business class on the 787 is fully flat. There are a total of 24 seats spread across four rows in a 2-2-2 configuration.

Royal-Jordanian-787-Business-Class-1
Royal Jordanian 787 business class

Royal-Jordanian-787-Business-Class-2
Royal Jordanian 787 business class

Royal-Jordanian-787-Business-Class-3
Royal Jordanian 787 business class

Here’s a video of the product:

Royal Jordanian has lots of award space

Business class award availability on Royal Jordanian is plentiful to and from the US, at least when planning in advance. They seem to have the most award availability on their routes to/from Chicago and New York.

Royal-Jordanian-Award-Availability-1

Royal-Jordanian-Award-Availability-2

And since I’m sure someone will ask, no, unfortunately you can’t book Detroit to Montreal as a “fifth freedom” route. You have to be connecting to/from Amman.

Bottom line

Ultimately Etihad business class and Qatar business class are probably still better than Royal Jordanian’s, though I would be curious to sample their longhaul offerings. My one flight on Royal Jordanian was the most terrifying of my life, and I’d like to try them again… if for no other reason than to go “full circle” on my fear of flying.

Comments

  1. Hi Lucky,

    I’m curious if AA allow routing via the Middle East to go from Asia to the US, and what is the general trend with Etihad First Class availability on both leg

  2. @ Norman — You can’t route from the US to Asia via the Middle East using American miles. Etihad is fairly good about releasing first class space both in advance and close to departure.

  3. hmm are you sure. It is possible to book the fifth freedom right route but just not with BA and AA, its certainly possible with a certain partner of theirs but I wont say which due to obvious reasons.

  4. @Lucky,
    Still not able to combine them as one award from US-Africa unfortunately correct? Still only Qatar that has that exception? :-/

  5. Can you stopover in Jordan on the way to Israel? They have multiple daily flights to TLV – Looking for the best options using aadvantage

  6. Just curious, if I wanted to redeem a ticket on Royal Jordanian using US Airways miles, I could only redeem the seat when I see seat available on AA.com at “Milesaaver award” level right? Not, at “aanytime award”? The reason why I asked is that US Airways Oneworld Award Chart only shows three different award level (ie. economy, business, first class), but it doesn’t distinguish “saver” vs. “anytime”(aka standard) award level within each cabin class. Thanks.

  7. @ Raymond — All partner award tickets will be at the saver level. The “higher” award levels only apply for travel on their own flights, as they open up additional inventory at a higher cost. So yes, all Royal Jordanian flights available with American miles would be at the saver level.

  8. @ Jeremy — American doesn’t allow free stopovers of more than 24 hours on international awards. That being said, you could do such a stopover if redeeming US Airways miles.

  9. Either photos aren’t that clear of there is no real isle on this plane??? Looks like service wont be coming from a cart..

  10. Here’s an idea for a post and as a service for your readers: How about a compilation for which airlines are in fact dry. I’m pretty sure Egyptair is dry worldwide. I believe domestic TK and perhaps TG flights are dry. I thought one of the middle east airlines was dry.

    Given your love for premium cabins and Krug… seems like it could be a useful reference post…

  11. Jordan is an underrated place to visit. I like that there are direct flights into and out of Amman. Some great, great things to see there. I would definitely consider RJ again if I fly back to Jordan. Flew them BKK-AMM-ORD once. Needless to say, my experience on RJ wasn’t anything close to what yours was, Ben.

  12. Both AA.com and Royal Jordanian’s web sites still show the Chicago to Amman direct flights in July, 2015 using A340 equipment. Is this just a matter of the web site needing to be updated?

  13. Yea. I just noticed what Steve said. I was looking at the end of July from Abu Dhabi to Chicago, and it shows a 787 on the Abu Dhabi to Amman flight, but an a340 on the Amman to O’Hare flight. Weird.

  14. Lucky, it seems like after February 2015. Rj shows on as but it shows an airbus 340 and in February it shows 787. Do you know if they are back to the 340 ?

  15. I’m now seeing zero (as in not even able to select business class at any price) available for awards through AA on this ORD-AMM route now (as of 4-30-15) FYI.

  16. Lucky, I’ll be trying out RJ 182 in October: TLV-AMM-BKK-HKG. Couldn’t resist 11 + hours on the 787 for 30,000 AA miles and ~$33 in taxes. Hoping my flight will be less memorable than your BKK – HKG segment.

  17. I just booked on etihad from abu dhabi to lax. I have an Rj frequent flier card. Can I get the miles to from the etihad flight put onto my Rj card?

  18. I just flew a round trip from Cincinnati to Amman and back via RJ. The ticket was $1016 economy class. But, there is a nice little trick.

    RJ.com has a place where you can upgrade to Crown Class which is business class by “bidding” for a seat up there. This time of year it wasn’t difficult to get the upgrade which I bid at $1095 the lowest the slider would go. I noted that there were few in that section going over so I, correctly, figured there wouldn’t be many on the return flight. There were only 8 people in 24 slots. They were happy to upgrade me.

    The experience was wonderful! Not only is Jordan a gem of a place to visit with friendly people, amazing attractions like Madaba, the Dead Sea and Petra but safe. Jordanians are suffering from the fear of the Middle East, unfairly. The only thing you have to fear in Jordan are the drivers ;-).

    Crown Class is a bargain given the 12+30 in the air from AMM – ORD. I was able to take a 4hr nap without anyone bothering me, enjoyed delicious meals and there was always something on the buffet to snack on during mid-flight walks. Wine including a Jordanian Shiraz, Champagne, Beer, Whiskey and the usual beverages was available throughout the flight. We had noise-cancelling headsets and comfy pillows and quilts.

    I arrived in Chicago rested and awake.

    The 787 is a welcome addition to the Royal Jordanian fleet.

  19. RJ is not dry anywhere, AFAIK. I flew them AMM-DXB and they were more than happy to serve me champagne on my 8 am flight.

    Personally, I found their short haul service to be nothing short of spectacular. Their seats on narrowbody business are similar to the ones Virgin America or Turkish Comfort Class, so a really top notch short-medium haul product. The food was very well varied, heavily catered and served in the classic way – from the trolley, but not on trays, so you could see everything before choosing. And you could chose literally everything.

    They had a purser in the galley and a lovely young lady FA who basically spent the whole flight up and down the business aisle, catering to your every whim.

    If their long haul service is anything like this, there is no way someone should be disappointed.

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