Review: Royal Jordanian Business Class Embraer 175 Cairo To Amman

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This flight’s adventure started before I even got on the plane. At the end of the jet bridge there were three guys in hoodies. As I approached them they pointed at my bag and said “we check.” It had been a long travel day and my brain wasn’t working properly, so I thought they were telling me I needed to gate check my bag since it was a regional jet.

“No, it will fit.” After a bit more discussion they grabbed the bag out of my hand, at which point I became a bit irritated, since I didn’t understand what they were doing, and the whole situation struck me as shady, as they didn’t have visible badges or anything. Then the flight attendant apologized and explained that they were just doing pat downs and bag searches on the jet bridge. Ah, that kind of a “check.”

I don’t understand why they don’t have badges and/or uniforms. Interestingly they were actually Jordanian security officials, as they flew back to Amman with us.

Royal Jordanian 502
Cairo (CAI) – Amman (AMM)
Wednesday, January 4
Depart: 12:10PM
Arrive: 1:25PM
Duration: 1hr15min
Aircraft: Embraer 175
Seat: 4A (Business Class)

At the door I was greeted by two fairly young (and attractive) flight attendants. Royal Jordanian’s Embraer 175 business class cabin consists of 12 seats, spread across four rows in a 1-2 configuration. This is very similar to the configurations we see at U.S. airlines for similar jets.

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Royal Jordanian Embraer 175 business class cabin

I had assigned myself seat 4A, the window seat in the last row. As you can see, there was a pillow waiting on my seat.

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Royal Jordanian EMB175 business class, seat 4A

The legroom was quite good, and the seat even had a legrest, which I didn’t use.

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Royal Jordanian business class legroom

There was also a power port on the side of the seat.

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Royal Jordanian business class power port

There were a lot of people boarding over the next 10 minutes, though eventually the flight attendant came up to me to say I was the only business class passenger, and that I could choose any seat I wanted.

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Royal Jordanian Embraer 175 business class cabin

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Royal Jordanian EMB175 business class cabin

As boarding finished up, the flight attendant said she could serve me any drink after takeoff, but only Arabic coffee on the ground. When I asked for some, she seemed surprised, said “really?” and had a big smile on her face. She even offered me a refill.

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Royal Jordanian business class Arabic coffee

The cabin door closed at 12:05PM. At this point one of the security officers who gave me a pat down and checked my bag moved from economy to business class. Moments later we began our pushback.

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View on pushback at Cairo Airport

The lead flight attendant made the welcome aboard announcement (there were no announcements from the cockpit), and informed us of our flight time of one hour. At that point the crew did a manual safety demonstration. There were three flight attendants on the plane — U.S. carriers have two on the same plane.

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View on pushback at Cairo Airport

I enjoyed looking out the window as we taxied past Terminal 2, and in particular seeing some airlines I don’t think I’ve ever seen before.

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Cairo Airport traffic

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Taxiing past Terminal 2 at Cairo Airport

We had a long taxi to the departure runway, which I didn’t mind one bit, given the unique plane spotting opportunities.

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Taxiing Cairo Airport

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EgyptAir A330 Cairo Airport

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Taxiing Cairo Airport

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Taxiing Cairo Airport

Finally at around 12:35PM we were cleared for takeoff on runway 23C.

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Taking off Cairo Airport

I loved the views on our climb out.

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View after takeoff from Cairo

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View after takeoff from Cairo

A few minutes after takeoff the seatbelt sign was turned off. At that point I moved over to the window seat on the opposite side of row four, as I wanted to get my bag from the overhead bin and place it on the seat next to me.

At this point service began, and the flight attendant offered me a warm towel.

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Royal Jordanian business class hot towel

She then asked if I wanted a snack, and said “I have cheese, salmon, dessert.” I wasn’t sure if she was offering me one or all of those, so I said “whatever you think.” She placed a tablecloth on my tray table.

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Royal Jordanian business class tablecloth

Then she brought me a tray with all three.

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Royal Jordanian business class snack service

There was a piece of bread with salmon, a piece of bread with tomatoes and cheese, and a bagel with salmon.

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Royal Jordanian business class snack service

Then there was a salad with artichokes, cheese, sundried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and olives.

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Royal Jordanian business class snack service

Lastly there was a dessert with some sort of chocolate and strawberry cakes.

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Royal Jordanian business class dessert

I just wanted some water to drink, so was offered a bottle. While Royal Jordanian isn’t a dry airline across the board, I believe they don’t serve alcohol on shorthaul flights.

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Royal Jordanian business class bottled water

For the rest of the flight I just gazed out the window and enjoyed the views.

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View enroute to Amman

I noticed that the overhead bin above my seat had a sign saying “for cabin grooming use only.” That confused me at first — while the flight attendants’ eyebrows were on fleek, I didn’t think they needed a dedicated overhead bin to accomplish that. But perhaps that’s not what grooming refers to in this context.

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Royal Jordanian business class overhead bin

The crew was attentive for the short flight, though they already fully prepared the cabin for landing more than 20 minutes out, meaning that really they were only up for about 35 minutes.

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View approaching Amman

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View approaching Amman

We touched down at Amman Queen Alia Airport at 1:30PM.

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View on final approach to Amman

From there it was just a quick two minute taxi to our arrival gate.

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Taxiing Amman Airport

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Arriving at gate Amman Airport

Amman Airport is gorgeous, and the arrivals experience was easy. There was no line for immigration, and the process of paying for your visa on arrival and getting stamped is seamless.

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Amman Airport

Royal Jordanian business class bottom line

Aside from the jet bridge kerfuffle, this was a very pleasant, quick flight. In general I love the Embraer 175, though this one was especially comfortable — the business class cabin had plenty of legroom and power ports, and being the only passenger was nice as well. I’d gladly fly this plane again, even on a longer route.

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About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. Is serving Arabic coffee on the ground a Jordanian custom? Elsewhere in the Middle East it’s generally placed on the table.

  2. I love how they use the white/cream leather seats in the business cabin, it looks bright and clean.

    Lucky, do you know if they provide tablets for IFE? or do they just entertain you with food for that short flight?

  3. Flying CAI-AMM in Business Class last year, juice and water were available before departure as well. After departure, they served Taittinger champagne, which is also available on their medium and long haul flights. I also remember the strange additional security screening at boarding. Screening was only performed in CAI, not in FRA and not in AMM.

  4. Cabin grooming is RJ’s term for cabin cleaning/upkeep. When you are at AMM you can see trucks (like catering trucks) elevated to the aircraft doors marked “cabin grooming”. It was probably a locker for spare blankets/pillows etc.

  5. A big shout-out to Hosea, whose creative trolling sometimes makes me snort out loud.

    Not sure I’d trust those cakes, but I also would have appreciated pics of the attractive FAs. 🙂

  6. Lucky, an interesting article on marshals and tasers (and Korean Air’s incident involving Richard Marx).

  7. “Cabin grooming” means cleaning the plane. I don’t know why they don’t say cleaning specifically but in the US it seems the cabin crew “grooms” planes as in crosses seat belts, picks up big trash, etc whilst cleaners actually vacuum and properly clean the restrooms etc. I presume the bin contains the necessary items to clean the plane at outstations. Interesting they would place these items in business and not at the back of economy.

  8. Ah yes, flying RJ on an RJ.

    I flew AMM-CAI on Royal Jordanian ~20 years ago, in economy. As soon as the plane took off, everyone around me lit cigarettes. This was before planes because entirely non-smoking; on the other hand, we were in fact sitting well inside the non-smoking section. The FAs tried to control it, but could not. Maybe it has changed…or maybe not.

  9. The “cabin grooming” is just a really bad translation from the original Arabic. As Timtamtrak points out, it just means that particular bin is for items used to clean the cabin.

    “seeing some airlines I don’t think I’ve ever seen before”

    That first airline is Jazeera Airways, a Kuwaiti airline. It is a LCC, though as in the norm with some LCCs, they offer business class on some routes too.

  10. +1 paul.
    Hosea is easily the funniest troll ive seen in a while. Even funnier because so many people don’t get his sense of humour

  11. “She then asked if I wanted a snack, and said “I have cheese, salmon, dessert.” I wasn’t sure if she was offering me one or all of those, so I said “whatever you think.””

    Why not just politely ask her to clarify what she meant?

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