Introduction: Flying With Royalty (Or Not)
Review: Air Canada Premium Rouge 767 Tampa To Toronto
Review: Sheraton Gateway Toronto Airport
Review: EgyptAir Business Class 777 Toronto To Cairo
Review: Cairo Airport Lounge Terminal 2
Review: Royal Jordanian Business Class Embraer 175 Cairo To Amman
Review: Grand Hyatt Amman
Review: Royal Jordanian Lounge Amman Airport
Review: Royal Jordanian Business Class 787 Amman To Kuala Lumpur
Review: St. Regis Kuala Lumpur
Review: Plaza Premium Lounge Kuala Lumpur
Review: Royal Brunei Business Class A320 Kuala Lumpur To Bandar Seri Begawan
Review: Radisson Bandar Seri Begawan Brunei
Review: Royal Brunei Lounge Bandar Seri Begawan
Review: Royal Brunei Business Class 787 Bandar Seri Begawan To Dubai
Review: W Dubai Al Habtoor City
Review: St. Regis Dubai
Review: Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai
Review: Emirates Business Class A380 Dubai To Los Angeles
I took a taxi from the Grand Hyatt to the airport at around 9:30PM, plenty early for my 1:30AM flight to Kuala Lumpur. About a mile before we got to the actual terminal, there was a security check. They searched some cars, while others they let through after looking into the cars. In my case they asked to see my passport, and when they saw it was German, they waved us through.
Before entering the terminal, I had a bit of an odd exchange with the taxi driver. We agreed the price should be 25JOD before the ride, and I gave him 30JOD (since that’s the leftover currency I had).
“You said it’s 25, and I gave you 30.”
Anyway, the exterior of Amman Queen Alia Airport is beautiful.
There’s a full security check as soon as you enter the terminal, before even getting to check-in. Then there’s another passport check. Given that this is Royal Jordanian’s hub airport, I figured they’d continuously have check-in counters open, though it seems they have a different counter for every flight, and the one for Kuala Lumpur wasn’t yet open. I was informed it would open three hours before departure.
Fortunately I quickly realized that Royal Jordanian has a premium check-in facility, located at the far right of the terminal.
As you can see based on the signage, it’s available to business class passengers, as well as all oneworld elite members.
This area was really well done, and had sit-down check-in, couches, etc. When I walked in there actually wasn’t anyone visible. Only after I said “hello?” did someone emerge from a back room.
Within a minute I had my boarding pass to Kuala Lumpur, and was invited to use the dedicated premium security and immigration channel.
This involved walking down a very long hallway along the window. Eventually I found myself at the immigration desk. The immigration officer seemed surprised to see me, as I imagine not a whole lot of people use this channel.
After that was a separate security channel, where once again they seemed startled when I approached. Apparently the actual security officers weren’t there, as they initially advised me to wait. But after waiting for a couple of minutes they took it upon themselves to screen me. I’m not sure they knew exactly what they were doing, as they struggled to use the baggage x-ray machine.
Once through security I found myself in the heart of the airside terminal, right by the entrance to the lounge. Amman Airport really is beautiful, and also small and well designed. It reminds me a bit of the other major airports in the Middle East (like Doha and Dubai), except it isn’t nearly as big, so it’s actually easy and quick to navigate. I was surprised by how quiet everything was.
Like I said, the entrance to the Royal Jordanian lounge was just past the premium security checkpoint.
There was an elevator leading to the upper level, or otherwise you could take the stairs.
Upon presenting my boarding pass I was given a wifi code for the lounge. I could never actually get it to work. Fortunately the airport’s wifi worked, though it was on the slow side.
The lounge was open air and one level above the main concourse, so you had a great view of the entire terminal from it.
First I checked out the left side of the lounge, nearest reception. This area seemed to be quietest, as the main food and drink area was on the other side of the lounge.
There was tons of seating (I’ll mostly let the pictures speak for themselves as far as that goes).
Then there was a relaxation area with some daybeds (though no pillows or blankets).
There was a self serve drink area with coffee, soft drinks, water, etc.
Then there was a bar with self serve wine.
There was also a small dining area with healthier options, including juice, while fruit, and sliced fruit salad.
The fruit looked reasonably appetizing, and was significantly healthier than everything on the other side of the lounge.
On the other side of the lounge, back near the entrance, was a massive TV that took up the whole wall. I’m not sure what exactly it was showing.
Seating options were similar to what was available on the other side.
The exception was the private entertainment areas. Personally I’d rather they have private quiet areas than private areas with TVs, but that’s just me.
There was also a bar with wine and liquor.
Then there was the main buffet.
There were several types of packaged sandwiches and other assorted carbs.
Then there was an area with individual servings of hummus.
Then there was a make-your-own-salad area.
Then the hot options consisted of three Jordanian delicacies — chicken fajitas, mozzarella sticks, and mini-potatoes. 😉
Then there was a selection of sweets.
There was also another coffee machine, as well as soft drinks and bottled water.
My boarding pass indicated that boarding was scheduled to start at 12:30AM, a full hour before departure. Of course I wanted to be the first aboard so I could get pictures, so I decided to head to the gate at around 12:15AM.
My flight was departing from gate 106, just a short walk from the lounge. Royal Jordanian’s livery is gorgeous, in my opinion, in particular on the 787. It looked like they were just catering the plane as I arrived.
Go figure the 12:30AM boarding time wasn’t accurate, as there wasn’t even a gate agent at that time. Instead the crew only slowly wandered up to the gate at 12:45AM.
There was some interesting people watching in the gate area. I’ve taken a lot of flights to/from the Middle East, so over the years I’ve gotten pretty good at spotting people on their pilgrimage. Well, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a gate area with as many people on a pilgrimage as this… and that would lead to an interesting flight.
Finally at 1AM boarding started. While there wasn’t any sort of priority boarding (rather just a free-for-all), I was close enough to the gate so I could be among the first aboard.
Royal Jordanian Lounge Amman bottom line
Amman Airport impressed me, and might just be my favorite airport in the Middle East. It has a similar impressive design to Dubai and Doha, except it’s not nearly as big. The Royal Jordanian premium check-in is also really convenient, and they have a solid lounge. No, it’s not the most impressive lounge in the world, but the whole experience was more pleasant than I was expecting.