Review: Royal Jordanian Business Class 787 Amman To Kuala Lumpur

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


Before I get into the actual report, I should note that I checked the seatmap just a couple of hours before the flight, and it showed just two seats taken in business class (including mine). However, economy was oversold, so there were 22 upgrades from economy to business class.

rj-seatmap

Royal Jordanian 184
Amman (AMM) – Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
Friday, January 6
Depart: 1:30AM
Arrive: 4:25PM
Duration: 8hr55min
Aircraft: Boeing 787-8
Seat: 4C (Business Class)

I boarded through door L2, located right behind the business class cabin. There was a very cool-looking display with the Royal Jordanian crown logo on it, though I don’t think they ever did anything with it during the flight.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-4
Royal Jordanian 787 entryway

While most airlines have proper bulkheads between the main entry door and the cabins, that’s not the case on Royal Jordanian’s 787. Instead the second set of doors opens up immediately to the back of the business class cabin.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-3
Royal Jordanian 787 entryway

Royal Jordanian has 24 business class seats on the 787, spread across four rows in a 2-2-2 configuration. The seats are B/E Aerospace Diamond seats, which are the same you’ll find on AeroflotAeromexico, Air China, Saudia, United, etc. Standing in the aisle was a guy with four stripes — at first I thought it was the captain, but after realizing he was in the cabin the whole flight, I suppose he was the lead flight attendant.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-1
Royal Jordanian 787 business class cabin

I headed to the far aisle and took my seat, 4H. That’s the aisle seat on the right side in the last row.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-2
Royal Jordanian 787 business class cabin

Royal Jordanian’s finishes are rather neutral. As far as B/E Aerospace Diamond seats go, I appreciate that they’re a bit more private than standard forward facing business class seats.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-5
Royal Jordanian 787 business class seats

At the same time, I don’t love that the foot cubbies are so small, which means many people will have to sleep in a strange position in order to make room for their feet.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-11
Royal Jordanian 787 Crown Class legroom

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-7
Royal Jordanian 787 business class legroom

The seat controls were located on the center armrest, and were easy to use.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-8
Royal Jordanian 787 business class seat controls

Underneath the center armrest was the entertainment controller.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-15
Royal Jordanian 787 business class entertainment controller

At the back right of the seat was an exposed storage compartment with a power outlet, headphone jack, and USB outlet.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-10
Royal Jordanian 787 business class seat storage & power outlets

One thing to note about row four is that there’s a missing window, so you’ll struggle to look out the window. If that matters to you, choose a different row.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-12
Royal Jordanian 787 business class missing window

Also waiting at my seat on boarding was a pillow and blanket. The pillow was fairly comfortable, while the blanket was scratchy and light.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-14
Royal Jordanian business class pillow & blanket

The boarding process on this flight was a mess. I quickly connected the dots on this — many of the people seemed to be coming back from their pilgrimage (going via Amman seems like the long way to go, but perhaps the fares were the best), which means you had a lot of people who probably had never been on a plane before. That of course isn’t true of everyone who goes on a pilgrimage, but it’s something that a lot of people save up for their whole life.

So there was a massive amount of confusion, as no one knew where their seats were, and people didn’t want to sit down once they got to their seats.

Then there were a bunch of operational upgrades to business class, and with this, a lot of family members seemed to be seated apart. A lady settled down next to me in 4K, with her family members in 4A, 4C, and 4D. They wanted the guy in 4G to switch to 4K, though it was clear he was a Jordanian air marshal, and needed to be in an aisle seat.

They didn’t seem to get that he couldn’t change seats, and they kept probing the crew about why. Eventually they asked if I could move to seat 4D, the aisle seat in the left center section. I was happy to, even if I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of sitting next to an air marshal (give the amount of pictures I take).

The crew was friendly and thanked me profusely for switching seats. Once boarding was complete, the crew came through the cabin with Arabic coffee. I was even offered a refill, but declined.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-16
Royal Jordanian business class pre-departure Arabic coffee

They then distributed the menu and drink list for the flight.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-17
Royal Jordanian business class menu & drink list

There were also cute stickers you could use to indicate if you wanted to be woken up for breakfast, not disturbed, etc.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-18
Royal Jordanian business class service stickers

I was also offered headphones, which were fine, though certainly not as good as Bose ones.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-19
Royal Jordanian business class headphones

Then I was offered an amenity kit, with Aigner amenities.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-20
Royal Jordanian business class amenity kit

The kit contained body lotion, socks, a brush, a shoehorn, a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, etc.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-21
Royal Jordanian business class amenity kit contents

After that the crew came through with a choice or apple or orange juice.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-22
Royal Jordanian business class pre-departure beverage

By 1:25AM boarding was complete, and by 1:35AM the door was closed. Five minutes after that, at 1:40AM, we began our pushback. At this point the crew screened the safety video.

Our taxi was very short, and at 1:45PM we were cleared for takeoff, literally the moment the safety video was completed. The crew buckled in as we accelerated down the runway.

After takeoff the cabin manager, Mahmoud, made his welcome aboard announcement. He welcomed us “aboard this flight to Jakarta,” which had me worried for a moment. Then I realized that the plane continues from Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta, and presumably he just forgot to announce the intermediate stop. He informed us that the flight time for the sector would be 8hr20min.

The seatbelt sign was turned off 20 minutes after takeoff. While there are two lavatories behind business class, only the back right one is reserved for business class, while the one on the left can be used by economy passengers. It was a fairly standard 787 lavatory, though this was the last time I’d see it in an acceptable state.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-23
Royal Jordanian business class lavatory

After takeoff there was quite a delay before drink and meal orders were taken. On a quick redeye I sure appreciate when service starts quickly, though in this case it was 40 minutes after takeoff before meal orders were taken.

The meal service started about an hour after takeoff, so I extended my tray table from the center armrest.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-24
Royal Jordanian business class tray table

The menu read as follows:

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-25

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-26

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-27

The drink list read as follows:

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-28

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-29

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-30

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-31

Service began with warm towels.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-32
Royal Jordanian business class hot towel

Then the appetizer and salad were delivered on a tray.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-33
Royal Jordanian business class dinner — appetizer & salad

The appetizer consisted of salmon, beef, and some sort of cheese thing. It was decent enough.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-34
Royal Jordanian business class appetizer

There was a small side salad with cherry tomatoes, peppers, etc.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-35
Royal Jordanian business class salad

Royal Jordanian has wine and liquor on longhaul flights. I love trying local wines (it was one of my favorite things about Air Serbia), and was excited to see they had a Jordanian sauvignon blanc (I love sauv blanc — I know, I’m basic…). However, unfortunately it didn’t taste good at all — Jordan is not New Zealand when it comes to wine, clearly!

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-36
Royal Jordanian business class wine

Once the appetizer and salad were cleared, the crew rolled a trolley down the aisle with the main courses. In theory I love the concept of them serving from a tray. I know some will complain about the aluminum tins they’re served in, but I just find it to be practical.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-37
Royal Jordanian business class main courses

The flight attendant was friendly, and said I could have as much as I wanted. So I asked for a little bit of everything, except the pepper steak. It was very nicely plated, and to start I had the shrimp stew and farfalle pasta.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-38
Royal Jordanian business class main course

She returned later with a second plate, since the chicken was still in the oven. The dijonnaise chicken was very good as well.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-40
Royal Jordanian business class main course

My only complaint was that the food wasn’t especially hot. It wasn’t cold, but was lukewarm at best.

Once the main course trays were cleared, the crew came around with dessert.

I asked for the baklava and ice cream wrapped in pistachios. As I ordered, the flight attendant smiled and said “good taste, you like the Arabic desserts.” I also had a coffee to accompany it.

The ice cream was phenomenal, and the baklava was pretty good too.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-41
Royal Jordanian business class dessert

The entire meal service was done about two hours into the flight. Once the service got started, the crew was pretty quick, probably thanks to the fact that only a few passengers were eating, while most elected to go to sleep.

The crew was friendly throughout the service. They weren’t over the top or amazingly polished, but they provided what felt like authentic hospitality.

After the meal I decided to browse the entertainment system. I started by looking at the airshow. While it had the same general design as the system many airlines use, it didn’t actually show the plane anywhere, which was odd. No matter which setting I chose, that problem persisted.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-42
Royal Jordanian airshow

In terms of the entertainment, the selection was better than I was expecting. The system was highly responsive, so it was very easy to browse between options.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-43
Royal Jordanian entertainment selection 787

While the selection wasn’t quite to the level of what you’ll find on Emirates, it was solid. There were a few dozen movies.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-45
Royal Jordanian entertainment selection 787

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-46
Royal Jordanian entertainment selection 787

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-47
Royal Jordanian entertainment selection 787

Personally I far prefer sitcoms, so I was happy to see they had multiple episodes of several popular shows, including The Big Bang Theory, The Middle, The Goldbergs, etc.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-48
Royal Jordanian entertainment selection 787

While I had seen all the episodes of The Big Bang Theory and The Middle, there were some episodes of The Goldberg I hadn’t seen, so I watched a couple before going to sleep.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-50
Royal Jordanian entertainment selection 787

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-51
Royal Jordanian entertainment selection 787

I managed to get three hours of solid sleep, and woke up about two hours before landing. It was a bit tough to fall asleep at first, as the air marshal next to me was watching his TV and talking to the crew for a while.

When I woke up I pressed the flight attendant call button because I wanted some water. I was impressed that when the flight attendant answered the call button she already had a bottle of water in her hand — I guess she read my mind!

Upon waking up I watched an episode of “Just Kidding,” which is the kids version of “Just For Laughs.” It’s a funny enough show, but I’m still convinced those kids are going to cringe at the rap video at the beginning when they grow up.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-52
Royal Jordanian entertainment selection 787

About 90 minutes before landing a light breakfast was served. This wasn’t on the menu, and for that matter wasn’t very impressive. It consisted of three types of bread (a danish, a roll, and a savory croissant), packaged cheese, and a small, sad looking fruit plate.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-53
Royal Jordanian business class breakfast

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-54
Royal Jordanian business class breakfast — fresh fruit

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-55
Royal Jordanian business class breakfast — croissant and rolls

One thing I found bizarre is that the crew didn’t proactively offer any drinks with the breakfast. I asked for some coffee, and the flight attendant said she’d brew some. You’d think a cup of coffee with breakfast would be a fairly standard request? I ended up only being served coffee after I was finished with breakfast.

On the plus side, I really loved the mug, and was tempted to borrow it (but didn’t).

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-56
Royal Jordanian business class breakfast — coffee

Towards the end of the flight the smell in the back of the business class cabin became horrible. Like, really bad. I think everyone would be permanently scarred if I posted a picture of what the bathroom looked like before the descent. One time I entered it and there were two different peoples’ number twos in there, and no one bothered to flush. The floor was full of not-clear water, presumably because people were cleaning themselves in that way. Several people used the bathroom without even bothering to close the door (I’m not talking about not locking the door, but literally just keeping the door open).

I really had to pee, but I held it in until landing in Kuala Lumpur.

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-57
Cabin before arrival in Kuala Lumpur

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-58
Cabin before arrival in Kuala Lumpur

Finally at 3:40PM local time we began our descent, and then we touched down in Kuala Lumpur at 4:05PM (again, the airshow didn’t show the location of the plane, but…).

royal-jordanian-business-class-787-59
Airshow approaching Kuala Lumpur

As we taxied to the gate, the crew advised passengers continuing to Jakarta to remain seated. Since the flight attendant jumpseat was across from me I asked the flight attendants if they were continuing to Jakarta, and they said they were — ouch! That’s a long day, especially when they left Amman at 1:30AM.

We arrived at our gate at 4:15PM, though I was among the only people to get off the plane — just about everyone else was continuing to Jakarta, it seemed.

Royal Jordanian 787 Crown Class bottom line

Overall my flight on Royal Jordanian was pleasant. The seat was perfectly nice for a fairly short flight, though I wouldn’t like it quite as much for one of their longer flights to the U.S., where I prefer a configuration with direct aisle access from every seat. The food was average, I’d say — I liked the main course presentation and quality, though otherwise the food wasn’t great.

The crew was well intentioned and friendly, though the service wasn’t as polished as on some other airlines.

Perhaps the most memorable aspect of the flight were the other passengers. Not having access to anything even remotely resembling a clean bathroom in business class is pretty unfortunate.

All things considered I’d fly Royal Jordanian again if the circumstances were right. They wouldn’t be my first choice of airline, though all around were solid.

Enjoy this review? Check out hundreds of other reports on airlines, hotels, and airport lounges worldwide!

Comments

  1. Wow. A Muslim airline that serves alcohol. They are going to hell.

    All airlines should be allowed to impose their religious views on others and all Muslims in the west should be forced to go to church on Sunday.

  2. Credit, plenty of “Muslim” airlines serve alcohol. Lucky, I’m amazed that you called this flight pleasant given the bathroom situation. It would have been my version of hell. I traveled to Jordan in 2016 and chose to fly Qatar there and Etihad back (was my first time on both of these airlines – really wanted to try them out), after reading this I’m very glad I didn’t book with Royal Jordanian (although it would have been a non-stop flight vs. transiting through Doha and Abu Dhabi)

  3. Interesting they didn’t seem to upgrade people with status vs irregular Haj flyers. Guessing this means the plane was almost compelling full of pilgrimage folks.

  4. I flew a 787 RJ from HKG-BKK for around $200 RT and bid to upgrade to business for around $50 each way. I agree with service – it was authentic but not necessarily polished. My business class was 1/2 full so that helped. I would be interested to try them on a longer flight but the bathroom situation sounds miserable.

  5. Lucky is being way too generous towards RJ. That lavatory situation was completely unacceptable. Was the cabin crew completely oblivious to it? This was a massive fail and certainly justifies RJ being put on my “no fly” list.

    On a happier note: our dear @Credit once again made me smile & chuckle.

  6. In 1980 I flew ALIA (as Royal Jordanian was called in those days) from Amsterdam to New York, after my Trans International Airlines flight was cancelled. It was 8 hours of sheer hell. Every toilet was just as you described Lucky, and every male passenger smoked (while standing in the aisles) one cheap Middle Eastern cigarette after another. The air was so thick with smoke that it looked as if the 747’s cabin was on fire. I thought I’d choke to death. More than three decades later I still shudder when I’m in an airport and catch a glimpse of a Royal Jordanian plane.

    You young non-smokers have no idea what it was like in the ‘old days’ when scores of fellow passengers puffed away hour after hour. The “No Smoking” zones were a joke, because in a sealed metal tube the smoke went everywhere. I almost always deplaned with a splitting headache and clothes that reeked.

  7. I think it’s not RJ’s fault , but the route-problem full of hygenical retards! Take the same route on any discounted ME carrier and you will have a similar experience. for me that’s terrible but I also understand the FA to feel disgusted cleaning that up.

  8. For all you spoilt westerners, and I am caucasian, this is a disparaging report. Moral of the story dont travel during Haj. It is not all year just a short period. I have travelled on RJ recently, several times outside Haj and found them to be better than most western airlines in business. At least you don’t get snotty nosed cabin crew acting like sergeant majors. Yes they are Jordanian crew for the most part. The way they behave is their culture. If people do not like it, do not fly them. I would fly them any day (outside Haj) when the toilets can be as clean or disgusting as any ‘western’ airline. Jordan is by the way a staunch ally of the west. Any visit to the country will re-assure you of that fact. That is my six pennies worth.

  9. There have been several recent comments about crews being “not polished”. Can we get an actual definition of what any of these bloggers means? Kneeling down to talk to pax? Presenting the champagne bottle before pouring? What? Just saying a crew was (not) polished doesn’t mean anything without a reference.

  10. @betterbub:

    Not sure I follow. When the crews go on OMAAT? When the bloggers or commenters go on OMAAT? Am *I* an unpolished flight crew because I asked a question? Can you clarify?

  11. I have flown Royal Jordanian a number of times and I agree with the majority of your review. It is a perfectly respectable airline particularly their 787s, perhaps not as ‘polished’ as Emirates, Qatar, Singapore etc.. but a solid airline and if the price is right, I would happily go for it. The toilet situation you described is unfortunate, but perhaps that is really connected with the passengers on this particular route and not something that can be applied to the airline as a whole, although of course it shouldn’t be allowed to happen, particularly in business class.

  12. Flew RJ from HKG to BKK last October and it was perhaps one of the most awful flight experiences I have ever had. Not only the food was poor (only cold sandwiches being served on this 2.5-hour flight), the headphones were also unresponsive. Will seriously consider flying the same route again even though the price is really attractive

  13. I flown RJ Business Class from DXB-AMM-JFK return a few times, using AA advantage points, and recommend it. Highlights are the food served directly from the little cart – you can pick your entrées and have as much as you want. When they run out, they prepare more. Service has always been professional and an appropriate level of friendly. The Amman Crown lounge is great. Plenty of room and decent snacks/beverages.
    The only negatives I can point to are the boarding, which often does not include priority boarding, which is both unacceptable and fixable. Also the IFE is somewhat sparse. As for the bathroom issues discussed in the review – that looks to be an unfortunate result of the Haj timing. Nevertheless, the airline should take proactive steps during that month on routes where they are aware of high pilgrimage capacity levels, if their experience warrant this.

  14. @Credit – As a Muslim living in the West, I would be happy to be ‘forced’ to go to Church on Sundays…
    As long as you can get the Christians to go along 🙂 and while we are at it, which one of the hundreds of denominational Churches would you nominate for Muslims to attend?! Can we pick Kingdom Hall over Latter-day Saints?!

  15. I never recommend Royal Jordanian Airlines to anyone as I had the most unpleasant experience that happened to me with them while I was going from Madrid to Cairo on April 18th, 2017, as I was supposed to have a one night transit in Amman under the impression that I have a free night stay at the airport hotel but once I arrived to Amman they refused to give me the free night and said that I have to pay USD 163 in order to get a room!! Knowing that I already told them that I lost my wallet in Madrid with all the money and cards, and all I have is only JOD 7!!! They were treating me as if I’m begging and they were very rude and unwelcoming!! No one helped me and I ended up sleeping on the floor of the airport as if I’m a beggar!
    I went to their transit office and regular office at the airport and no one helped!! After then i visited their office at the hotel and they told me it’s not our problem!!! I wonder how they deal with their customers like that!!! Good service doesn’t mean smiling cabin crew or good food on flight! But means helping and assisting your customers when in trouble!! I’m really sad and upset, and will never ever fly with them again!!!

  16. I thought you’d never fly RJ again after your 2013 “flight from hell”? Change of heart?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *