Another report from the archive, this one was originally titled, “Flying Royal Jordanian’s Baby Zay” back in 2008. Royal Jordanian prove that business class on an Embraer 175 can be as comfortable – if not more comfortable – than flying on a wide body. The cabin configuration, coupled with nice decor, good service and an astonishingly decent food service really made this flight a winner. Enjoy!
RJ130 – Budapest to Amman (BUD-AMM)
11 July 2008
Embraer 175LR – JY-EMC – “Zay”
Seat: Crown Class 2A
Departure: 14:55 Arrival 19:35
Upon arrival in Budapest after my Malev flight flight from Dublin, I collected my luggage and proceeded back upstairs to departures. Check-in wasn’t yet open, but while I waited I watched the old fashioned flapper type departure boards. Once check-in opened, I was first to the desk and once again the agent was bemused when I said I wanted to be checked through to Sydney.
There was some discussion in Hungarian with whom I presumed was her supervisor and after a printer malfunction, she printed off a long sticker saying BUD to AMM, BKK, SYD. Happy days, no more 20kg bag to schlep around. Of course, she had trouble understanding English and wouldn’t crack a smile if she won a million dollars, so my request for 1A was met with a look. Once I realised the look meant it was already taken, I asked where the lounge was. Much shaking of the head ruefully. I decided to find it myself.
The Millenium Lounge, Budapest Airport
Straight through Passport control and voila – big blue and white sign that said “Lounges”. I found the Millenium Lounge (it’s Malev operated, but many airlines use it) and was soon installed on a PC.
The view from the lounge was pretty good as well, as you could see both runways for departing and arriving flights. Not many people were in the lounge, which made it nice and quiet. I had a little bit of food from the food area, and took a photo of the TV as well, just for completeness.
Soon enough our wee little Royal Jordanian mini-jet arrived at Budapest and taxied up to the spaghetti jetway. Anyway, about 20 minutes before scheduled departure I went down to the departure gate. There was an unhappy line of people at the desk and a frazzled agent banging his keyboard, ringing people, slamming his phone down and generally having a bad time of things. They announced a 20 minute delay, and then started boarding 5 minutes later. Odd!
Royal Jordanian’s Crown Class Cabin
I was third or fourth on board and quickly settled myself into 2A. The seats are 2 x 1 in Business Class, so I had both a window and an aisle!
The seats are actually quite snazzy, with a foot rest, and good recline. They even have a little pull out table for your drinks! The only problem with the seats is this – they’ve been in service for one month on this aircraft (it was delivered in June) and they’re already showing signs of wear.
The material at the end of the armrests (some kind of tacky plastic) is of a light colour, as is the rest of the seat, so any mark shows and shows badly. Poor choice! The seats also have a small rubbish receptacle – mine had gum in it. Fairly gross! Anyway, we had a choice of juices as our pre-takeoff drinks, and I chose apple juice.
The seat pocket is enormous, which helps it to accommodate things such as this Royal Jordanian pillow. As you can see, legroom isn’t too shabby either.
We sat on the aircraft for approximately an hour. During this time, we were handed our menus, asked what drinks we wanted with our nuts after takeoff (“Champagne, please!”) and offered newspapers and magazines.
Waiting Around On The Ground
Some passengers boarded about 40 minutes after we got on, and we continued to wait. While waiting, I snapped a picture showing some of the flight deck. Of course, being a new aircraft, there is no “No Smoking” sign, instead it mentions devices.
They ended up paging some people – including me! I stuck my hand up to show I was on board, and the other two were in Economy and moved to Crown Class. As soon as that was done, they apologised for the ground stuff up, and we pushed back and took off rather smartly.
Royal Jordanian Prove Meals Can Be Amazing!
My champagne and nuts came after takeoff, and later on we were served lunch. This is where Royal Jordanian prove their mettle, as things are very good in this area.
With the appetisers and salads above, you get all of them together on one plate. They aren’t choices.
The dish on bottom right has all the things in it. It was very good, I have to say – but I have a French housemate, so me and pate like each other. I was going to have the Goose as a main, but decided on the veal. My flight attendant looked surprised (why am I surprising everyone on this trip!) and brought it out to me.
It was unbelievably amazing! The meat was cooked to perfection, the vegetables more-ish, and basically I enjoyed every bite. The cheese to finish was a bit strange (read: plastic) but the cake was nice. I also had coffee and water as well.
On Board Entertainment
In flight entertainment consists of hand held units given to each passenger. They essentially have movies pre-loaded, television shows, games and things like that. Once I’d been through the selection, I realised there was nothing I wanted to see, so I spent the rest of the flight dozing.
We arrived only a bit later than scheduled, and Crown Class passengers deplaned into the special Crown Class bus and headed to the Terminal. This is another area Royal Jordanian prove the experience can be great. I think we were at the Terminal before all the Economy passengers had even started leaving the plane onto their own bus!
I haven’t flown Royal Jordanian since April 2007 and I was pleasantly surprised to see that they have increased the standards. The new seats are very good, with plenty of recline. The flight attendants are still some of the loveliest in the air – they really couldn’t do enough for us all.
The only let down was the ground handling and whatever went wrong there – for some reason any staff that don’t seem to be employed by RJ directly seem to be poor at best. Either way, RJ are value for money and continue to improve – I will be flying them again (in about 2 hours actually!)
Please feel free to comment on the report (feedback is always desired) and if you have any comments or questions, let me know!
Well, that was the report I wrote immediately after my flight. I still have fond memories of the on board meal as I found it to be excellent in every way. The way to my heart is certainly through my stomach, that’s for sure!
So, Royal Jordanian prove that business class on an Embraer 175 need not be crappy. Have you experienced RJ’s E175 before? Is there another airline that does business class on a small jet as well as this? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image © Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.