The Hong Kong to Bangkok route is ploughed by a large number of carriers. Royal Jordanian connects the cities thrice weekly as an add on to its flight between Amman and Bangkok. They often have fairly competitive prices. However with that frequency, flexibility is limited.
I booked this the week before travel at Travel Expert in Central. The cost was $2,244 in economy class.
Upgrades to business class were available at the counter for $1,370.
At the Airport
Royal Jordanian’s website advises to check in at least three hours prior to departure. Arriving at row E three and a half hours prior to departure, their checkin counters were not yet staffed. Indeed they only opened three hours prior to departure time.
Due to my One World status, the ground agent gave me an invitation to their lounge, which is the Plaza Premium lounge close to gate one (which we reviewed here). I instead opted to use Cathay’s The Bridge lounge , close to the departure gate.
The flight was operated by a Boeing 787 (registration number JY-BAB). There was a sizeable pillow in a scratchy pillowcase and a blanket at the seat on boarding. The underside of the armrest had a component so sharp it caught my sleeve on it and may have ripped it had I not stopped moving.
The table was an oddly small design such that it was hard to use it for a small meal tray and drink without running out of space. This is a clear design flaw.
The seatback had a USB charger. The entertainment system had a limited selection. When I tried to watch an Arabic comedy, it was not subtitled, so the already limited selection was even more limited in English. I hoped for an inflight magazine to peruse Royal Jordanian’s network, but there was none.
The flight left from gate 44. It boarded a fair bit in advance but then sat at the gate such that we left half an hour late. The flight was almost full in economy class.
We hit some turbulence during the climb, but the rest of the flight was smooth and we arrived in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi exactly on time.
The crew was mostly Thai. In general they did what they needed to but were not impressive. They repeatedly walked past call buttons left unattended for a long time, for example.
After the seatbelt sign was turned off, they offered a meal service from a trolley, followed by a drinks trolley and then a hot drink service.
Food and Drink
My biggest disappointment on this flight was the low quality of food. I would have higher expectations from a middle Eastern carrier.
There was no choice of entrée, just a “seafood noodles” which in reality was like instant noodles with shrimps on top. It was fairly tasteless. There was no dessert and indeed no butter for the bread roll. So although some of the touches spoke to quality, such as metal cutlery, the overall experience left me feeling let down.
There was a decent selection of drinks, including Jordanian wines and Amstel beer brewed in Jordan. The tea came with lime slices, which was another quality touch one would have liked to have seen applied more generally.
With its low pricing I have often wondered what Royal Jordanian is like on this route. My conclusion is that it was underwhelming and I would not bother taking them on the route again unless price was a big factor in the decision.