Whither Arab Hospitality? Bangkok to Hong Kong on Royal Jordanian RJ182

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Ticketing

This was the return leg of a trip I booked the week before travel at Travel Expert in Cochrane Street in Central. The cost was $2,244 in economy class.

Royal Jordanian offers an upgrade bidding system prior to departure. For this ticket, bids to upgrade to business class were accepted from US$120 ($940) to US$300 ($2,351), with a “fixed price” of an assured upgrade at US$270 ($2,117).

At the Airport

The checkin desks in row Q at Suvarnabhumi had only a short queue. Security was fast but passport control had long queues. The flight boarded from gate E9 and screens showed a “final call” over half an hour before scheduled departure.

Equipment

The flight was operated by a Boeing 787 (registration number JY-BAF). Royal Jordanian’s livery I find to be very elegant which long made me more attracted to the airline.

RJ182, a Boeing 787, seen through the dirty windows of gate E9 in Suvarnabhumi.

The interior felt fairly fresh. There was a pillow and a blanket at the seat on boarding. The seat had crumbs and food remnants on it from a previous flight.

Royal Jordanian’s tables are so small and angular that I expect food slides off them regularly: my neighbour on this flight put something on his table during the meal and it slid straight to the floor.

The seatback had a USB charger. The entertainment system had a good sized screen and a smattering of international films and television programmes. The audio selection is thin.

As on my inbound flight I was curious to read the airline’s inflight magazine but none was provided. I asked a flight attendant whether they had any magazines and she obligingly brought me a copy of an American news magazine from the business class cabin. Disappointingly there was no sign of an inflight magazine.

Flight

The flight looked to be about eighty per cent full in economy class. The boarding was timeous, we pushed back on time and after  smooth flight landed twenty minutes ahead of schedule at a gate close to immigration.

Service

I recognised some Thai crew members from the inbound flight some days previously. Their service was fast but unremarkable.

The crew distributed headsets at the start of the trip. A meal trolley was followed by a drinks trolley and hot drinks, so the whole service was over in short order. The lack of a refreshing towel at any point was a negative point compared to many Asian carriers.

Food and Drink

There was no choice of meals. The entrée was a Thai green curry, which was fair. There was a fruit platter for starter and no dessert. Royal Jordanian’s catering is sadly underwhelming for a full service carrier from a region famed for its food and hospitality.

Conclusion

This flight was unremarkable. Royal Jordanian is competitive on price but its food is unimpressive.

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