Using Avios on Royal Jordanian – Part 2, the Crown Lounge at Amman airport

This is the 2nd of my three articles about my experiences flying BA’s partner Royal Jordanian.

Part 1 reviewed Royal Jordanian’s short haul business class service (click here).  In this article I want to take a look at the Crown Lounge at Amman airport.  Part 3, reviewing long-haul Business Class on the Boeing 787 between Amman and London, is here.

Queen Alia International Airport in Amman is Royal Jordanian’s home base and is where you find their flagship lounge.   Reading the Royal Jordanian website may get you a little over-excited:

Designed to satisfy the needs and desires of every passenger with a calming atmosphere to relax, work hangout and dine; Crown Lounge is inspired by the finer things in life and defined by the genuine hospitality that we show you as our esteemed guest.

The truth, unfortunately, is far more prosaic.  When I arrived mid-morning I found a confusing space with a hugely overcrowded dining area, unimpressive food and very little else going on.  It doesn’t give the greatest impression of Royal Jordanian as a carrier which is a shame.

The lounge is best explained by looking at the plan below (click to enlarge):

The lounge is built on the mezzanine level of the terminal, and is open to the terminal floor below.  You enter on the far right and have a choice – you can either go towards the dining area to the north or into the larger seating area to the south.

This is a fairly typical view which shows how the lounge hangs over the main terminal:

Royal Jordanian’s flagship Crown Lounge

And this is how it looks when you are up there:

Royal Jordanian’s flagship Crown Lounge

My real problem is with how the space is used.  As with all lounges, the crowds tend to gather around the food.  It was a mistake, therefore, to put the dining area on the shorter side of the lounge where seating is restricted.  If they swapped it over it would make a huge difference.

The dining itself was unadventurous.  Fancy a slice of plastic-wrapped bread?

Royal Jordanian’s flagship Crown Lounge

Lots of hummus, to be fair ….

Royal Jordanian’s flagship Crown Lounge

and a scruffy cereal area:

Royal Jordanian’s flagship Crown Lounge

There was a salad corner which looked better but there nothing hugely appetising, and even if there was I would have struggled to find somewhere to sit.

On the other side of the lounge, there was nothing going on.  Lots and lots of empty seating.  In theory there is a bar but it was not manned:

Royal Jordanian’s flagship Crown Lounge

In one corner was an alcove with a magazine rack.  This was used to display about 50 copies of the same magazine, along with a few copies of local newspapers.  That was all it offered.  It was only when I got back to the UK that I noticed this was apparently:

“The Library is the place to truly slow down and unwind. Offering a wide selection of the most recent magazines and newspapers, a variety of inspirational books, stunning photography collections, and the perfect corner to relax, you can peacefully catch up on your reading while enjoying a glass of fine wine, champagne or your favorite cocktail.”

The gap between reality and hype could not have been bigger.

One thing you do get on the south side, at least during the mid morning, is peace and quiet:

Royal Jordanian’s flagship Crown Lounge

I took some video – I had time on my hands! – and edited it into a short clip that hopefully gives a good impression of the Rojal Jordanian Crown Lounge at Amman Airport. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel via this page – this is the same link to visit if the video does not automatically appear below.

 

 

Conclusion

Royal Jordanian’s Crown Lounge at Amman airport is not a terrible airport lounge by any means.  It is on a par with what you would expect to find at any midsize airport.

The reason that I felt a bit letdown is that Royal Jordanian has not taken the opportunity to create a genuine flagship environment that would act as an advertisement for the wider brand.  For a fraction of the cost of just one of its new Boeing 787 aircraft it could have transformed what it offers.

The Crown Lounge offers plenty of quiet spaces to sit and there are plenty of spots to grab a drink.  I was ambivalent about the food.  Wi-fi was poor.  All in all I felt it was a missed opportunity, and the way it is described on the Royal Jordanian website is a joke.

Not to worry.  Soon enough I was off to find my gate for my flight back to London on one of RJ’s new Boeing 787 aircraft ……

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Comments

  1. Seems on par with my experience of the place a few years ago – bit of a let down and could easily be so much better with a bit of careful thought thrown at it. Arriving at the place somewhat dishevelled having come straight from a day at the Dead Sea I was keen to secure a shower before boarding the BA flight to London. The receptionist was somewhat embarrassed to advise the fee would be US$20 for the privilege. I wasn’t in any position to negotiate and I subsequently stumped up the cash for which I got a lovely hand written receipt in return and a small cellophane wrapped towel. The facilities were fine but on par with a BA lounge shower at Heathrow – nothing the slightest bit luxurious about it and not a drop of Elemis is sight.

  2. The plastic wrapped bread looks a bit sad but last time I was in Munich Senator lounge there was a nice bread basket of different bread rolls. The man in front squeezed three of them with his bare fingers before deciding which one to take. So for this reason in public areas it’s best to avoid food that others might have touched.. and like this man showed people will touch it even if there are tongs right next to the food.

    • Totally agree – I hope you made loud comments about his behaviour and then summoned a member of staff to remove the tainted rolls! No wonder they say travelling is one of the worst environments for spreading germs.

    • Gross!

    • Lady London says:

      Did you say anything? I would have…

  3. Having visited this lounge earlier this week — I agree with the review. Very middle of the road for a flagship lounge — could be so much better. On a positive note — the area away from the food was very empty allowing room for each of use to truly lounge on a sofa.

  4. Doesn’t look any worse than Galleries at T5 and that’s supposed to be BA’s flagship lounge too.

    • It is worse – although perhaps I am being unfair because Galleries is set up for a British mindset in some ways.

      • Interesting. How is Galleries set up for a British mindset? A “make do” approach?

  5. What's the Point says:

    Ironically the previous RJ lounge (in the old airport terminal) was better than this effort.

  6. Plan doesn’t enlarge upon clicking btw (in Chrome at least)

  7. Scottydoggiom says:

    We spent time in here on the way to Bangkok and then on the way back as we had a 6 hour lay over . The food was definitely not up to much but if you have Priority Pass there is another lounge down stairs that has better food choice with sit down dining .
    I did quite like the open air setting of the lounge being up on the Mezzanie level , felt nice and airy and you could watch people coming through security and shopping in duty free !

  8. RJ have always been an odd inclusion in OneWorld (much like S7). I’m surprised QR didn’t make it a condition of their joining OW that they replace RJ…

  9. I got stuck there for a 4-5 hrs delay a few years ago. The food offering wasn’t ideal but it was a very comfortable and quiet place to read a book and have a doze 🙂

  10. RJ always feel a bit mediocre to me and they never have any good deals that make it seem worthwhile. This lounge does nothing to seem they seem all that bothered or want customers. Perhaps I am being unfair when we see QR doing such a great product and often with amazing value, but even RJ’s other oneworld stablemate Finnair at least has some Polish to make it feel worthwhile.

  11. The priority pass lounge downstairs is much much better in comparison. You’re right about the lounge it was a wasted opportunity.

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