This is my review of Royal Jordanian’s Crown Lounge (business class) 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:
And this is how it looks when you are up there:
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?
Lots of hummus, to be fair ….
and a scruffy cereal area:
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:
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:
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.
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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