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Old 9th April 2011, 04:05 PM   #1
Carfield
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Default RJ DTW-YUL-AMM Crown Class Trip Report

RJ Trip Report
March 31, 2011


Dear all,

I am going to submit a trio of reports in this upcoming week (hopefully finished by the weekend)! They are quite different but very unique flight experience for me. The first report will be a familiar name but a rather unfamiliar route – Royal Jordanian twice-weekly service from Detroit to Amman via Montreal! Detroit is quite an unusual destination but judging from the load, it is quite a success. BTW, RJ does not carry passengers between Detroit and Montreal. Crown Class is quite a good product and I like the seats on the Airbus A340s. The cabin service is a mixed batch but meals are good on long haul flights. I in general have a few RJ flights before and feelings are mixed, but it beats the boring American Airlines transatlantic flight with those uncomfortable sliding business class seats. This flight is sort of average and there are some disappointments but also some nice enhancements. I am also able to take a good number of plane shots from the Crown lounge during my ten hours layover in Amman, before my onward flight to Colombo (which will not be covered). I hope you will enjoy the report!

Here is the link to all the pictures I took during this flight! It is quite large but good if you want more details!
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/w...8QbNHDNy5bqTHY

March 31, 2011
RJ 268 Detroit to Montreal Lv1300 Arr1435 Airbus A340-200 JY-AIA “Prince Hussein Bib Adullah”

Detroit Airport North Terminal:

RJ Signage at the airport:


Main check-in area:


RJ check-in counter:


North Terminal historic plate:


Royal Jordanian and most other non-Delta and Skyteam airlines use this North Terminal, which has been updated, and the architecture is practical and modern. It is not a fancy or stylish airport, but very functional and modern. It has a minimal design and the check-in area is very plain, and shops and restaurants are most located after security. Royal Jordanian no longer shares the check-in facilities with Lufthansa, the other international airline operator, and uses some of the common-use check-in counters. It was a pretty full flight and passengers from this region usually had many baggage. There was lots of reshuffling occurring at the counter, which slowed things down. Business Class has no one waiting, but passengers in front of me were all having issues. Fortunately the station manager, a very nice Caucasian lady, spotted me and asked the security guy to bring me to her just vacated position. She was relieved to see that I had no bags to check. She gave me boarding passes all the way to Colombo and instructed the other agent to hang on to my paper ticket coupon from Detroit to Amman. Then I got my major disappointment in the trip, as I asked, which lounge does Royal Jordanian use at Detroit? I was expecting Lufthansa, since it was the only one. She said, “Sorry sir, we don’t have a lounge here, and you can use the LH lounge if you have their card!” I was honestly surprised that RJ could not fork out a deal with Lufthansa for their J passengers to use. It can’t be that expensive. And RJ can restrict it to only J passengers. And if they can’t settle on a deal, then provide J passengers with a meal and drink coupon. That is the minimal that it can do. It should also publicize the fact that it has no lounge at Detroit airport and make sure passengers are informed. It is unacceptable these days for a world class airline not to have lounge access for its J and elite passengers, and Oneworld alliance should have forced RJ to do something more about it. Reserve a space from a local restaurant in the pier and there are plenty of restaurants that are not busy in D course during this time of the day. Most will be happy with a deal like this and they will charge less than Lufthansa for sure! But I think RJ can fork out an extra $500 to take care of its J and top elites.
I was really caught off guard with the no lounge situation, but the North Terminal had a few shops for me to browse, and plenty of planes to look at. Florida was hit by a series of hurricanes and heavy storms and I manage to spot a few interesting Spirit and Air Tran’s planes. Lots of delayed heading south!

Air Tran’s Boeing 717 delayed Orlando flight


Spirit Airlines’ Airbus A319 (new livery)


Sprit Airlines’ Airbus A319 (old livery)

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Old 9th April 2011, 04:07 PM   #2
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My RJ flight arrived Detroit at 11:12am, about thirty minutes or more behind schedule. JY-AIA will take me all the way to Colombo from Detroit via Montreal and Amman. It is difficult to take pictures of Gate D3, so just a few poor shots.



D3 was our gate this evening. There is way too much blue used on the background.




Flight Information Board showed that our flight was heading to Montreal and Amman. I think RJ can possibly get the fifth freedom right, with I am sure the demand was not that great between Montreal and Detroit, that it will be hassle to board and off load passengers.

Boarding:
Boarding began late due to the late arrival of the inbound plane. Most of the catering was done in Detroit, and the plane was thoroughly cleaned here. The crew also work all the way from Detroit to Amman, but their layover must be quite nice as there are only two flights a week. Boarding was quite chaotic, as passengers want to board before their turns. Wheelchairs were boarded first, followed by Crown Class, and then economy cabin. At 12:45pm, Crown class passengers were welcomed and the loading was quite full from Detroit to Amman. There was a family of six, along with many Jordanian couples heading home. The onboard security person was on board and he looked quite bored and tired. Anyhow he did not stop me from taking all the cabin photos. Orange, apple juice or water was offered, and headsets and amenity kits were also handed out.

Pre-takeoff beverage - water is my choice


Door was closed at 1:14pm, and we pushed back three minutes later towards R/W4R. Things were not too busy at DTW, and we took off at 1:30pm and our flying time was a short hour and thirteen minutes. Flight route took us towards Port Huron, Stratford and Toronto, and then Kinston, Hassena, NY, and then into Montreal. We stayed at 35,000feet.



Service:
Seat belt sign was turned off at 1:36pm and my second disappointment immediately occurred. The F/A came out with a tray with plates of pastries. I could not believe a supposedly international airline with no business class lounge access will offer one single piece of Apple turnover as snack on this flight. Okay it is a short flight, but given the time and circumstances, a more filling cold meal should be served. We will appreciate at least a sandwich. Air Canada offers a better snack in J on a similar length flight from US to Canada. I am sure that RJ offers a more substantial meal on a similar length flight from AMM to nearby Middle East cities. The F/As provided a beverage round afterward. That’s all for service on this segment.

Apple Turnover



Cabin:
I have written about RJ Crown Class cabins before and am a big fan of the seat. It is comfortable and seat pitch is generous. The whole décor reflects a modernistic tone and the cream and grey color scheme is wonderful. The seats almost go full flat and the electronic seat control is easy to control. However there is one major change from my last RJ flight. There has been updated PTV with AVOD and there is an updated control panel. There is an odd USB drive in the PTV monitor, but not sure what’s for! However, there is still no universal power port. With universal power port, this seat will be perfect. Of course the major problem with the seat is the width (lack of), and the lack of storage room. Other than that, it is a very good business class seat – way better than those sliding seats on the Airbus A330-200s.
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Old 9th April 2011, 04:09 PM   #3
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Seat 1A


Cabin view



Viewing forward


Manual seat control panel


Recline position



Flat Bed position



Side Storage bin



Tray table
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Old 9th April 2011, 04:11 PM   #4
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New Seat Control Panel


PTV AVOD



New gadgets and outlet


What is this USB port for?


Flight Attendants:
Three flight attendants worked the business class cabin – one flight attendant on each aisle (two in total) and one in the galley. The purser did not do individual greeting to each passenger. Two F/As – one Middle Eastern and one Thai, and of course, the Thai F/A was friendlier and kinder. The service was a bit forced by the other F/A. Anyway, they remain courtesy throughout the flight, and the couple young and respectful children asked a couple of beginners’ questions. The Thai F/A was very patient and the service was good. And of course, service was lacking in between meals but they will answer call buttons. I rate this set of crew average – not outstanding but not rude or overly lazy.

Arrival
Descent began at 2:16pm as we passed the city of Kingston. We landed on R/W6R at 2:43pm and for some reason, we were hold for a while. An Air Canada’s Boeing 777-300ER C-FITU operating as AC 871 has arrived from Paris CDG following us.






AC 77W C-FITU as AC 871 from CDG


We parked at gate B58 at 3pm.
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Old 9th April 2011, 04:13 PM   #5
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Transit:
Passengers are not available to deplane at Montreal and we have to stay on board during the hour. I always found it interesting to see how the crew work, and the Canadian staffs were quite cheery and friendly. The cleaning crew than arrived to tidy up the cabin and clean the bathroom. Catering is limited to fresh supple of ice and trashes were taken out. I walked around the Crown Class cabin and took various shots. The RJ flight marshal was not bothered with it. I then spotted the Swiss Airbus A330-300 HB-JHJ arriving from Zurich.

Swiss A330-300 HB-JHJ


Winglet shot


The red on the RJ engine and winglet works well with Swiss plane


Canjet Boeing 737-800 Winglet C-FXGG at B60



RJ 268 YUL-AMM Lv1620 Arr1000+1 Airbus A340-200 JY-AIA “Prince Hussein Bib Adullah”

Boarding:
The transit was very short here at Montreal, and boarding shortly resumed at 3:23pm. Crown Class was pretty full and I had a neighbor on this transatlantic flight to Amman. No more pre-takeoff beverage! Amenity kit and headsets are offered to YUL boarding passengers, and menus were passed out as well. A new menu design was spotted and the conditions of these menus were much better.

New Menu


Tarmac at Montreal


Door was closed early at 4:12pm, and RJ has caught up with all the time missing from the delay earlier this morning. We pushed back a minute later, and then rolled to R/W6L. We took off at 4:26pm.

Montreal after departure:

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Old 9th April 2011, 04:15 PM   #6
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Flight information:
Flying time was ten hours and twenty minutes, and our flight route took us towards Sherbrooke and Millinrocket, as we climbed towards 35,000feet. Then we proceeded towards Charlottetown, Sydney and then cruised towards 36,000feet, before leaving the Canadian coastline. We climbed to 37,000feet further and then reentered the European continent at St. Helier, France, and then passing cities of Thoiry, Basel, Innsbuck, Linz, Ljubljana and Sarajevo. We climbed to 39,000feet before reaching the Greek Islands, and then towards cities/Islands of Khios, Bodrum, Kamiros/Rhodes, and then began our descent over Tel Aviv and then into Amman.






Wines and meals:
Seat belt sign was turned off at 4:34pm, and beverage was shortly served with a bowl of mixed nuts & crackers.

Beverage


Mixed Nuts


Beverage & Wine List for 2011
Juices & Soft Drinks
Orange, Apple
Mango, Tomato

Pepsi Cola, Diet Pepsi
Seven-Up, Diet Seven-Up

Tonic, Soda
Bitter Lemon, Ginger Ale
Perrier, Mineral Water

Beer
Amstel
Henninger

Aperitifs
Martini Sweet & Dry
Campari
Johnnie Walker Black Label
Gordon’s Gin
Russian Standard Vodka

Liqueurs
Cointreau
Drambuie
Bailey’s Irish Cream
Cognac X.O. or V.S.O.P
Fine Port Wine

Champagne
Moet & Chandon Brut – half bottle

1st to 15th of the Month
White Wines
Machareus (Jordanian Wine)
Laroche Chablis

Red Wines
Vin D’Ammon
Amancaya Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon, Lafite, Argentina

16th to end of the month
White Wines
Machareus
Mapu Sauvignon Chardonnay

Red Wines
Vin d’Ammon
Calvet Reserve Merlot

Menu
Montreal to Amman
First Service


Appetizers & Soup
Chicken Breast
Vegetable Terrine
Smoked salmon


Soup of the day (never offered)

Salad
Seassonal Salad
(Naturally Fresh’s Italian Herb Vinaigrette dressing)
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Old 9th April 2011, 04:18 PM   #7
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Main Courses
Beef Steak with Peppercorn Butter Sauce
Chicken Breast with Lemon sauce
Fillet of Red Snapper in Saffron Sauce
Vegetables Ravioli in Tomato Sauce




Buttered Garden Vegetables
Anna Potatoes
Cumin Basmati Rice

Cheese and Fruits
Selection of International Cheeses


Fresh Fruit Basket

Dessert
Selection of Desserts or Ice Cream

Tiramisu



As we were having dinner, our plane cruised along the Canadian East Coast and Newfoundland and here are a few selected pictures.



Dinner service completed with another round of tea and coffee. Baskets of snack, bottled waters and fruits were placed in the mini bar in front of the middle seats of Row one. F/As closed every window, as the sun would rise in a few hours as we entered the European continent. It was a typical choppy night as we crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Flight attendants disappeared after dinner, but I noticed some of them did a snack round in the middle of the night – just passing the fruit basket and the snack basket filled with sliced cakes, and other packaged snacks.

At 7:43am Amman local time (about two hours prior to arrival), lights were turned on and hot towel were passed out. I like RJ breakfast because it had a separate starter service – a cold plate appetizer of turkey and sliced cheese were offered in addition to the usual fruit plate. Croissants and wheat loaves were pre-placed at each tray, and more bread rolls were offered after the appetizer tray was passed out. Entrees were then passed out – casserole dishes for the second meal, but the quantity and quality were both substantial. I chose the quiche as I was sick of airline omelet.

Second Service
Hot Breakfast


Orange Juice
Fresh Fruit Salad


Appetizers
Smoked Cheddar
Cambozola
Manchego
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Old 9th April 2011, 04:20 PM   #8
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Main Courses
Cheese Omlette
Served with sautéed mixed peppers, Turkey sausage and Grilled button mushrooms
Or
Cheese Quiche
Served with sautéed mixed peppers, Beef sausage and Grilled Butter mushrooms



Butter-Preserves-Natural Honey
Croissant and Assorted Bread Basket



(16-31 JAN/MAR/MAY/JUL/SEP/NOV 2011)

Rose Water was served prior to arrival, as well as a RJ gift, which is a soap on a green leaf dish.

Nice cup for the rose water



Arrival:
Descent began at 9:11pm as we crossed Tel Aviv.


We landed on R/W8L at 9:46am, and parked at gate 10 at 9:52am. We were parked at the North Apron, which was not the usual RJ apron (it usually used the South Apron). We were parked next to the MEA Airbus A320.



I was not going to write about the ongoing flight to Colombo, as my original plan to fly the A310-300 was changed with a last minute aircraft swap into A340-200, JY-AIA the exact same plane that flew me to Amman. I was disappointed but that is life. I guess I will have to select this set of flights in the future, but will take the ORD/JFK flight that has a shorter layover time.
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Old 9th April 2011, 04:21 PM   #9
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Of course I took the opportunities to share a few pictures of the Crown Lounge at Amman, which was very nice, except the showers, which costs extra money and looks rather disappointing.








I also took a few pictures of the planes that left the South Apron throughout the day – more A340s!

JY-AIB to JFK



JY-AIE to LHR – A330-200


GF 972 to BAH on A320 – A9C-AJ


QR 402 to Doha on A330 – A7-AEJ
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Old 9th April 2011, 04:23 PM   #10
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RJ 730 to Riyadh on A320 F-OHJF


RJ 702 to Jeddah on EMB-195 JY-EMF “Petra”





JY-AIC from ORD





JY-AIA taxing to the gate for my CMB flight RJ 194

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Old 9th April 2011, 04:31 PM   #11
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JY-AIA leaving CMB the day after




Qatar A321 A7-AID





Saudi Arabian Boeing 747-400 HZ-AIX SV 789 to Riyadh


In conclusion, Royal Jordanian Airlines transatlantic service is quite nice and the buffet meal service is really something rather nostalgic. In general the F/As are quite generous with serving and you can select a couple side dishes. The seats on the Airbus A340-200 are comfortable and RJ does not really need to change much except installation of more storage space, allowing more width, and a real universal power port. The sliding seats on the A330s are quite bad. However, the lack of lounge at DTW is not acceptable and passengers should be told in advance on writing either through the e-ticket or the website. It is not that expensive to allow J passengers to use the LH lounge, as in the past, and if not, issue them a food and beverage coupon. It is also nice to tell your passengers a proper meal will not be served on the Detroit to Montreal flight. Remember we have to stay in the plane during the layover and we can’t buy food or visit another lounge in Montreal. Flight attendants are courteous but can be more personable and used a few more smiles, and make more mid-flight checks. I will not hesitate to fly it again and hopefully will get to fly the A310-300 from AMM to CMB next time.

I hope you enjoy this trip report!

Carfield
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Old 9th April 2011, 05:30 PM   #12
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Thanks for another great TR!
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Old 10th April 2011, 08:12 PM   #13
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Thanks for the trip report, Carfield!

I'll be taking RJ for the first time in a few weeks' time - LHR-AMM-BKK-HKG r/t - so will be interested to see how it compares to your flights.
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Old 16th April 2011, 05:29 PM   #14
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Thank you for sharing!
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Old 30th April 2011, 05:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhm View Post
Thanks for the trip report, Carfield!

I'll be taking RJ for the first time in a few weeks' time - LHR-AMM-BKK-HKG r/t - so will be interested to see how it compares to your flights.
I'm now sitting here at 12:30am in the AMM Crown Lounge after the 4-5 hour flight from LHR. About an hour or so until my next flight to HKG via BKK.

I enjoyed the dinner service (albeit soup was mentioned on the menu but never appeared). A choice of about 5 or so appetisers from a trolley to choose from (you can sample the lot like I did - quite tasty) and then a choice of 4 mains from the same trolley etc. No tray service - everything put on and taken away from my tray table item by item.
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