On the Ground: Upon arrival at JFK two hours before my scheduled departure, I noticed signage was not terrific within Terminal 8. I was directed to the Royal Jordanian Airlines counter and greeted by a professional and pleasant ticketing agent who quickly checked me into Crown Class business class. I received a pass to the Crown Class Lounge (shared through American Airlines’ Admirals Club) plus two complimentary drink vouchers; there I awaited the first leg of my journey, which entailed an 11-hour flight to Amman, Jordan, followed by a four-hour layover and a three-hour final leg to Dubai.
I sat in the lounge and cashed in my two drink vouchers while awaiting the arrival of an associate. The lounge offers other amenities including a full menu, comfortable seating areas, several computer work stations, separate coffee/pastry bar and complete men’s/women’s shower facilities. Adequately prepped, we made our way to the gate approximately 40 minutes before departure.
Pre-Flight: We boarded the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner with high expectations. I was not disappointed. Stepping on board was like walking through the foyer of an understated luxurious home, spacious and warmly lit. We were escorted to our flat-bed seats (configured 2-2-2) which measure 21 inches wide and extend to 78 inches long when adjusted for sleep or relaxation. Although I’m 6 feet tall and somewhat husky, I found these seats designed by B/E Aerospace exceptionally comfortable.
Attendants provided cozy blankets and pillows, a dinner menu and an overnight amenity kit that included slippers. Attendants offered a pre-flight drink and explained available services, including access to our own 17-inch monitors to view pre-programmed television shows, movies and games as well as full personal connectivity ports and USB sockets.
In-Flight: We departed on time, and the near-silence of this amazing aircraft immediately impressed me. Although fully loaded with passengers, baggage and fuel for the long flight, the Dreamliner effortlessly lifted off, almost as if floating on air, as excess engine noise was virtually nonexistent. Within an hour of takeoff, I expected our flight attendant to make her way through the front cabin to request our dinner orders. To my pleasant surprise, after serving a light salad and salmon appetizer, an exceptionally polite and knowledgeable flight attendant served the entire Crown Class dinner menu from a well-appointed cart. I mention “knowledgeable” because I am allergic to nuts of all kinds and conveyed the importance of ensuring my meal was allergy-free. My meal included beef filet and fresh vegetables, and other options were pasta and chicken — all fresh, tasty and filling. No need for dessert, although I admit I considered it.
After watching a movie, I called it an evening as all cabin lights had been dimmed, including the windows designed to adjust to the time of day of our destination. Amman is seven hours ahead of New York, so we were scheduled to land mid- to late afternoon the next day. Although I had the good fortune of sleeping for a couple of hours at a time, I did require the use of the bathroom midway through the evening flight. I’d recommend securing one of the two center-cabin seats which allow easy access to an aisle. As we were situated near the window, I had to step over my associate, who was asleep.
As we awoke, passengers attended to their morning rituals; the Crown Class bathroom could have been more spacious, but it was quite sufficient, well-lit, clean and remarkably fresh-smelling.
Breakfast (coffee/fruit/omelet) was terrific and timely, served in the same manner as dinner. Upon arrival (on time), we were ushered through a separate security line geared toward connecting flights. We spent a comfortable four-hour layover in the Crown Class Lounge at Queen Alia International Airport, which was expansive, comfortable and offered an ample food selection, a full bar, bathroom/shower facilities and individual entertainment cubes.
Admittedly, we were spoiled with the 787-8 experience; and although the Airbus A320 Crown Class service on our flight to Dubai was very good, it could not compare in overall comfort and attention to detail.
The Experience: Royal Jordanian’s 787-8 Dreamliner Crown Class sets the bar very high — in a word, exceptional! The airline catapults itself toward the top of the list of carriers servicing this ever-growing region. Although you can fly non-stop to Dubai on other airlines, you may consider Royal Jordanian, especially if you can put aside time to experience Jordan.
[item check=yes]Less than 10 minutes for check-in[/item]
[item check=yes]Friendly and helpful agents[/item]
[item check=yes]Priority tagged baggage[/item]
[item check=yes]Airport lounge[/item]
[item check=yes]Complimentary in-lounge food[/item]
[item check=yes]Priority boarding[/item]
[item check=yes]Helpful and courteous flight attendants[/item]
[item check=yes]Pre-flight beverage service[/item]
[item check=yes]Pre-flight newspapers and magazines[/item]
[item check=yes]Extensive on-demand entertainment[/item]
[item check=yes]Amenity kits[/item]
[item check=yes]Lie-flat seat/bed[/item]
[item check=yes]Turn-down service[/item]
[item check=yes]In-flight menu with three entrée choices[/item]
[item check=yes]Top-shelf wines and liquors[/item]
As harmful to the environment as air travel is, some airports are taking measures to become more environmentally conscious. One example is Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where an adjacent solar farm powers certain airport operations.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Ryanair will soon start its first round-trip Georgia flights. The flights, which start this November, will connect the capital Tbilisi (TBS) to Milan Bergamo (BGY) four times weekly and the western city of Kutaisi (KUT) to Bologna (BLQ) and Marseille (MRS), both twice weekly. Then, in April, Ryanair will add twice weekly flights between Tbilisi and Cologne (CGN).
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Attend one of the most acclaimed fall events, Autumn at the Arboretum, in Dallas. In its 14th year, the annual event is known as one of the best pumpkin festivals in the country, with its creative displays featuring more than 90,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash. The event takes place at Dallas Arboretum, Sept. 21 –Oct. 31. Alongside thousands of pumpkins, guests glimpse 150,000 autumn flowers across the 66-acre space.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.