Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Flight Review-Royal Jordanian RJ 180-Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur

Many people are not aware that there are more options available now in terms of choosing which airline to fly with especially if you are planning for a trip around SE Asia, apart from the usual our own national carrier, Malaysia Airlines and of course the "always promising" low-fare-low-cost carrier, AirAsia.

Take example the Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur route...as at today there are 2 foreign carriers which have been granted with 5th freedom right to carry passengers between these 2 cities and they are Lufthansa German Airline and a new-comer, Royal Jordanian Airline. Actually, RJ is not a "new-comer" in a true sense as they did flew to KL circa late 90's but later withdrew and finally returned to KL in May this year with a flight routing of Amman-Bangkok-Kuala Lumpur-Bangkok-Amman.

This trip was more of an ad-hoc or rather an emergency trip as i need to sort out some issues with T. As finding a last minute ticket is not a best option for any traveller, i was relieved when i got the return ticket with RJ for only RM 455. It was more like a bargain really compared to other airlines' fees at that time whereby AirAsia's lowest fare was RM 470 (ticket only)..MAS RM1000something...Thai Airways RM 800plus...thus it's an obvious option for me to choose RJ though i do need to apply leave on Monday as they don't fly daily to KUL.

Currently RJ only flies to KUL 3 times weekly on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Their Friday flight is suitable for those who wanted to do a short shopping break in Bangkok..or settle your personal issues..like yours truly. The flight will depart KUL at 10.20 and arrive in Bangkok around 11.30pm (Bangkok time is one hour late than KL)

On the day of the flight, after SMSing T and calling him to confirm our meeting point at the airport (it's always door no.3) and my arrival time..i rushed out of the office and headed back to home to collect my luggage and off again to KL Sentral to take the ERL to KLIA. I arrived at KLIA around 7pm plus and it was just nice for me to check-in for my flight and buying some essentials from the Body Shop before heading to BKK (nice and friendly salesgirl i met at the body shop).

The night flight was full to the brim with mostly Middle-East and African people dominating the flight. I sat besides an African lady, which was not friendly at all but it was not a problem as it was a night flight and maybe she's just tired and not really looking forward for the next 8hours flight to Amman.Flight catering was simple with sandwiches (egg and ham) and salad. Drinks and coffee run were done promptly. Most of the passengers settled for sleeping throughout the flight and the inflight entertainment (IFE) was not really extensive as most of the songs and movies/dramas are of Arabs or Indian..mainly suited for its typical passengers..maybe. We arrived at the airport around 11.27pm local time. Nowadays it is a breeze to pass thru immigration in Bangkok due to lack of tourist post-red shirt fiasco. T was already waiting at our usual meet-up place and we hugged and embraced anticipating for issues that are forthcoming between us....

My stay in Bangkok this time was a mix of feelings. Happy to see T...stress on the issues between us which requires immediate solutions and answers with explanation...and also tense when we fought for the first time over this issue. Regardless of it all, at the end i was relieved to have gotten the much needed explanation from him and the solution to our problem...our fighting over the issues actually lead to more understanding between us and i respect him and care for him more ever since...

okay..enough of the "Bangkok Love Story"...this post is actually the review of the outbound flight to Kuala Lumpur. Bangkok was showered with heavy rain during the morning and afternoon of my return day as we checked out of our hotel and T drove me to the airport. We arrived at the airport at just the right time for me to check-in for my 4.16pm flight and to have a quick lunch before we hugged and bid each other good bye..for now...

The outbound flight originated from Amman. When i entered the waiting area, the flight has not arrived and the plane actually docked-in at the gate 10-15 minutes late. For your info, RJ is one of the airline in the world which carries air-marshals in many (or all?) of its flights. I noticed 4 big and bulky Arab men were part of the aforesaid as they were monitoring the passengers movement during boarding and walked around the plane at some intervals of time through out the flight.So don't try to do something funny or you'll end up in trouble..i did my best to be discreet in my picture takings though...

My flight had just arrived from Amman

Most of the passengers from Amman were seated at their place as they're not allowed to leave the plane during the transit in BKK. Boarding commences smoothly as only a handful of new passengers boarded the aircraft from Bangkok including myself. Headsets were distributed on the ground but i didn't take it as i knew from the earlier flight that there's nothing interesting being offered in the IFE. One thing i like about RJ is that they played the "travel prayer" to bless the flight before departure..it gives you this feeling of safe and assurance of a smooth flight..as your flight is (hopefully) blessed by God. I was seated at the window seat besides the left engine..good seat as i love the red engine and winglet...

Take off was smooth and the weather above the cloud are good in contrast to the below. Once the seatbelt sign was switched off, the cabin crews sprung into action and started to serve late lunch. Another bonus point for RJ, for a relatively short flight of 1hour 50 minutes, RJ actually offered 3 meal options consist of beef, chicken or seafood. I chose the beef noodle and i didn't regret it as it was delicious! I also love the dessert which was an apple crumble..it tasted so good with the coffee. Point to note, MAS usually serves "Snack-Box" on this route..which means a mediocre offering compared to what RJ is offering. RJ serves it meals in a proper tray and can be considered a complete course meal as each tray comes complete with warm bread, salad, main course, dessert and drinks...together with salt, sugar, paper, tooth pick...refreshing tissue...having said that..i can even say it's a luxury compared to MAS's...dont even bother talking about AirAsia where you have to pay for every single thing....they are totally not in the same league as RJ in this department...

The meal carts came first and followed by beverages..options consist of the usual juices, soft-drinks, mineral water. Afterwards, the crew came around with jugs of tea and coffee. It's really interesting to note that they just merely asked each passenger with the word "yes please?" in enquiring about your choice of drinks..rather simple  but effective way of communicating to passengers bearing in mind the short duration of the flight.

I spent the rest of the flight with (trying to) sleep..counting the clouds..listening to my MP3 and observing the flight progress through the moving map.....

After 1 hour 50 min on air, we finally touched down at KLIA around 7.30pm local time. Felt sad as always after leaving T behind in BKK and at the same time felt relieved that our relationship had reached a new height and his affection for me are more apparent thereafter.

I was really satisfied with the product offerings of RJ and at the price of RM 455 for a return flight (all inclusive) i personally would rate it as my favourite, as at todate, for the KUL-BKK route. There are still venues for improvement especially on the pre-flight services such as no online check-in for departure outside of Amman and also the notification for reservation which was quite confusing as at first i was given the impression that i was required to effect payment at it's ticketing office when in actual fact my card had been debited accordingly.Cabin crews can be said as having mix of attitudes whereby i noticed that the Thai's were much more friendlier than their counterparts of Arabs or Indian decent.I do hope that they are going to fly daily to KUL for better option on traveling dates.

If you are planning for a holiday in BKK, i would recommend you to try RJ for its value for money and services which are better than the other carriers flying this route.

Rate out of 5:3.5


  1. wow amazing... so can try for nex trip 2 bkk.. :)

  2. i will be using RJ to BKK for the 1st time this april... it's kinda last resort coz Air Asia's price suddenly shoot up to almost rm600 for return ticket while RJ offers RM421 only for the spesific dates... since i never heard of RJ before, so i kinda feel skeptical. but your entry has got me at ease... thanks for sharing ^^ -geanna, KL-

  3. Bangkok is one of the beautiful destinations in the world. Bangkok is such an incredible country and there is so much, which you can explore here. It’s a good decision that you took Flights to Bangkok and Cheap Flights to Bangkok and you finally enjoy your trip.

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