So, the beans, Helper Bean and I took the plunge and made the 13 hour Amman to Chicago flight the other day. I was positively surprised that the children did well and negatively NOT surprised that RJ
was awful. I actually thought it might be a good sign that when we got to the airport and approached the women's room, the sign said OMEN. I convinced myself this would be a GOOD omen. Alas, it IS RJ
after all... We got to the airport a bit early (as always) and wandered about, had a drink at Starbucks, then went to the gate. The bathroom outside the gate area was being cleaned, so we waited for the one inside. Unfortunately, it had only one stall and no toilet paper or paper towels... Good thing we saved those Starbucks
napkins. It finally got close to boarding time, enter Story #1...
Story #1: As we were waiting, and everyone was gathering getting ready for the boarding process to begin, a man and his wife and some other lady and their 3 kids came pushing his way through (stroller
and all) to the front. Although I had missed the royal stamp
on his forehead, he MUST have been related to His Majesty. Although, it must be a distant relationship since, 1) he lacks the class that the royal family typically shows and 2) he was sitting coach. But, given his attitude and how much more important he is than the rest of us, what else could it be? He MUST be royalty. He got into a bit of an argument with the flight attendants as he was trying to board in the beginning, but was sitting too far forward on the plane (one row only, but still...). Finally, he bullied them into letting him on the plane. I am very sorry to report that we have ample cause to know how the rest of his flight went. He was (predictably) in the row in front of us.
During the entire flight, he complained about everything (the seats, the food, the temperature, etc.). My favorite, though, was when the flight attendant offered him a drink. She apparently misheard him (he requested 7-Up apparently). She had the nerve, the sheer gall, to give him Diet 7-Up. When she handed him the can, he asked "Is this diet?" Yes. "I don't drink diet. I didn't ask for diet. Why would you give me diet?" She apologized and started to get him a regular 7-Up, but he couldn't let it go. He got louder and louder and louder. He was shouting at and berating her. I couldn't believe all of this because she couldn't hear over his loud kids and the hum of the plane. But, it does serve to illustrate the sort of fellow we're talking about. At the end of the flight, the attendant was passing out comment cards. He said out loud, "Comments? Comment cards." The man said "Yes, never fly RJ
again." I wanted to pipe in and say, yes please, never let HIM fly RJ
Story #2: We finally arrived in Chicago (I don't like Chicago much anyway) and cleared customs and immigration with no issues. I asked one of the RJ
fellows where to go to process our hotel vouchers and he indicated it would be outside and to the right. Once we cleared, we went outside and I didn't see an RJ
counter. I saw United, American, etc., but no RJ
. So, I went over to the exit and hanging half in and half out asked the security guy. He was useless and ignorant, but trying to be helpful. He told me it was "down there" and pointed. So, I left the secured area and went where he indicated. I stopped again when it was clear that I wasn't getting anywhere and the girl at the information desk said, Oh no, it's inside. Great. So, I went back to the security desk to speak with the guard who wouldn't let me back in. I wanted to scream at him, but it's your FAULT you idiot. My only recourse was to go up to the RJ
counter, where they sent one of the boys down to escort me back in.
We got to the transit counter and two very nice ladies were working. I waited patiently (well as patiently as I could) with Junior Bean needing to go pee, as they processed vouchers for other passengers. During this time, I heard that the hotel they were sending people to was the Motel 6. What!?! The Motel 6? You MUST be kidding. I would expect at least a Hampton Inn or a Fairfield
Inn from the likes of discount carriers like Jet Blue. I certainly expected better from RJ
(I assure you my ticket wasn't a discounted price at all). Okay, so we took the taxi to the Motel 6 (there were a BUNCH of folks just like us) because although I perhaps could have argued the issue, I decided that with 3 small kids it wasn't worth it. (I hear El 3atal
was cursing up a storm when he talked to Teta
Bean about the fact that we were staying at such an awful place). I hoped that perhaps Teta
would in fact pick us up and take us somewhere better, but they got lost on the way and I finally gave up. But, the crowning beauty came when we reached the Motel and found that they weren't honoring the RJ
vouchers. It seems, get this now, RJ
WASN'T PAYING THEIR BILL!!! Okay, now RJ
, you should be terribly embarrassed
. Really, now. So, I walked in as they were calling the folks at the airport. She explained to me that they wouldn't take a credit card over the phone, so we needed to pay and be reimbursed. How ridiculous is this? Like I trust you to reimburse me when you aren't even paying primary vendors. Please. So, I'm pissed and annoyed, but again I have 3 exhausted kids and just have to make do. We get a really awful room and try to sleep. Oh, and I assure you there is no food close enough to take the kids...
We get up in the morning very early (the kids were up at 3:15, but we waited until 5 to get dressed) and went over to the airport. At least there is safe food and an awesome play area for kids. I felt SO comforted when the front desk attendant refused to let us in. She realized it was me with a bunch of kids and took pity on us letting us wait for the cab inside with another couple of ladies from our Amman flight. She commented she doesn't unlock the doors before six because she's likely to get murdered. Boy am I glad I stayed there! So, we took the cab to the airport and had a nice breakfast (yes, I'll be sending a invoice to RJ
for the full $30 of food) and a nice flight on down to MimiBean's
house. But, I am still amazed at the incompetence of Royal Jordanian.
Here's my bottom line, they're the only ones who offer a direct flight, so I MAY fly them again. But, after this experience, it's far less likely. By the next time we'll be flying, the beans should be old enough that I'd be willing to change plans in Europe somewhere. So, unless RJ
exceeds themselves in their apologies and making it right, I doubt we'll be flying them again... I hated them the first time and they haven't improved on continued exposure. But, this, this is reaching all new lows. A Motel 6 indeed! Really, RJ
, you should be ASHAMED of yourselves! And, Your Highness, with all due respect, you should strip them of the right to use Royal or Jordan
in their name. It gives all of us a bad name if people think that's what they should expect of Jordan and its royal family.
Story #3: A final note about the humor in flying on a flight full of Jordanians... When we landed in Chicago, the pilot had to stop and wait a moment for another plane to pass, everyone on the plane hopped up and started moving toward the front. Okay, we were 6 MILES from the terminal and still moving. So they stopped the plane and waited for everyone to sit back down before they would go any further. That's what I think of when I think of flying with Jordanians... Everyone rushing the flight attendants in the mistaken belief that they'll get anywhere faster. (Side note, we had some friends fly in to Amman and asked if there were lots of Jordanians on the plane (they came in on Lufthansa). She said, I'm not sure. Simple, I said, did they all hop up the very instant that the wheels touched the ground. Apparently not, so I safely assured her that there was no one on the plane who is actually from Jordan :). Teehee
Happy Flying Anyone But not-Royal, certainly not-Jordanian!