Business class air for Jordan and Egypt: Petra to the Pyramids

Hi all. Looking for thoughts on best routes/business class to fly to Amman, Jordan and home from Cairo. We are coming from the DC region and going in February 2024, so we can now book flights. We are trying to avoid Luftansa if possible (they have no US presence for phone service, and work only through a flight consolidator leading to potentially huge problems). We would like to know what airlines and routes people have been happy with. It seems the only direct flights back from Cairo are on Egypt air. Qatar charges extra for seat selection ( even for business class) and it does not come with lounge access. Royal Jordanian looks pretty good but we would have to change planes in Chicago in February which seems like a crap shoot to us.
Any thoughts from those who have done this trip would be much appreciated.


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    Look at Turkish Air. Very good, if the price is acceptable and they are available where you want to fly from. The route would go US airport to Istanbul to Amman and home from Cairo to Istanbul to US. The business class lounge in Istanbul is great.

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    I am taking Turkish Air for the first time in June when I go to Turkey, both arriving/departing Istanbul. It is getting quite good reviews and the lounge in Istanbul is supposed to be fabulous. I am looking at it as a possible substitute for Qatar on some of my other long haul flights as my last 2 Qatar experiences left me disappointed. I enjoyed Emirates but their prices seem to have an even bigger upcharge than what we are already seeing in the increase in biz class fares.

    Just a thought, MotherOfPoodles, but if you have a premium credit card or status with a OneWorld partner, you can get lounge access in Doha in one of the various lounges that are there, not the big one but even that one seems to have lost some of its luster. On my first leg of my last trip last month, they didn't allow me in the "big" lounge but I had status with BA as well as my Amex Platinum so it wasn't a problem and my layover was short. I went elsewhere. They were checking everyone in. It seemed to be overcrowded. They said I had a restricted ticket--I didn't. On the way back, I got into the lounge no problem. Of course, that might also have been to placate me for having a missed connection, due to Qatar out of Joburg. As we got off the plane, about 75 of us were met saying flights were closed. Not likely since we had plenty of time to get from the jetway to the various gates. So they put us all up in the VIP hotel outside the airport with a food allowance. Who wants an extra day in Doha during Ramadan when you can't go anywhere, can't do anything, and can't find an open restaurant. Room service only--and not that good.

    My previous Qatar flight last October didn't have the same hiccups but several of the planes on the various legs were old and retrofitted, no Qsuites, food mediocre, and not the same level of service one expects from Qatar. There was some other stuff too but you get the drift.

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    FYI - QATAR Air have several levels of business class. The lowest level doesn’t have lounge access, but one on the next higher levels does. The highest level provides airport transportation from you house. So it’s all about what you want to pay for. When I flew it to the Egypt: Jewels of the Nile tour we got a middle level business class which did provide lounge access in Doha.

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    I did those cities on different trips, but flew Lufthansa (why do you need to call them?) and United from Amman to Denver via Frankfurt with no issues. I flew Air Canada via Montreal to Cairo. They lost my luggage and I didn't get it back until a month after I got home! I was told the bag was at Cairo airport the entire time. It took a while, but Air Canada reimbursed me for interim expenses, plus a 20% discount code on a future flight, good for 3 years.

    I originally booked from Cairo to home on EgyptAir and United. The EgyptAir leg kept getting cancelled and United couldn't explain it, so to avoid potential problems, I switched to Lufthansa/United. So, I'd avoid EgyptAir.

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    I'd suggest the Qatar Q suites! If you are flying with someone you can choose the middle seats that lie flat together almost like a bed. There are aisle doors that slide shut so they are very private. The service was outstanding along with the food. We chose Lobster Thermidor as an entree, for example. As an added touch, they offer pajamas. We were invited to the first class lounge in Doha even purchasing the Middle business class ticket. It was outstanding!

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    edited April 2023

    Last October, we flew on the recently introduced non-stop on United from Dulles to Amman. Can't do it easier than that. United's Polaris business class has a nice hard product. You also get access to the Polaris Lounge at Dulles which is where we had dinner before the late-night flight. The lounge has a cook-to-order restaurant plus a nice buffet. I don't recall which days the IAD-AMM flight operates (3 days a week?), so it may not fit with your schedule.

    Coming back, we flew through Europe on Swiss and then United. Less convenient, but not worried about the timing on return.

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    My wife and I are also on the Egypt/Petra tour next February. We booked Qatar out of LAX. We've flown them a few times now, and they are very good. As Mimitravels said, try to get the Qsuite seats in the middle that are next to each other. Very private for the many hours you will spend onboard. Unfortunately, our mile programs didn't quite cooperate this time around, so we are on business to Doha and coach to Petra. That said, since our Petra flight leaves within 5 hours of landing in Doha, we still have lounge access...just not at the main splendid Qatar lounge (which is not a OneWorld lounge), but at one of the OneWorld lounges somewhere in the airport....which we'll need to locate. Looking forward to this tour!

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    MotherofPoodles Qatar charges extra for seat selection ( even for business class) and it does not come with lounge access. Royal Jordanian looks pretty good but we would have to change planes in Chicago in February which seems like a crap shoot to us.

    Hi...I traveled to Jordan/Egypt last December on Qatar Airlines in Business Class. There was no extra fee for seat selection and I definitely had lounge access. I used American Express travel to book my flights. Are you booking directly with Qatar or going through another travel site? It's a wonderful experience.Looking forward to using them again this year for the North India/Nepal tour. I like United Polaris Business Class as well but it doesn't come close to the experience on Qatar

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    Just some follow up on this….. we decided to book business class on EgyptAir- best flights and best price. We decided to cancel this trip in December ( recognizing everyone has to do what they feel comfortable with regard to personal safety and anti- American sentiment in the Middle East currently). EgyptAir refunded all but $200 per ticket within 2 weeks of cancellation (we did the cancellation online ). It was 70 days before the trip. We had no special insurance for air. Just putting this out there to let people know since cancellation policies come up as a point of discussion.

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    edited January 14

    MotherOfPoodles I flew Emirates.
    Reliable- great service, great **business ** class and lounge

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    Just a heads up on using Amex for your travel with Qatar airlines. If there are two different rates using the same flight number be sure to check the letter for business class fare. P and R will require an extra cost for seat selection and lounge entrance if P. A letter I or D and C or J gives you seat selection and lounge entrance.

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    edited April 6

    I think R fare gives you lounge access, but costs extra for seat selection. Here's a note my travel advisor got about that. We paid the extra for seat assignment. I don't remember the exact costs, but I think it was about $130 each. An R fare with that extra payment was a lot less than the fare that gave you both lounge access and seat assignment. This was for travel from LAX to New Delhi.
    Hi Jennifer,

    Yes, “R” fares include lounge access but not pre-seat assignment .

    Hope this answers your question.


    Maria Belinda Paez
    Sr. Account Manager – Local TMC and Retail Accounts
    Contact Centre (toll free): +1 877 777 2827
    Going places together. qatarairways.com

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    For Petra to the Pyramids we booked our flights through American Express Travel. To Amman we went on United from home to Dulles, IAD then on United to AMM nonstop. From Cairo, CAI, we flew Luftansa back to the US and changed planes at Frankfurt, FRA.

    Here's the link to what's included for each class on Qatar Airways:

    https://www.qatarairways.com/content/dam/tradepartners/pdf-files/Fare families E-booklet - updated.pdf

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    edited April 9

    I had my travel advisor go back to Qatar regarding lounge access for fare class R. The Qatar agent said the web page that SAdivr linked to has been superseded. My TA sent me a screen shot of the updated information, below:

    Please check with Qatar or your travel advisor to make sure I have the right information, but I bought R tickets and was assured that I will have lounge access. You do have to pay extra for seat assignment in fare R, and I did that. Apparently fare P is the one that doesn't give you lounge access or advanced seat selection.

    [Added note: I think I found the web page on Qatar's site - https://www.qatarairways.com/tradeportal/en/NewFareFamilies.html]

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