At The Queen Alia Airport

 A few days ago His Majesty King Abdullah paid a visit to the Queen Alia Airport where he voiced his dissatisfaction with its lack of progress.

“This is not the first time I visited the airport. Every time we take measures to facilitate procedures for travelers, we return and find the same obstacles again,” the King told officials at the airport during a visit.

“Some procedures are unjustified and create obstacles, although they can be solved through simple and immediate decisions.”

The Monarch gave airport authorities seven days to agree on one body that will be in charge of “solving all the problems as soon as possible”.

Now this was over 2 weeks ago so naturally one must ask what’s happened since then. Well the very next day the head of the airport stated that they were in the process of implementing a few reforms. Luckily I got to travel exactly 1 week after the King’s visit and I did in fact notice the difference; my return to Amman a few days later validated my assessment.

Security was very lax. A month before the line up was much longer and we had to take off belts and be scanned manually. Queues were much shorter even though the people behind the counter that process the ticket and give you the boarding pass are still just as dumb as ever. I think the e-checking machines have been removed and because I was forced to use them once upon a time, I think it’s because of their massive failure to even scan a foreign passport.

Usually, as a Jordanian, you have to pay duty taxes of 20JDs, but the man behind that counter brushed me along. I almost insisted though, telling him I didn’t want to wait at passport control for 10 minutes and then be told to go back and pay the tax. But he said there was no need and waved me in. Passport control took exactly 5 seconds to stamp my passport and wave me in as well.

Once I got to the gate, security of course asked me where the little ticket for the duty tax was. I told him there’s no way I’m going back now after I made sure I didn’t have to pay it, and he said it was fine and waved me in. Going through the ‘checkpoint’ the metal detector went off but they waved me in towards my gate.

On the way back…

Passport control was a very similar experience, with a 5 second round of stamping and a ‘welcome to Jordan’. This was followed by the two guards that are always situated at the top of the escalator. They usually look at everyone’s passport but this time they were both sitting and chatting when I showed them mine, and they just waved me in instead. I was thinking to myself at this point that at least they could’ve pretended to look.

And for the first time ever in my history with Queen Alia Airport, my baggage was not lost and in fact arrived moments after I approached the baggage carousel. Although that probably had little to do with any “reforms” and more to do with sheer luck (and the fact that I wasn’t flying RJ). They also had these flat screen TVs that I’ve never seen before that give out tourist information on sites in Jordan and what not.

So essentially what’s happened is quite simple:

Make things go faster by basically removing the burden of security out of the equation!

Now who would’ve thought of that?

13 thoughts on “At The Queen Alia Airport

  1. I think airport management and staff used to think it was part of their duty to make travelers time in the airport hell, and had no idea what is the purpose of the duty tax, or any of the required stamps, so to please the king they just threw everything out the door, instead of gaining effeciences at what they are supposed to do they just stopped doing everything!! Lazy idiots…if they can’t do it right they will do nothing !!

  2. “Usually, as a Jordanian, you have to pay duty taxes of 20JDs, but the man behind that counter brushed me along.”

    Could your family name “Tarawaneh” has something to do with it?

    I’m sorry, but I wouldn’t say things at the airport are improving, it is just a case of WASTAH for being Jordanian.

  3. NAME: if the three people ahead of me and the group that came right after me were all tarawneh, then i guess my family is a lot larger than i once thought.

    and who said things were improving?

  4. When I travelled from here 3 weeks ago I found it all quite efficient, the only thing that really got up my nose is when I walked through the security/search booth for women and one of the official women was fast asleep on the bench!!! London Heathrow is a nightmare and I just hate it.

    Seems that the airport tax is now going to be fully integrated into the ticket any day now. T

  5. Could your family name “Tarawaneh” has something to do with it?

    I noticed the same thing Nas noticed and everybody’s been talking about this. This really is due to the king’s visit, but as Nas correctly pointed out, and from my observation from coming into both Alia airport and Marka in the last two weeks, they have reduced the amount of time you wait by reducing the level of checking. And I imagine that’s the same reason the bags show up at the baggage claim so quickly now; because they don’t check them as hard as they did before.

  6. Might seem funny but I’m coming to Amman through Queen Alia Int Airport tomorrow. So Nas, if you need newer feedback, then I will give you mine regarding the airport, that’s if I manage to go through it at all 🙂 what do you reckon?

  7. if being a Tarawneh will save me some JDs here and there, can I apply for a Tarawneh green card.. (hope the Tarawneh’s green cards procedures are easy)..
    God, name’s remarks pissed me off a lot.. how do these people think?

  8. All the problem that Jordan faces are part and parcel of Democracy deficiency or lack of,why on earth one person has to decide for us or speak on our behalf for everything and anything ,
    Ladies and gentelman,get used to deficiency in all government and private sector as long as ,people are kept in the dark and marginalized.
    Nothing will change, as long we have one person deciding for us how our government should run and function .How insulting!

  9. Why does it always take the KING himself to visist a location and threaten the workers so that people can do their job. Why don’t they do it anyway?

  10. It’s just a knee-jerk reaction, I bet that on the next flight via Q. Alia airport will assure you that your experience above is a one-off.

    I traveled back to DXB via that airport on Sunday, and I admit, it was surprisingly and relatively smooth, was quite surprised that I didn’t have to pay the infamous departure tax, the ticket had “paid” hand-written on it in Arabic, much to my surprise! The passenger sitting next to me on the plane was equally delighted, she used the money to buy her friend in DXB a nice box of chocolate!

    One thing that pissed me off, the duty free is not really that free… It was always overrated, but I never knew it was overpriced till I went over there to check the cameras, some lowlife stole one of my cameras in Jordan, thus, I want to buy a new one now, when I went to check the Canons (I’m a Canon-addict), a lady was buying the exact same model that I intend to buy, I argued infront of her with the sales person that the camera’s price is about 100 JDs more expensive than its price in DXB, and apparently that put the lady off buying it (No idea where she was flying though)… Soon after, that sales person came after me to criticise my attitude, sorry mate, but calling me a liar and criticising my attitude was a mistake, and claiming that their prices are competitive was even worse…

  11. I’ve never visited this particular airport, but for those of you who have lost items, have you seen Global Bag Tag? I know there are a few different types of tags like this, but these are my favorite.

  12. I recently visited Jordan and had mixed feelings about my visit. We had an international conference that was hosted by Jordan, so ideally, things should have gone smoothly!. Our first experience which was repeated over and over again, was that we were short changed at the airport and despite protestations, we paid about 30% more than we should have. Whilst the people are generally friendly, some treat visitors like the plague. My worst experience was on exit from the Queen Alia airport, where some slick sleight of hand by the customs official searching my baggage, caused my laptop to disappear and i am still trying to get my hosts and the tour operator to get me some acknowledgement of having reported my loss, because i was unable to do so at Dubai airport. once i had discovered my loss.
    I searched the internet for a place to request acknowledgement of my loss but the airport authority website leaves much to be desired.
    I am sorry that so much good work done by the Jordanian authorities in uplifting their country (which is ina state of extreme growth), should result in poor experiences by travellers!

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