After a memorable taxi ride, we arrived Mohammed V International Airport three hours prior to our flight. Our day ahead: CMN-DOH-CMB-JED-MAN-JFK-LAX without stopping. It was going to be an epic 72 hours!
Royal Air Maroc had big banners outside the airport advertising its sleek new 787. We proceeded through a cursory security checkpoint and into the check-in hall. Although the lobby was crowded, there was only one family in line ahead of us for business class check-in.
Boarding pass in hand, we proceeded through immigration and another security checkpoint before working our way to Royal Air Maroc’s Casablanca Lounge.
Around 10 minutes before scheduled boarding, we headed to our gate where we noticed another aircraft was sitting there and a flight departure showing Beirut? Did we get swapped?
“This gate but not yet for Doha,” said a gate agent.
So we walked over to the food court, had a cappuccino, then returned.
We approached the same gate agent. This time he said, “Oh, Doha is already mostly boarded.”
We proceeded downstairs and onto a bus — we would be departing from a remote gate. After a short ride we pulled up in front of our plane and boarded, having to lug our carry-on bags up a fairly steep stairway in scorching heat.
Royal Air Maroc 216
Casablanca (CMN) – Doha (DOH)
Sunday, July 31
Aircraft: Boeing 787-8
Seat: 3H (Business Class)
Ben and I swapped seats on this flight: he got the window and I took the “lower berth” (aka aisle seat). The cabin was virtually empty hours before the flight but went out full.
We were offered rose champagne again as well as the same amenity kits as the outbound flight. Blankets and pillows were also identical (and disappointingly economy class-like).
We departed 20 minutes late, passing three more 787s on the way out.
Royal Air Maroc Business Class Meal Service
Meal service began promptly after takeoff. This time menus were distributed.
Placemats were laid for lunch. First came a bag of almonds and another bag of mini pretzels with choice of beverage. The pretzels were stale and the almonds not much better. The canapés were not much better, featuring a partial shrimp, small salmon roll, and foie gras (a delicacy I hate).
It’s always the little touches that make a huge difference in terms of service and I was quite disappointed that FAs did not bother to unwrap most items before serving them. Ironically, the FAs were otherwise great–exceptional really–and provided warm, friendly, and attentive service.
Next up came a hot towel the appetizers. Another foie gras dish I did not touch along with a depressing salad and a scallop plate with cucumbers, tomatoes, asparagus, and a single olive. The scallops were fine. Not great, but fine.
Royal Air Maroc Business Class Main Course
For my main course I ordered lamb tagine. While not remotely as good as dinner at the Hyatt the previous evening, it was fine for an airline meal. The portion of lamb was very small, however.
Ben ordered the cod filet which looked much better. Meals were served on a cart, allowing us to visually choose which option we preferred.
A small cheese course came next followed by dessert. We were offered a tart, chocolate brownie, or cheesecake for dessert. The FA saw that we were having a lot of trouble deciding and so offered us one of each share. That worked out well, though the chocolate brownie was the only dish really worth the calories.
Moroccan mint tea and a bottle of water were offered.
I hope it is clear I was disappointed by the meal service. Neither the quality nor the variety was very good on this flight, a far cry from the Doha to Casablanca flight.
After lunch I reclined my seat and fell asleep. I was able to sleep for several hours. Ben had more trouble sleeping than I did and ordered an espresso that looked very good–
Just over an hour before landing a light snack was offered. Though not on the menu, the snack included lamb shawarma, fresh fruit, plain yogurt, and cookies.
I thought this was a far better meal than the initial lunch service. Though I’ve had much better shawarma, this was still very tasty dipped in the yogurt and the fruit was ripe and fresh.
We landed five minutes behind schedule in Doha and taxied to a remote stand where a special business class bus was waiting to take us back to the terminal.
Overall, I wholeheartedly recommend Royal Air Maroc business class. Service was excellent on both flights and the seat is odd but comfortable. I was disappointed by my first meal on this flight, but Ben really liked his fish dish.
Remember, you can use Iberia Avios to book flights on Royal Air Maroc, including its flagship Casablanca to New York service, but all bookings must be on a round-trip basis.
Read Ben’s take on our flight here.