OMG: Dozens Of Falcons On A Plane!

Filed Under: Travel

If you’ve flown through the Middle East with any frequency, you’ve likely seen a falcon at one point or another. Over the years I’ve probably seen them in airports a handful of times, though I haven’t knowingly flown with one yet.

However, I’ve never seen anything like this. Reddit user lensoo shares a picture of what appears to be dozens of falcons on a plane, apparently belonging to a Saudi prince. You’d think he could at least let them fly in the comfort of business class. 😉 In all honesty, with that many falcons, I’m sort of surprised they’re just seating them in the cabin next to people. I’d be a bit weirded out if I were surrounded by that many birds…


I’m not sure what airline the picture is from (it looks like an A330 to me, and it might be Saudia), but it seems most carriers in the region have a policy regarding falcons. For example, Qatar Airways allows falcons in the cabin, though there’s a limit of six falcons per flight:

You are permitted to carry one falcon on board the Economy Class passenger cabin of an aircraft, and a maximum of six falcons are permitted within the Economy Class cabin of an aircraft (country regulations may apply).

That seems more reasonable than… dozens of them.

Would anyone else be weirded out being surrounded by that many falcons?

  1. I live in Abu Dhabi and always fly Etihad and have noticed Falcons many times. If I’m not wrong they’re always given the first row of seats in Economy on Etihad and every time I’ve seen one they’re accompanied by a trainer.

  2. Good to know these “passengers” could arrive in the US if they wanted to as Saudi Arabia isn’t part of the Muslim Ban. Oh right, Trump is making money in Saudi Arabia.

  3. Can you imagine their life? Be blind all the time and then for a brief moment be able to see for someones entertainment.

  4. i understand that a falcon hood subdues the birds

    still, as a guy that grew up watching Hitchcock i cant help but ask: is there some reason the birds aren’t in cages?

  5. I first thought this was going to be a post about seeing the Atlanta Falcons. Go Falcons!!!

    This is amazing. Wish I were there to witness it!

  6. Weirded out? I would have been thrilled!

    I, too, have had falcons as cabinmates but never to this delightful extreme.

    I actually start formal lessons in falconry this March, which I am so excited about.

    Our dear @Credit –
    I understand and respect your scorn; however, those birds are treated like treasured family members. A friend of mine has a five foot tall oil painting of his recently departed, much beloved falcon in his home office…his wife wouldn’t let him hang it above the family room sofa.

  7. I wouldn’t be distressed about live falcons. Cam you imagine the shit they produce? The smell and vision of it just makes me gag.

  8. I can tell you it isn’t Saudia based on the color of the seats and the flight attendant uniform.

    In any case, the whole thing seems photoshopped if you pay close attention, a lot of the falcons look almost all identical (which is impossible if you know anything about these beautiful birds), and the ones in the middle seem to be oriented in exactly the same way as the 4 at the back. The bunch at the fornt are too fuzzy and look like the creator was running out of time when he got to them.

    I’m not convinced by the picture, and the whole story doesn’t really make sense to me.

    Sorry for being the party pooper 😀

  9. @Aziz –

    I was also suspicious, but only because someone in need of transporting so many beloved and valuable birds would far more likely have chartered a plane.

    @Endre & @Arcanum –

    Assuming this falcon-flight actually happened, there would undoubtedly have been an underfalconer(s) to tend to the birds. There would have been no smell.

  10. @Imperator

    I thought so too, they’re too precious to risk them that way, and I’m not sure any airline would allow it to begin with.

  11. I have seen falcons dozens of times on flights around the Gulf. In first or business class, each owner (or handler) typically has 1 seat for himself and 1 for the bird. I never noticed a smell, even though I expected to. I have never flown economy class (in the Gulf) so don’t know if they would allow dozens of seats to be filled with falcons.

  12. I lived in Qatar for 3 years and sometimes went falconing. I never noticed a smell. Granted we didn’t have that many with us at once. Also in the falcon souq, when I walked into a room with containing dozens of them, I did not smell anything. I might have been confused or surprised by them on a plane prior to my years in Qatar, but now that I’ve been around them, and I understand what their hood is about, and all that, I would have been pretty thrilled to see them on a plane.

  13. He must be way down the line in Saudi otherwise he would have his own aircraft.
    Other royals have flights with falcons, monkeys, tigers ( pilots made sure door was locked) puppies all on 1 aircraft at same time!
    Go figure?

  14. Does anyone have the Amazon link to that eye mask? I relish the thought of being subdued on a long flight.

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