Saudia Won’t Introduce Gender Segregated Seating After All

Filed Under: Media, Other Airlines

Yesterday I shared the story from which suggested that Saudia would introduce gender segregated seating on their flights. On one hand it seemed a bit farfetched, on the other hand we’re talking about a country where women aren’t even allowed to drive, so it wouldn’t have really surprised me that much…

The article read in part as follows:

Saudi Arabia’s national airline carrier is planning to introduce gender segregation aboard its flights following complaints from passengers who refused to have random males seated next to their wives, the Kingdom’s media report.

Airline company Saudia will order its staff to keep men and women separated onboard, unless they are close relatives, the Emirates247 news website reported.

“There are solutions to this problem…we will soon enforce rules that will satisfy all passengers,” Saudia assistant manager for marketing Abdul Rahman Al Fahd said, according to Saudi daily Ajel.

Well, as it turns out the story was apparently fabricated, per the quoted assistant manager for marketing at Saudia. Via @ahfahad on Twitter:


Apparently the actual quote for changing seating arrangements was in regards to families being separated on flights. Lots of passengers travel with large families and don’t assign seats in advance, which ends up causing problems:


My apologies for passing along the apparently fabricated story. I am still quite curious to fly Saudia one of these days

  1. Any plans to try out Pakistan international Airlines? That and Saudia would be awesome trip reports. 🙂

  2. Have flown Saudia couple of times on Delhi Dammam sector. 90 percent of those who travel this sector are blue collared workers. The best part is the flights are only half filled as not many want to skip the booze while heading to a dry land. I mostly ended up sprawling on the entire economy row for the course of flight.

  3. My dad flew Saudi biz. It was one of the worst flights of his life. He summed it up,”It stinks, the bathroom stinks, the food stinks, and the service stinks.” I would not fly them. But if you go on the residence we would expect to see an ultra-longhaul in coach. 🙂

  4. sources Emirates24x7, and Emirates24x7 sources “Saudi Arabic language daily ‘Ajel’.” I can’t read Arabic so I have to stop here. Someone got it wrong initially and it must have been Ajel. Look at the detail as printed on the Emirates24x7 web site:

    He did not elaborate, but the paper said it would include instructions to flight booking staff at the Gulf kingdom’s airports to ensure males and females are separated aboard Saudia’s flights unless they are closely related.

    This makes me think that Saudia really did intend to have gender segregation but backtracked because it wasn’t received well.

  5. “This makes me think that Saudia really did intend to have gender segregation but backtracked because it wasn’t received well.”

    That’s my guess as well.

    Not nearly as interesting as claiming it was intentionally fabricated though. The only thing that surprised me about the announcement was that Saudia was beating El Al to the punch.

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