Flights to India with a layover in Saudi Arabia on Saudia
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Mar 30, 2013 4:33 AM Last Post By: old_india_hand
Dec 7, 2012 8:11 PM
Is it worth saving appx. $400?
I have read a lot of negative reviews of Saudia online, but only negative experiences tend to get posted, no one has a normal flight and then reviews it online. Has anyone flown this recently?
The primary thing I am worried about is if a flight gets postponed and I get stuck in SA for longer,than my layover of 10 hours. When you are there for 18 or more a transit visa is required, yet visas are not available to solo females, so this could potentially create a huge problem for me. It is also possible that I won't be able to board my flight to SA if the connecting flight is delayed or cancelled. I have also read that the airline is incredibly unhelpful in extraneous circumstance.
Additionally, any truth to the rumors that IATA are required to provide you with a hotel room if your layover is over 7 hours? Has anyone asked for this? Did they provide? I've read that the food is bad as well as in-flight entertainment, I'm willing to sacrifice those of course to save a lot of money on the ticket but it would still be nice to get all around reviews, both positive and negative if you have experience. Looking for some first hand knowledge only! Thanks!
Dec 7, 2012 11:51 PM
1Between the two airports Jeddah would be the better choice. Saudia do not serve alcoholic beverages and the in flight entertainment maybe limited, but apart from that they maintain reasonable services and time. The food is alright. You need to careful of your attire and ensure that when you get off the plane in Saudi Arabia, you do not expose any part of your body below your neck ( so shoulders downwards up to your ankles should be covered). No religious symbols or figurines in your hand baggage There is little chance of a delay which would impact on your connections if you have 10 hours. You will have western female crew members from whom you can seek further advice. Sometimes the officials handling immigration and transit facilities may be brusque, but you should be able to take this in your stride. The flight from SA to India will have a totally different mix of passengers.
Dec 8, 2012 12:27 AM
2And be sure to post on the Middle East forum..
Dec 8, 2012 2:56 AM
Dec 8, 2012 7:55 AM
4I looked into Saudia flights a short while ago, they really are a lot cheaper.
The biggest problem is that, without a visa, they are quite likely not to allow to board the plane in the first place - and as you know, you have no chance of getting a visa.
Not worth the risk, IMO. I'm flying with Gulf Air, they were the next cheapest, (about £100 more!) and only 2-3 hrs stopover in Bahrain.
Dec 8, 2012 9:20 AM
Dec 8, 2012 6:01 PM
6Some time ago I flew Gulf Air from London to Delhi with stop at Bahrain. The plane nearly emptied at Bahrain and refilled with new passengers. Almost all the new passengers were Indian blue-collar workers returning home. This was the worst group in terms of manners, totally classless. For instance, they will sneakingly smoke whenever the stewardess was not looking, this was widespread across the board. They behaved like a gang.
Bottom line: I will never again fly to India with a stop in Middle Eastern countries.
Dec 9, 2012 9:44 AM
Dec 9, 2012 12:08 PM
Dec 9, 2012 6:41 PM
Smoking is not a precondition of happiness going to home or not. One must not smoke in a plane with No Smoking policy. One must follow the rules and regulations in a civil society with due respect to others, or you will get lawless society full of chaos. Actually I am giving them a break by not going in that direction. I wonder how you would have felt if you were allergic to smoke!
Dec 9, 2012 7:17 PM
Dec 10, 2012 9:37 AM
Dec 15, 2012 1:45 AM
12Hey there I just booked a ticket on Saudi for May 2013 one way from Mumbai back to the USA (D.C.). I know for a fact that a transit in the airport of up to 18 hours is no prob whatsoever (8 hours for airlines that are NOT Saudia), but I've read conflicting reports about the possibility of being able to leave the airport. The majority of what I've read is that you cannot leave the airport, but I've also read a few postings that allude to be able to...who knows?! My layover is Jeddah is 11 hours and one things that seems consistent in everything I've found is that the airport is crap! Boring, little if anything to do, poor food, and obviously no alcohol served or sold. Oh well, I only paid $370 for a one way ticket so can't really complain!
I've read of several women (single/solo) flying Saudi Airlines without issue... You'll be fine! But I would agree with some of the above posts that suggest not wearing clothes that reveal too much. No need for a full on abaya (again, at least according to what I've read), but certainly something like a long sleeve tee and pants? Good luck! If you're flying May 10th say hey! :)
Mar 30, 2013 3:30 AM
Mar 30, 2013 4:24 AM
14I flew with Saudi Arabian last year (2012) Bombay to London and London to Kuala Lumpur, layovers were about 4 hours, both Riyadh and Jeddah transits were ok, no problem, no hassle.
Good flights, new planes, on time, nice food, large choice of movies, no booze.
The only stress was getting to Heathrow with a late running bus on stop-go-stop British roads
Interesting experience, no hassle and friendly.
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