Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Saudis on a Plane

Unbelievable. Just unbelievable. And you wonder why people look at you funny. It is stuff like this [well, amongst a plethora of other "stuff"] that gives the world cause to ridicule. Completely senseless.

All I can say is that I have never had the dubious pleasure of flying Saudia and mostly likely never will. Cannot imagine that I would book a flight with them to go anywhere...

"Muhammad, is there a woman sitting beside you?" Thought for sure I was going to have to applaud some woman for becoming Saudi's second pilot [one of the Prince's has a "Captain" on his staff that is Saudi Arabia's first woman pilot; I think she's a flight engineer though and not really a Captain even though she calls herself a Captain]. But noooo. Of course not. It was a question "asked by the Saudia flight attendant when he saw a woman entering the airplane." The man, Abdullah Al-Maghlouth, who wrote the article says that "In 15 minutes, I changed my seat four times when the number of women entering the airplane kept increasing." Apparently the Saudia flight attendants do not know how to handle seeing "a woman sitting next to a man they think is a stranger." Imagine if there were ever a REAL emergency how they'd react. I shudder at the mere thought.

The Saudia flight attendants "immediately volunteer to find another seat for the woman even if she has not complained. At one point they separated a man from his wife and placed a strange woman next to him." Tell me this is not a LFZ... "The greater the number of women in the plane, the bigger the mess." Which is exactly why women should not be allowed to travel without a mahram [male, relative, companion]. As long as she has her handler with her there is no problem, right? Problem solved. [Yes. Of course I mean that sarcastically!]

"On one of my trips... I could not help laughing at the comedy that unfolded inside the aircraft. An Indian engineer sitting next to me described it as a funny movie." I bet he did. A funny movie - old movie - as in black and white. Apparently the "comedy" did not end there. One of the male passengers "kept asking a female flight attendant [they are not Saudis, these female flight attendants] a question every time she passed him." Finally a male flight attendant addressed one of the man's many questions and told him that "she had jumped out of the plane in order to escape his questions." [Read: Thinly veiled advances. No pun intended.] When one male passenger asked the female passenger sitting next to him if he could read her newspaper and when she finally gave it to him, he wrote his phone number on it for her. Yeah. That would do it for most women. You simply write your phone number down and women will all race to the nearest phone booth to call you immediately enter it in their mobiles and put you on speed dial. Not.

Mr. Al-Maghlouth says, "I am sure the kind of scenes I described happen only aboard our flights. It has become a studio for comic movies that has not yet been discovered and invested in despite the fact that these scenes make us laugh but at the same time show how ignorant our people are. Changing seats, chaos and harassing women on a bus are not the characteristics of a civilized society. Then what about on an airplane?" BAM! He nails it!!! [Emphasis, mine.]


  1. based on all your descriptions of Saudi men, it sounds like they're nothing more than a bunch of college frat boys who never grew up.

  2. College frat boys? You're giving many of them way too much credit, falnfenix. High school... And it would not be fair for me to say all Saudi men. My DH works with some that are very nice, very educated and willing to work as hard as he does. [I really need to try not to generalize so much - but it is difficult - given what I have to work with, you know, articles such as these.]

  3. Sounds like the men are trying to out-perform each other in public displays of propriety. Or all of them want to sit next to a woman, but since they cannot they are making certain that no one else can do so, either. Or that you live in a gigantic, sandy cartoon.

  4. i started to call these men 'pigs', but pigs are actually a noble creature - having fed & clothed humanity for eons with nary a vulgar suggestion.

    i thought about various other animals but each seems to have a useful purpose in the scheme of things.

    i can't think of any animal as useless as these men. i mean, exactly what do these creepy boy-men contribute positively to humankind, or even to the world at large?



  5. Great post. Gives an insight to how ridiculously childish the Saudis really are.

  6. I fly Saudia regularly. Have to. It is the only game in town from Tabuk to Riyadh. It isn't so much the men on the plane. My observations have been they don't give a s*** so long as the plane takes off on time. It seldom does. It is the flight attendents that go nuts. I fly First Class when traveling solo. It's just easier. I had an aisle seat. A gentleman, and he WAS a gemtleman, had the seat seat across the aisle from me. The flight staff was stuck on stupid trying to figure out how to 'separate' us. The gentleman made the suggestion to wait until the boarding was complete THEN we could assess the situation again. Once borading was done, we both had no one sitting in the window seats so we just moved over, thereby putting TWO seats AND an aisle between us. This seemed to allivate some of the concern from the flight staff. But not much as the flight attendent kept vigil the whole flight.

  7. Oh my gosh, Linda! Your experience is almost its own separate post. Too funny. Glad the flight attendant kept an eye on the two of you. I can tell just by your comments over the past few months that you're the type to... [j/k, Linda, j/k!] Is there no other airline that does Saudi to Saudi flights? Didn't give it much thought, to be honest with you. But then, since I don't intend to travel to Riyadh, ever, I don't need to worry too much about it.

  8. LOL...yeah I am just a bit rebellious when it comes to Stupid S***.
    Two years ago some Jet Blue type airline was SUPPOSED to start flying Saudi-Saudi flights from Tabuk. I've yet to see one. Maybe they don't fly the days we do. Our choices here, to get out of the country, are to fly to Riyadh or Jeddah. Or we can pay a taxi to drive us for 4 hours to Amman. For me that's a no brainer. Hour and a half on Saudia or 4 hours trapped in a taxi with a driver of questionable hygiene? I take my chances with the Saudia flight. Besides the Saudia flight is so much more entertaining :-)

  9. well, Sabra, i figured i'd be a little generous. :P

  10. Linda,

    Did they put you and the gentleman in 'restraints' so that you 'do not get on with it' at any given opportunity. WTF??

  11. Rasputin, no restraints involved :-) I read a book. The gentleman, two seats and the aisle away, was doing some kind of paperwork. Both of us thought the whole thing was rather amusing. If I don't laugh about this kind of stuff, I'd go postal. Welcome to the LFZ.


Site Meter