Saudia Boeing 787-9 Business class
Saudia Boeing 787-9 Business class

Saudi Arabian Airlines, or Saudia, is the Jeddah-based national airline of Saudi Arabia. Although Saudia has been a SkyTeam alliance member since 2012, it’s not an airline that many Australians ever fly with.

But AFF member henleybeach did just that last week! This member picked up a steal of a Business class fare with Saudia – just $684 from Istanbul to Kuala Lumpur via Jeddah. How was the Saudia Business class experience?

Surpringly, excellent!

Both Saudia Business class flights – from Istanbul to Jeddah, and the longer overnight flight from Jeddah to Kuala Lumpur – were on brand new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. The 1-2-1 reverse herringbone Business class seats on these planes are comfortable, spacious and fully lie-flat. Saudia has 13 Boeing 787s in its fleet.

Despite some initial hiccups at check-in, our member was soon on board the first leg to Jeddah.

After we sat down, warm towels were given out and then pre departure drink of with date smoothie, water and juices.

I had the date juice and it was fantastic, creamy, oaty, sweet, just delish and mrs henley beach was trying to pinch mine! The FA seen it and came over and offered mrs henleybeach. Another FA came around and handed out menus and Evian water bottles and about ten minutes later orders were taken for dinner. I went with the Arabic Mezze, the salmon and Arabic dessert.

The Saudia Business class food was both delicious and plentiful. The same can also be said about the second flight to Kuala Lumpur.

The soup was really nice and full of flavour, I’m glad I was talked into getting it, that was quickly followed by the lamb which was beautiful, soft and tender. Dessert I went the fruit and tea, cannot complain about at all about the food, it was really really good, mrs henleybeach said it was the best business class food she’s ever eaten.

The flight attendants on both flights were friendly and provided great service. That said, the meal service on the second flight was a little bizarre. A second full meal service was completed not long after dinner, but no breakfast was served prior to landing in Kuala Lumpur the next morning.

With just one hour between flights, it was just a quick transit through Jeddah on a barmy 42-degree evening.

We landed 5 minute late and bussed to the terminal where we quickly transferred to our next flight to KL. We went through security , there is seperate women’s and men’s line , one line for women and 6 for men. We didn’t even really have a chance to see anything of the terminal , but it looks run down, just as well the new one is nearly open.

As you might expect, Saudia is a dry airline. No alcohol is served on any Saudia flights.

So, would henleybeach fly with Saudia again? You bet!

I would fly Saudi again in a heartbeat, the food was delicious , sure the service isn’t as polished as Singapore airlines, the FAs I had were friendly and did a great job, yes there is no alcohol on board but even I could handle it and love a champagne on a plane ! For $700 you can’t go wrong, Emirates , SIA, Qatar , Etihad all wanted between $800- $1000 for economy for the same flight! A great experience and I’m glad we flew Saudi airlines!

The Saudia Business class review is part of an intriguing trip report which also includes Azerbaijan, Turkey and the Baltics. Read the full trip report on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Azerbaijan, Baltic Sea cruise and Saudi airlines business class


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]