Saudia isn’t an airline that gets talked about a whole lot in the points and miles world, for various reasons. Some of those reasons include that it’s a dry airline (what, no Krug?!), layovers are often long, and there are few flight options from the U.S. Not to mention that very few people are actually traveling to Saudia Arabia, unless it’s for work. I had the opportunity to book a $500 one-way business class flight from Milan, Italy (MXP) to Jakarta, Indonesia (CGK) on Saudia, so I figured it was a great opportunity to try out a new airline and save a few miles — in fact, I earned miles instead, 10,995 of them!
Overall, flying Saudia was a pretty pleasant experience. The seats were more comfortable than I was expecting, the food was quite good, and nothing was lacking about the service. The biggest downside to my flights is that I had a 10-hour overnight layover in Jeddah. I elected to spend the night in the lounge, which was sufficient, but far from great but a HUGE step up over the insanely crowded airport terminal. In general, the whole airport terminal situation was a bit ridiculous. People were sleeping all over the ground and there was some issue with the flight monitor because it never posted a gate for my flight. I was extremely lucky that I heard the final call.
Now… onto the flights.
Saudia Business Class A320 Review (MXP – JED)
The Saudia A320 has pretty spacious recliner style seats with a leg rest. They are more comfortable than Domestic U.S. style recliner seats and offer much more space. Each seat has a power outlet in the center. Since these seats don’t flatten out a whole lot, there isn’t much to be said for the controls. Considering how in-check I had my expectations about the seat, I actually ended up being fairly impressed with the comfort of Saudia’s A320 business class.
The meal served was also fairly good. For my appetizer, I elected to have the Western Appetizer (top left) of smoked swordfish, sautéed prawn, grilled eggplant, and cream cheese rolled with leek and herbs. I also didn’t want to pass up the vegetable soup (top right) and I’m glad I didn’t! The soup was by far my favorite part of the meal. The main course had choices between chicken, seafood, and lamb, and I went with the lamb kabli (bottom right). The lamb was pretty tender and overall it was pretty good. Dessert consisted of peach and vanilla ice cream (bottom left), which was a nice way to finish up the meal. Since Saudia is a dry airline, there were no delicious alcoholic beverages to speak of, but I wouldn’t let that deter me from flying Saudia again.
Saudia Business Class B777 Review (MXP – CGK)
Following a looooooooooong ten hour layover in Jeddah, I was so excited to get on my second flight to find angled flat seats instead of recliner seats! Seat Guru had lead me to believe that both of my flights would have recliner seats, and I can’t say that I’ve ever been so excited for an angled flat seat before in my life.
After such a long day of travel and staying up all night in the Jeddah lounge, my brain wasn’t working quite so well and I forgot to take a picture of the seat in it’s flat state, so I had to borrow this one from Pinterest. It’s a very clearly angled flat seat, but I was so tired at this point, that I was glad to have anything that resembled flat in the slightest.
Though I was exhausted, I forced myself to stay up for the meal service because the food options in the lounge weren’t great and I was a bit hungry. Overall, I was a little less impressed with the food on this flight than on my first flight, but it was completely edible. For the main meal, I elected to have the Western Appetiser again (top left). This time it consisted of grilled prawns with pesto sauce, salmon rolled with cream cheese, sun-dried tomato, and shaved Parmesan cheese. Despite the soup being amazing on my last flight, I decided to skip the soup course this time because I was tired — it was probably a mistake! The soup options were a Harira soup or a creamy chicken mushroom soup. For the main course, I chose to have lamb biryani (bottom right). This was probably my least favorite of the dishes served on either flight. The lamb was tough and the rice wasn’t that good. For dessert, I had pistachio and sour cherries gateau (bottom left). For breakfast, I went with a simple selection of fresh fruit, cheese, and bread (top right).
Overall, I was impressed with both of my flights on Saudia. That said, I really wasn’t expecting much ahead of time. I booked the flights because I got a great price to get from Europe to Asia, and I was just happy to have a little more room and earn the miles from a business class flight. I was expecting recliner seats for both flights and ended up with angled flat seats for one of the two flights. It was a win.
I would gladly fly Saudia again if a reasonable business class price popped up for a flight that I need, but I definitely don’t see myself seeking it out. I also would do my best to avoid a long layover in Jeddah because that part of the journey was definitely the worst. That airport is a complete sh*t show outside of the lounge, and the lounge really isn’t that great. A ten hour layover was about nine hours too long, in my opinion. Would you consider flying Saudia?