planenutz
Posts: 1156
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 1999 5:50 am

Middle Eastern Carriers During Ramadan

Wed Sep 04, 2002 9:33 am

I'm wondering how airlines from the middle east coordinate their inflight meal services during the month of Ramadan. During this time of year, practicing Muslims are not to eat or drink (or smoke for that matter) during the day. They can break their fast in the evening. It seems like it would be difficult given the fact that non-practicing Muslims, and non-Muslims in general, would be traveling as well.

How do they determine how many meals to onload? It seems that it wouldn't make much sense to outfit a fully loaded 777 with 300+ meals if a significant majority of passengers wont be eating (or drinking).

Also, when is a determination made to break the fast inflight? Is it the evening hours based on the time of day at the departure city, or the arrival city?

Anyone ever flown the likes of Saudi Arabian or Iran Air during Ramadan?
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MAS777
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RE: Middle Eastern Carriers During Ramadan

Wed Sep 04, 2002 10:14 am

Flew Malaysia Airlines last year during Ramadan and it was fantastic. They served meals on-board as per norm but expected a lot of passengers to be observing the fast, so kept loads of extra meals available. When fast broke - they announced this on-board and had an extra snack service (offered to everyone) to celebrate breaking of fast. Cakes in special boxes and a bar service was laid on. Meal service then recommenced and anyone who wanted the 'extra' meals could ask for them
 
411A
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Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2001 10:34 am

RE: Middle Eastern Carriers During Ramadan

Wed Sep 04, 2002 10:32 am

Operated a Lockheed L10 for SV for ten years. As sunset approached, was often asked to descend lower so that the sun would "disappear" earlier. Whistling along at barberpole -5 at FL230 was great fun. And, at 18 cents per gallon, not expensive either.
 
airmale
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RE: Middle Eastern Carriers During Ramadan

Wed Sep 04, 2002 7:00 pm

As Mas777 has stated in the case of MH, all Muslims airlines follow similar procedure.
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CXHKG
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:47 pm

RE: Middle Eastern Carriers During Ramadan

Wed Sep 04, 2002 7:48 pm

Correct me if I am wrong, but are there not exceptions to the fasting rulebook, e.g. if you are young, ill, pregnant or travelling? So, when people are on the plane, they can break their fast because they are travelling.
 
swissgabe
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RE: Middle Eastern Carriers During Ramadan

Wed Sep 04, 2002 9:04 pm

Great topic with great informations!

CXHKG, I know that if they are allowed to eat if they are ill, pregnant etc. but I think most muslims won't eat when only travelling so as it has been pointed out they wait until the sun disapeared. Most of them would anyway to try from West to East and they will avaid dayflights from East to West  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
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danialanwar
Posts: 420
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2001 6:13 pm

RE: Middle Eastern Carriers During Ramadan

Wed Sep 04, 2002 9:23 pm

Yes there are exceptions. Basically you have to fast IF you are able to and if you are "clean".

Now, if you travel for more than a certain distance (different scholars have different opinions on what that distance is ... I take it as 80kms) you are allowed to break your fast and combine your prayers. Just imagine you fly LHR-JFK ... you'd be fasting from 5am LHR time to 8pm JFK time, about 24 hrs with the time difference ... and you are not requested to put yourself through that. If you want to fast, of course you can. Naturally, any days of fasting missed you will need to pay back by fasting a day (a day for a day) prior to the next fasting months.

Swissgabe,
Most of them would anyway to try from West to East and they will avaid dayflights from East to West
A believing Muslim will not choose to travel just so he/she can "get off" from fasting. Anyway, a day missed has to be paid back. Believing Muslims do not fast just so they can say they did. They fast because they want to; fasting is ultimately a way to increase your "chances" of going to Paradise rather than Hellfire on the day of judgement - if you believe in that, you won't try to "cheat"
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jrlander
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RE: Middle Eastern Carriers During Ramadan

Wed Sep 04, 2002 11:11 pm

My father lives in Riyadh, and regularly flies Saudi during Ramadan (He always flies a foreign carrier when he leave the country). This last year, he was in business class coming back from Dharan. The flight crew passed out a boxed dinner, and the passengers were allowed to open it as soon as the sun set. However, this happened during final approach. So the passengers got to eat for the last 10 minutes or so of the flight.
 
swissgabe
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Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2000 4:57 am

RE: Middle Eastern Carriers During Ramadan

Wed Sep 04, 2002 11:23 pm

Danialanwar
Well, I mean when traveling from West to East a day is much shorter and they don't have to "give" back the day. Well, it was more than a joke since I think as well that there are not many muslims just paying for a flight to have 2hrs less of fasting.
I always remember a working pal who was fasting and always looking to us during lunch time and she was always waiting until sunset but we had fun together. I was just remembering that. During Ramada in winter, Muslims living in Northern Parts (like Scandinavia etc.) do have an "advantage" since the day is not as long as in other countries.

No doubt, if a Muslim asked 411A to decent his plane that you can't see the sun anymore it's nearly cheated  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Smooth as silk - Royal Orchid Service /// Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens - Springbok
 
danialanwar
Posts: 420
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2001 6:13 pm

RE: Middle Eastern Carriers During Ramadan

Thu Sep 05, 2002 5:02 am

Yeah ... that is "cheating" ...

As for fasting in Scandinavia ... it's alright if Ramadhan falls in winter, but muuuuuch longer if it falls in summer. However, if you live above 45 deg N / S, then you do not follow sunrise/set anymore. (Would be 24 hours in Greenland ...)

Anyway, next Ramadhan starts around 6 November. I'll be in Sydney then, quite south and summer ... fasting times will be roughly 3am - 8pm. That's long ...
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MAS777
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Joined: Sun Jul 11, 1999 7:40 am

RE: Middle Eastern Carriers During Ramadan

Thu Sep 05, 2002 8:20 am

You do not have to fast if you have a reason as mentioned - on flights with Malaysia Airlines - the crew were happy to serve anyone who chose not to fast but also offered the option of later dining too.
 
delta-flyer
Posts: 2631
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2001 9:47 am

RE: Middle Eastern Carriers During Ramadan

Thu Sep 05, 2002 8:53 am

In a similar vein, I remember my Dad, who traveled often on business and was instructed to bring me home everything not bolted down on an airplane, came back with an interesting printed note from a Vancouver - Montreal flight an a Friday in the sixties. The note said that Pope John XXIII has exempted passengers traveling on this Canadian Pacific flight from not eating meat on Fridays due to the difficulty is planning the right number of non-meat meals in such an environment.

Eminently practical, isn't it?

Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"