N178UA
Topic Author
Posts: 1686
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2001 9:56 pm

Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:41 pm

Dear All

It's been almost half a year absence away from the Trip Report forum. Of course, I haven't forgot about flying but just need a bit more motivation to come back sharing trip reports. From time to time, I still keep an eye out for some excellent post and reading on the forum!  

I have been long wanted to fly Saudi Arabian Airlines B747 classics. With over a year of planning, finally it happened this January onboard a B747-368 from Jakarta to Riyadh.

There are plenty of mysteries surrounded with this low profile airline. I always have the curiosity of finding how onboard Saudia would be like. Fortunatly, the famous Int'l Trip Reporter Ronerone is able to join me for the adventure!

Please click on the link below to read the Trip Report. It is in a photographic format and with background music playing behind. This will form the basis of my next few trip report format.


http://www.samchuiphotos.com/TripReport2/


Your feedback is always appreciated.

Cheers

Sam Chui

Next Trip Reports to post shortly:

Emirates A380 to Jeddah and Air India B747-400 to Hyderabad/Mumbai
30th Birthday onboard Thai Airways
10000 miles Russian/Soviet airplane journey "To the end of the World" trip 2006
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
thaia345
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:15 pm

great TR Sam, thoroughly enjoyed it! i just had a killer month if travelling and some of my latest TR are already up. I won't have anything much this mth, but i am taking an Easter break to Bali and in May I will be flying MH all new A333 to BNE .....really looking fwd to that one

how long will u be posted in AUH? need to schedule a trip there soon!
 
wheretonext
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:32 am

RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:44 pm

Sam,

Thanks for the great trip report! It's always nice to get a glimpse of Saudi Arabian Airlines and the terminal in Riyadh. There seemed to be an eclectic mix of good looking food on your flight!

Thanks, again!

-Matt
WhereToNext
Next Adventure: TBD
 
BP1
Posts: 133
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:28 pm

Hi Sam,

Really enjoy the TR and the music you have on it had me enjoying the pictures and feeling the mood even more. Great pictures and nice colorful drinks too.

Thanks,
BP1A
"First To Fly The A-380" / 26 October 2007 SYD-SIN Inaugural
 
Flightsimboy
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:59 pm

Ahlan Wa Sahlan, Sam, loved the presentation and the accompanying Middle Eastern music, reflective of your flight! All your reports should have this audio effect as well lol. Not too many International departures of out Jakarta. The meal delivery service is very much like PIA in their premium cabins, served directly from the trolley. You've documented that in another report I recall.

Do the FAs wear two different coloured blouses on board? In the first pic an FA serving the welcome drinks has a yellow/biege blouse, while in the pics where the meals are served it is blue in colour. Finally in the group pic you see the different coloured blouses. Different levels of seniority I presume? Also very light make up, not hot red lipstick, and unpainted nails sans the red colour again like EK's FAs. Also here the head scarf unlike EK, EY etc is worn tightly around the face like it is supposed to be, and not just something thrown in to reflect the cultural significance of the carrier to it's Middle Eastern roots. Of course all this is a far cry from Saudi's uniforms in the 80s when they wore dresses or pants, and no veil or head scarf.

What a surprise to see Roni. This was probably part of his trip back from Noumea.
 
chepos
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:19 pm

Excellent pictures, very entertaining, and by the way I love the saudia bag. I have been wanting to see a SV trip report for a long time. Saudi Arabian is one of the top 5 airlines on my must fly list, however, it is difficult to get a visa to visit the Kingdom so I guess I wont be flying SV anytime soon.

Thanlks again for sharing,

Regards,

Chepos
Fly the Flag!!!!
 
BAViscount
Posts: 1975
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:10 pm

Fascinating report, thanks for putting it together! I also enjoyed hearing 'Dance Mood' by Husnu Senlendrici again...I have that track on a CD that I bought in Dubai...it certainly invokes memories of the desert and was a perfect accompaniment!

Many thanks.

Andy.
Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
 
767747
Posts: 2122
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:02 pm

Really nice photos, Sam! Thanks for sharing! I also like the Saudia logo on everything; especially the glassware!

Looks like you guys had a good flight. The food looks pretty good! So does Saudia just have a First cabin and no Business?

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew (767747)
I love to fly!
 
Flightsimboy
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:52 pm

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 4):
Sam, loved the presentation and the accompanying Middle Eastern music
Quoting BAViscount (Reply 6):
Fascinating report, thanks for putting it together! I also enjoyed hearing 'Dance Mood' by Husnu Senlendrici again

Thanks for the info, BAViscount! Hmm so Husnu is Turkish lol.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 7):
So does Saudia just have a First cabin and no Business?

See pic 63.
 
BAViscount
Posts: 1975
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2004 8:01 am

RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:17 am

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 8):
Hmm so Husnu is Turkish lol.



Yes, I do believe he is, but suitable for creating an appropriate atmosphere nonetheless!
Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
 
N178UA
Topic Author
Posts: 1686
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2001 9:56 pm

RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:47 am

Quoting thaia345 (Reply 1):
how long will u be posted in AUH? need to schedule a trip there soon!

Hi Herb, thanks for being the 1st to reply my TR   I will be in AUH for a very long time. I am enjoying the lifestyle and tax free status here!

Can I tempt you to hop on EK A380 ex BKK/HKG to come to UAE for a visit. The Atlantis Dubai have great summer offers perfect for the whole family!

Quoting WhereToNext (Reply 2):
Thanks for the great trip report! It's always nice to get a glimpse of Saudi Arabian Airlines and the terminal in Riyadh. There seemed to be an eclectic mix of good looking food on your flight!
Quoting BP1 (Reply 3):
Really enjoy the TR and the music you have on it had me enjoying the pictures and feeling the mood even more. Great pictures and nice colorful drinks too.

Thanks guys. I love TR with music at the background. Would post this on A.net format if there is music allowed.

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 4):
Do the FAs wear two different coloured blouses on board? In the first pic an FA serving the welcome drinks has a yellow/biege blouse, while in the pics where the meals are served it is blue in colour. Finally in the group pic you see the different coloured blouses. Different levels of seniority I presume? Also very light make up, not hot red lipstick, and unpainted nails sans the red colour again like EK's FAs. Also here the head scarf unlike EK, EY etc is worn tightly around the face like it is supposed to be, and not just something thrown in to reflect the cultural significance of the carrier to it's Middle Eastern roots. Of course all this is a far cry from Saudi's uniforms in the 80s when they wore dresses or pants, and no veil or head scarf.

I have seen they wear blue or yellow blouse....not sure there are more variations than that. The whole crew of SV are quite humble and all aware of local culture. The Indonesia based crew told me they are quite happy to serve the Saudi passengers as most of them simply eat, pray and sleep. Most of them are non-aggressive and non-demanding.

Quoting chepos (Reply 5):
Saudi Arabian is one of the top 5 airlines on my must fly list, however, it is difficult to get a visa to visit the Kingdom so I guess I wont be flying SV anytime soon.

You can do Saudia transitting Saudi Arabia without visa! Contact me for more details. I recently flown Emirates to Jeddah, connect with Air India to Mumbai without visa.

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 6):
I also enjoyed hearing 'Dance Mood' by Husnu Senlendrici again...I have that track on a CD that I bought in Dubai...it certainly invokes memories of the desert and was a perfect accompaniment!

Thanks for the comments. I have a hard time to find a music clip suiting Saudi Arabian Air....as I doubt they don't have theme music.....so I use the Desert Lounge CD and found this track  
Quoting 767747 (Reply 7):
So does Saudia just have a First cabin and no Business?

On B744 SV have only J and Y (J is on upper deck)

On B743 SV have only F and Y (F is in nose area and second zone, Y is upper deck and the back)

On A330 I think SV only have J and Y.

On B777 mostly are 3 classes except some high density version to the Sub-Continent have 2 classes only.

You can refer to Wikpedia on Saudi Arabian Airlines for seating info.

Cheers

Sam
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
Burj
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:14 am

Wow thanks for the trip report!

With SV joining SkyTeam I may finally be able to use my Delta SkyPesos to get an award ticket from North America to Pakistan!

Those seats do look kinda dated...and to food didn't really look like anything too special....but Saudia F/J has got to beat any other airlines Y!
 
debonair
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:46 am

Quoting N178UA (Thread starter):
I have been long wanted to fly Saudi Arabian Airlines B747 classics

Hi, fantastic TR, fantastic pictures- as always.
But something is very wrong... According to your excellent report, flights have been done on HS-AIR. "HS" stands for Thailand- or do you mean "HZ"?! Or was a it a sub lease from PHUKET AIRLINES? I am confused...  
 
N178UA
Topic Author
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:52 am

Hi debonair

Well spot! I was my mistake. It is indeed HZ-AIR. Nothing to do with Phuket Air, although they did operate for Saudi during the Hajj season taking passenger from Indonesia as well.

Cheers

Sam
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
gabrielchew
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:29 am

That was a nice look at SV. The seats in First and Business look pretty dated, but the food and service looked good. Nice music too!
http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LGW-OPO-LGW,LHR-FCO-CTA-LIN-LCY,LHR-AMS-GRQ-SEN,LTN-CPH-LHR-ORD
 
RJtraveller
Posts: 47
Joined: Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:09 am

RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:57 am

Hi !

What a nice trip report, with excellent presentation, really gives me some ideas of the Saudi Arabian air B747 which I often spot in CGK, the flight seems, and it seems to have a nice service in business class. Looking forward to fly on it classic B743. I also often use the Premiere lounge in CGK when I usually fly to DXB with EK.
Anyway thanks for the interesting and nice TR, looking forward for you next one's !

Cheers,
Reggie
 
Quokka
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:11 am

Hi Sam
Congratulations on a very stylish and well-presented trip report. Great photos as usual and I liked the musical background.

The in-flight service appears to be very good, although the entertainment seems delightfully limited when compared other airlines. No chance of fingers poking the back of your seat,  

I look forward to your next instalment.

Cheers,
Quokka
 
N178UA
Topic Author
Posts: 1686
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2001 9:56 pm

RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:41 am

Quoting Quokka (Reply 16):
The in-flight service appears to be very good, although the entertainment seems delightfully limited when compared other airlines. No chance of fingers poking the back of your seat,

Hi Quokka

thanks for the nice words. I spoke to a few Saudi passenger onboard Saudi Arabian Airlines, they don't really care about TV/Music entertainment. Most of them seem at ease with some quiet rest or rolling a chain of balls with their hand (believe that kills lot of time)

One extreme passenger told me he refuse to fly Emirates because of the PTV. When he saw music with girls dancing on the screen, he got off the plane and book himself on Saudia to fly home.......enough said  
Quoting RJtraveller (Reply 15):
Anyway thanks for the interesting and nice TR, looking forward for you next one's !

My next TR is also just published now  
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
ronerone
Posts: 1463
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:18 pm

Definitely one of the best trips i have taken! .. From the amazing ground staff at CGK that blocked our adjacent seats for more comfort, to the lounge crew, to the staff at the airline office. Even the cabin crew were very good, and the transit at RUH was such a breeze with the helpful staff!

The one thing i wasn't too fond of was the quality of the food. But i am told that the catering out of CGK is generally sub-par to normal airport standard. The colorful non-alcoholic drinks served in wine glasses onboard were quite amusing too  

And of course, our fellow passenger that simply covered himself with the blanket for most of the flight was the best IFE for 8.5 hours   hahah

Quoting thaia345 (Reply 1):
need to schedule a trip there soon!

Hi TGA345! You should definitely come and visit. If on or after 2nd June, you can do so with a Cathay flight nonstop to Abu Dhabi from Hong Kong 4 times a week  


Thanks for an excellent report Sam. Now we all know what the SV secrecy is all about   ..


Cheers,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
777way
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:57 pm

Great report and pics, CGK architecture is so unique for a major airport, is it appreciated or not?

Quokka Saudia have better IFE with aircraft having PTV fairly good variety catering to all tastes.

Flightsimboy the Crew uniform is Blue, Green, Yellow and headress is worn throughout duty.
 
Quokka
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:33 pm

Quoting N178UA (Reply 17):
they don't really care about TV/Music entertainment. Most of them seem at ease with some quiet rest

I am usually with them, prefering to read a book or just get some sleep - many of my flights out of PER are at night.

Quoting 777way (Reply 19):
Quokka Saudia have better IFE with aircraft having PTV fairly good variety catering to all tastes.

Yes, I suppose they must, but this was an older aircraft and the contrast between the two was obvious. Some passengers love the ICE, but I am not all that fussed. To each their own  
 
The777Man
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:09 pm

Very nice report with very nice pictures! Saudi Arabian looks great in First class evne on the old 747-300. I love their colors and logo as well.

I much prefer trip reports posted on the forum rather than linked to a seperate website.

I would love to fly on SV again sometime; flew SV FCO-CDG in 1998 on a 772.

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
N178UA
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:28 am

Quoting ronerone (Reply 18):
Definitely one of the best trips i have taken! .. From the amazing ground staff at CGK that blocked our adjacent seats for more comfort, to the lounge crew, to the staff at the airline office. Even the cabin crew were very good, and the transit at RUH was such a breeze with the helpful staff!

Hey Roni!

Glad you like the TR and great to have you join the trip to make it extra enjoable!

I think if you look back in a few years, when SV Retire all of their 747 classics, this trip will be so worthwhile!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 21):
I would love to fly on SV again sometime; flew SV FCO-CDG in 1998 on a 772.

Lars, you need to fly the SV 777-300/ER , I heard is coming soon in Nov 2011.



Sam
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
ronerone
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:14 am

Quoting N178UA (Reply 22):
I think if you look back in a few years, when SV Retire all of their 747 classics, this trip will be so worthwhile!

Definitely! .. We should definitely fly SV's 743 again soon  
Quoting N178UA (Reply 22):
Lars, you need to fly the SV 777-300/ER , I heard is coming soon in Nov 2011.

Leave it to Lars, and he will definitely be one of the first ones on SV's 777-300ER.

Speaking of which, what equipment code will SV assign to that aircraft, given that they have strangely used pretty much all conventional 777 codes for their own unique purposes.  


Cheers,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:26 pm

Hi Sam,

awesome report about this rare airline (at least at a.net). Nice to get an impression of SV's 743s with their old-style interior. The catering looks really good. It seems Roni and you had a great time on this flight.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
QANTAS077
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:38 pm

good stuff Sam, I didn't know you were in AUH...I was in DXB last week and spent a day at SHJ!
 
N178UA
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Wed Apr 06, 2011 6:00 am

Quoting qantas077 (Reply 25):



good stuff Sam, I didn't know you were in AUH...I was in DXB last week and spent a day at SHJ!

Yes Monty, been here for 3 months now.....Was SHJ worth the 1000AED?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 24):
awesome report about this rare airline (at least at a.net). Nice to get an impression of SV's 743s with their old-style interior. The catering looks really good. It seems Roni and you had a great time on this flight.

Thanks PH, we look forward to see more awesome report from you!
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
The777Man
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:40 pm

Quoting N178UA (Reply 22):
Lars, you need to fly the SV 777-300/ER , I heard is coming soon in Nov 2011.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 23):
Leave it to Lars, and he will definitely be one of the first ones on SV's 777-300ER

Hi !

We'll see; I may just do that 

You guys really need to try Turikish Airlines; they are VERY good!

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
QANTAS077
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:55 pm

Quoting N178UA (Reply 26):
Yes Monty, been here for 3 months now.....Was SHJ worth the 1000AED?

too be honest it was a mixed bag, if you never shoot it before then it was worth it...but, knowing what I know now and given that state of play there I wouldn't pay it again.
 
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OA260
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:43 am

Very nice report and quite rare a great insight into an airline not widely reported.

Thanks for the great pics .

OA260  
 
N178UA
Topic Author
Posts: 1686
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2001 9:56 pm

RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:45 pm

Quoting qantas077 (Reply 28):
too be honest it was a mixed bag, if you never shoot it before then it was worth it...but, knowing what I know now and given that state of play there I wouldn't pay it again.

Monty, I think the Centro Hotel at SHJ is opening now (or soon) should command some views of the apron. Photo from there is another question.....

Quoting oa260 (Reply 29):
Very nice report and quite rare a great insight into an airline not widely reported.

Thanks for the great pics .

Thanks! Love your MEA Cedar Lounge TR, that was a grand lounge IMHO!  
For more of myself and my flight reviews visit http://www.SamChui.com
 
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NZ107
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RE: Unveil The Secrecy Of Saudi Arabia!

Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:21 pm

Hi Sam,

Another great episode of the adventures of you and Roni! I'd love to catch a 743 someday.. Had a chance to when QF flew them to AKL but never found time/money for that.

The coloured beverages look most interesting! What did they taste like?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 18):

And of course, our fellow passenger that simply covered himself with the blanket for most of the flight was the best IFE for 8.5 hours hahah

Haha, the guy who covered himself with a blanket reminds me of my seat mate on the EK A345 flight MEL-AKL.. He was Saudi as well! It's one way to say I don't want to eat/drink anything.


Cheers,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.

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