|Quoting LGAviation (Reply 41):|
I guess also in the Arabian Gulf you could end up in a huge mess when for whatever reason BAH is closed and they choose DMM or some other Saudi airport over DOH.
Exactly that, happened to me on a DXB/BAH sector after a US Contractor carrier left bits of engine scattered down the runway
at BAH. Landed at Dammam, along with all the other GF BAH 08.00ish arrivals (maybe 10) plus an odd EK / RJ etc diversions.
Personally had a Saudi Visa but there were a lot of very nervous pax on board especially US & Indian citizens. The crew told them
not to worry 'there were arrangements in place'. Quite what didn't come to pass as after an hour we were back to BAH.
The really irritating thing was my purpose of flying to Bahrain was to drive across the causeway to a location
within 30 mins drive of DMM airport ()day trip). Would Saudi immigration let me off the plane - absolutely NO.
Also heard from a Monarch crew of a flight going (from memory) Phuket / Bahrain / Gatwick which diverted into Riyadh with
a medical emergency. Result hundreds of holiday makers in flip flops, skinny tops, hot pants etc (which is not the
recommended garb for Saudi) wondering around international departures at Riyadh.
Had a sort of the same sort problem landing at Islamabad in 1999 on a GF flight out of AUH. Apparently we were told to divert,
India wouldn't take us so we were given an alternate of Muscat, which was a non starter (too far). Eventually we landed,
sat on the plane for maybe 2 hours & then disembarked; to be told all Visas had been cancelled & all non
Pakistani pax should wait in the 'lounge'. It eventually became clear that there had been a military coup so as I
was going to visit the Pakistan Navy my visa was suddenly revalidated. Not quite sure what happened to the others
though, yet again more worries faces.