Saudia, formerly Saudi Arabian Airlines, is the flag carrier of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a member of SkyTeam. Many are quick to dismiss Saudia because it is a dry airline, but I’ve flown Saudia four times and give it my stamp of approval. Saudia is also a tremendous source for award space and flights are now bookable on delta.com.
Saudia Route Map
Saudia has three hubs — Jeddah, Riyadh, and Damman — but its primary hub is King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. From JED, Saudia flies to several destinations in Europe and the Far East, the Indian Subcontinent and within the Middle East. Service to North America includes Los Angeles, Washington, New York, and Toronto. Saudia also serves Johannesburg and Nairobi, perfect for safari gateways in Southern Africa.
No Fuel Surcharge on Saudia Flights
Saudia does not have fuel surcharges and government taxes on airline tickets are very low in the KSA. What that means is that you will pay very little out-of-pocket for a Saudia redemption.
No Routing to Asia via Saudi Arabia
I had hoped that Delta might allow routing to Asia, Europe, or Africa via Saudia Arabia and only charge a single-award, but this is not the case: Delta will split the itinerary into two awards if you try to reach South Asia, Europe, or Africa via the Middle East.
Delta.com Saudia Inventory May Not Be Accurate
Delta is showing three economy class award seats and one business class award seat on most Saudia flights. This seems odd because Saudia typically makes a large quantity of business and economy class seats available for award bookings on each flight (first class too, but that cannot be booked with SkyMiles). It may be that once you grab the one business class seat, inventory is replenished and you can book another…and another.
Always nice to see Delta add more partners to delta.com. Now watch that Saudia space go — but this will make Saudia space much easier to book, as agents often have trouble locating and confirming space. As a small aside, I’ve had incredible customer service from Delta this week on several award bookings. I’m pinching myself…