Pull up a chair, for you’re about to hear a tale of woe from 38,000 feet between Colombo and Jeddah on Saudia!
As Lucky pointed out, this trip has truly shattered expectations. I expected a nice flight on China Eastern and instead it was terrible. I expected surly service on Royal Air Maroc but instead it was warm and friendly. And I expected today’s Saudia flight to be uneventfully boring, for I had flown them on four previous occasions with no drama.
But I could not have been more wrong in my estimation.
The whole flight experience oddly began with male FAs carefully checking the contents of each passengers carry-ons bags then preforming an intrusive pat down. When I asked why, I was told simply, “Colombo”. Fine, things were looking up from there.
Our 777-200 got swapped for a 777-300 with lie-flat seats in business class and the menu onboard looked very promising, with a multi-course meal that sounded quite appetizing. The Ferragamo amenity kit was also of top quality and included many useful items. There was even reasonably-priced onboard WiFi.
But wow, things sure went downhill fast. Here’s how things unfolded–
- Female FA working our aisle was hostile (though perhaps we can cut her some slack…)
- Five Saudi male FAs took seats in business class upon the conclusion of boarding and with the exception of one, remained in the seats for most of the flight
- Male FAs spoke loudly and played music from their mobile phones
- Male FAs served before other passengers
- No choice on appetizer — male FAs took all the mezze
- Request for fish main course denied — male FAs ordered fish
- Male FAs ate garlic bread — we were not offered any
- No beverage service offered with dinner — still water served on tray
- Call button routinely ignored by FAs
- Shaken awake by FA to put seat in upright position 35 minutes prior to landing
- Cigarette smoke smelled toward end of flight — not sure if it was passenger in lavatory or flight deck crew
The landing was textbook perfect, an ironic end to the flight.
What a horrible service failure! We had three female FAs and five male FAs in a 30-seat business class cabin and the males did not lift a hand. Female FAs were from Tunisia, India, and Philippines and although they were not all that friendly, I felt so bad that they had to deal with a group of lazy, self-entitled men who bring great shame to their airline and country.
Stay tuned for the full review — it will be damning. Check out Lucky’s take on today’s flight here.