Introduction: A Quick Jaunt On Saudia, Jet, And Tunisair
Review: Korean Air First Class Lounge New York JFK Airport
Review: Saudia First Class 777-300ER New York To Riyadh
Review: Saudia First Class Lounge Riyadh Airport
Review: Saudia First Class 777-300ER Riyadh To Dubai
Review: Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights
Review: Marhaba Lounge Dubai Airport
Review: SkyTeam Lounge Dubai Airport
Review: Jet Airways Business Class 737 Dubai To Mumbai
Review: GVK Lounge Mumbai Airport
Review: Jet Airways First Class 777-300ER Mumbai To London
Review: Yotel London Heathrow Terminal 4
Review: SkyTeam Lounge London Heathrow Airport
Review: Tunisair A320 Business Class London To Tunis
Review: Sheraton Tunis
Review: Tunis Airport Lounge
Review: Tunisair Business Class A330 Tunis To Montreal
Riyadh (RUH) – Dubai (DXB)
Saturday, June 10
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 2A (First Class)
I boarded through the forward door at around 5:30PM, where I was greeted by the cabin supervisor, as well as the two lovely Filipino flight attendants who would be taking care of me. I was escorted to my seat, 2A. This was exactly the same aircraft I had flown from New York to Riyadh, so I won’t post many cabin pictures this time around.
A few minutes after settling in I was offered a hot or cold towel — I selected a cold towel this time around.
I was also offered a selection of pre-departure beverages, include date, lemon, or orange juice. I chose the date juice, which was rich and tasty — I wish I had known about it on the previous flight.
I was also offered headphones for the short flight. I checked my email during boarding, and noticed that I had another code for free wifi from Saudia, much like on the last flight.
Eventually three other first class passengers boarded. All of them were Saudi, best I could tell — one was a younger guy carrying a Cartier bag, and then there was an older couple.
By 5:55PM boarding was complete, and a few minutes after that we began our pushback. At that point the safety video and prayer were screened.
As we taxied to the runway I turned on the high definition nose camera, which was cool to watch.
Our taxi to the runway was quick, but then we had to hold short of the runway to wait for a couple of planes to land. At this point the captain added his welcome aboard, informed us of our flight time of 70 minutes, and also told us that the sun should set about 30-45 minutes after takeoff, and that he would announce when it was time for iftar. As I’ve explained, flying Saudia during Ramadan is interesting.
By 6:15PM we were cleared for takeoff on runway 33R, with a gorgeous view of the sun slowly setting in the distance.
Our climb out was smooth, and I enjoyed the views on departure.
The seatbelt sign was turned off just five minutes after takeoff, at which point I was asked if I wanted dinner, or if I would be fasting. I was the only one in the cabin (and seemingly on the plane) not observing Ramadan, so service was very attentive.
I was offered a drink to start, and ordered some sparkling water.
A few minutes later my table was set, with a smaller tablecloth than on the last flight.
Given that this was just a 70 minute flight, most of the food was served at once. First I was offered a shrimp salad, a chocolate cake for dessert, a selection of bread, and a box of dates.
The shrimp salad was quite nice, as was the cake.
About 10 minutes later the crew came by my seat with the choice of two main courses. There was either a chicken biryani or a lamb biryani. I chose the former. It was reasonably good, though the chicken seemed to be pretty low quality.
I was also offered a couple of beef pastries, which the crew explained were typical iftar snacks, that would be served to the rest of the plane after sunset. Maybe someone can enlighten me as to what these are called, because I forgot.
After dinner I asked for a cup of coffee to go along with my dessert and dates.
The sun finally set as we began our descent, at which point the same message was played over the PA as on the last flight — “ladies and gentlemen, it is now time for Iftar. May Allah accept all our good deeds.”
At this point the crew began their service throughout the rest of the cabin, even though we’d be landing soon.
Given how short the flight was I just kept the nose camera on for the first half of the flight, and then turned on the airshow, as we were passing by Kish Island, approaching the coast of the UAE.
Interestingly the airshow had two lines — one taking us straight over Qatar, and one taking us around. I actually think this had little to do with the current conflict between the countries, but rather the airshow seemed to be incorrectly programmed. It showed our origin as being New York, so the green line was the direct line from New York to Dubai, while the yellow line was our actual route.
Our flight time ended up being a bit longer than expected, as we flew inland over the UAE, and then made a 180 degree turn to come in for landing.
We had a smooth touchdown at Dubai Airport at 8:45PM. From there it was a 10 minute taxi to our arrival gate, and then another five minute wait until we could pull into our gate. That’s because apparently there was a problem with the docking system. Finally by 9PM we could deplane, just on schedule.
The walk to immigration was super long, and then I also got sent to secondary, so it was over an hour from the time I landed until I was out of the airport.
Saudia first class bottom line
For a 70 minute flight, this was pretty tough to beat. Having a fully enclosed suite on such a short flight is a treat, though on top of that the crew was friendly and service reasonably good. Observing the way Ramadan was being handled was interesting as well.