I`ve been living in Saudi for over 15 years now, so have experienced all the onboard seating requirements. One of the main issues is that the expat travel agents, mostly from Indian Subcontinent and also the staff in saudia offices, just do not offer / promote the fact that pre-seating allocation is available.
This leads to families of 6+ arriving at airport to check in and being assigned seats spread over different rows, when a decent agent would have allocated seats at time of booking.
Internet reservations are building, but a lot of the tribal travellers are not yet savy with this.
From this mornings national paper – http://www.arabnews.com/news/684746
Accusations that the Daily Mail made up a story. Who would of thought that.