Saudi to segregate male and female passengers?Back to Forum
Anonymous3 Jan 2015
According to the Daily Mail they are……..
Delta, who sponsored their entry into Skyteam, has already sought to distance itself from Saudia after a backlash at the prospect of gender segregation on board at ‘the request of some men’.
Thoughs?3 Jan 2015
This discussion could also be extended to El Al.
I don’t have an issue with gender segregation for religious purposes, I do have an issue when people who require Gender Separation are able to hold up the departure of a flight.
If an airline wants or needs to introduce a Segregated Cabin, the passengers using it, should be charged a premium and if that cabin is full, they need to be told in advance in case they do not wish to travel..3 Jan 2015
For me, the issue is more about respect for everyone.
I think those Saudi families that do not want to be sat next to an unrelated male should have that option with previous arrangement.
On the flipside, I think that they should respect the wishes of two friends who happen to be of the opposite sex to be able to be seated together also.3 Jan 2015
On one occasion flying Qatar from LHR to DOH I was asked by a gentleman if I would swop my window seat for a centre aisle seat at the rear of the business cabin to allow his mother who was seated next to me to avoid doing so. I rarely move seats and and especially not when the offered alternative is less desirable. The gentleman ended up sitting next to me and his mother in the row behind next to a lady who clearly was unrelated. On my return journey I witnessed the cabin attendant ask a gentleman passenger if he would be prepared to move in order to accommodate a similar request.3 Jan 2015
Oh! I’m surprised the women are not asked to the galley to make sandwiches for all the men!
The irony of course is within the mosque in Mecca, Islam’s holiest site, men and woman are forced to share the same space as they go around the ka’aba. There are no separate male and female lanes. You’ve got to love chauvinistic double standards.3 Jan 2015
Where is the line to be drawn in handling the cultural/religious issues when travelling. Flights would be constantly delayed and other groups (eg nut allergy) would consider themselves to be unfairly treated.
TfL are looking at tube carriages for females only, modelled on the now-defunct system introduced in Japan. Indian rickshaw drivers are being educated on how to be respectful to female passengers.
TheRealBabushka – a point well made!
rferguson – agree. When travelling on carriers such as Saudia, ELAL we should be respectful.3 Jan 2015
I think it is the right of all airlines to decide how best to run their models. Just because the West does not think segregation of the sexes is correct, who are we to say that Saudia and El Al should not have segregation of the sexes as an option, if it fits with their culture..3 Jan 2015
I think the issue is though Martyn is whether gender segregation is a result of the airline management figuring it would be good for their market and good for business – or whether it is just under pressure from someone in the upper echelons of the saud society.
I have absolutely NO problem with Saudi having a system that does it’s best to accommodate the needs of ALL their passengers – for a Saudi family that may be sat together with no unrelated males in the direct vicinity. However, they should respect that they are an international carrier and that other people may very much wish to be seated next to people of the opposite gender. Saudi is very much trying to diversify it’s passenger profile – I noticed in the printed edition of BT that included the seat plans guide that Saudi had two huge full page ads – obviously directed at the UK business travel market. They have also been trying to take advantage of some of the east – west transiting traffic…particularly to India, Manila, etc.
I think any westerner can go without a drink or pork for twelve hours – but to be told that you can not be sat next to the person you are travelling with because they are the opposite gender is plain unacceptable, I think will set Saudi back a LOT in it’s steps it has made to modernise.
That’s IF the DM article is based on truth and not just a total overblown exaggeration of the facts which knowing the DM could be the case.3 Jan 2015
Segregation on the buses in Saudi has been around for a good many years, so if true this would not come as a total surprise.
In reality not too many people are likely to be going to Saudi Arabia as tourists and if westerners have chosen to work there ,they should be doing so, cognisant of the rules they will have to live with whilst there.
In any event, you still have a choice of airline when flying internationally, so I would guess that this might be introduced on domestic flights first.3 Jan 2015
If airlines are able to have in place a system whereby seating is allocated in advance in order to satisfy the religious sensitivities of a significant number of their passengers that is all well and good. Being a devout atheist my preference would be for a more secular airline. If I flew with Saudi I’d have a good idea of what I’d be letting myself in for. However I think it becomes more of an issue where the airline concerned – as in case of Qatar – is highly reliant on transfer traffic and the passenger profile is highly varied. In this case I think it is unreasonable to expect some passengers to play musical chairs in order to accommodate the wishes of others.3 Jan 2015
Saudi’s presumably been operating for years without feeling the need to segregate passengers so I find this a worrying development. I’ve lived out in the Middle East and don’t have an issue with abiding by firm religious prescriptions, e.g. on eating pork but gender segregation is not something specifically mandated within the Koran and as I understand it, Muslim scholars are not united on whether it is necessary in anything other than individual contexts.
I would be interested to see how Saudi could even segregate the plane effectively and would query how that’s going to work in flights to EU countries as there are strict EU directives prohibiting discrimination in provision of services.
1F4 Jan 2015
I’m going to disagree with the respecting culture’s point of view. Would we all be so cavalier if back in the day SAA introduced black only cabins for cultural reasons, or tomorrow Putin proclaims that Aeroflot has to create a “Rainbow” cabin to protect the Russian youth whilst they travel.
Segregation in any form is usually enforced by groups of people who insist they are guarding everyone’s best interests,but in reality the segregated group tend to have less rights than those creating the division.
Maybe Saudi airlines should re-brand itself Taliban Air.4 Jan 2015