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- Tried & Tested
SV, JED-RUH, A330-300, Business class
Check-in was … an interesting experience!
I was initially due to fly on the 20:00 flight, aboard a B747, upper-deck. I had checked-in online and had my boarding pass with in my bag. Upon luggage drop-off, I was told that due to an aircraft change (from a B747 to a B777-300), I had now to fly Economy. I refused but the SV employee said he could only give me an Eco boarding pass!
At that stage, I showed my Platinum SkyTeam card (on SV you cannot enter any non SV FQTV card in the system) and, more importantly by boarding card! He then was set back and called the supervisor who, after a short consideration, asked me whether I was ready to fly on the 19:00 flight leaving in 30 minutes! Which I accepted, actually rather happy to fly immediately… So…
Security: I was hoping to be escorted given the short delay. But not. So tried the crew line. Went smoothly.
Lounge: obviously no time to pass by. But from previous recent visits, usually crowded and nothing to write home about.
Boarding: always by bus in JED. Was in the last one so it went smoothly.
Plane: a 2 1/2 years old A330-300. I don’t particularly like them, but still better than a A320. Seating was 2+2+2. Got the last row window seat (plane was full). Good mid-haul business class seat with a decent recline (similar to those MEA is using) and IFE (didn’t try it).
Catering: Upon boarding, dates and arabic coffee was offered. Nice. Then as usual on SV short haul flights, two choices of meal (pasta or shawarma with a salad and a desert) once airborne. It was OK, better anyway than many domestic flights I flew recently!
OnAir: Wifi and mobile phone use were available airborne. Didn’t try the latter given the ridiculous roaming charges of my mobile phone operator. Regarding the wifi, it was possible to either buy a prepaid card (about USD 7 for 5mb) or pay online. Since I was not impressed by the speed, didn’t go further, nor most of the passengers from what I could see.
Arrival: Almost on-time (actually 1 minute late :-)). In RUH, we were docked so exiting the plane was smooth. Luggage arrived quite quickly. No complain.
All together a good flight, on a modern airplane with good seats. But of course in this part of the world one should be adaptable…