Airline Review: Saudia long haul Business Class
The Saudia long haul Business Class is better than it’s often described, but the hard product is very lacking. In this extensive airline review, I’ll explain what you need to know about flying with Saudia in Business Class!
When I booked a ticket from Milan to Jakarta via Jeddah, I knew that a flight with Saudia would be somewhat of an experience. With the new international terminal in Jeddah not open, yet, the transfer process was a bit disappointing, while the Saudia Lounge Jeddah was at least okay.
- Airplane: Boeing 777
- Cabin Class: Business
- Daytime: Night
- Food: Dinner, Breakfast
- Seat Pitch: 61 Inch (155 Centimeter)
- Seat Width: 21 Inch (53 Centimeter)
Other than that, the experience on the long haul flight was good in some regards, while it didn’t leave me impressed in others.
Seating in the Saudia long haul Business Class
The seating in the Saudia long haul Business Class on most Boeing 777-300 aircraft (there are newer configurations, too) is arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration. My particular aircraft had the oldest product with seats that are not reclining into a fully flat position.
As the cabin was already quite full when I boarded, taking pictures proved a little more difficult. Anyways, I think it’s easy to recognize that the cabin comes with lots of beige and the seats aren’t particularly private. The whole cabin doesn’t look very modern, but does the trick.
The seats themselves don’t offer a lot of storage as there are just a few compartments, two right by the seat and one in the pocket in the front seat or on the wall (I had a bulkhead seat on this flight).
In my opinion, the seats are relatively comfortable in the upright position and allow for relaxed lounging in semi-reclined positions.
The padding is alright and I didn’t have any issues with the seat pitch either, which is all you need on such a flight.
While the seats might be fine if you are travelling with someone, the big problem of the Saudia long haul Business Class really is the lack of privacy. With a stranger next to me, I didn’t feel particularly comfortable, especially as he had to ‘climb over’ me with the seat reclined.
Nevertheless, the Saudia Business Class on the Boeing 777 is at least okay for a daytime flight, in my opinion.
Sleeping in the Saudia long haul Business Class
The lack of privacy is not the only thing what’s bothering me about sleeping in the Saudia long haul Business Class. The main problem of the seats is that they don’t recline in a fully flat position, but instead are just angle-flat and make you slip down a bit all the time.
The angle is not just tiny, but it’s actually something you totally feel when you are trying to sleep. To me, that’s a real deal-breaker. The bedding, consisting of a thin pillow and a relatively nice blanket are at least a small upgrade.
As you’d expect, there’s neither turn down service nor a matress pad in the Saudia Business Class.
Catering in the Saudia long haul Business Class
The catering offered in the Saudia long haul Business Class is definitely one of the better aspects. Despite a flight length of only nine hours, a full dinner and breakfast service was offered. Service upon boarding started with a welcome drink.
Furthermore, a date and arabic coffee were offered.
Upon airbone, the dinner service started after approximately thirty minutes after departure without any further drink round, which I appreciated. For the starter, there was the choice between a Western and an Arabic option and I opted for the Arabic mezze, which was not only good, but it was also presented nicely.
The starter was served alongside a small salad as well a selection from the bread selection. I opted for some very good garlic bread.
For the main dish, there are three options offered in the Saudia long haul Business Class. I went with the Fish Sayadia, which has good, but the fish a bit on the dry side.
My dessert was the lightest option on the menu, a fruit plate with tasty and fresh fruits.
At this point, it’s worth noting that Saudia doesn’t offer alcohol on board, not even in Business Class. The airline is completely dry, so that’s something you might want to consider before boarding. Approximately two hours before landing in Jakarta, the breakfast service in the Saudia long haul Business Class started. All was served on one tray.
Of the two options on the menu, I went with the sweet French Toast with Berries, which sounded better to me than yet another omelette. The sides of cheese, some fruits and a selection of the bread basket was good, too.
All in all, I thought that the catering in the Saudia Business Class is one of the brighter spots of the experience. The service was alright, but not great by any stretch of immagination.
Entertainment in the Saudia long haul Business Class
The entertainment selection in the Saudia long haul Business Class is neither bad nor particularly great. There is a choice of various different movies and tv shows as well as some music. There are about 50 options each, which I think is okay.
The picture quality of the screens is relatively good, but the screens aren’t really big.
There’s a bit of censorship though, yet it didn’t bother me too much for the one movie I watched. At least, there’s a solid choice of Western options.
Saudia also offers headphones to passengers in Business Class. These come with some sort of noise-cancelling, but I ended up rather using my own Bose headphones instead.
If you don’t want to watch something, there’s also a board magazine as well as a selection of newspapers and magazines, all from Saudia Arabia though. Saudia also offers WiFi on many Boeing 777 aircrafts, but it wasn’t working for my flight. Business Class passengers even get access for free with a data cap.
Amenities in the Saudia long haul Business Class
All Saudia Business Class passengers are offered an amenity kit. The Porsche Design pouch is quite nice, in my opinion.
The contents are good, included are a toothbrush, a comb, an eyemask, lip balm and a few more things. Interestingly, there’s also an USB charger.
It’s also worth noting that the toilets offered a few more amenities, including perfume. The toilets were cleaned from time to time, but didn’t look particularly clean in my opinion.
Overall impressions of the Saudia long haul Business Class
The Saudia long haul Business Class is a solid product, at least if you don’t count the seats in the older Boeing 777 aircraft. In this configuration, I would avoid Saudia in the future, but the soft product is actually fine. The catering was very good, the service is alright and the entertainment options aren’t bad either. At that price point, Saudia is a great option for long haul flights – especially if you don’t end up in one of the planes with fully flat seats in Business Class!