Airline Review: Saudia regional Business Class
The Saudia regional Business Class in the Airbus A320 is a decent experience for medium-haul flights. While there are downsides, I wouldn’t hesitate flying Saudia again. Learn why in this extensive airline review!
Saudia is currently in the process of making the flight experience for passengers better by refurbishing existing planes and ordering new ones. This means that the Boeing 787 has a great seat in Business Class, for example. The old Boeing 777 Business Class on the other hand is not so great.
- Airplane: Airbus A320
- Cabin Class: Business
- Daytime: Noon
- Food: Lunch
- Seat Pitch: 30 Inch (76 Centimeter)
- Seat Width: 18 Inch (51 Centimeter)
The regional Business Class on the Airbus A320 is somewhat in between, it’s not really old, but it’s not a great product for longer or even overnight flights either. This is also why Saudia is planning on refoncigurating some of these aircraft with flat beds in the next months. In this review, however, I’ll show you the current product featuring recliner seats in Business Class.
Seating in the Saudia regional Business Class
There are five rows of Business Class in the Airbus A320 and the cabin looks quite nice, in my opinion. It’s not incredibly modern or stylish, but the colors make it look bright and comfortable.
The seats are well padded and comfortable for sitting in an upright position or lounging.
However, be aware that these are only recliner seats, which are far away from lie-flat business class seats. Thus, don’t expect to be able to sleep on these seats.
At the same, the seat pitch is really good and allows you to totally stretch out.
Storage however, is really limited, as there’s just a seat pocket on the seat in front of you, but hardly any other compartment where you can put smaller things.
Privacy is also an issue as there’s no divider between the seats or anything. This is a bit annoying if you are sitting next to someone you don’t know.
On a positive note, a pillow and a blanket, both quite nice, were already available upon boarding.
All in all, I’d say that the seats are alright for daytime flights from Europe to Saudi Arabia and regional flights in genreal, but not so great for overnight flights.
Catering in the Saudia regional Business Class
While one might criticize that there is no alcohol on Saudia flights, this is something I knew when going into this flight. Thus, I was actually quite happy with the catering offered in the Saudia regional Business Class. It starts with a welcome drink upon boarding, where you can choose lemonade or juice, for example.
Then you are also offered a date and arabic coffee on the ground, which reminded me a lot of my flights in the Etihad long haul Business Class.
When reaching cruising altitude, I was offered the meal on one tray. The menu had two options for a starter, but I was served the Western option automatically.
While I thought that the combination of some veggies, a shrimp and a salmon tarte was a bit odd, it actually tasted quite good. The same is true for the side salad served with it.
As a main, I had chosen the seafood option again (I didn’t actually know that I’d get the seafood starter as well) and thought that the portion was quite big, but the meal did disappoint me a bit. While the rice and the beans were good, the shrimp were overcooked at not very tasty.
For dessert, there was a choice of either ice cream or cake, and I chose the former, which was nicely presented and tasted quite good.
After the meal service, the crew came around and placed a bottle of Evian water at each seat.
Just before landing, they also went through the cabin with a basket of little sweets.
All in all, I’d say that the meal service in the Saudia regional Business Class was good, not great though. The food was nicely presented and generally good, but the service was only so-so and I would have appreciated to be asked for what I’d like to drink instead of automatically just being served water.
Entertainment in the Saudia regional Business Class
In general, the entertainment options in the Saudia Business Class are good. Why only in general? Because the newspapers and magazines served before take-off are all from Saudi Arabia and not particularly interesting to read for foreigners despite there being an English version.
The board magazine isn’t the most interesting one I’ve ever seen either as all topics are somewhat linked to Saudi Arabia.
The best part of the entertainment options in the Saudia regional Business Class is the television you can fold out from the armrest. It’s not the biggest screen nor is the quality particularly great, but the choice of movies and series is fair enough for a flight time of just four to five hours.
It’s worth noting that there is some censorship when it comes to the film content, but I didn’t think it was tood bad.
What was worth is that the entertainment system just failed completely after an hour or so and neither me nor the crew got it to work again. However, there’s also streaming entertainment on board, wo you can watch on your laptop instead. The choice of movies and series is a bit different though.
When flying in the Saudia Business Class, you can also offered headphones, which are totally fine, but don’t offer noise-cancelling.
All in all, I’d say that the entertainment options available are good, but not great. I’d appreciate to have WiFi for example, but this is supposed to come with the introduction of the new seats.
Amenities in the Saudia regional Business Class
In terms of other amenities, there’s not all that much to say. Business Class passengers have access to one toilet, which was kept relatively clean throughout the flight.
Then there was also an amenity kit, which was quite a positive surprise and something I didn’t get on other flights this long.
The contents were really good as well, including the usual crams, eyeshades, socks, a comb and even other things like an USB charger.
Especially for a relatively short flight, I thought that this was a really nice offering.
Overall impressions of the Saudia regional Business Class
My expectations of the Saudia regional Business Class weren’t high, which explains why I was positively surprised with the experience. Sure, the seats are horrible for nighttime flights, but they are actually quite nice flights during the day. The entertainment options are good enough and the food isn’t bad either. You should be aware that Saudia doesn’t serve alcohol and asks passengers to be defensive when it comes to showing skin, but I that didn’t bother me all that much. Thus, I’d fly Saudia again for a daytime flights, while I would rather choose another airline for a redeye flight.