Delta SkyMiles LAX to Middle East and Beyond Wide Open (on Saudia)

Delta SkyMiles are not always terrible when able to fly out of the US direct on a partner airline, avoiding Delta US domestic segments that often inflate the entire price of the award. Trying to go from the west coast to New York on Delta to pick up an international carrier is often an exercise in futility. One option has been Seattle to Newark on Alaska Airlines.

Starting March 31st there is a new option for LAX travelers going a long way. Saudia is starting thrice-weekly service from Los Angeles to Jeddah. From Jeddah, Saudia has quite a few regional connections.

Saudi Arabia (16)

Award availability can be viewed on Air France and it is wide open in business and economy.

Saudia LAX-JED Business Award April 2014

Saudia LAX-JED Coach Award April 2014

I have flown both business class (see review) and economy class (see review). It is not world-beating though is quite the experience. Transit visas are not necessary unless you want to leave the airport and see Jeddah, a very cool city. Getting a transit visa is not easy, see my His and Hers Saudia Arabia Transit Visas for the kick-off to a romantic weekend my wife won’t let me forget.

Saudi Arabia (14)

Saudi Arabia (18)

By all verified information I can find, people of all faiths are welcome to fly Saudia. The Filipino crew certainly does not mind who you are, and the Saudi men in the crew don’t care to bother themselves with any passengers.

For more SkyTeam ideas, see my Where and How to Redeem Delta SkyMiles Now.

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  • Gene

    Looks PRETTY AWFUL to me…

  • Geoff

    Uh, no thanks. Burning 100k Pesos on a dry airline with crappy service into a restricted country on a 15 hour flight?

  • Joey

    This is probably great when travelling with large families since availability is so high. How was the soft product, Stefan? Was it that crappy or just so-so? I would think the service is better than any of the legacy US carriers.

  • The mostly Filipino staff try hard, there are also a few Saudi men that read papers and sleep. Business class is good other than the so-so seats, economy class was certainly better than Delta, even a small amenity kit and nice snack stand. Their flights are very social, lots of people moving about at all times for socializing, prayers, etc. Cultural immersion from the time you board.

  • @Geoff – for those why fly for the sake of flying it is not the best, though distinctive. For those who only have SkyMiles or need multiple seats or prefer to get out to that part of the world with minimum connections it is a viable option.

  • Geoff

    Having lived in KSA for about 6 years it would be toss-up between Saudia and Spirit:) but you make a valid point.

  • @Geoff – after 6 years I would not likely be interested in a further dose of KSA, either. First time and us desperate Delta flyers, it can have its use.