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