In response to a firestorm created by press and social media that the airline is considering a plan to segregate cabins by gender, Saudi Arabian Airlines issued a statement denying the reports.
Saudi Arabian Airlines — operating as SAUDIA — has released a statement denying reports that it plans to enforce new rules prohibiting unrelated male and female passengers from being seated next to each other. The statement, citing “an informed source at the airline,” declares: “We would like to emphasize that no SAUDIA official has made any statement on gender segregation.”
Earlier reports highlighted a statement from SAUDIA Marketing Vice President Abdul Rahman Al-Fahd, who was responding to complaints about female passengers being seated next to non-family male passengers, about a supposed plan by the airline to segregate flyers by gender. “We have introduced some solutions this week and we are awaiting its result,” Al-Fahd posted to his official Twitter on December 30.
According to a statement from the flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, “Some Arab and foreign media websites wrongly interpreted this reply to report that SAUDIA was planning segregation.”
SAUDIA said that Al-Fahd was referring to a specific instance when a flight was delayed 15 minutes while passengers were reseated to accommodate a family’s request to be seated together. The airline noted that its website allows families to choose seat assignments prior to check-in, but did not elaborate on what new solutions Al-Fahd was referencing in his tweet.
[Photo: Saudi Arabian Airlines Facebook]