==See update at bottom of post==
What’s up with these gender issues and the Middle East? I have already written twice about ultra-orthodox men flying to Israel here and here. Now comes a desert airline saying there were complaints that men may have actually been required to sit next to… oh perish the thought… women. Yes, men are even complaining about sitting next to their own wives.
Okay, Saudi Arabian Airlines (SV) doesn’t serve pork onboard. I can respect that. And they won’t serve alcohol. Hey, we all can wait a little longer for another drink. But now they want women to be carted off to seats near the toilet just because some male passengers object to men sitting next to women?
Favorite line from this story comes from one of the SV assistant marketing managers who said…
“There are solutions to this problem, we will soon enforce rules that will satisfy all passengers.”
Obviously this was seen as a very important issue to SV since they passed it off to one of their lower level managers to comment.
But never mind that, the reality is the comment is hollow and worthless. The carrier will make one side happy or the other side but as we have already seen, it is impossible to satisfy everyone.
I had no plans before to fly Saudi Arabian Airlines before this but now, they won’t get me on that carrier even for a free flight.
Thanks to commentor Josh: It was later explained that the manager in that story was misquoted and that Saudia has no intentions on introducing gender segregation. One Mile At A Time wrote about it here: http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2015/01/03/saudia-wont-introduce-gender-segregated-seating/.