The Definitive Guide to Saudi Arabian Airlines’ Direct Routes From The U.S. [Plane Types & Seat Options]

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Saudia, or Saudi Arabian Airlines, is the flag carrier of Saudi Arabia. Although they are based in Jeddah, they also operate a few flights out of Riyadh. Their flight network to/from Saudi Arabia is very small, but they are known for a unique first class product.

They are also known for being one of the few SkyTeam airlines you can book in first class with points and miles. Saudia provides your only option for flying nonstop between Saudi Arabia and the United States.

This guide will illustrate all of your options for flying on Saudia to/from the United States. Let’s get started.

Seat Options by Aircraft Type

As we just mentioned, the seat and route options are relatively limited. There are 3 cities you can fly out of, with a total of 5 routes and only 1 aircraft you can fly.

Something extremely interesting is that Saudi Arabian Airlines offers a rare flights nonstop to Medina (MED). The cities that can fly nonstop are Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington D.C. These flights are incredibly rare. For example, the Los Angeles (LAX) flight is only offered once a year.

These flights are offered due to Hajj.

Check out the summary table below for Saudia’s route options, matching flight numbers, cabin classes offered, flight frequency, and aircraft operated:

RouteFlight No.AircraftCabin ClassesFrequency
Los Angeles (LAX) – Jeddah (JED) – Riyadh (RUH)SV 42777-300ERFirst, Business, Economy3-5x weekly
Los Angeles (LAX) – Medina (MED)SV 42777-300ERFirst, Business, EconomyOnce per year
New York City (JFK) – Jeddah (JED)SV 20777-300ERFirst, Business, Economy4x weekly
New York City (JFK) – Medina (MED)SV 20777-300ERFirst, Business, Economy3x per year
New York City (JFK) – Riyadh (RUH)SV 22777-300ERFirst, Business, Economy3x weekly
Washington D.C. (IAD) – Jeddah (JED)SV 36777-300ERFirst, Business, Economy3x weekly
Washington D.C. (IAD) – Riyadh (RUH)SV 38777-300ERFirst, Business, Economy4x weekly
Washington D.C. (IAD) – Medina (MED)SV 38777-300ERFirst, Business, Economy3x per year

Best Points to Earn to Fly Saudia

Before we dive into the options for each cabin class, let’s touch on the best points to earn to fly Saudia.

Since Saudia is a SkyTeam airline, you’ll be able to use partner miles to book travel on Saudia. As far as first class goes, one of your only options is to use Korean Air SKYPASS miles.

You can only redeem Korean Air SKYPASS miles for partners round-trip, which will cost 160,000 Korean Air miles for any of the routes listed above. Korean Air SKYPASS is a transfer partner with Marriott.

If you want to fly in business or economy, you can use any SkyTeam partner to book award flights. Some examples are Air France/KLM Flying Blue or Delta SkyMiles.

Air France/KLM Flying Blue has Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy, and Capital One Rewards as transfer partners.

And Delta SkyMiles partners with American Express Membership Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy.

Saudia First Class

Saudia First Class
Saudia first class. Image credit: saudia.com.

Saudia’s first class product checks off pretty much every box: they have an onboard chef who customizes your meals, a fantastic first class suite, and excellent service. The only thing is they are a dry airline, meaning they do not serve alcohol. If you can overlook that, Saudia is a fantastic way to fly to the Middle East.

When it comes to routes and aircraft types, Saudia only operates 1 plane (the 777-300ER) on their long-haul flights to/from the United States, so we’ll have less to discuss — unlike other airlines that operate tons of aircraft (e.g., Lufthansa).

First class on the 777-300ER is arranged across 3 rows in a 1-2-1 configuration for a total of 12 seats. Each of the suites features sliding doors, a 22″ seat width, and 81″ of seat pitch. You’ll have tons of space to sprawl out and enjoy a comfortable slumber on your ultra-long-haul flight.

Here’s what the seat map looks like:

Saudia 777-300ER First Class Seat Map
Saudia 777-300ER first class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com.

The first class cabin is flanked by galleys and lavatories at both ends, so the best seats will be in row 2. Couples would enjoy being seated in 2C and 2J, while solo travelers would probably want the window seats 2A and 2L.

Since Saudia only operates this single aircraft on their U.S. flights, you’ll find this exact first class cabin configuration on the following routes:

  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Jeddah (JED) – Riyadh (RUH)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Medina (MED) once per year
  • New York City (JFK) – Jeddah (JED)
  • New York City (JFK) – Medina (MED) 3x per year
  • New York City (JFK) – Riyadh (RUH)
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Jeddah (JED)
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Riyadh (RUH)
  • Washington D.C. (IAD) – Medina (MED) 3x per year

Saudia Business Class

Saudia Business Class
Saudia business class. Image credit: saudia.com.

Saudia offers a variety of business class options depending on the nature of your flight. For all flights to/from the United States, they operate ultra-long-haul aircraft, which features different business class seats than their regional flights.

The best aspect of Saudia’s 777-300ER business class is the hard product, meaning aspects of the flight such as the seat size, comfort, etc.

Saudia’s seating configuration in business class is exceptional; their U.S. flights utilize B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seats, which are the best reverse herringbone seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.

Each of the seats is 21″ wide and 60″ in pitch. There are a total of 36 seats in the business class cabins arranged as follows:

Saudia 777-300ER Business Class Seat Map
Saudia 777-300ER business class seat map. Image courtesy of seatguru.com.

As the lavatories are located at the front of the business class section, it would be prudent to be at the back to minimize the noise and foot traffic you’ll have at your seat. As a result, the best seats would likely be in rows 22 or 23.

Remember that you will find the following routes operating this aircraft:

  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Jeddah (JED)
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Riyadh (RUH)
  • Washington D.C. (IAD) – Medina (MED) 3x per year
  • New York City (JFK) – Jeddah (JED)
  • New York City (JFK) – Riyadh (RUH)
  • New York City (JFK) – Medina (MED) 3x per year
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Jeddah (JED) – Riyadh (RUH)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Medina (MED) once per year

Saudia Premium Economy Class

Unfortunately, Saudia doesn’t operate any premium economy seats on flights to/from the United States.

Saudia Economy Class

Saudia Economy Class
Saudia economy class. Image credit: airliners.net.

Saudia’s long-haul aircraft utilize a large economy section. With a relatively dense configuration, it’s essential to reserve preferential seats to make your experience as enjoyable as possible.

The 777-300ER used on Saudia’s flights to/from the United States contains seats configured in a 3-3-3 arrangement. These seats are 18″ wide and 32″ in pitch; there are a total of 242 seats with the following seat map layout:

Saudia 777-300ER Economy Class Seat Map
Saudia 777-300ER economy class seat map. Image credit: seatguru.com.

The absolute best seats will be located in row 31. Specifically, the sides of row 31 containing seats 31A/B and 31K/L provide a ton of extra legroom due to the position of the bulkhead. Reserving 31C and 31J is not the best idea due to the tendency of people to bump into them.

Row 31 is best because it provides legroom at no additional potential inconvenience. Exit rows 33 and 47 also provide additional legroom, but they’re close to the lavatories and galleys. If seats in row 31 are all occupied, it may be best to choose seats in row 33, followed by row 47.

Again, you’ll find this economy seat arrangement on all of the following routes:

  • New York City (JFK) – Jeddah (JED)
  • New York City (JFK) – Riyadh (RUH)
  • New York City (JFK) – Medina (MED) 3x per year
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Jeddah (JED)
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Riyadh (RUH)
  • Washington, D.C. (IAD) – Medina (MED) 3x per year
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Jeddah (JED) – Riyadh (RUH)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – Medina (MED) once per year

Final Thoughts

Overall, flying on Saudia (particularly in premium cabins) is a fabulous way to get to the Middle East. If you can overlook the absence of alcohol, it presents a great way to get to Saudi Arabia. It’s also your only nonstop option, which is great because it can reduce a 25-hour ordeal into a nonstop flight of just 14-16 hours.

Saudia only operates the 777-300ER for their U.S. flights, so the route guide is relatively straightforward. Now, you have all the tools needed to plan your trip on Saudia!


FAQ

What's the best way to book Saudia first class?

The only way to book Saudia first class with points and miles is with Korean Air SKYPASS. It costs 160,000 Korean Air miles plus ~$400 in taxes and fees to book a round-trip first class ticket on Saudia.

Korean Air SKYPASS is transfer partners with Marriott.

What's the best way to book Saudia business class?

Flying on Saudia business class is possible with Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Delta SkyMiles, Korean Air SKYPASS, and Alitalia MilleMiglia.

Korean Air SKYPASS requires round-trip bookings on partners, so a round-trip in business class costs 120,000 miles.

Delta charges 85,000 miles one-way, Air France/KLM Flying Blue charges a minimum of 115,000 miles one-way, and Alitalia charges 120,000 miles one-way.

Delta doesn’t pass on carrier surcharges, so you will save $400 when booking award flights through them.

American Express Membership Rewards is a 1:1 transfer partner with Delta SkyMiles, Alitalia MilleMiglia, and Air France/KLM Flying Blue.

Chase Ultimate Rewards partners with Air France/KLM Flying Blue.

Citi ThankYou Rewards transfer 1:1 with Air France/KLM Flying Blue.

Marriott Bonvoy is a 3:1 transfer partner with Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Alitalia MilleMiglia, Delta SkyMiles, and Korean Air SKYPASS. For every 60,000 Marriott points transferred, you will receive a 5,000-mile bonus.

Capital One Rewards transfer to Air France/KLM Flying Blue and Alitalia MilleMiglia at a 2:1.5 ratio.

What are the best ways to book Saudia premium economy class?

Currently, Saudia doesn’t offer premium economy seats on their long-haul flights to/from the United States.

What's the best way to book Saudia economy class?

Delta SkyMiles charges 42,500 miles one-way, Air France/KLM Flying Blue charges a minimum of 46,000 miles one-way, Korean Air charges 80,000 miles round-trip, and Alitalia charges 60,000 miles one-way.

The best decision is to use Delta SkyMiles for economy awards due to lack of fuel surcharges and the best award redemption costs.

Stephen Au

About Stephen Au

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stephen has been privileged to enjoy many premium cabin products and 5-star hotels, thanks to his love for travel hacking. A petroleum engineer by trade, Stephen caught the travel bug in college when he traveled to Asia several times. Within 2 years, Stephen has earned millions of points and miles, enjoyed several business class cabins, and stayed in luxury hotel suites in 14 countries.

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