An American passenger was forced to improvise quickly after being told he could not board his flight due to his “inappropriate” attire. He was wearing shorts.
Jordan Bishop, a Forbes contributor, was flying from Jakarta to Istanbul via Riyadh on Saudia. Saudia’s dress code, which is not particularly well-published, offers a single request:
Saudia is requesting from their guests to abide by a dress code whereby they are clothed in a manner that is inline with public taste or not offensive to other passengers.
That’s the extent of the policy.
Bishop was merely transiting through the Kingdom on his way to Turkey and would not actually enter it. Nevertheless, gate agents informed him he had to find pants or would be denied boarded. This despite the fact that nothing was mentioned to him at check-in or while he was visiting the lounge (he calls it the Saudia lounge in his story, but he likely means the Garuda Indonesia or JAS Lounge).
Without any pants in his checked or carry-on bag and the flight just moments from closing, Bishop darted down the concourse and purchased a sarong, a “garment consisting of a long piece of cloth worn wrapped around the body and tucked at the waist or under the armpits, traditionally worn in Southeast Asia.” In other words, a skirt.
He added that FAs confided him onboard that this is a regular problem on Saudia and the airline does not make any exceptions.
I’ll never forget my trip to Iran in 2011. Upon arrival on Kish Island, I was chastised for dressing so offensively and almost denied entry into the country. I was wearing shorts.
> Read More: Dubai to Kish Island, Iran on Kish Air + Interrogation at Iranian Border
If you are a male traveling through Islamic countries, always keep in mind that it is considered offensive to expose your knees. Even so, I’m not sure if Bishop should have “known better.” Even though he was flying from one Islamic nation to another (oh Turkey, how Ataturk is rolling in his grave) via a third Islamic nation, you’d think that an airline like Saudia that markets itself to the world would make this requirement a bit more clear.
(H/T: View from the Wing / image: Saudia)
Why do men think that a dress code only applies to women in muslim countries? I understand that it wasn’t posted but consider that you’re about to fly an airline that is so religious, that they don’t even serve alcohol. Even if I were just transiting I’d make sure my body was mostly covered (pants/long sleeve shirt). I’m assuming this writer is well traveled too.
Shorts. To Saudi Arabia!
Amazing how Americans think they can breeze around the world completely oblivious to their surroundings, clueless about other cultures.
Yet when people come to America (be they Mexican, Muslim, Chinese, etc.), they think they should be able to live as they would at home. Kinda seems like hypocrisy, eh Kenneth?
For the record, maybe they SHOULD be able to do so, but why is it that the expectations are different for Americans? Perhaps your inferiority complex is kicking in. 🙂
Actually, I’m Canadian.
Uh yeah thanks for proving my point. Do they not teach reading comprehension up there?
For some reason I thought they (Saudia) used to have something about attire on their website, but I can’t find it now… I know when I spent a day in Doha a few years ago I went out of my way to ensure my girlfriend and I weren’t going to violate any local customs. I was on BA at the time and the flight crew was kind enough to remind us that we couldn’t purchase any alcohol from the on-board duty free because Qatar doesn’t allow passengers to bring alcohol in (if Qatar is your final destination).
Lol… sarong is not a skirt. Most indonesian, malaysian muslim wear it for their daily prayers.
I don’t unserstand the importance of this that warrants an article in this blog. Has the quality dropped?
Had something similar happen to me in India once. I was wearing shorts when I entered the lift of my apartment building. I heard later that the couple with me had groused about it to their neighbors.
Ah yes, those scandalous manly knees would probably create all kinda of sinful thoughts in the minds of Saudis, the world should respect their totally sane wishes. Knees are the devil.
“Should we maybe ask people wearing full religious garb going through security to remove it so we can ensure safety…” NO THAT’S SEXIST AND RACIST AND ANTI-MUSLIM YOU AMERICANS THINK YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU WANT.
Why i dont bother flying to the middle east or on ME carriers. Trying to regulate so called “morality” crosses a red line for me.
Grown men do not travel without pants! Dressing in trousers on a plane is something basic.
Going forward, remember to call kilts skirts as well.
“Without any pants in his checked or carry-on bag . . . ”
And this man is a professional travel writer?
The fact that you think that a sarong is a dress highlights your absolute lack of knowledge of world cultures.
You couldn’t even bother to Google the word sarong.
Useless, Trump supporter.
Skirt =/= dress.
And be prepared to receive a knuckle sandwich. Thats one of the great insults to Scots around the world.