Traveling from Saudi Arabia


Traveling from Saudi Arabia can be a challenge and I am referring to international travel from the Kingdom. To begin with, flights get filled quickly so one must make their bookings early. If you do find yourself having problems getting a flight out, start thinking out of the box. For example, international flights out of Riyadh going to Paris (Air France), Zurich (Swiss) and Frankfurt (Lufthansa) are very popular as well as always full. The same will apply to British Midland Airlines (UK) which flies into Jeddah. And Saudi Airlines does a brisk business too with full flights. My advice is if you are trying to depart from either Riyadh or Jeddah and run into booking conflicts, then see if you can fly to Damman and catch an international flight. KLM flies into Damman as well as many other airlines. Now if Damman is booked up, other doable alternatives are to fly from KSA into Bahrain or Doha where one can catch Qatar Air or Air Jordanian.


Now that’s half the battle…getting ones flight out of Saudi Arabia. But what do you need to know if your ultimate destination from Saudi Arabia is USA? First and foremost, patience! Regardless of which airport is ones point of entry anyone coming from Saudi Arabia (whether or not a Saudi citizen) will likely undergo more scrutiny through U.S. Customs and Immigration. And if you are coming in to the US via Saudi Airlines, expect even more time in Customs and Immigration than if your flight entered via Europe or elsewhere. If at all possible, try to have your port of entry airport be the same as your final destination airport in the US. Otherwise if you have a connecting flight make sure to have at least 3-5 hours layover to allow sufficient time to not only clear customs but to make sure your bags will get placed on the connecting flight as well.



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