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CAPTIVE AUDIENCE

Reader comment on item: Uniting to Exclude Saudi Arabian Airlines

Submitted by Abu Nuwas (Bahrain), Aug 26, 2007 at 14:03

To "Activists":

The problem with SAA (as Saudi Arabian Airlines is known), is that it has a captive audience.

I estimate that at least 90% of flights into KSA are "government sponsored" in one way or another. One thing this means is that the KSA government is paying for your ticket.....and if they're doing that, they also get to choose what airline you fly into the country on.....and you know which airline they opt for.

Remember. there is no "tourism" in KSA, at least not as we (westerners) know it. This means any westerner (or easterner for that matter) allowed into the country is on "business" of one sort or another. That is to say, you can't just hop on a flight from NYC or London or anyplace else and "show up" in Riyadh the next day and go about your business. Doesn't work that way.

(When I mentioned this to a friend recently, he expressed "disbelief".)

I almost added that just before departure all Saudia flights play a recorded Koranic message to express a safe trip. And....there are little compass pointers throughout the airliner pointing in the direction of Mecca which changes direction depending on the route of the flight. This is just a foretaste of what is to come when you land in KSA.

But I thought this additional information would be too much for my friend to take at first sitting.

(If he only knew what else I could tell him about the "Magic Kingdom".)

-Abu Nuwas-

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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