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Flying from London to Jeddah via Riyad - Extremely confused

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London
posts: 10
reviews: 1
Flying from London to Jeddah via Riyad - Extremely confused

I hope someone will be able to help with my query. I am planning to do umrah in May along with my wife and have already bought Saudi Airline tickets online from London to Jeddah via Riyadh.

Now someone has told me that we’ll not be allowed to get on plan from Riyadh to Jeddah. The reason for this they say is that we have umrah visa and umrah flight should be direct to Jeddah from London. I do not understand the logic because our checked in luggage will go automatically to Jeddah and we’ll just change our plane at Riyadh airport, we’ll not be going out of airport. Connecting flights are common all over the world but I have never come across something like this before. It is so confusing and our tickets are not changeable or refundable.

I’ll really appreciate if someone can help me in this regard, we don’t want to be stuck at Riyadh airport.

Thanks.

68 replies to this topic
perth
posts: 19
1. Re: Flying from London to Jeddah via Riyad - Extremely confused

Sorry can't really help with the specifics of your question but something like this would not surprise me in the slightest. Sounds very typical Saudi to me! Also, I am not 100% sure of this but I think you have to clear customs from an international flight with your luggage in Riyadh before you can board a connecting internal flight. My husband had to do this once going through Riyadh to Dammam.

London
posts: 10
reviews: 1
2. Re: Flying from London to Jeddah via Riyad - Extremely confused

Thanks Cat21Perth, useful information. Can you please confirm how long ago your husband flew to Dammam and his both flights were on a single Itinerary?

Cheers.

perth
posts: 19
3. Re: Flying from London to Jeddah via Riyad - Extremely confused

It was about four years ago and yes it was a single itinerary (with Saudi Air). I am almost sure its still the case that you have to clear customs with your luggage at the first port of arrival before you can carry on to domestic flight.

OKC
posts: 205
reviews: 14
4. Re: Flying from London to Jeddah via Riyad - Extremely confused

Last year I was trying to do the same connection flight from US due to better schedule with my Umra visa, SA immigration rule is to go direct to Jeddah on Umra visa. If you have different visa to saudi, than you may have no problem.

The best thing is to call SA embassy in London and ask for Umra visa clarification. Your Umra visa agent should knows this rule very clearly. Good luck and enjoy your Umra.

London, United...
posts: 747
reviews: 34
5. Re: Flying from London to Jeddah via Riyad - Extremely confused

I think it was mentioned in another thread. When dealing with visas for Saudi then save yourself a lot of grief, heartache & stress by getting an agent to do it for you.

My one experience with the Saudi embassy in London was so stressful that it almost put me off going to Saudi altogether.

You were trying to save some money by arranging the flights yourself, nothing wrong with that ordinarily and for most countries in the world, unfortunately for Saudi, it's a different story.

I would advise that you talk to a reputable agent and get his opinion on this. Only last week I got my visa through a great guy based in West London. Mail me if you need his details.

Good luck

Edited: 12:19 pm, February 08, 2010
London
posts: 10
reviews: 1
6. Re: Flying from London to Jeddah via Riyad - Extremely confused

Thanks everyone, all this information is very useful.

Mhtoon, can you please tell me where I can find SA immigration rule that person on umrah visa should fly directly to Jeddah. I tried my best but I couldn't find anything on internet.

Well I have asked this question from few agents and every agent has different answer. Some say it is okay others say I should not fly via Riyadh.

Anyhow I asked from Saudi Airline and Saudi Hajj ministiry, both were prompt in response and received email confirming that flying via Riyadh is fine and there should not be any problem.

OKC
posts: 205
reviews: 14
7. Re: Flying from London to Jeddah via Riyad - Extremely confused

If you got the responses from SA airline and Hajj ministry, you should be OK. But, if I were you, I will always keep those response copies for Saudi immigration if you encounter some problem.

I do not find fine print of Umra start location in Ministry of Hajj. But for Hajj it is there. In-sha-Allah you will be fine.

United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Mauritius, Grand Baie
posts: 15,513
reviews: 981
8. Re: Flying from London to Jeddah via Riyad - Extremely confused

I understand your confusion. You do need to talk to an Umrah & Hajj agent for a better answer and see if the situation can be remedied.

I was looking at flight prices from the UK to Jeddah a few years ago for someone wanting to go to an Umrah and there were a discrepancies from the prices I found on the internet flight search sites and the prices offered by the Umrah agents. It was about £50.00.

The reason I was told. if you are on a Umrah visa, you pay the higher price. There is a risk if you book the lower price on the net, the authorities may not allow you to fly as you do not have the correct visa!

London
posts: 10
reviews: 1
9. Re: Flying from London to Jeddah via Riyad - Extremely confused

PrestonTraveller, yes I have been told the same by some agents that umrah travellers have to pay more. But there are few others who said it should be okay. BA and BMI definitely charge umrah passengers more as I have asked their customer service.

I confirmed from Saudi Airline office London and they said buying umrah ticket online is absolutely fine. Anyway I have already bought the tickets and these are not refundable or changeable.

mhtoon, yes you are right I'll definitely keep the copy of those emails from Hajj ministry and SA.

I'll let you guys know when I am back from umrah inshaAllah. Thanks for the help.

uk
posts: 1
10. Re: Flying from London to Jeddah via Riyad - Extremely confused

salams.

i'm booked for umrah end of may and flight goes via riyadh. i've had the same confused message from travel/visa agents.

i'd appreciate if you could forward me the emails you have from the ministry and sa.

my email is hjaz@hotmail.com

jzk.

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