Saudia First Class Experience

a plate of food on a table on an airplane in first class

After documenting my journey from Manila to Amsterdam with Saudia, the airline reached out to offer me a first-class adventure from Paris to Riyadh. Full disclosure this post is sponsored, the airline offered me a free ticket.


First-class passengers are provided with lounge access at the Extime lounge. The lounge is not exclusive to Saudia passengers, as premium passengers from other carriers such as Kuwait, Qatar, Etihad, and Emirates can also enjoy its amenities.

The lounge offers a variety of food and beverage options, although I saved my appetite for the flight.

a buffet area with marble counter tops and black and white checkered flooring.
bowls of food are lined up on a counter.
a bar with a lot of wine glasses on it.

The lounge is quite spacious, measuring 663 m2 and divided into several areas, including a main space and smaller, more intimate spaces reserved for first-class passengers.


I was excited to step into the first-class cabin, which features 24 luxurious suites and offers 1500 hours of entertainment via a 23” HD screen and an 82” seat.

a man standing on a plane watching tv.
a picture hanging on the wall of a plane.

Already waiting for me at my seat was a bottle of water, a tray of macadamias, lokum and Cape gooseberries.

a tray of food and a glass of water on a table.

As I settled in my seat, I was greeted by the crew, who offered me a choice of fruit juices and a towel.

The inflight butler and chef, who are available only to first-class passengers, added to the already exciting experience. The chef offered me some Arabic coffee.

a tray with bowls of food on it.

The first-class amenity kit included items from Sprekenhus, a Norwegian brand known for producing high-quality skin care, fragrances, and accessories.

a green and orange bag sitting on top of a counter.
a table with a bag and some items on it.


After takeoff, I had the opportunity to play around with my seat and enjoy some privacy by closing the door.

The chef came to take my food order, and although there weren’t any menus on this flight, he explained the three dining concepts offered in first-class: Saudia Banquet, Contemporary Arabic, and Modern European.

He suggested I try the Saudia Banquet, which included Cod Fish Sayadiah.

a view of the inside of an airplane looking down the aisle.

Here’s a look at the inflight menu.

Saudia is a dry airline, so there’s no alcohol served onboard. However, they offer a variety of creative juices, smoothies, soft drinks, tea, and coffee from Illy. Business and first class passengers can enjoy the same variety of beverages and desserts on board. However, the Modern European cuisine in business class offers two starters and mains, whereas first class offers three.

Approximately one hour after takeoff, the butler meticulously arranged my tray table. The presentation was exquisite.

a table with a plate of food and a bottle of orange juice in saudia first class

Saudia Airlines offers three dining concepts to suit all tastes:

Saudia Banquet is a traditional way of eating in Saudi Arabia, with all the food served at once.

Contemporary Arabic is a modern spin on traditional Arabic food. The dishes are made with fresh, local ingredients and often feature a creative twist.

Modern European is inspired by the flavors of Europe, akin to a Michelin dining experience. The dishes are artfully presented and made with the finest ingredients.

a plate of food on a table on an airplane in first class

The Saudia Banquet was served with bread and tahini, Fattoush salad, parsley hummus and grilled prawns. Everything tasted great. Super fresh, plated beautifully and delivered with precision.

The olive oil on board is from Al Jouf, Saudi Arabia, one of the largest producers of olive oil in the Middle East. The butter is Beurre d’Isigny from Normandy, France.

a white plate topped with a piece of cheese next to a bottle of olive oil.

It was difficult to choose from the five dessert options. However, I settled for the sticky date pudding with butterscotch and it really hit the spot.

a white plate topped with a piece of cake next to a cup of coffee.

I find that desserts can be hit or miss inflight, but this one was definitely a hit. I finished my meal with some fruit and a super green and ginger booster smoothie.

a white plate topped with fruit next to a glass of green juice.

Within two hours of takeoff, the inflight service finished in first class, and most passengers rested and relaxed. The crew delivered Patchi chocolates and a towel, which was a lovely touch. Patchi is a luxury chocolate brand that began in Beirut in 1974.

two pieces of cheese on a plate on a table.

I spent some time in the galley with the inflight chef and learned about onboard service, meals, and his job. He even plated up some prawns for me to show me how it all comes together in the galley.

a white plate topped with shrimp and veggies.


I went for a walk to economy class to see the cabin and asked to take a photo of the meal served there.

a view of the inside of an airplane from the aisle.
a tray that has some food in it.

I am grateful to Saudia for the amazing first-class experience. I especially enjoyed the vast array of meal options, the ability to dine when I wanted, and the collaboration with established high-end brands. I haven’t flown first class in years, so it was exciting and felt special. Thank you for making this possible.


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