Saudi Arabian Airlines refuses to fly passengers who show arms or legs

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Saudi Arabian Airlines has said it will refuse to fly passengers who show their arms and legs.

A warning on airline Saudia’s website said that travellers who are “clothed in a manner that would cause discomfort or offence to other passengers” could be denied boarding.

The restrictions apply to “women exposing legs or arms, or wearing too thin or too tight clothes and men wearing shorts exposing legs”.

It was spotted in the code of conduct and dress code sections of the airline’s website, but as of Friday morning has been removed.

The national carrier of Saudi Arabia adds on its website that it “takes all the measures it possibly can to maximise passengers’ comfort and convenience” and advises passengers to “wear comfortable clothes when you travel.

“Tight-fitting clothes may naturally cause some discomfort and it is advisable to wear loose-fitting clothes instead,” it says.

The dress code has sparked a heated debate online.

One Twitter user said the move was a “good step indeed” while another added: “Most airlines have a dress code and behaviour conduct.”

However another said: “#SaudiaAirlines enforcing a dress code?!? Wow you’d never get that in somewhere like #France #Women can wear whatever they want….”

And another wrote: “Nudity does not cause me any offence and/or discomfort so is that acceptable?”

Saudi Arabian Airlines launched more than 70 years ago and operates flights from London Heathrow to Jeddah, Riyadh and Yanbu.

Saudia Arabia, which follows a conservative interpretation of Sunni Islam, Wahhabism, is one of the few Muslim majority countries that imposes a dress code by law.

All women, including foreigners, must wear an abaya (a long loose garment that covers their entire body except the hands and face) in public, while men are also expected to dress conservatively. 

The Standard has contacted the airline for a comment.

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