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WebFlyer Home > Programs > Ratings & Reviews

Ratings & Reviews

(Program Reviews - Side by Side Comparison - Website Reviews)


Saudi Arabian Airlines Alfursan


4.36
(47 ratings)

6.00

This program was reviewed and rated by our editors in August 2007. Changes in the program past this date are possible, especially program partner information. We recommend you subscribe to the #1 source of frequent flyer information, Inside Flyer Magazine, to get the most current information possible.

Saudi Arabian Airlines is the national airline of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its beginnings date back to 1945 when U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave King Abdul Aziz a gift of a single twin-engined DC-3. Today, the airline has nearly 140 aircraft that fly to destinations within Saudi Arabia and the Middle East and Africa, Europe, Asia and North America. Recently, the domestic market was opened to other airlines. Khalid A. Almolhem, Director General, Saudi Arabian Airlines, stated, “Our wise leadership saw prudence in opening the domestic sector so that many more could participate in the development of our country and benefit from the opportunities it offers.” Alfursan was launched July 1, 1995 and bills itself as one of the first frequent flyer programs in the Middle East.


EARNING ABILITY:

4.25
Our
Rating:

7.00
Members earn actual mileage flown on qualifying Saudi Arabian Airlines’ international routes but on domestic routes, only 25 percent of miles flown will be credited to your account. There is no set minimum number of miles earned. Alfursan members can also earn additional miles when accompanied by up to eight family members: a 50 percent bonus will be earned for the first two family members accompanying the member and a 25 percent bonus will be earned by each subsequent family member, up to eight. Qualifying family members include wife, husband, mother, father, children (ages 2 through 18) or a domestic employee under the member’s sponsorship. Members who travel in business class earn a 25 percent mileage bonus; while in first class, you will earn an extra 50 percent bonus. Members can also earn miles with the following partners: hotels, car rental, credit card, onboard purchases and telecom. Members also earn 1,000 bonus miles after joining online and taking their first international flight as a member. Limited-time bonus promotions are also offered.

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AWARD CHOICES:

4.61
Our
Rating:

6.00
Members can redeem their miles for flights within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to worldwide international destinations through a zone system. A roundtrip domestic ticket (Zone 1) is 20,000, 25,000 and 30,000 in coach, business and first class respectively.

Flights within the Middle East (Zone 2) such as between Jeddah and Cairo are 25,000, 50,000 and 75,000; between Saudi Arabia and destinations in Europe, Africa and India (Zone 3) such as Rome, Nairobi and Delhi, flights are 35,000, 70,000 and 105,000.

Flights between Saudi Arabia and destinations in Europe, Africa or Asia (Zone 4) such as London, Johannesburg and Colombo are 60,000, 120,000 and 180,000; flights between Saudi Arabia and destinations in Asia such as Bangkok and Singapore (Zone 5) are 60,000, 120,000 and 180,000; flights between Saudi Arabia and New York, Orlando or Washington, D.C. (Zone 6) are 70,000, 140,000 and 210,000.

And finally, flights between international destinations such as Rome-Paris, Muscat-Dubai and Geneva-Frankfurt, among others (Zone 7) are 25,000, 50,000 and 75,000 in coach, business and first. One-way awards are available for all routes based on 60 percent of the roundtrip award on the same route. Upgrade awards are also available with variable redemption rates based on class of flight purchased. For example, a one-way upgrade between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. destinations would be 30,000 from Y (coach) to J (business) or J (business) to F (first). Members holding an “Economy Excursion” class or Special Fares ticket will need an additional 50 percent of the miles required for an upgrade for the selected route. There are no “saver” awards based on off-peak flights or partner flight awards. And although the program has a healthy partner list, members cannot use their miles for anything other than flight and upgrade awards. Miles cannot be purchased.

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PARTNERSHIPS:

4.23
Our
Rating:

*
Saudi Arabian Airlines does not have airline partnerships, but it does have quite a few hotel partners such as the new partnership with Movenpick Hotels & Resorts and others such as Golden Tulip, Hilton, Rotana, Starwood and Shangri-La. Members earn from 250 miles per stay, to 500 miles per night to 1,500 miles per suite stay with most offering the industry standard 500 miles per stay. Members also receive special discounts, bonus miles offers and free night stays when staying a defined number of nights. Other partners include a co-branded credit car through NCB where members earn one mile per SR 5 spent. Avis, Budget and Hertz are car rental partners where members earn 500 miles per rental; 600 miles for Silver and Gold status members when renting from Budget, plus other benefits such as free upgrades for Gold members. Members can also earn one mile for every SR 5 spent when shopping for Skysales items on board Saudi Arabian Airlines flights. The partner list includes earning miles with a GlobalOne Alfursan calling card.

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ELITE-LEVEL PROGRAM:

4.36
Our
Rating:

8.00
All members of the program are welcomed as Blue-level members, and atypical for frequent flyer programs, must earn at least 4,000 miles to retain membership. This lowest-level of membership offers membership perks usually offered to elite-level members only such as priority waitlisting, advanced meal and seat selection, guaranteed confirmed bookings 45 minutes before departure and 10kg additional luggage allowance.

The elite program is comprised of two tiers, Silver and Gold. Members who earn at least 25,000 miles in a calendar year earn Silver status, which offers additional privileges such as enjoying being on top of the waitlist along with Gold members, business class check-in regardless of class of travel purchased, an additional 15kg luggage allowance, 25 percent bonus miles on Saudi Arabian Airlines flights and the member and their family are welcomed into the Alfursan airport lounge or first class lounges outside The Kingdom. Gold members are welcomed into the highest status tier when flying at least 50,000 miles per year. In addition to Silver-level benefits, Gold members receive first class check-in, an additional 20kg luggage allowance, Meet and Assist facilities at all international terminals, a 50 percent flight mileage bonus and award tickets are available whenever there are seats – there are no travel restrictions during peak periods. All members receive special luggage handling. There is no “lifetime” status level.

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RULES AND CONDITIONS:

4.53
Our
Rating:

6.00
Miles expire five years from the end of the year in which they were earned. Membership is open to individuals over the age of 18. Missing credit for flights must be claimed up to six months (180 days) from flight with original boarding passes and copy of ticket. Retroactive credit before membership is not allowed. Missing miles requests for partner transactions should also be sent to the Alfursan member service center. Award tickets cannot be transferred to anyone the member chooses, but only to immediate family members, private driver and housemaid and an official document must be produced to prove relationship. You cannot re-credit unused awards back into your account; you can, however, change or cancel an award booking within 14 days of making an award request, as long as the ticket has not been issued and the PNR is still valid. Once the ticket is issued, only a one-time change is allowed at origin and destination, and reissue charges will apply. Miles cannot be pooled between members’ accounts.

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SERVICE SUPPORT:

4.31
Our
Rating:

*
The best route to help for members is through calling the service center. There is a direct e-mail address to the service center but our e-mails (in English) went unanswered.

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ONLINE SERVICES:

4.23
Our
Rating:

3.00
Saudi Arabia Airlines introduced their first Web site December 1996. You can join online for an instant membership number. Members can view an account summary online and make changes to their travel profile but most transactions cannot be completed online, including booking flights that do not originate from Saudi Arabia or the United Kingdom. A link to hotel and car bookings takes you to a third party Web site. Members can, however, e-mail Alfursan customer service and receive e-mailed statements featuring a quarterly e-newsletter. To request an award, members must first book the flight at a local Saudi Arabian Airlines office, then complete an Alfursan Reward Request Form to be sent via e-mail to the service center. Other forms members have access to online to print out and send to the service center include a missing mileage form, award request and membership update. Saudi Arabian Airlines recently introduced e-ticketing.

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PLUS FEATURES:
Although Alfursan has chosen not to include airline partnerships, the hotel partnerships are strong and offer worthwhile limited-time bonus offers as well as good ongoing earning ability. The first award – a domestic upgrade – can be claimed with only 5,000 miles; and the award choices overall are quite good, especially considering that members can only claim awards on Saudi Arabian Airlines. The elite tiers are easily attainable and offer good benefits for members such as lounge access for member and family starting at the Silver level at only 25,000 miles a year.

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MINUS FEATURES:
Online features are lagging behind most other Middle East airlines. Membership is restricted to those 18 years and older so younger family members can only add to a parent’s miles balance instead of to their own through the family program (a plus if you’re the parent, a minus if you’re under 18). You cannot claim an award for anyone you choose and if you don’t use an award ticket, you’re out of luck because the miles cannot be reinstated into your account even with a fee. A third, higher tier in the elite program would be welcomed by the most frequent flyers. Alfursan is a solid program for its members but without forming partnerships with other airlines, will only be able to provide a limited frequent flyer program experience.

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INFORMATION:
(966-2) 653-5666
alfursan@saudiairlines.com.sa

Alfursan Member Service Center
Saudi Arabian Airlines
PO Box 24724
Jeddah 21446
Saudi Arabia

www.saudiairlines.com

  Earning Ability Award Choices Partnerships Elite-Level Rules & Conditions Service Support Online Services Overall Rating
Our
Rating:
7.00 6.00 * 8.00 6.00 * 3.00 6.00
Member
Rating:
4.25 4.61 4.23 4.36 4.53 4.31 4.23 4.36

(47 ratings)

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