SAUDIA AIRLINES became a trending topic on Twitter after it reminded passengers of its strict in-flight dress code.
According to an article in The Malay Mail Online (via AFP), netizens picked up on the dress code advisory on the national carrier’s website, warning those who violated the ruling could be prevented from boarding.
In the advisory, the airline cautioned flyers to refrain from wearing garments that could cause “discomfort” to or offend other travelers.
Women are advised not to expose their legs or arms, or wear thin or tight clothing that revealed the shape of their bodies. Men are advised not to wear shorts that exposed their legs.
Governed by a strict Sunni-Muslim Syariah code, women in the ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia are required to wear traditional loose-fitting clothes, known as the abaya, and cover their heads with a headscarf. Shorts for men are strictly forbidden.
The in-flight ruling, however, proved a step too far for netizens who took to the social media platform to turn #SaudiaAirlines into a trending hashtag, according to AFP.
“Passengers to be subjected to Islamic air control? We want to travel, not be subjugated by religion,” a Twitter user said.
Another Twitter user said: “Fly the Unfriendly Skies with #SaudiaAirlines: airline imposing regressive Muslim dress code on ALL passengers.”
Others called the “regressive” move as reminiscent of medieval times.
Despite the dress code, the kingdom said earlier this month it planned to build a semi-autonomous luxury resort along its coastline where conservative laws would not be imposed on Western travelers. The announcement was made as part of its bid to diversify its economy, which is highly dependent on oil.