More immigration counters and friendly airport staff give incoming travelers a pleasant surprise at the Riyadh airport. (AN photo by Md Rasooldeen)
RIYADH: Flights to almost all local and international destinations are packed and the fare will be almost double if you are lucky to get a ticket, thanks to a long Eid vacation coinciding with the summer vacation.
“Almost all destinations are fully booked, especially domestic flights bound for Jeddah, Madinah and southern parts of the country such as Abha, Jazan and Najran,” a travel agent told Arab News on Sunday.
Government employees will enjoy 12 days of Eid holiday and private company workers six days.
The airfares for Dubai, Cairo and Khartoum have almost doubled, said a ticketing officer at Al-Tayyar Travel Group. “It is the same situation for international flights to the US, Europe and Far East because of Saudi students returning to their universities, in addition to holiday makers making use of the long Eid vacation,” he said.
He said a ticket to Cairo on an ordinary day costs SR2,900 or less, but the price of the same rises to 3,500 during peak time or because of late purchase.
Some airlines offer very low price and discounted tickets for advance booking, according to Russell Acosta, country manager of Cebu Pacific. “Plan in advance to get our promo fares and make sure not to change the dates. The earlier you buy, the cheaper the fares,” he said.
The airports are crowded and the planes are packed during this season. “You must reconfirm reservation, get early to the airport to avoid disappointment,” said an expert.