A Saudi Airlines flight from Jeddah to Dammam was delayed for two hours because one passenger insisted that all women onboard must have their male guardians with them, the daily Okaz reported today.
In Saudi Arabia, which practices a strict interpretation of Islam, women are subjected to male guardianship rules. These rules stipulate that women need the permission of their male guardian, typically a father or husband, to travel. However, the permission is no longer required for women who want to travel domestically.
The passenger, who was not identified, reportedly asked one of the flight attendants why she was on the plane without her mahram (male guardian). The passenger then refused to let the plane take off until all unaccompanied women get off the airplane. As other passengers began arguing with him, the pilot called airport security who forced the passenger and his son off the the aircraft.
The newspaper said flight number SV 1108 finally took off, two hours after schedule, and the passenger was taken in for investigation.
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