Saudia, the national carrier of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, will soon be issuing instructions to its booking staff to not allow gender-mixing in flights, unless the people are very closely related. Saudi Arabia has been quite a traditional and a highly conservative society. There are sensitivities regarding these types of issues and the government often makes the rules for public order and conduct with due respect to these sensitivities.
Saudia had received a number of complaints from the passengers about males being seated along with their wives and other female passengers. This has not been taken as a very acceptable behavior in the Saudi society and therefore the national carrier has been asked to meet these concerns of the passengers. Soon, instructions will be issued to the booking staff to ensure that the separation happens between males and females, unless they are very closely related.This one instance goes to show how various factors go to influence seating patterns aboard the aircraft. Precisely how will this be managed in case of online seat selection is another challenge.