Royal Transportation: Saudi Prince Once Reserved Economy Class Tickets For His 80 Falcons!

The royal sky soar: A Saudi Prince's extravagant falcon journey

by Deeplata Garde
Royal Transportation: Saudi Prince Once Reserved Economy Class Tickets For His 80 Falcons!

In the realm of the Middle East, falcons transcend their status as majestic birds of prey. People have regarded them as symbols of wealth and influence in the region. For affluent falconers, the imperative of travelling with these feathered companions requires acquiring multiple plane tickets. This practice came into the spotlight when a Saudi prince undertook a journey accompanied by his astonishing entourage of 80 falcons.

Saudi Prince Booked Plane Tickets For His 80 Falcons

Pic Creds: Reddit

A viral phenomenon, a captivating image emerged on social media in 2017. Shared by a Reddit user, the photo featured a Saudi prince with 80 falcons. They were not in cages but were found perched on the passenger chairs.

The image piqued the curiosity of netizens, prompting questions about the rationale behind such a unique travel arrangement. Some also questioned the airline’s policies in allowing it. However, this seemingly eccentric practice finds its roots in the region’s rich tradition of falconry. These birds are not mere companions but revered symbols of status and good fortune.

Falconry: An Ancient Pursuit-Turned Elite Hobby

Falconry, a practice dating back to ancient times in the Arabian Peninsula, initially served as a means of survival in the harsh desert environment. Over the centuries, it transformed into an esteemed hobby. Currently, it’s looked upon as a pursuit synonymous with prestige and social standing among the elite. Falcons, considered auspicious in the Middle East, even possess their own passports in some countries to prevent smuggling and ensure their well-being.

Airlines Welcoming Falconry: Rules and Fees Apply

Pic Creds: Reddit

Leading airlines such as Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, and Lufthansa recognize the unique needs of falconers. Each airline has specific rules and fees governing the transportation of these regal birds. For instance:

  • Qatar Airways permits up to six falcons in Economy Class
  • Etihad Airways allows one or two falcons per guest in Economy Class and up to three falcons per guest in First or Business Class.
  • Lufthansa offers a custom-designed bird tray that can be attached to a seat, ensuring the comfort and safety of the falcons during the journey.

Falcons, prices are evaluated based on breed, age, and training. Exceptional specimens can even fetch millions of dollars in auctions and competitions.

Also Read: 5 UAE Traditions That Made It To The UNESCO Heritage List

The Unconventional Convenience: A Prince’s Prized Cargo

Pic Creds: Canva Stock Images

For the Saudi prince and his extraordinary assembly of 80 falcons, boarding a passenger jet was not just a logistical choice; it was the epitome of convenience and comfort. While the spectacle may appear lavish and eccentric to some, it mirrors the profound passion and reverence for falcons deeply embedded in Middle Eastern culture.

In the skies, where the prince’s falcons soared, each feathered companion became a living proof of a cultural legacy. Amid this regal entourage, the Saudi prince’s journey unfolded as a majestic ode to the enduring tradition of falconry. It’s where the royal sky becomes a canvas for both extravagance and cultural reverence.

Cover Image Courtesy:Reddit

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