Flying Wataniya Airways

Post by Mark

Over the weekend I flew to Bahrain for one night and decided to take Wataniya Airways. I had booked my ticket fairly late, around 3 days before my trip and when I checked ticket prices, Gulf Air was KD68, Kuwait Airways KD50 and Wataniya Airways was KD40. Since its a short flight I went with the cheapest priced ticket. I hadn’t flown Wataniya Airways since they relaunched and so was curious to see if it was any good.

The first issue popped up 24 hours before my flight, I couldn’t check-in online. The online check-in button on their website didn’t work and when I contacted customer support they told me online check-in wasn’t possible yet. So Friday morning I woke up early and headed to the Sheikh Saad terminal so I could check-in early and choose my seat. When I got to Sheikh Saad Terminal I found out Wataniya Airways didn’t fly out from there. Neither my ticket nor the website had mentioned which airport they flew out from and since they used to fly out of Sheikh Saad Terminal before, I assumed that was still the case. It wasn’t and so I had to get back into my car and drive to the main airport instead. Wataniya Airways if you’re reading this, you need to mention what airport you fly out from on the website or the ticket!

My flight was empty with just 34 passengers so I didn’t have any trouble getting the seat I wanted. Speaking of the seats, the economy class seats looked pretty dated, they also don’t have screens nor USB or power ports. On the other hand, they did serve food and beverages on the flight although it was basic, just sandwiches and either a juice pack or a cup of water. The crew also had no issue with me using my electronic devices on takeoff and landing, some airlines still make a fuss out of this and it’s really annoying when they do, so it was a plus that they didn’t.

Would I use Wataniya Airways again? Possibly, their prices right now are pretty competitive and they’ve got offers running all the time. Last week you could have booked a ticket to Doha for free and now I just checked ticket prices to Beirut and it’s KD40 (using the coupon code SUNDAY). My only issue really is the online check-in since I like choosing my seats before I get to the airport. I could still do that but I’d have to pay for the seats and I think the first few rows are KD10 (I think I even saw KD20), and then keep dropping down in price the further you go back. When your whole ticket costs you just KD40, doesn’t make sense to pay KD20 as well on seats. Overall though it’s great having another airline to choose from.


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32 comments, add your own...


  1. lolguy says:

    “Last week you could have booked a ticket to Doha for free”

    What?!
    Is this a typo?

  2. The Other Ahmed says:

    I’m surprised they don’t fly from Sheikh Saad

    • aceboy44 says:

      It’s an unnecessary cost for them. They are not as popular as Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, etc. so why would they pay extra fees for a terminal when they just got started?

  3. Kuwait says:

    I flew with them a couple of months ago, I called and asked them from which airport they’re flying.

  4. Sulaiman-COOKIEEE says:

    We all know fly Dubai has sheikh Saad now, mark you even said it yourself. If fly Dubai has sheikh Saad why would wataniya be there? Its just common sense, don’t blame that on the airline.

    • Mark says:

      You can have more than one airline flying out of Sheikh Saad Terminal.

      Mentioning which airport the aircraft flies in and out from “is just common sense” to put it in your words. Thats like basic Airline 101…

      • Sulaiman-COOKIEEE says:

        yes you can have several airlines in the same airport, but fly dubai bought the airport’s rights from wataniya. As far as i know wataniya hasn’t been given the rights to use it. imagine your friend sells his house, you go the that building which you know he sold years ago and get confused at how he doesn’t live there. Plus always check the airport schedule to insure everything is as planned or has tapping on a screen become too much of a hard thing to do?

        • Mark says:

          I don’t understand why you’re so against the airline letting its customers know what airport its flying from… its BASIC INFORMATION. Jeez go troll another blog I don’t need this stupidity here.

  5. Burhan says:

    Hey Mark, the link in your post doesn’t work; the correct link is http://www.wataniyaairways.com – another thing they should fix.

  6. Stuart says:

    Wataniya was a credible company when it first launched. The only real flaw they had was in their business plan but alas, that is all in the past.
    This new venture is far from the same and the approach of this management team is extremely disingenuous. It is a shame, most former customers and employees watched with great interest and pride when they finally announced a relaunch.
    Wataniya has not settled it’s debts including to a number of former employees, like me. Our Kuwait based law firms are advising us that Wataniya is in fact not keeping money in its name in its bank accounts knowing that there are court papers to cease these monies to settle all of the legal debts Wataniya has to settle. Even their new Facebook page is not the same as the old one – perhaps because they couldn’t pay to clear that either….?
    Wataniya is commenting that this is a new company and nothing to do with the old one. I believe this is all completely untrue – check with the Courts if you want to because i know what the legal system has told me.
    It is a shame this company has launched in the way it has. They should have cleaned the slate properly and ethically and nothing i have seen gives any confidence in the new management team or operations. With such repetitional overheads it is hard to know if or how they will attract the right experience and people into their organisation – maybe they don’t care to.
    This whole “dream” could have been so much better. This was a loved brand in the past.

    • Nermeen says:

      They couldn’t find the password / access to the page. They contacted me recently to ask for it as I worked in online marketing for them but I had no recollection of it being so many years later! It was extremely heartbreaking to fly this new and downgraded version.

  7. The Aviator says:

    Referring to the author’s comments about:
    1) “Crew allow the use of electronic devices on takeoff and landing
    2) some airlines still make a fuss out of this and
    3) it’s really annoying when they do, so
    4) it was a plus, they didn’t.

    allow me to counter-comment on these by stating that:

    A) it has been proved after official accident investigations and consequent tests that, electronic devices like smartphones, laptops, tablets etc, they DO INTERFEERE with aircraft avionics and instruments, causing wrong responses and hence wrong pilot responses, that lead to FATAL ACCIDENTS.

    B) All airliners have to advise and/or force (if needed) passengers to put-off their devices during T/O&LAND, in compliance with international aviation regulation for CREW & PASSENGERS SAFETY.

    C)its NOT an ANNOYING issue, its an AVIATION SAFETY issue involving PASSENGERS, by putting their life at risk, when either the passenger(s) or the crew VIOLATE aviation regulations (IF it actually occurred during this particular flight).

    D) concluding that its a “plus” that no crew (if it occurred) did NOT ask the author to put-off the device, it’s wrong, demonstrates dangerous ignorance and in case the author really knew about all these and still wrote about the “plus”, it demonstrate heavy negligence especially when spreading in public, false aviation safety practices.

    E)Last but NOT least, the “electronic devices’ industry” has already complied to this AVIATION safety issue by “inventing the “airplane safe mode” and installing it on every device -use it.

    D) However, the last call is still on the passengers: IF you do not want to comply by putting your device off during T/O & LAND, then, try get involved in an aircraft accident!!!

    Have (all readers) a nice day

    • Mark says:

      Actually, your information is inaccurate. Cellphones and electronic devices like iPads have NOT been proven to interfere with takeoff or landing which is why if you noticed the past couple of years, airlines have been a lot more lenient towards it. I think the only airline that currently has me turn off my electronics on takeoff or landing is MEA.

      I’m kinda sure the FAA released something about this but can’t seem to find the link now cuz i’m on my phone.

      Also, pilots use iPads in the cockpit so you’d think if electronic devices did cause interference, it would be the worst inside the cockpit.

    • Kuwait says:

      Please share with us about those fatal accidents, I’m sure some people would like to read about it.

  8. zaydoun says:

    I want to check out Tbilisi for a long weekend but their schedule makes no sense

  9. Mishal F A Abul says:

    I experienced the very same thing when i went to Bahrain for the Brave MMA fights. I went to Sheikh Saad terminal pulling up realizing it was for FlyDubai than went to main airport. Flight was 40 passengers full or empty i should say. Seats & interior looked outdated & as you mentioned no monitor or usb charging. My flight was 40kd roundtrip vs 57kd Jazeera vs 80kd Gulf Air.

  10. The Aviator says:

    Referring to the ‘electronic devices-OFF during T/O&LAND” issue, I would suggest to the Article’s Author to read again my comments carefully.

    The aviation safety regulation mandates all electronic devices to be OFF during the T/O&LAND phases of a flight which are the 2 most critical phases out of 8 totally (engine start, taxing, Take-Off, climbing, cruising, descending, land, taxing/parking, engines off)

    The author is correct when saying about various regulatory aviation bodies (such as FAA,EASA,GAA,UAEAA etc.) releases and (I would add) articles and studies on the issue, BUT, I am referring to the current active REGULATION which until this morning is STILL the same, i.e., electronic devices-OFF during T/O&LAND.

    I repeat “the Aviation REGULATIONS” COUNT in Aviation Safety and NOT any other kind of documents from any aviation legislative body.

    Author’s comments about the use of I-PADS used by pilots are half-correct since, in some Airliners they do use them for interaction with various aircraft systems such as entering/or receiving data (by the way, aircraft engineers do the same for tech issues), BUT, NOT during T/O&LAND, whereas, the ONLY similarity with people’s I-Pads is appearance.

    These “aviation I-pads” are especially certified for aviation use and are running on specialized/patented software protocols,whereas,their use is permitted ONLY to properly authorized (by the Airliner) crew and technicians.

    What the author has NEVER evidenced is seeing pilots using any electronic device during T/O&LAND since
    a)the cockpit door is always closed and
    b)it would be impossible, due to their occupancy with handing the aircraft by performing simultaneously as a team (pilot & Co-pilot)at least 12 different procedures.

    However, the last call is still on the passengers: IF you do not want to comply by putting your device off during T/O & LAND, then, try get involved in an aircraft accident!!!

    P.S for the “KUWAIT” named reader: In the web, go to “youtube.com”, type “mayday” and watch hundreds of videos referring to air-inci/accident investigations, based on true incidents and accidents, with footages and interviews from passengers, specialists, authority representatives, plus, animations, simulations etc.

    Have(all readers) a nice day!

    • Kuwait says:

      I didn’t mean airplane incidents in general, just examples of “fatal accidents” as you mentioned that are proven to be caused by the use of a mobile phone, tablet, ebook reader or a handheld video game console.

  11. Gussy says:

    Wataniya owes me KD 700 for tickets purchases online back in 2011. i have asked for a refund for the last 6 years and they do not reply.
    so i called the coororate office at the airport and told them what i need to do. They said bring you e-ticket reference number and come visit us.
    i went yesterday and asked the receptionist that i need to see someone who can help me with the refund. Waiting for 15 mins. 2 – 3 employees come out to reception and i tell them my case.
    they very bluntly told me that the this wataniya has nothing to do with the old one and they do not have reference of my reservations.
    i should go to court they said.
    Well here you have it. Now i am looking for a lawyer who is willing to claim my tickets with additional compensation.

    it is totally unfair, unethical and i believe a crime that wataniya is allowed to resume operation after 6 years without settling all its debts. (especially to customers who used to fly wataniya back then)

    Any lawyers interested feel free to contact me
    gussy60@outlook.com

    • Stuart says:

      Their PR line is consistently “this is nothing to do with the old Wataniya”. That is untrue according to my Lawyers in Kuwait.

      Contact Abdulhameed Al Sarraf Law firm because they are handling a lot of cases. Courts continue to find in favour of those owed the money. Wataniya’ official company accounts are, according to the info provided to me, only being used to pay payroll of new staff. They allegedly transfer cash in the day of payroll and then straight out again to pay the new staff. This is allegedly because the courts and lawyers are constantly trying to get their hands on the cash.

      Extremely unethical and disingenuous. Such a shame their good name is now being dragged into such dirt. The Kuwaiti DCA also has a lot to answer for by supporting the relaunch without settling the past claims.

  12. Stuart says:

    Arrest warrant issued for Wataniya Owner…?

    I have commented above and as you will see I have an outstanding claim against Wataniya Airways which is in the courts – in my favour.

    The update this week from my law firm is that an arrest warrant has been issued for the Owner of Wataniya Airways. I actually do not know who the Owner is neither can I verify this myself but pressure is clearly mounting for them to settle all these debts and the Kuwait Courts are doing their jobs – more than I can say for the Kuwait DCA.

    I hope all owed money get their dues after so many years. Maybe this company can relaunch with a clean slate then.


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