Saudi Prince Bought Plane Tickets for His 80 Falcons

Reddit user lensoo writes, “My captain friend sent me this photo. Saudi prince bought ticket for his 80 hawks.”

My first thought was, well, he chartered a plane but there appear to be falcons only in the center section of economy with passengers in aisle seats on both sides of the aircraft.

It’s not clear when this photo was taken, though it turns out this happens with some regularity, here’s the whole cabin is bought for the purpose from 2014:

Interestingly, Qatar Airways has a specific policy for falcons.

They’re certainly important animals in the culture, which I learned handling one in a falconry lesson at Al Maha Desert Resort last year.

In the U.S. the sheikh might claim that these are emotional support falcons.

These birds could each bring one dead animal on the plane because they’re allowed one carrion. Word is the inflight movie was Angry Birds.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Meanwhile, in the US, the Falcons will be flying Delta to Houston for next weekend’s Super Bowl, so these falcons may actually have been better off.

  2. Each falcon needs its own passport, visa, and ticket. Next time you go through AUH check out the falcon hospital and learn some cool stuff 🙂

  3. Wait!! That’s an old cartoon!! Two vultures approach the gate to the airplane. Each carries two dead raccoons. The gate attendant says, “Sorry, only one carrion per passenger”. Ba-dum-dum.

  4. Can the birds claim refugee status if they come to the U.S., as they are not coming from or residing in the seven countries listed in the recent Presidential Executive Order? If so, will they displace currently employed American birds?

  5. Why didn’t he just book Qatar Airways?
    – – – – –
    Pets allowed in the passenger cabin


    You are permitted to carry one falcon on board the Economy Class passenger cabin of an aircraft, and a maximum of six falcons are permitted within the Economy Class cabin of an aircraft (country regulations may apply).

  6. Falcons are symbolic of wealth. The Middle Eastern cultures also believe that if you see a falcoln that wealth is coming your way. So my guess is this prince may be one displaying his wealth and maybe also using them as a lucky charm, if you will, to attract wealth to him.

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