SAUDI ARABIA

New GACA regulations come into force benefiting millions of passengers

November 20, 2023
New GACA executive regulations that came into force on Monday will ensure the protection of passenger rights.
New GACA executive regulations that came into force on Monday will ensure the protection of passenger rights.

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH
— Millions of passengers will benefit from the new executive regulations of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) that came into force on Monday, Nov. 20.

The new regulations, which replaced the existing laws, consist 30 articles that deal mainly with passengers' rights and obligations, GACA said in a statement.

According to GACA, the executive regulations include provisions that clearly spell out the rights and obligations of passengers with the aim of improving the quality of air transport services and the travel experience to and from the Kingdom’s airports and within the airports.

The new regulations came into force 90 days after their issuance on Aug. 23 this year. In conjunction with the enforcement of the regulations, GACA launched an awareness campaign, titled “Traveler First”, to educate travelers about their rights as well as about the regulations that ensure their protection in the face of any sudden challenges or obstacles that they may encounter during flights. This helps inform them on how to deal with such situations and to know about the compensation entitled to them.

In its awareness campaign, the authority emphasized the procedures that the affected travelers must follow in the event of delays or cancellation of flights, or any other problems that may occur, to ensure that they obtain their full rights.

GACA stressed the need for the travelers to contact the concerned airline first, and if they do not receive a response within seven days, they must submit a complaint to GACA to take the necessary action against the air carrier.

GACA Vice President for Quality and Traveler Experience Eng. Abdulaziz Aldahmash emphasized that the new regulations reflect the authority’s interest in passenger satisfaction and its keenness to improve the travel experience in the Kingdom’s skies by protecting passengers from any sudden changes that affect air traffic and provide them with better options.

“As of yesterday, travelers to and from the Kingdom enjoy unprecedented means of protection, guaranteeing their rights in the event of any problems resulting from the delay or cancellation of flights,” he said while calling on travelers to take advantage of the “Traveler First” campaign launched by the authority to understand all provisions of the executive regulations and how to claim their rights.

Aldahmash said the new regulations reflect the GACA’s keenness to adhere to the slogan “Traveler First,” by providing a safe and smooth travel experience, and providing services of international standards to the travelers.

“Through this regulation, we contribute to achieving the goals of the National Aviation Strategy and improving the travel experience in the Kingdom,” he said.

The regulations include articles that guarantee a passenger’s right to receive proper care, support and compensation, amounting up to 200 percent of the ticket value.

The compensation will be given in the event of departure of flight ahead of schedule or delay in departure or cancellation of flights, as well as in the event of deplaning or downgrading due to overbooking. Some of these compensations amount to 150 percent or 200 percent of the ticket value as stipulated in the law.

The new law guarantees passengers, upon loss of luggage, a financial compensation equivalent to SR6,568. In the event of damage, defect or delay of baggage, the passenger is entitled to get a financial compensation not exceeding SR6,568.

The law also guarantees compensation to travelers in the event of adding a stopover point that was not announced when confirming the reservation.

The law clarifies the obligations of both the passengers and the air carrier in such situations.

The regulations also deal with the rights of passengers with disabilities and special requirements. The regulations guarantee the rights of customers, who are traveling on board chartered flights, especially the seasonal Hajj and Umrah flights.


November 20, 2023
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