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In a significant move to enhance passenger protection and streamline air travel, Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) has announced a comprehensive set of new regulations. Wego reports these regulations, designed to safeguard passengers’ rights, cover all aspects of the passenger journey, including ticketing, in-flight amenities, baggage management, and assistance for passengers with specific needs.

Under the new regulations, travelers are entitled to care, support, and compensation in the event of flight delays or cancellations. This also applies if they are refused boarding due to overbooking or downgrading. The regulations also stipulate that travelers have the right to compensation for loss, damage, or delay of luggage.

The new regulations include specific provisions for passengers with disabilities. If a passenger’s wheelchair does not arrive on the same flight, the air carrier is obligated to provide a replacement. Failure to do so will result in compensation of approximately 500 Saudi riyals to the traveler. Furthermore, if a passenger with a disability is refused boarding, they are entitled to compensation equivalent to 200% of the total value of the ticket, along with a full refund of the ticket value for the unused itinerary.

The GACA has also mandated air carriers operating in Saudi Arabia to establish a clear mechanism for receiving and processing complaints from travelers. In case an air carrier fails to process a complaint or compensate a traveler, the traveler has the right to escalate their complaint to the GACA.

In August, GACA announced these new passenger right protection regulations as part of its ongoing commitment to enhancing air travel experiences.

In a proactive move to enhance traveler protection and mitigate potential air travel disturbances, GACA has unveiled these comprehensive regulations designed to safeguard passengers’ rights. These encompass all facets of the passenger journey.

The new guidelines stipulate that passengers facing unexpected situations such as flight delays, cancellations, overbooking, or layovers will be eligible for compensation ranging from 150 to 200 percent of their flight ticket’s value. In cases of lost or damaged luggage, individuals will be entitled to a remuneration of SAR 6,568.

The new framework also extends its benefits to Hajj and Umrah charter flights. Passengers embarking on journeys related to Hajj and Umrah can request a contract termination with the airline if a flight delay exceeds 2 hours.

This initiative by Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation aligns with the nation’s Vision 2030 strategic plan. The plan aims to propel Saudi Arabia to the forefront of the Middle East’s aviation sector by 2030. By enhancing the passenger experience and increasing passenger numbers, GACA is making significant strides towards achieving this goal.

These changes are set to take effect on 20 November 2023.