The airline passengers have expressed their happiness at the new executive order which has been issued by the GACA or the General Authority of Civil Aviation. This new law will enable airline passengers to be compensated by the Airline at a rate of SAR 300 per hour, if their flight has been delayed. Yasin Ali Reza a businessman based out of Jeddah has stated that this new move is good news for the passengers and adds that he hopes that the GACA will be ensuring the strict implementation of the airline companies in order to protect passenger’s rights.
He added that this new law which is expected to be implemented by 10 days time will be contributing in making flight delays as less frequent as possible. These drastic measures are vital in order to make the airlines ensure that their flights are on time. In accordance to Article 8 of the General Authority of Civil Aviation’s Consumer Protection Regulation the airline will have to provide accommodation at a hotel for the passengers costing up to SAR 3000 per day if the flight is canceled and they fail to arrange for an alternative flight. The airline passengers will be given accommodation in a hotel until they are arranged another flight for their set destination. If the delay lasts for more than six hours, passengers should be given accommodation and meals and a financial compensation of SR 300 per hour but not exceeding SR 3,000 in all.
GACA will even hold authority to cancel off the operating licenses of airlines within the Kingdom if they in any way fail in abiding to the Article 8. Airlines may also be handed a fine of SAR 50,000 per violation. Passengers will also be provided a soft drink in the case of a 1 hour delay, a hot meal if the delay is for three hours and accommodation in a hotel if the delay is greater than 6 hours. In case a passenger with special needs is for any reason refused to board the aircraft once the ticket has been issued, and if the special needs passenger is denied any facility at the airport, not only will they receive a 100 percent re imbursement but will also get another 100 percent, along with a hefty compensation for being refused to board the plane.
A Saudi Journalist, Badr Almotawa has stated that this new law has come prior to the plan of GACA to privatize all international airports operating within the Kingdom. He added that this new law has been aimed to ensure that the airline companies and passengers both know their rights and to ensure the flights are on time.
In accordance to the law, the airline must inform the passengers about any delay or change in their flight almost 14 days prior to the flight. If this is done, they would be exempted from the compensation. The airport operators have also been notified to provide the airlines with all necessary infrastructures necessary to serve the passengers. Airlines will not be responsible for the delay in flight caused by any natural disaster.
Source: Arab News