Saudi Arabia announced new airline rules for passengers including compensations for delayed planes and lost luggage. Announced by the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), the rules are designed to enhance passenger experience.
The new rules are set to come into effect from November 20, 2023 and will span across all areas including air travel, boarding, ticketing, in-flight services, baggage handling and more.
As part of the new guidelines, passengers could be reimbursed for up to 200 percent of the cost of the ticket in certain circumstances.
New Saudi airline rules
- Compensation for situations including flight delays, cancellations, overbooking and unplanned stopovers could result in a compensation of 150-200 percent of the original ticket value.
- Lost or damaged baggage could be entitled to compensations of approximately SR6,568 ($1,750).
- New regulations will also cater to unique flights such as Hajj or Umrah charter flights.
- In case of a flight delay of over two hours, passengers can request for termination of the contract with the air carrier.
“These changes reflect GACA’s focus on putting the passenger first, by strengthening regulations that secure better service quality for passengers. The regulations cover new ground in supporting passengers affected by travel disruptions and support the kingdom’s broader Saudi Aviation Strategy growth agenda,” said Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al Dahmash, the Vice President of GACA for Quality and Passenger Experience.
The regulations have been set in place following consultation with stakeholders, the public, air service providers and international aviation sector organisations.
The new initiative aims to enable the kingdom’s aviation sector requirements to increase passenger numbers and support the 2030 goals.
The Saudi Arabia aviation ecosystem intends to become the top aviation sector in the Middle East by 2030 as part of the Saudi Aviation Strategy and the kingdom’s Vision 2030.
The strategy will improve Saudi’s connectivity to more than 250 destinations across 29 airports and triple annual passenger traffic.