GACA strengthens passenger protection regulations

GACA’s strengthened passenger protection regulations have entered into force applying to passenger taking journeys within and from Saudi Arabia.

Image: GACA

The new regulations are designed to create a better travel experience, providing greater support at each stage of the passenger’s journey in the event of travel disruptions. 

GACA has initiated the “Putting Passengers First” consumer education campaign to educate passengers on their strengthened protections, and the importance of contacting their airline to use their rights in the event of a disruption. If passengers don't receive an adequate response in seven days, they can ask GACA to investigate their complaint. 

Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al Dahmash, the Vice President of GACA for Quality and Passenger Experience, said: “From today, passengers travelling in and from the Kingdom have enhanced protections when they are affected by travel disruptions resulting from airline delays. GACA encourages passengers to learn about the strengthened passenger rights communicated through GACA’s “Putting Passengers First” campaign, and to contact their airline when they face a disruption. 

“These changes reflect GACA’s focus on putting the passenger first, through regulations that create better choice, value and service quality for passengers. By enabling a better travel experience, these regulations support the Kingdom’s broader Saudi Aviation Strategy growth agenda.” added Al Dahmash.

The new regulations encompass 30 new provisions that cover every stage of the air travel journey, covering ticketing, boarding, in-flight services, baggage handling, and catering to passengers with special needs, including those with reduced mobility. Compensation provisions have been strengthened and extended through the regulations, addressing situations like flight delays, cancellations, overbooking, and unexpected stopovers.

The regulatory changes were announced by GACA on the 23rd of August and have taken effect following the 90-day notice period for new regulations.  GACA has worked with domestic and international carriers to prepare for the implementation of the regulations. 

The regulations are a key component in enabling the aviation sector's Saudi Aviation Strategy targets, including tripling passenger numbers to 330 million per annum and connecting the Kingdom with more than 250 global destinations by 2030. The Kingdom is experiencing unprecedented aviation sector growth, to support the Kingdom’s broader Vision 2030 tourism, travel and economic diversification objectives.