The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has been keen to provide distinguished services for travelers and preserve their rights at the Kingdom’s airports, and on the occasion of World Consumer Rights Day, GACA reviews the steps it has taken in order to preserve the rights of travelers in Saudi airports. This is achieved through many measures, as GACA has established a specialized department to oversee all matters relating to the protection of consumer rights. It aims to preserve the rights of passengers, take care of customer protection, and the quality of services provided to travelers throughout the kingdom’s airports and the air carriers alike. Meanwhile it raises the level of civil aviation services in general to a level of advanced and competitive services worldwide.
GACA has issued a set of Executive Regulations to protect the rights of customers by decision of the General Authority of Civil Aviation Board of Director’s No. (20/380) dated 26/5/1438, and its provisions apply to flights departing from the Kingdom’s airports, whether on national air carriers, or foreign airlines and furthermore, on arriving flights by a national air carrier, unless the passenger is compensated or assisted according to the rules of the country of departure, without prejudice to the provisions of the international treaties to which the Kingdom is a party of and its amendments.
The Customer Protection Department is committed to many tasks and responsibilities, including the implementation of the provisions of the Executive Regulations and putting them into practice, by issuing the instructions and mechanisms necessary for their implementation. The department also supervises the guidance of the authorities operating in the air transport sector in everything related to customer rights and the mechanism for dealing with it, in addition to receiving customer complaints regarding what falls within the scope of customer protection, analyzing them and requesting any data from air carriers to solve problems related to those complaints, in addition to setting policies related to customer rights in accordance with these regulations and their approval by GACA and furthermore, referring the violations of provisions of the Regulation to the Committee that looks into the violations of the provisions of the civil aviation system.
It is worth noting that GACA has obligated air carriers operating in the Kingdom to pay compensation in excess of 65 million Saudi riyals for travelers, after violating the terms and obligations of air transport contracts with them. This procedure comes in implementing the provisions of the regulation of protecting the rights of customers and in line with the directives of GACA towards upgrading the level of services provided to travelers, and improving their experience in accordance with the highest international standards.
The case of “loss, damage, or luggage delays” came first in terms of compensation, followed by “flight delays” and lastly “cancellation of flights” so that these compensation included all air carriers operating in the Kingdom.
GACA had previously launched information campaigns aimed at introducing the Executive Regulations to protect customers rights under the slogan “Your right is reserved”, which reflects on the quality of services and facilitating all difficulties that travelers may face. This is in addition to enhance the principle of transparency, and caring for the rights of persons with disabilities during their travel.
GACA also calls on the public to view the Executive Regulations to protect the rights of customers through its website (www.gaca.gov.sa). Also, travelers wishing to submit complaints against air carriers can contact the call center on number 8001198888 around the clock.