Flight Delay: Airlines to Pay Massive Fines



by Ibrahim Naffee

JEDDAH – The General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) will impose a SR300 hourly fine per passenger on local airliners who fail to inform travelers about flight changes 14 days in advance.

Maximum compensation per passenger will be SR3,000, in addition to being given customer support within airport premises, according to a local daily.

Local airlines firms, however, will be exempt from fines if they prove that they have followed procedures to avoid the delay.

GACA has the authority to cancel the licenses of airline companies operating within the Kingdom if companies fail to abide by clauses stipulated in Article 19.

Violators will also be slapped with a fine of up to SR50,000 per violation.

Several airline companies already provide hotel accommodation for passengers worth SR3,000 daily if they cancel their flights and do not operate alternative flights.

“Hotel accommodation should be provided until passengers manage to secure alternative flights to their destinations,” Ali Abdullah, a manager at a travel agency, told Arab News.

“Passenger should be given SR300 in compensation per hour if they are not provided with a replacement flight within six hours.”

 “Passengers have the right to have cool drinks if the flight is delayed for one hour, hot meals if delayed for three hours and hotel accommodation if delayed for more than six hours,” he said.

“Special needs passengers who are refused boarding after having issued their tickets or do not get access to handicapped facilities at the airport will be paid 200 percent of the ticket fare and be compensated for having been denied boarding,” said Abdullah.

“Travelers will be compensated for flight delays,” said Khaled Al-Khaibari, GACA’s official spokesman, in a previous statement.

The airlines will have to pay compensation sums decided by GACA within a month.

“Companies will be obliged to pay travelers SR1,500 per day after the one-month period is up,” he said. —ArabNews

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