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GACA: Compensation for passengers with special needs equivalent to 200% of the ticket price value
Published in Saudi Press Agency on 11 - 04 - 2019

The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) explained that the air carriers do not have the right to refuse boarding to people with special needs after the tickets have been issued. GACA stressed, that if the air carrier does not provide appropriate flight, or does not provide the necessary services stipulated in the Executive Regulations for Customers Protection, then the passenger shall be compensated with 200% of the total value of the ticket, if the special need of the client was disclosed before the booking was completed.
GACA aims through these procedures to assist and facilitate travel for those with special needs and overcome all obstacles facing them. This comes through GACA commitment to introduce the Executive Regulations for Customers Protection, under the slogan "Your Rights are Protected".
GACA went on to state, that travelers with special needs ought to know the following awareness procedures before traveling: the importance of providing full information of the service they need in advance of their traveling. This in addition to notifying the airliner 48 hours in advance in case special service, or special equipment is needed, provided that those services are available on that particular flight (medical lift, wheel chair, ventilators with electric hook up on board the aircraft, the usage of hazardous material for the wheelchair battery, or therapeutic oxygen for use on the aircraft).
Furthermore, concerning the rights and privileges enjoyed by the beneficiaries with special needs at the Kingdom's airports, GACA noted that special equipment used by special needs passengers is not counted within the baggage limit. Moreover, in case of the inability of storing the device in the passenger compartment as portable luggage, it can be stored in the luggage cargo at no additional charge. The airliner must receive and return the assistive device in the same condition as it has been received.
Meanwhile, GACA stated that air carriers must take into account the need of customers with special needs and for no additional charges. Those services include providing wheelchairs and clear signage at the airports during boarding and disembarking. This in addition to informing the clients in case of cancellation, delays, or changing the flight routes. The carriers must also provide them with special care they need, and needed compensations within the Executive Regulations.
This action was taken within the directive of GACA that aims to introduce the public to the Executive Regulation of Customers Protection that is specifically geared towards protecting the client rights under the slogan "Your Rights are Protected". A slogan that is reflected by the quality of services and overcoming all obstacles travelers might face. Furthermore, GACA is working on efforts to enhance transparency and pay special attention to people with special needs.
In this effort, the General Authority of Civil Aviation has allocated a customer protection account on twitter (@GACACare), in addition to GACA main twitter account (@Ksagaca). A telephone number was also dedicated to serve the traveling public and users of Saudi airports.


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