Saudi Arabia updates regulations to deal with canceled flight tickets

Riyadh: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation authority has issued updated regulations to deal with tickets for cancelled flights due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Thursday.

This step aims to give the necessary flexibility to travelers, maintain the highest standards of quality and efficiency in services, and preserve the rights of travelers.

A new circular from the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) states that air carriers that have canceled any flight due to the COVID-19 pandemic must handle passenger situations as follows:

First: If the traveler chooses to terminate the contract, the value of the tickets (unused itinerary) is returned to him according to the method of payment.

Second: In the event that a foreign exchange voucher is issued to the traveler, he has the option to reuse it or retrieve it as desired without paying any additional amounts or fees for reusing or recovering it.

Third: If the traveler agrees to reschedule his trip, this does not entail collecting any additional amounts or fees if it is on the same itinerary. If the passenger requests to change the itinerary, the air carrier is entitled to charge only the fare difference without adding any other fees for the purpose of rescheduling or issuing.

The travel ban was imposed by Saudi Arabia in the year 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently the countries facing travel ban are, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt, Turkey, Brazil, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Lebanon.

On August 24, Saudi Arabia allowed direct entry of fully vaccinated expatriates from countries facing travel ban.

This decision is applicable only to those foreigners who have a valid residency permit and left the Kingdom on exit and reentry visa after taking two doses of vaccine against COVID-19 from Saudi Arabia.