Flight Delays: Compensation and Passenger Rights

By Mohammed Ameen

Updated on:

Flight Delay Compensation

Understanding Your Rights During Flight Delays

Experiencing flight delays can be a major headache, but knowing your rights as a passenger can make all the difference. In Saudi Arabia, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has put in place a set of rules and regulations to ensure passengers are well-protected during flight delays. In this article, we’ll break down these important guidelines, helping you handle any flight delays smoothly and confidently.

Grounds for Flight Delays

Airlines are not allowed to delay flights unless they are necessary for security and safety reasons, as determined by the GACA. These reasons must be backed up by approved field reports.

Notification of Flight Delays

Should a flight be delayed, the airline is required to notify passengers at least 45 minutes before the original take-off time. Additionally, they must provide information about the new take-off time.

Accommodation for Delayed Passengers

If a delay occurs while passengers are staying at a hotel, the airline must cover any additional hotel expenses until the rescheduled take-off time. They must also inform passengers of the new departure time and provide any necessary guidance.

Long Delays and Flight Cancellation Rights

If a flight is delayed or expected to be delayed for more than six hours, passengers have the right to request the airline to treat the flight as cancelled. In such cases, passengers are entitled to the same rights and protections as if the flight had been cancelled under Article 10 of the relevant regulations.

Extended Delay Assistance: What Airlines Must Provide

In instances where delays exceed the new take-off time by six hours or more, airlines must provide additional care as per Article 7 of the regulations. This includes:

  1. Refreshments: Airlines must offer passengers refreshments within the first hour of the original departure time.
  2. Meals: If the delay extends beyond three hours from the original departure time, the airline is required to provide an appropriate meal.
  3. Accommodation and Transportation: In cases where the delay surpasses six hours from the initial departure time, airlines must offer hotel accommodation and transportation to and from the airport.
Flight Delay Compensation in Saudi Arabia, GACA


Understanding your rights as a passenger during flight delays is crucial to ensuring a smoother travel experience. Familiarize yourself with these regulations so you can confidently navigate any future disruptions to your travel plans.

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