Monday, December 6, 2010

Saudi Airlines imposing SR50 fine on late and no-show passengers

Will we see this happening to other airlines?

The fines are for first and business-class passengers traveling domestically who wish to re-book, re-route or would like to cancel their flight and require a refund 24 hours before their scheduled departure,” Abdullah Al-Ajhar, Saudia vice president of public relations, told Arab News, adding that neither economy class nor international passengers are included in the new fine scheme.
The fines have been in effect since Nov. 1 with certain stipulations. Passengers wishing to cancel a flight and then require a refund will be required to pay the SR50 fine in addition to 25 percent of the original ticket price.
Al-Ajhar explained that the one of the main reasons behind the new imposed fine is that the airline has been experiencing a high number of late and no-show passengers.
“Instead of being able to provide quality service for our traveling passengers we are often times preoccupied with facilitating late cancellations and refunds, re-bookings, and re-routings,” Al Ajhar said.
In July, the airline publicly blamed passengers for a lack of seats on its domestic flights, saying that the problem is due to a large number of passengers not canceling their reservations when they change their travel plans.
The airline continued by saying they had been suffering  heavy losses with Saudia officials reporting a loss of SR1.79 billion in 2008, because they said 3.61 million passengers that reserved flights on 2.3 million domestic flights, simply did not show up.
“Hopefully the new fine will provide passengers with the incentive to take care of their travel necessities early and will be a positive way of disciplining no-show passengers,” Al-Ajhar concluded.
In addition, to the fines, SAA has restructured its ticket prices with children now being required to travel on an adult full fare tickets while infants, traveling in the past for free, now require a ticket costing  20 percent of an adult fare ticket.

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