Jeddah airport services not up to standard: aviation authority

The latest assessment came after the Jeddah airport was ranked as among the worst airports in the world

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The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has admitted that the status of the current facailities at the Jeddah airport are not up to standard.

In a statement released on Tuesday, GACA said that it has a system by which it evaluates the operations at its airports and the quality of services provided. Based on these evaluations, GACA is “conscious” that there are some drawbacks in the services at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah.

The GACA statement came after an international website specializing in airport services ranked King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah among the worst airports in the world with regard to services.

The “Guide to Sleeping in Airports” ranking has generated a massive response from Saudis on social media.

GACA said that even though the website cannot be compared to a specialist organization, it still respect its finding and will benefit from them in overcoming the shortcomings. “We respect different views, and accept criticism and surveys. All criticism is beneficial and can help overcome shortcomings,” the statement added.

GACA stressed that it is committed to the development of 27 airports in the Kingdom. The website said travelers were asked to consider just how limited they thought four C’s of airport travel: Comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.

“Travelers were quick to provide colorful feedback on those airports and terminals that left more than a little to be desired,” the website said.

About the Jeddah airport, the travelers said: “The main terminal is fairly lackluster. It isn’t overly clean, crowds can be a problem, and the services for travelers are in short supply. Rude immigration officers and lengthy queues do little to improve the traveler experience. Chairs are limited, uncomfortable metal and have armrests. Things might improve in mid-2015 when a new airport is expected to be completed.”

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014.