Rights of Passengers in Bus and Rail Transportation

On this page you can find out all about your official rights as a passenger in the bus and rail transportation. Customer-oriented approach is our top priority. Therefore, please do not hesitate in case of inadequacy during your trip, to get in touch with us. Simply contact our service staff. We are always interested in finding an ideal solution for the problems of our passengers and to satisfy our customers above and beyond their passenger rights.

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Bus Passenger Rights under Regulation (EU) No. 181/2011

(Rights of train passengers listed below)

Right to Non-Discriminatory Transport Contract Conditions

When buying tickets for passenger transport services by bus and rail, no one should be discriminated against directly or indirectly on grounds of nationality or because of the place of establishment of the transport company or of the ticket vendors in the European Union.
In long-haul transports, the carrier issues a ticket to the passenger (possibly in electronic form), unless other documents give entitlement to transport.

Right to Information

All passengers in the bus route have the right to be adequately informed during the entire trip. This includes the right to information on passenger rights and the announcement of the necessary contact details of the national enforcement bodies.
All relevant general information and the conditions of carriage shall be provided for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility in accessible form, such as large print, simple language, Braille, as a voice recorder).
In case of cancellation or late departure of a long-haul, the carrier or the bus station operator will notify the passengers departing from a terminal as quickly as possible, however, at the latest 30 minutes after the scheduled departure time, of the situation and as soon as this information is available and provide the expected departure time. If passengers miss a connection to a traffic service then the terminal managing bodies shall make every reasonable effort to inform them of alternative connections. Where feasible, the carrier also transmits this information electronically, if the passenger requests this and has provided the necessary contact details to the carrier.

Entitlement to Compensation and Assistance in Case of Accidents

In remote line service, passengers are entitled to compensation for death or personal injury and loss of or damage to luggage resulting from the use of the bus or rail accident. The conditions and the amount of compensation are subject to the applicable national legislation; only certain minimum amounts are set in the Regulation. The compensations are not automatic, but must be enforced before national courts, if necessary.
In addition, the carrier shall provide reasonable and appropriate assistance after an accident in long-distance line service, with regard to the immediate practical needs of the passengers. Such assistance shall include accommodation, food, clothes, transport and providing first aid.

Entitlement to continue the Journey, or Journey on with Re-Routing and Reimbursement of Fare during Cancellation or long Delay

In the event of overbooking or if the carrier reasonably must assume that the departure of a regular service * is delayed or canceled by more than 120 minutes, then the passengers in the long-haul traffic are entitled to a choice of onward re-routing to their final destination without additional charge at the earliest possible time and under similar conditions, or refund the full ticket price and, where appropriate, provide at the earliest possible time a free return trip to the departure location set out in the contract of carriage.
This selection is available for passengers, also when the regular service is canceled or the departure of a bus stop is delayed for more than 120 minutes.
Should the carrier not provide the passengers in the said situation the choice between reimbursement of the ticket price and the onward journey re-routing, then they are entitled to a compensation equal to 50% of the fare.
This claim for compensation and any fare refund does not exclude the right of the passengers to pursue, in accordance with national law before national courts, claims due to disadvantages that they have suffered due to cancellation or delay of the regular services.
If the bus becomes inoperable during the trip, then the carrier shall send another bus to the place where you will find the inoperable vehicle to bring the passengers either to their destination or to a suitable waiting point or terminal, from where their travel can continue.

Right to Assistance during Cancellation or Delay in Departure

On trips in the remote line service with a duration of more than three hours, the passengers are entitled to adequate assistance, if the trip is canceled or departure from a terminal is delayed by more than 90 minutes. This includes snacks, meals and refreshments and accommodation if necessary. (The carrier may limit the total cost of accommodation per passenger to €80 per night for a maximum of two nights. He is not obliged to accept accommodation expenses if the cancellation or delay is caused by adverse weather conditions or severe natural disasters.)

Rights of Disabled Persons and Persons with Reduced Mobility **

For disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility the general passenger rights apply for bus traffic as well as the following rights, so they can use the same travel opportunities as other citizens.

a) Claim of Disabled Persons and Persons with Reduced Mobility to Access Services at no Extra Charge

Carriers, travel agents or tour operators may not charge extra for bookings and tickets for persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility.
They also are not allowed to refuse making bookings or issue tickets or remove the person from board of a vehicle due to a passenger's disability or due to his reduced mobility. According to the applicable passenger safety regulations or the health and safety requirements of the competent authorities, exceptions are allowed only if the transport of a disabled person or a person with reduced mobility would not be possible or if it is not possible because of the design of the vehicle or the infrastructure to transport the disabled person or person with reduced mobility in a safe and operationally feasible manner.
Should a carrier, travel agent or tour operator in the long-haul traffic refuse to make a reservation, issue a ticket or take a passenger on board the vehicle, due to the above reasons, then he shall notify the passenger immediately - and in writing at its request - about the reasons why. In addition, he shall notify the person concerned in the case of refusal to accept a reservation or to issue a ticket, via any acceptable alternative service operated by the carrier. Should it be possible to remedy the reasons why the passenger was declined booking or accessing the bus, for example by having a person present that can provide the required help, then the passenger has the right to demand that the accompanying person can travel free of charge.
If a disabled person or a person with reduced mobility who has a ticket or a reservation and has the carrier duly informed of his special need for assistance, still is refused the transport on long distance lines, then the person may either select a refund of fare and - provided that the appropriate services are available - the onward journey.
The carriers and terminal operators provide non-discriminatory access conditions for the transport of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility. They must provide theses conditions to the public and upon request be physically available for the passenger.

b) Entitlement to Special Assistance

In long-haul transports, carriers and terminal operators within their respective areas of competence must assist disabled persons and persons with limited mobility.
Disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility shall notify the carrier at least 36 hours in advance of their special need for assistance and arrive at the agreed time prior to departure (maximum 60 minutes prior) at the designated location of the bus station.

c) Entitlement for Compensation for Lost or Damaged Mobility Equipment

If, through the fault of the carrier or terminal operator, a loss of or damage to mobility equipment (a wheelchair or other assistance device) occurs, a compensation must be provided, which corresponds to the replacement value of the relevant equipment or the repair costs.
Where necessary, every effort is made to procure temporary replacement for lost or damaged mobility equipment.

Rail Passenger Rights under Regulation (EC) No. 2021/782

When buying a rail ticket, you may not be charged a higher price because of your nationality or where you are buying the ticket from. Your rights as a railway passenger generally apply to all rail journeys and services within the EU.
European countries can decide whether or not these rights also apply to domestic trains (urban, suburban, regional, etc.) and international trains that start or finish their journey outside the EU.

Cancellation or delay

If your train is cancelled or delayed, you always have the right to adequate information about what is happening while you are waiting.

If you are told you will arrive at your final destination with a delay of at least 1 hour, you are entitled to:

  • cancel your travel plans and request an immediate refund of the cost of your ticket (sometimes in full, sometimes only for the part of the journey not made.).
    You may also be entitled to a return journey to your initial departure point, if the delay stops you from fulfilling the purpose of your trip, or
  • be transported to your final destination at the earliest opportunity (or a later date of your choosing). This includes alternative transport when the train is blocked and the service is suspended.
  • meals and refreshments (proportionate to the waiting time)
  • accommodation – if you have to stay overnight.

If you decide to continue your journey as planned or to accept alternative transport to your destination, you may be entitled to compensation of:

  • 25% of the ticket fare, if the train is between 1 and 2 hours late.
  • 50% of the fare, if the train is more than 2 hours late.

You will not receive compensation if:

  • you were informed of a delay before you bought your ticket.

Compensation will only be paid if the resulting amount is more than £4.

If you think your rights have not been respected, you can complain to the railway company, which must reply within 1 month.

If you are not satisfied with their reply, you can contact the national enforcement body [111 KB] in your country.

Lost or damaged registered luggage

If your registered luggage is lost or damaged during your trip, you have a right to compensation, unless it was inadequately packed, unfit for transport or had a special nature.

Compensation amounts

  • Up to £1 300 per piece of registered luggage – if you can prove the value of its contents.
  • £330 per piece if you can't prove the value.

If a passenger is killed or injured in a train accident, they (or their dependants) are entitled to compensation for lost or damaged hand luggage (registered or not) up to a maximum of £1 500.

Injury and death

If a passenger is injured or killed in a train accident, they (or their dependants) are entitled to compensation, with an advance payment within 15 days of the accident to cover their (or their dependants') immediate needs.
In the event of death, this advance payment is at least £21 000 per person.


Right to file a Complaint with the Carrier or a National Enforcement Body

The carrier shall give notice to the passenger within one month of receipt of the complaint, whether his complaint was upheld, whether it was rejected or if it is still being processed. Within three months of receipt of the complaint, he must send him a definitive answer.
These mentioned periods do not apply when it comes to issues related to compensation for death or personal injury and lost or damaged luggage due to accidents.

Enforcement of Passenger Rights

Each Member State shall designate a body or bodies responsible for the enforcement of the rights laid down in the regulation.
The national enforcement agency is responsible for the enforcement of the regulation in relation to regular bus services from within the territory of the Member State places and in relation to regular bus services from a third country to such places.
Each passenger may submit a complaint for an alleged breach of the Regulation at the relevant national enforcement body. A Member State may decide that the passenger has to first make a complaint to the carrier; in this case the national enforcement body serves as an appeal body for complaints for which no solution was found.

Complaint office for bus travellers

Complaint office for train travellers

In accordance with Article 14 (2) of Regulation (EU) 524/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on online dispute resolution for consumer disputes, attention is drawn to the existence of the OS platform operated by the European Commission for resolving consumer disputes resulting from an agreement or contract concluded online.

This can be accessed on the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/odr.

* This provision does not apply to passengers having tickets with open travel dates, as long as no departure time is set, with the exception of passengers who have a season ticket.
** The Member States may exempt domestic regular services from the application of the provisions that apply to disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility, provided they ensure that the level of protection for these individuals corresponds to that of the regulation in their national legislation.

Source:  European Commission