Rail passenger rights
If you are traveling by train across borders within the EU, the EU protects you and gives you rights. These rules apply to delays greater than one hour for departure or arrival at your final destination. They are also applicable to train journeys within Germany.
Update : Nov 2018
If your train is announced to be delayed by 60 minutes or more, the transport company is required to offer you the choice between:
- Continuation or re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to the final destination at the earliest opportunity or at a later date at your convenience, or
- A full refund of the ticket price if you no longer want to complete the journey.
- After 60 minutes waiting time you should also receive meals and refreshments. In the event that you are only able to continue the journey the following day, you are entitled to stay in a hotel or other accommodation that is paid for by the company (if feasible in practice).
If the delayed departure leads to a delay upon arrival of more than 60 minutes, you have the right to receive a partial refund of the ticket price. The specific amount depends on the duration of the delay.
- Delays between 60 and 119 min: refund of 25% of the ticket price
- Delays of 120 min and more: refund of 50% of the ticket price
Please note that the railway company is not obliged to compensate you for any consequential damages that may arise due to the delay, such as costs for an unused hotel room at your destination.
Recommendations for obtaining compensation:
- Ask the train controller for a written confirmation of the delay or cancellation, or take pictures of the information board.
- If you have unexpected expenses (food, communication, accommodation, transport, new tickets, first necessity goods etc.) ask for receipts for every purchase and keep them safe to prove your prejudice later.
In order to exercise your rail passenger rights against a railway company in Germany, you have to fill out the complaints form of Servicecenter Fahrgastrechte (service center for passenger rights). You should include the tickets or copies of the tickets. We recommend that you only send in copies of your tickets and keep the originals yourself. However, if you choose to send the originals, be sure to make copies of the tickets and keep those copies for your records. You must send the form by post to:
60647 Frankfurt am Main
Or you can give it to an employee of the railway company at the service point of the railway station. You can find the English version of the complaints form here:
Our brochure "Travelling by train: Passenger rights in Germany"provides you with more information about your passenger rights.
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