EU Passengers’ Rights

If you want to be able to check your passenger rights at anytime while travelling, make sure you download the App on your smartphone.

Rail Passenger Rights

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.

What are my rights when my train is cancelled or delayed?

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.

Who can I contact in case my Passengers’ Rights were not respected?

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 in your country.

What are my rights if my registered luggage got lost or damaged?

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 EUR 1 300 per piece of registered luggage – if you can prove the value of its contents.
  • EUR 330 per piece if you can’t prove the value.

What are my rights if the train on which I am travelling is blocked on the track?

If your train is blocked on the track, the railway company must arrange (alternative) transport from your train to the railway station, to an alternative departure point or to the final destination when and where physically possible.

Am I allowed to take my bicycle on to any train?

YES – provided your bicycle is easy to handle and does not adversely affect the specific rail service. It also depends on whether the train itself allows for the transport of bicycles (size, space etc.) and a fee may be charged. Consequently, you should check with the rail company before travelling.

What if my mobility equipment (e.g. electric wheelchair) was damaged beyond repair, due to the actions by staff from the rail company. Am I entitled to claim the cost of replacing it from the rail company?

YES – There is no financial limit where the  railway company is responsible for damage to mobility equipment.

Ship Passenger Rights

Ship passenger rights concern delays and cancellations that prevent you from boarding, and apply if you are leaving a port in the EU with any carrier, or arriving in a port in the EU with any carrier.

These rules do not apply to:

  • ships that can carry fewer than 13 passengers
  • ships that have no more than 3 members of crew
  • ships that cover a distance of less than 500 meters, one way
  • most sorts of historical ships
  • excursion and sightseeing ships – if they do not have accommodation facilities, or if the overnight stay does not exceed 2 nights on board.

What are my rights when my service is cancelled or delayed?

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

If the service is cancelled or departure is delayed for more than 90 minutes, you will be offered a choice:

  • Either you can get a refund for your ticket and where necessary a free return journey back to your initial departure point – for instance if the delay stops you from fulfilling the purpose of your trip
  • or you can be transported, under similar conditions, to your final destination at the earliest opportunity and at no extra cost.

If your trip’s departure is delayed by more than 90 minutes, in most cases you are also entitled to:

  • meals and refreshments – proportionate to the waiting time
  • accommodation – if you have to stay overnight

What compensation can I get?

If your trip’s arrival at destination is delayed by more than 1 hour, you are entitled to compensation. Depending of the length of the delay, the compensation is either 25% or 50% of the ticket price.

You will not receive compensation if the delay was caused by severe weather conditions or natural disasters.

Who can I contact in case my Passengers’ Rights were not respected?

If you think your rights have not been respected, you can complain to the carrier within 2 months of the date on which the event happened. The carrier must react within 1 month and give you a final reply 2 months after receiving the complaint.

If you are not satisfied with their reply, you can contact the national enforcement body.

What are my rights if my registered luggage got lost or damaged?

You can submit a claim for compensation for any loss or damage during an accident at sea to a court in the country:

  • where the carrier has its main place of business or permanent residence, or
  • where your place of departure or destination is, or
  • where you permanently live – if the carrier has a place of business there and is subject to that country’s jurisdiction, or
  • where the travel contract was concluded – if the carrier has a place of business there and is subject to that country’s jurisdiction.

If your luggage is lost or damaged, you must inform the carrier in writing. You should ideally do this either by the time you leave the ship, or by the time the luggage is eventually delivered. At the very latest, you must inform the carrier within 15 days of disembarkation or delivery, otherwise, you will lose your right to compensation.

In general, you must bring your claim to the courts within 2 years of the incident – although the starting point for this period can differ, depending on the nature of the loss or damage.

Bus Passenger Rights

Your rights as a bus passenger mainly apply to regular long-distance (more than 250 km) bus and coach services starting or finishing in an European country. Some of these rights also apply to all regular services.

European countries can decide to exempt purely domestic regular services and services where a large part of the route – including a scheduled stop – is outside the EU.

What are my rights when my bus is cancelled or delayed?

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

If the long-distance service (more than 250km) you are booked in for is cancelled or departure is delayed for more than 2 hours, you will be offered a choice:

  • Either you can get a refund for your ticket and where necessary free journey back to the service’s initial departure point – for instance if the delay or cancellation stops you from fulfilling the purpose of your trip
  • Or you can be transported, under similar conditions, to your final destination at the earliest opportunity, and at no extra cost.

If your long-distance journey (more than 250km) was scheduled to last more than 3 hours and departure is delayed by more than 90 minutes or cancelled, you are also entitled to:

  • meals and refreshments – proportionate to the waiting time
  • accommodation – if you have to stay overnight (Carriers are not obliged to cover accommodation if the delay was caused by severe weather conditions or natural disasters.)

What compensation can I get?

If your trip’s arrival at destination is delayed by more than 2 hours, you are entitled to compensation.

If you are not offered either the refund of your ticket, the free journey back to the service’s initial departure point or to be transported to your final destination at the time, you can later complain and claim a refund for the ticket plus compensation worth 50% of the ticket price.

In case of accident :

If you are injured in a bus accident during a long-distance journey (more than 250 km), you are entitled to compensation. In case of death, compensation can be claimed by your dependents.

Where necessary, the carrier will also provide immediate assistance: first aid, food, clothes, transport and accommodation.

Who can I contact in case my Passengers’ Rights were not respected?

If you think your rights have not been respected, you can complain to the carrier within 3 months of the date on which the event happened. The carrier must react within 1 month and give you a final reply 3 months after receiving the complaint.

If you are not satisfied with their reply, you can contact the national enforcement body.

What are my rights if my luggage got lost or damaged?

In case of accident:

You also have a right to compensation from the bus company if your luggage or other belongings are lost or damaged in a bus accident on a long-distance journey.

Air Passenger Rights

Air passenger rights concern any situation that prevents you from boarding – if you were denied boarding, your flight was cancelled, delayed, upgraded or downgraded – each situation is handled case-by-case and step-by-step, regarding the compensation and assistance on the European air passenger rights page.

What are my rights if my luggage(s) got lost, damaged or delayed?

If you want to file a claim for lost or damaged luggage, you should do it in writing to the airline within 7 days, or within 21 days of receiving your luggage if it was delayed. There is no standard EU-wide form.

  • If your checked-in luggage is lost, damaged or delayed, the airline is liable and you’re entitled to compensation up to an amount of approximately EUR 1 220.
    However, if the damage was caused by an inherent defect in the baggage itself, you’re not entitled to any compensation.
  • If your hand luggage is damaged the airline is liable if it was responsible for the damage.

Travel insurance

If you’re travelling with expensive items, you may, for a fee, request a higher compensation limit (in excess of EUR 1 220). To do this, you should make an advance declaration to the airline at the latest when you check in. However, to ensure you have sufficient coverage, it’s advisable to take out private travel insurance.

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