WWhat rights do rail passengers have if the train is canceled or delayed. Can you then take another train – or does the train pay for the transfer to a taxi? We clarify the most important questions in our overview:
The train is cancelled
If there is no other train in the next 60 minutes, the rail customer can request a refund of the price of the ticket including seat reservation.
The train is late
A staggered regulation applies here: If rail customers arrive at their destination an hour late, they are entitled to 25 percent of the fare for a single journey. From two hours late, it is 50 percent. Holders of season tickets such as the Bahncard 100 or the “Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket” receive flat-rate compensation if the delay is one hour or more.
Can I take another train?
Even those who have booked a saver price ticket with a specific train can choose another train if a delay of at least 20 minutes is to be expected. An exception applies to trains that require reservations and heavily discounted tickets such as the “Quer-durchs Land-Ticket”. However, if you want to switch to a more expensive train, you first have to pay the required surcharge. The surcharge can only be reclaimed afterwards with reference to the cancellation or delay on the originally planned route.
And what about the 9 euro ticket?
Those who travel by train with the 9-euro ticket also have the right to change to an IC, EC or ICE if they are otherwise expected to arrive at their destination at least 20 minutes late. This also applies if the holder of the 9-euro ticket cannot take the selected train because it is overcrowded.
Does Deutsche Bahn pay for the transfer to a taxi?
If the traveler jumps into a taxi, for example to get to his plane or because an important appointment would otherwise be missed, he has to prove that the transfer was “reasonable”, for example because the next bus would only have left in an hour. But be careful: there is a maximum reimbursement limit of 80 euros. There is no reimbursement if the railway itself offers another means of transport.
When does the railway have to pay for an overnight stay in a hotel?
If a train cancellation or train delay means that the train journey cannot be continued on the same day or if this would be unreasonable, “reasonable” accommodation costs will be reimbursed. However, the passenger must first inquire with the railway company whether the company itself might have an overnight stay.
What rights do rail passengers have if they miss a flight?
If the train ticket and flight ticket were purchased separately, there are no claims, as Deutsche Bahn is not liable for the consequential costs of train delays. If the train journey is part of a travel package, claims may be made against the tour operator. Courts have decided that the passenger must choose the train connection in such a way that he would have arrived at the airport at least three hours before departure according to the regular timetable.
The air conditioning does not work and numerous toilets on the train are broken. Is there compensation in such cases?
This is going to be difficult. In order for compensation to be paid for a defective air conditioning system, a doctor’s certificate must be submitted to prove that the heat on the train has led to health impairments. However, Deutsche Bahn has also paid compensation as a gesture of goodwill if travelers had to stew on the trains on extremely hot days. Regarding the toilet question: The railways must provide functioning toilets, but that does not mean that there are claims for compensation if individual toilets fail. In an extreme case, in which the train passenger found all toilets in a long-distance train locked in an overcrowded IC, the Frankfurt district court awarded the customer compensation of 403 euros.
And what happens if the WLAN fails?
Then you’ve had bad luck. Deutsche Bahn offers WLAN use as a voluntary, free additional service. There is no entitlement to this.