Travel by train

As a rail passenger, you benefit from certain rights granted by European Regulation (EC) 2021/782 of 29 April 2021 on rail passengers' rights and obligations.

Right to information and access to tickets

Before your trip, you should be informed about :

  • The fastest journeys
  • The lowest fares
  • On-board services

During the trip, you must be informed about :

  • Main connections
  • Delays and cancellations
  • On-board services
  • Procedures for submitting complaints

Railways companies must also facilitate ticket sales via physical/automatic ticket offices or using widely available technologies such as the Internet. On-board sales may, however, be refused or restricted.

Delays and cancellations

In case of a delay of more than 60 minutes or in case of cancellation of a train that will involve arriving at the final destination more than 60 minutes late, you have the right to:

  • Cancel your trip and request a refund of the tickets for the portions of the trip not taken. You may even request a full refund for the portions already completed if the continuation of the trip is no longer in keeping with the original travel plan. If necessary, you can also request a return trip to your original departure point as soon as possible
  • To continue your trip to your final destination as planned or by being rerouted as soon as possible or on the date of your choice

You are also entitled to assistance that includes meals and refreshments. If you have to stay overnight, you must also be accommodated (obligation limited to 3 nights).

If you decide to continue your trip and do not request a full refund of your ticket, you are entitled to a minimum lump sum compensation of:

  • 25% of the ticket price, if the delay is between 60 minutes and 119 minutes
  • 50% of the ticket price, if the delay is 120 minutes or more

The railway company can grant you a higher amount if they so wish.

Please note: compensation is not due in the event of exceptional circumstances (extreme weather conditions, natural disaster, major health crisis, etc.), in the event of a fault on the part of the passenger or, in the event of a fault on the part of a third party (accident involving a person, theft of cables, etc.). Please note that strikes by railway staff are not considered as exceptional circumstances, and you can so claim compensation in this case.

You cannot claim compensation if you were informed of the delay before you bought your ticket, and airlines may refuse to pay compensation of less than €4.

Luggage

When you travel by train, you can subscribe to a baggage handling service. Minimum compensation is offered in the event of loss, damage or late delivery (up to around €1,500 per item of baggage if you can prove the value of the damage, and around €330 per item if you cannot prove the value).

However, this compensation is only available if your baggage has been checked in, i.e. the carrier has given you a baggage ticket. Otherwise, your baggage is your responsibility.

Disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility

Access to stations and trains must be provided in a non-discriminatory manner to disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility. They are entitled to special assistance free of charge before, during and after the train journey. The railway company must be informed at least 24 hours in advance as to permit it to take appropriate measures. In the absence of 24 hours advanced notice, the carrier must still endeavor to provide reasonable assistance to enable the disabled person to travel.

To find out about your rights in just a few clicks, use the ECC France digital tool, which answers all your questions about travelling by train and gives you lots of practical advice.

Travel by bus

Since 2013, the European Union Regulation on the rights of passengers travelling by coach (Regulation (EU) No 181/2011) governs the rights of bus and coach passengers.

The regulation is fully applicable if you travel with:

  • a regular service (fixed timetable, fixed route, fixed stops) where the passenger's boarding or alighting takes place on the territory of a Member State
  • and when the planned distance is greater than or equal to 250 km.

Cancellation, delay & overbooking

The term delay applies only in respect of departures and not to arrivals.

In case of delayed departure or cancellation of the journey, the carrier is obliged to inform the passengers as soon as possible and in any event no later than 30 minutes after the scheduled departure time. If passengers miss a connection due to cancellation or delay, the carrier must inform passengers of other available connections.

In case of cancellation or delay of more than 120 minutes or in case of overbooking, the passenger will be immediately offered the choice between:

  • Continuation of the journey or re-routing to the final destination at no extra cost, under comparable conditions and in the shortest possible time.
  • Refund of the ticket within 14 days and, if necessary, free return transportation to the original point of departure as soon as possible.

If the carrier does not offer the passenger the choice of continuing the trip or rerouting to the final destination, the passenger is entitled to compensation equivalent to 50% of the ticket price in addition to the ticket refund.

In addition, if the bus becomes unusable during the trip (i.e. breakdown), the carrier is obliged to offer the passenger to continue the trip in another vehicle (either from the point of breakdown or from a waiting point after having ensured the transportation of passengers between the point of breakdown and the waiting point).

Assistance

In the event of cancellation or departure from a station delayed more than 90 minutes for a trip scheduled to exceed three hours, the carrier will provide the passenger free of charge:

  • Snacks, meals, refreshments in reasonable quantities considering the delay in question;
  • A hotel room (within the limit of 80 € / night and for a maximum of 2 nights) as well as assistance to ensure transportation between the site and the place of accommodation if a stay of one night or more is necessary.

Accident

In the event of an accident, the carrier must provide reasonable and proportionate assistance (first aid, accommodation, food, clothing, transportation, etc.).

The amount of compensation in case of death, bodily injury or damage to luggage is calculated in accordance with national law but is at least 220.000 € per passenger and 1200 € / luggage).

Persons with reduced mobility

Disabled persons or persons with reduced mobility are entitled to transportation at no extra cost.

However, ticketing or boarding may be denied in two cases:

  • to comply with applicable safety requirements
  • when the design of the vehicle or infrastructure does not permit for boarding, disembarking or transportation.

In these cases, it is possible to ask to be accompanied by a person of one's choice who is able to provide the necessary assistance. Thereafter the reasons for refusal of transport mentioned above are no longer valid.

The accompanying person must then be transported free of charge and must, to the extent possible, have a seat next to the disabled person or person with reduced mobility.

If you require assistance at bus stations and on the bus, you must notify the carrier, bus station operator, travel agent or tour operator at least 36 hours prior to the time of required assistance and you must arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure (unless otherwise agreed upon with the carrier).

Carriers are liable for loss or damage to wheelchairs, mobility equipment or assistive devices. In this case, the amount of compensation constitutes the cost of replacing or repairing the equipment.

Filing a complaint

In principle, you should always file your complaint with the carrier who performed or should have performed the transportation service. Indicate the subject of your complaint, your contact details and attach your ticket or reservation number as well as all supporting documents.

Please note: your complaint must be filed within 3 months. Often, bus companies offer the possibility to fill in a complaint form directly on their website or at the ticket office.

The ECC Luxembourg is an economic grouping created by the Luxembourg State and the Union Luxembourgeoise des Consommateurs. It is supported and co-financed by the European Commission.

Help from ECC Luxembourg

If you encounter difficulties with a bus company based in another EU Member State, please contact us.

Travel by Ship

Regulation (EU) No. 1177/2010 applies to travel in or from the European Union, or to the EU if the carrier is established in the territory of an EU Member State.

Exclusions: this regulation does not apply to boats with less than 12 passengers, less than 3 crew members, boats indicative of non-mechanical propulsion, in cases wherein the distance is less than 500 meters, or for excursions or sightseeing tours.

In case of cancellation or delay of more than 90 minutes at departure, the passenger can choose between a refund or re-routing, meals, drinks and accommodation (for a maximum of three nights, not exceeding 80 € per night), as well as compensation of 25% to 50% of the ticket price.

The regulation naturally provides for non-discriminatory treatment and specific free assistance for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility at the embarking locations and on board the vessel and, where appropriate, free transport for their companions.

Finally, concerning the handling of complaints, the regulation provides for a complaints handling procedure established by the carriers, as well as the existence in each Member State of an independent national body (NEB - National Enforcement Body) in charge of enforcing the Regulation and imposing sanctions if necessary (Regulation [EU] No. 1177/2010 concerning the rights of passengers when travelling by sea and inland waterway).

In Luxembourg, is the Ministry of Consumer Protection (passagers@mpc.etat.lu).