Passengers guaranteed refunds for late trains

Passengers guaranteed refunds for late trains
Photo: DPA
Passengers forced to wait for delayed trains in Germany must now be compensated after the Bundestag, or the lower house of parliament, passed new legislation on Friday.

According to parliamentary liaison to the Justice Ministry Alfred Hartenbach, the new law strengthens the rights of train passengers “without losing sight of the balance between the financial capacity and a secure ability to compete within the market for the rail companies.”

In cases of delays longer than one hour, rail service providers will now be required to provide a partial refund, alternative transportation or a hotel room in cases of extreme delay.

Meanwhile delays of at least one hour mean the train company must refund 25 percent of the passenger’s ticket – in addition to providing refreshments. In this case customers also have the right to cancel their trip and demand a full refund or later booking.

Delays of an hour or more with local train stretches entitle customers to claim taxi fare of up to €80.

Delays longer than two hours will cost companies a 50 percent refund.

Train companies will be allowed to deny claims under €4 and anything that can be blamed on customer error or unavoidable circumstances.

The law must still be approved by the Bundesrat, or the upper house of parliament.

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