Train passengers in Germany should receive more money back for delays: EP vote

Train passengers in Germany should receive more money back for delays: EP vote
Train delays in Stuttgart. Photo: DPA
Rail travellers should receive greater compensation for train delays, the European Parliament decided on Thursday in a vote about upgrading rail passenger rights.

Through the proposed changes, which would likely come into effect in 2020, rail travellers will be reimbursed half of the ticket price for delays of more than an hour.

For delays of one-and-a-half-hours, three-quarters of the ticket price would have to be refunded, and for delays of more than two hours, the whole price. 

If passengers miss a connecting train, they would also be entitled to a seat on the next train at no additional cost.

Until now, rail travellers in Germany have been entitled to a maximum reimbursement of half of the ticket price.

SEE ALSO: Deutsche Bahn raising prices, adding new routes

The EU parliament is still negotiating the final wording of the new rules, which also include better access for people with bicycles and free disability assistance on trains. 

Before the vote, the European Consumer’s Association stated that passenger rights would be improved if parliament votes for higher compensation.

“It’s only fair that consumers are appropriately compensated if their train is delayed or cancelled, as such traffic disruption affects people’s plans,” stated the General Secretary of the Association, Monique Goyens.

Yet inside the EU parliament, the question of whether rail companies should still be exempt from paying compensation for circumstances such as seriously adverse weather or terrorist attacks remains controversial.

While about one-forth of Deutsche Bahn trains in Germany were delayed by at least five minutes in 2017, 140,000 trains (or 1 percent) never made it to their destinations at all due to technical failure

SEE ALSO: Everything you need to know about travelling by train in Germany


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