Technical problems, too few staff or strikes: You cannot rely on the punctuality of long-distance trains. In the event of strikes, delays and cancellations, the railways have to pay. But how does the fare refund work?
Although the train is more punctual in the first half of 2020, according to the train definition, a deviation from the timetable is only included in the statistics if it is more than five minutes.
If a train is delayed for more than an hour, rail passengers are entitled to a partial refund of their ticket. However, not all Deutsche Bahn customers still know what they are entitled to in the event of a train delay or a complete failure. The star provides answers to the most important questions.
When is there compensation?
If the delay is more than 60 minutes, the train has to pay. The decisive factor is the difference between the planned and actual arrival time at the destination. This also applies when using several trains from different railway companies and when connecting trains are missed. If, for example, the regional express from Cottbus to Berlin main station to the ICE to Hanover is late and the passenger can only continue their journey an hour later with the next ICE, compensation is due.
What reimbursement amounts can I expect?
Train passengers are entitled to a refund of 25 percent of the fare for a delay of 60 minutes or more, and 50 percent for a delay of 120 minutes or more. The ICE Sprinter surcharge will be reimbursed if the ICE Sprinter is delayed by more than 30 minutes.
Where can I get a confirmation?
The train conductors documented the date and the train number on the ticket when validating it with pliers. Digital tickets are also stored in the system on the smartphone. The conductors and employees at the DB Service Points confirm the delays. Important: Even without this certificate, a refund is now possible. Because the service centers have access to all train travel data, including verifiable delays.
Which form do I need?
The passenger rights form. On the two-sided DIN A4 paper, the customer enters which ticket he used, the planned and actual journey and the desired type of reimbursement. The form is available from the conductor and the travel center. The completed form must be handed in at the travel center along with the original ticket or copy of the season ticket. It can also be sent by post to the Passenger Rights Service Center in 60647 Frankfurt am Main. The passenger rights form can also be accessed online and must be printed out and filled out.
Does the refund also work without cash?
There are three options for reimbursement: cash at the counter, transfer to the specified bank account or in the form of a voucher that is valid for one year. The latter can be redeemed when buying the next ticket at the counter, at the machine or on the Internet.
What exceptions are there?
There is a minimum limit of four euros. If the compensation is lower, nothing will be refunded. Deutsche Bahn accepts no liability in cases for which it is not responsible, such as personal injury (suicide) on the route or if the passenger is at fault.
In contrast to air travelers, rail customers are also entitled to compensation or reimbursement of costs in the event of a strike.
Is there also a refund in case of bad weather?
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided in 2013 that passenger rights also apply in the event of unpredictable weather. If, for example, a storm affects rail traffic, there is still compensation in the event of delays.
Do season ticket holders also get a refund?
For this group of people, Deutsche Bahn has set lump sums as compensation. For a delay of 60 minutes, local transport season ticket holders receive a credit of 1.50 euros. So you have to claim at least three such delays in order to skip the de minimis limit of four euros. Holders of long-distance travel season tickets and the Bahncard 100 receive five euros for every 60-minute delay.
By what deadline do I have to submit my application?
The rail customer has up to one year after the expiry of his ticket to register his passenger rights form.
Can I also submit a taxi receipt?
If the train arrives at its destination between midnight and 5 a.m. according to the timetable and a delay of 60 minutes is expected, travelers can use the bus or taxi instead. A taxi receipt will be reimbursed up to a maximum of 80 euros.
Will a hotel bill be reimbursed as well?
If the train journey cannot be continued due to a delay with the last scheduled connection of the day, “reasonable accommodation costs” for a hotel will be reimbursed.
Is there a refund if I don’t go on a train journey?
If a delay of more than 60 minutes becomes apparent before the start of the journey, the passenger can withdraw from his journey and have the full fare refunded – if a section of the journey is used, the unused portion.
In the event of delays, can I take an ICE train instead of the regional express?
If a train delay of at least 20 minutes is announced, travelers are allowed to change to a higher-quality train that does not require a reservation. In practice, however, the system is complicated: “Customers with a local transport ticket must first have a valid long-distance ticket or the product transition” – e.g. B. from the Regional Express to the ICE – pay, says the train. The customer can then have the difference refunded. The regulation does not apply to “significantly reduced tickets”, such as the Schönen-Wochenende or Länder-Ticket.
Who can I contact if my application has been rejected?
In the event of complaints about decisions made by the Passenger Rights Service Center, you can contact the arbitration board for public transport (söp). The address: Fasanenstrasse 81, 10623 Berlin. Tel. 030 – 6 44 99 330, email: kontakt(at)soep-online.de
Where can I find more information on the internet?
Deutsche Bahn passenger pages: www.bahn.de/fahrgastrechte Bahn passenger rights form: to the online form Arbitration Board for Public Transport e.V.: www.soep-online.de
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