A new European regulation on the rights and obligations of rail passengers entered into force on 7 June. Here are the main new features identified by the European Consumer Center (CEC) France. Good to know: rail operators are always free to apply different or even more generous conditions such as the SNCF G30 guarantee.
End of delay compensation in exceptional circumstances
If your train arrives more than one hour late at the destination station, you can request a compensation of 25% of the price ticket, and even 50% if the delay is more than two hours. Until then, the cause of the delay played no role.
As of June 7, if the train delay is due to exceptional circumstancesi.e. situations completely independent of the railway undertaking, such as extreme weather conditions or a person on the tracks, you do not have no longer entitled to this compensation.
Good to know: other rights are maintained. If you miss your connection because of a train delay due to bad weather or a suicide on the tracks, you can always demand pursuit of journey by another means of transport or refund of your ticket.
Hotel accommodation limited in case of train delay
In the event of a delay of more than one hour or cancellation of a train, you are entitled to assistance. The railway company is obliged to provide you with meals, drinks and hotel accommodation if your train does not depart the same evening.
From June 7, in case of cancellation or delay due to exceptional circumstanceshotel accommodation, paid for by the carrier, may be limited to 3 nights max.
Change of reservations at the expense of the railway company
In case of train cancellationyou have the choice between refunding the ticket or continuing your journey.
From June 7, to enable you to continue your journey, the railway company will be able to travel on another carrier’s train.
If you have no offer within 100 minutes of the scheduled departure time or the missed connection, you can organize your trip yourself, by bus or train. The costs incurred may then be claimed from the railway undertaking.
Missed connections better compensated
If you buy transfer tickets at a same seller, or on an online platform or with a travel agencyand you miss a connection because of a problem with the train, European regulations provide that the seller must to reimburse THE total price of the journey, and you pay in addition, 75% of the ticket price as compensation.
However, if the seller informs you at the time of booking that the reserved tickets are separate transport contracts, the 75% penalty will not be due.
A digital tool to inform passengers of their rights
To know your rights in the event of a train delay or a problem with your luggage, CEC France has created a free tool to be found on his website: europe-consumers.eu
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