On June 7, 2023, the new EU Rail Passenger Rights came into effect with the aim of providing enhanced rights to you as a railway passenger in instances such as delayed and cancelled journeys or missed connections.
You can find a summary below of your key rights. To view the official summary of the EU Rail Passenger Rights in other available languages, please click here.
Key Points of the EU Rail Passenger Rights:
- Basic principles and scope
- Through-Ticket and Connected Journey
- Your information rights
- Your rights in case of disruptions
- Rights for persons with disabilities or reduced mobility (PRM)
- Transporting bicycles
Under the EU Rail Passenger Rights, you have a right to transport and assistance, which means that EU train operators must guarantee the following:
- Possibility to book train tickets and seat reservation in compliance with the non-discrimination principle.
- Assistance as well as accessibility services for persons with reduced mobility (PRM) or with disabilities.
- Minimum level of insurance required for a train operator.
- Compensation in case of disruptions according to what the law states.
As a principle, the rights outlined in the EU Rail Passenger Rights apply to all rail services across the EU territory. However, certain exemptions may be granted by the EU Member States (e.g. EU Member States may choose to exclude certain types of rail services from the scope of the EU Rail Passenger Rights, such as domestic rail services, urban, suburban and regional services, and rail services of which a significant part is operated outside the European Union). In case an exemption applies, you might not have the same level of protection and compensation as you would elsewhere in the EU, but your possible compensation options under your local rights remain.
For long-distance journeys across the EU, the railway journey proposed may have one or several connections. In such cases, you can buy different types of tickets:
- Through-Ticket: A single transport contract for a rail journey fully operated by the same EU train operator, regardless of the number of connections during the journey. The same EU train operator can include different train operating companies if (i) these train operating companies are wholly owned by one of the train operating companies involved in the journey or (ii) have the same owner. For example, if (i) train operating company A owns 100% of train operating companies B and C, then A, B and C constitute the same EU train operator. Or if (ii) train operating companies X, Y and Z are each 100% owned by the same legal entity (e.g. the State), then X, Y and Z constitute the same EU train operator. EU train operators are obliged to offer you a Through-Ticket for any long-distance route they are fully operating. When you purchase a Through Ticket, you should receive one ticket for the complete journey, and your connections for that journey should be guaranteed by the EU train operator.
- Connected Journeys: Omio also offers alternatives where it connects different EU train operators to get you from A to B. In such cases, you will receive at least two separate tickets (or more, depending on the number of connections between the different EU train operators), and each ticket constitutes a separate transport contract with the respective EU train operator. In case of disruption during the journey, the connection between the different tickets may not be guaranteed by Omio, provided Omio has informed you of this prior to the purchase. Any claims in case of disruption will need to be submitted separately per transport contract with the respective EU train operators.
Omio will inform you if you are purchasing a Connected Journey before you finalise your booking, and after with the booking confirmation.
You can request to Omio’s Customer Support team via the Help Center the minimum travel information essential for you to book your train ticket and/or to undertake your journey, which includes, amongst other things:
- Ticket fare conditions, including seat availability and ticket classes.
- Bicycle transport.
- Fastest and cheapest journey options.
- Disruption and delays.
- Procedure for complaints and lost luggage.
- Accessibility and access conditions at the station and onboard facilities for persons with reduced mobility (PRM).
In addition, EU train operators must provide you with real-time travel information during the journeys. Where Omio has access to this information, Omio will also provide live updates concerning your journey, such as actual departure and arrival time at the stations you are going to, including delays and cancellations etc.
As a general rule, EU train operators must inform you of disruptions in your journey (delays or cancellations) as soon as the information is available.
Delays: If you are informed, at departure or in case of a missed connection or a cancellation, that your train will arrive at your final destination (as indicated on your ticket) with a delay of 60 minutes or more, the EU train operator must offer you the choice between:
- Request a refund to the EU train operator for your ticket. In case of a Through-Ticket, you may request a refund for the affected part(s) of the journey as well as for the part(s) of the journey already made if the journey is no longer serving any purpose in relation to your original travel plan. You may also request a return service to the first station of departure, where relevant. Please note that if you purchased a Connected Journey composed of separate tickets and Omio has informed you of this, you must submit your claim(s) for reimbursement separately per transport contract with the respective EU train operators.
- Continue your journey under comparable transport conditions to reach your final destination as indicated on your ticket at the earliest opportunity, or at a later date of your choosing, and in any case at no additional cost:
- In case you choose this option, you have a right to request the EU train operator of the disrupted part of your journey to re-route yourself to another transport service, which would enable you to reach your final destination indicated on your ticket under comparable conditions. The EU train operator may refuse within the first 100 minutes from the scheduled departure time of the delayed or cancelled part of your journey, provided it is able to offer you a re-routing option under comparable transport conditions to reach your final destination as indicated on your ticket at the earliest convenience within the 100 minutes frame. Beyond this timeframe, you no longer need the EU train operator’s consent and the EU train operator will have to reimburse the costs incurred for the re-routing, provided these are “reasonable, appropriate and necessary”.
You are also entitled to assistance proportionate to your waiting time (e.g. meals and refreshments, right to accommodation if necessary (e.g. overnight delay) etc.)
Minimum compensation: In case you decide to continue your journey despite a delay, you’re entitled to a minimum compensation as below:
- 25% of the value of the part of the journey affected by the delay, as stated on your ticket, for a delay between 60 and 119 minutes included;
- 50% of the value of the part of the journey affected by the delay, as stated on your ticket, for a delay of 120 minutes or more.
Any reimbursement shall be done by the EU train operator within 30 days of your claim.
EU train operators and station managers must ensure PRMs enjoy the same right to transport and assistance as everyone else. Amongst other things, EU train operators must ensure that:
- Train tickets are offered to PRMs at no additional cost.
- Access to railway stations and onboard services are adjusted for PRM needs (e.g seat space for wheelchairs).
- PRM are provided, upon their request, with information on the accessibility to the station and train services as well as assistance for on- and offboarding, amongst other things.
- Compensate PRMs for any loss or damage the EU train operator may cause to mobility equipment or any other specific equipment used by PRMs.
In case you require assistance at the railway station and/or onboard the train for yourself or for your travel companion, please note that you must request this assistance at least 24 hours before it’s needed directly to the EU train operator.
You can find more information on how to request assistance here.
EU train operators have to provide dedicated spaces for bicycles. Depending on the EU train operator, you may be required to purchase a specific fare to reserve a space for your bicycle before travelling.
You can check the different policies and how to book a specific fare for your bicycle before booking your journey here.