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You made travel plans before the out-break of the coronavirus and your reservations have now been cancelled? Let us show you your options. 

EU Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said:

“In light of the mass cancellations and delays passengers and transport operators face due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission wants to provide legal certainty on how to apply EU passenger rights. In case of cancellations the transport provider must reimburse or re-route the passengers. If passengers themselves decide to cancel their journeys, reimbursement of the ticket depends on its type, and companies may offer vouchers for subsequent use. Today’s guidelines will provide much-needed legal certainty on how to apply EU passenger rights in a coordinated manner across our Union. We continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation, and, if need be, further steps will be taken.”

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Air Passenger Rights

If you have been scheduled to travel through Europe with an aeroplane, but due to the recent events your flight has been cancelled, the EU guarantees you some fundamental rights as an air passenger. Note that some of your rights depend on the airline.

Right to reimbursement or re-routing.

If the airline cancels your flight, no matter what the reason is, they should offer you the following choices:

  • reimbursement (refund),
  • re-routing at the earliest opportunity, or
  • re-routing at a later date at the passenger’s convenience.

Right to care.

All passengers who are affected by a flight cancellation have the right to care, free of charge which must be offered by the operating air carrier. Herein included are meals and refreshments in a reasonable relation to the waiting time; hotel accommodation if necessary, and transport to the place of accommodation.

Right to compensation.

Travellers whose trips are cancelled due to ‘extraordinary circumstances’ that could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken are not entitled to fixed sum compensations.

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Rail Passenger Rights

Right to be informed.

Before train passengers buy a ticket, ticket sellers must provide passengers, upon request, with pre-journey information. This includes information on any activities that have a high chance to disrupt or delay services. Similar information should be provided to passengers during the journey as well.

Right to reimbursement or continuation of the journey /re-routing.

If a train is expected to get to its final destination about 60 minutes later than the time set, passengers have the choice between reimbursement of the ticket price or to continue the journey or re-routing.

Right to assistance.

If a train is delayed and arrives at its destination 60 minutes later than its schedule, passengers have the right to require meals and refreshments within reasonable limits. In addition, when a stay of one or more nights becomes necessary where and when physically possible, the carrier is obliged to offer accommodation as well.

Right to compensation.

In case passengers have not asked for reimbursement but rather for the continuation of the journey or re-routing, passengers also have the right to compensation.

25% of the ticket price should be compensated in case the train is delayed 60 to 119 minutes. Whereas, 50% of the ticket price will be compensated for delays of 120 minutes and more.

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Bus Passenger Rights

Right to be informed.

Those travelling by bus are entitled to adequate information throughout their travel, which must be ensured by carriers and bodies that manage terminals.

Right to the continuation of the journey /rerouting or reimbursement.

In case the departure of a carrier from a terminal is set to be cancelled or delayed for more than 120 minutes, passengers have the right to choose between continuation or re-routing to the final destination at no additional cost to the full ticket price.

Right to assistance.

In case the departure of a long-distance service with a scheduled duration of more than 3 hours is cancelled or delayed for more than 90 minutes, passengers are entitled to meals or refreshments, in reasonable relation to the waiting time.

Right to compensation.

In the case of bus services, the passenger has a right to a compensation of 50 % of the ticket price in case the service is cancelled. This compensation is available only if the carrier fails to offer the passenger the choice between reimbursement and rerouting.

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