Compensation when a bus or coach journey is delayed or cancelled
If your bus or coach journey is not as promised, you can claim compensation from the carrier. If the departure of a service with a scheduled distance of 250 km or more is cancelled or delayed by more than two hours, you can choose between re-routing or cancelling your journey.
Compensation for a defect in a bus or coach journey
If your journey is delayed or cancelled, or the service does not correspond to what was promised in other respects, you can claim compensation from the carrier. For example:
- You can demand a reduction in the ticket price that is proportionate to the defect when there is an essential delay in the service.
- You may claim reimbursement of the ticket price if the carrier cancels the service you bought a ticket for.
- Refunds for unused tickets printed on paper or loaded onto a travel card are paid as set out in the terms and conditions of the carrier in question.
As carriers’ travel conditions vary, always first find out what are you entitled to under these terms and conditions.
Right to cancellation or re-routing of the journey
The right to cancellation of a journey or its re-routing are valid in regular services within the EU territory if the distance of the service is 250 kilometres or more.
Where a carrier expects a regular service to be cancelled or delayed in departure from a terminal for more than 120 minutes or in the case of overbooking, the passenger must immediately be offered the choice between:
- re-routing to the final destination at no additional cost at the earliest opportunity, or
- cancellation of the journey and reimbursement. In addition, you are entitled to ask for a return service by bus or coach to your first point of departure at the earliest opportunity.
You can demand reimbursement of the part or parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts already made if the journey no longer serves any purpose in relation to your original travel plan. In addition, you have the right to demand a return service to your first point of departure, as set out on your ticket, at the earliest opportunity.
In case of season passes and similar, the payment must be equal to its proportional part of the full cost of the pass or ticket. You have the right to demand reimbursement for the price of the ticket within 14 days after your request has been received. The reimbursement must be paid in money, unless you accept another form of reimbursement.
If the carrier fails to offer you the choice between re-routing and reimbursement, you have the right to compensation amounting to 50 % of the ticket price, in addition to the reimbursement. The carrier must pay this sum within 1 month.
In case of a chartered bus service included in package holiday, the organizer is liable for any delay or cancellation in compliance with the legislation on package travel and the general terms and conditions for package travel.
If the carrier denies your claims
If your bus or coach journey was not as agreed, you can file a complaint with the carrier. You should do this as soon as possible. If your complaint to the carrier does not produce results, you can file a complaint with an authority.
Validity of your rights
Your rights are based on the EU Regulation concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport. They apply across the EU territory to passengers travelling with regular services where the boarding or the alighting point of the passengers is situated in the territory of a Member State.