A new European regulation on the rights and obligations of rail passengers will apply from tomorrow, 7 June. Compensation and accommodation rights in the event of train delays or cancellations are changing on paper, but what about in reality?
A new European regulation will be applied from Wednesday 7 June concerning the compensation policy in the event of train delays or accommodation in the event of cancellation for long-distance or cross-border trains.
Now, if the delay of the train is due to exceptional circumstances (extreme weather conditions or the presence of a person on the tracks, suicide, etc.) therefore completely independent of the railway undertaking, the passenger no longer entitled to any compensation. Until today, the cause of the delay played no role. If your train arrived more than an hour late, you had right to compensation of 25% of the ticket price or 50% for a delay of more than two hours.
No change the SNCF
But do not panic. Contacted by Moneyvox, the SCNF assured that it will continue to compensate travelers as today, including for exceptional causes external to SNCF: there has been no change in the matter with us with this new regulation. We already apply compensation for 30 minutes late and will continue to do so, while the European regulations oblige us to do so from 60 minutes. This regulation, which is much less advantageous for travellers, will therefore have no impact.
Today, in the event of delay on the national TGV Inoui or the Intercits, the SNCF grants 25% compensation in the form of a voucher for a delay of between 30 minutes and one hour. Beyond and up to two hours late, compensation of 25% is granted in a voucher or a bank transfer according to your choice. The compensation increases to 50% beyond two hours of delay, and even 75% beyond.
The new European regulation also stipulates that the other rights are maintained. If the traveler misses their connection due to a train delay (regardless of the reason), they can still demand to continue his journey by another means of transport or to be reimbursed.
On the other hand, if a delay or a cancellation forced you to wait until the following day or the following day to take another train, the accommodation was up to now taken care of by the company. And this, no matter how tough. from June 7, this support can be limit 3 nights maximum. Such a limitation did not exist before. But in fact, it is very rare to be stuck in a station for more than 3 days, underlines Camille Bertrand, senior lawyer at the Center Europen des Consommateurs France (CEC).
New in the event of a train cancellation
In the event of a train cancellation, you have the choice between refunding the ticket or continuing your journey. From today, the railway company will be able to make you travel on the train of another carrier to allow you to continue your journey. And if you don’t have an offer within 100 minutes of the scheduled departure time or the connection is missing, you can organize your trip yourself, by bus or train. The costs incurred may then be claimed from the railway company indicated by Camille Bertrand.
Better compensation in case of missing match
The only notable change for cross-border travel: possible compensation regardless of the seller of your tickets. If you buy your tickets via the same seller, an online platform or a travel agency but you miss your connection to Nantes Munich, for example, you will be compensated. Seller will have to reimburse you the total price of the trip, and 75% in addition to the price of the ticket for compensation.
Please note, 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, explains Camille Bertrand, lawyer at the Center Europen des Consommateurs France (CEC), in a press release. .
Contact by Moneyvox, CEC France has made it clear that railway companies, tour operators or ticket sellers can offer contractual terms that are more favorable to the traveler than those set out in these regulations.