In the case of train cancellations and delays, railway companies in the EU no longer have to pay compensation if extraordinary circumstances are the reason. This emerges from the new EU regulation "on the rights and obligations of passengers in rail transport", which came into force on Wednesday.
Until now, passengers have been able to request a refund of 25 percent of the ticket price for delays of more than one hour and 50 percent for delays of two hours or more. With the adjustment, there are now scenarios in which the right to compensation no longer applies. Among other things, in future there will no longer be any compensation for cable theft, emergencies on the train or people on the track, said DB Marketing Director Stefanie Berk recently.
"Ordinary storms are explicitly excluded," said Berk. In the event of extraordinary natural events such as the flood of the century in the Ahr Valley in summer 2021, they want to continue to make accommodating regulations in the future.
Other changes will also come into effect: If extraordinary circumstances are the cause of the train cancellations, the railway company can in future limit hotel accommodation to a maximum of three nights, according to Article 20 of the regulation.
In addition, if a delay of more than an hour is foreseeable, passengers can also rebook on the train of another provider. In order for compensation to be valid, the application must be submitted within three months instead of the previous one year.