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Frequently Asked Questions about Bus, Ferry and Rail Travel
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Protection for Bus and Coach Passengers – Regulation 181/2011/EU

If I travel by bus, do I have similar rights to airline passengers?

Yes. From March 2013, bus and coach travellers throughout the EU have rights similar to airline passengers. However, application of the Regulation is limited in Ireland since many of the rights provided under the Regulation take effect only if the journey is in excess of 250km.

Regulation (EU) No 181/2011 sets out travellers' basic rights, and imposes a number of obligations on bus and coach companies and terminal managers concerning their responsibility towards passengers. The new rights include:

  • non-discrimination based on nationality regarding tariffs and other contract conditions;
  • non-discriminatory treatment for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility. Specifically, free of charge assistance both at designated bus terminals and on board buses and coaches, as well as financial compensation for loss of or damage to mobility equipment;
  • adequate and accessible information for all passengers before and during their journey, as well as general information in bus terminals and on the internet about their rights;
  • reimbursement of the full ticket price or rerouting in case of overbooking, cancellation or delay of more than 2 hours from the estimated time of departure (only applicable for journeys of more than 250 km distance);
  • compensation of 50% of the ticket price in addition to reimbursement of the full price in case of overbooking, cancellation or a delay of more than 2 hours from the estimated time of departure, when the bus and coach company fails to offer the passenger the right to choose between reimbursement and rerouting (only applicable for journeys of more than 250 km distance);
  • adequate assistance (snacks, meals, refreshments, as well as, if necessary, accommodation) in case of cancellation or delay of more than 90 minutes for journeys longer than 3 hours (only applicable for journeys of more than 250 km distance);
  • compensation for death, injury, loss or damage to luggage caused by road accidents;
  • a complaint handling mechanism established by the bus and coach companies and available to all passengers;
  • establishment of independent bodies in each EU Member State with the mandate to enforce the Regulation and, where appropriate, to impose penalties.

For further information on your rights as a bus passenger in the EU, go to - http://ec.europa.eu/transport/passenger-rights/index.html

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Protection for Ferry Passengers – Regulation 1177/2010/EU

If I travel by ferry, do I have similar rights to airline passengers?

In late 2012, Regulation 1177/2010 came into effect to protect passengers when travelling by sea and inland water-way were introduced through the operation of a set of minimum rights in the European Union. From 31st December 2012, passengers travelling by sea and inland waterways in the EU, and in particular disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility, will benefit from similar rights to those passengers travelling by air or by train. These new rights include:

  • adequate and accessible information for all passengers before and during their journey, as well as general information about their rights in terminals and on board ships;
  • adequate assistance such as snacks, meals, refreshments and, where necessary, accommodation up to three nights, with a financial coverage up to €80 per night in case of cancellation or delay at departure of more than 90 minutes;
  • guaranteed choice between reimbursement or re-routing in case of cancellation or delay at departure of more than 90 minutes;
  • compensation, between 25% and 50% of the ticket price, in situations of delay at arrival;
  • non-discriminatory treatment and specific, free-of-charge, assistance for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility, both at port terminals and on board ships, as well as financial compensation for loss of or damage to their mobility equipment;
  • mechanisms to handle passenger complaints to be put in place by carriers and terminal operators;
  • appointment of independent national bodies in charge of enforcing the regulation, where appropriate, through the application of penalties.

In addition, passengers involved in an accident when travelling by sea will have the following rights under EU law:

  • financial compensation in case of death, personal injury, and loss of or damage to luggage, vehicles, and mobility or other special equipment;
  • advance payment (within 15 days) to cover immediate economic needs in case of death or personal injury;
  • direct recourse against the carrier's insurance provider in case of death or personal injury;
  • right to receive appropriate and comprehensible information regarding the above rights prior to or, at the latest, upon departure.

For more information go to: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/passenger-rights/index.html

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Protection for Rail Passengers – Regulation 1371/2007/ECl

If I travel by rail, do I have similar rights to airline passengers?

Irish domestic rail travel is largely exempt from EC Regulation 1371/2007 which provides protection for rail passengers. However, passengers on domestic rail services in Ireland benefit from the following measures in the Regulation requiring rail operators to:

  • make it easy for rail passengers to buy tickets either at ticket offices or selling machines, by telephone, the Internet or any other widely available information technology; or on board trains. (Article 9 )
  • compensate passengers where the operator is liable for the loss of luggage (Article 11)
  • have adequate insurance (Article 12)
  • ensure non-discriminatory access for persons with disabilities or reduced mobility relating to rail transport including stations, ticket reservations and ticket purchases, and at no additional cost to the passenger (Article 19)
  • provide information on the accessibility of rail services to persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility (Article 20(1))
  • ensure passengers’ personal security in railway stations and on trains (Article 26)
  • compensate passengers in the event of death or injury (Article 13).

In addition to the rights afforded to passengers on domestic services under the Regulation, passengers on international rail services also benefit from measures requiring:

  • railway operators and ticket agents to provide passengers with travel information (Article 8 )
  • railway operators to make advance payments to cover immediate costs of death or injury associated with use of the rail service (Article 13)
  • compensation in the event of delays, cancellations or missed connections (Article 17)
  • minimum compensation amounts of 25% of the ticket price for delays between one to two hours, and up to 50% of the ticket price for delays of two hours and more provided the compensation to be paid is greater than €4
  • assistance for passengers (including refreshments, accommodation and alternative travel arrangements where necessary) in the event of delays exceeding 60 minutes (Article 18)
  • railway operators to provide assistance, free of charge, to disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility at railway stations and on board trains (Articles 22 & 23) subject to certain conditions (e.g. requirement to give advance notice to railway operators) (Article 24)
  • railway operators to set up a complaint handling mechanism for the rights and obligations covered by Regulation 1371/2007 (Article 27)
  • railway operators to define service quality standards and to implement and monitor an associated quality management system (Article 28).

For more information go to: http://www.nationaltransport.ie/public-transport-services/passenger-rights/ and http://ec.europa.eu/transport/passenger-rights/index.html

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Last update: 09/04/2013  |Top