Train Tickets Refund in Germany

Train Tickets Refund in Germany

Multitudes of train passengers in Germany seek compensation for train tickets. Why? The ongoing strikes by workers.

The month of march seems to have many strikes in store, and with that- train delays. Many local & long-distance trains are being delayed or canceled due to national labor protests. Deutsche Bahn employees are protesting low wages. The railway company’s workers are being worked with unfair compensation and have taken to strikes.    

If you are a passenger, you are bound to face issues. Not knowing your rights would be detrimental in this case, so here we are to help you. If you have any doubts, read ahead. 

Ticket Refund: Time & Compensation 

The EU Passenger Regulation states that even during a strike, travelers who are directly impacted by a major delay or cancellation of a train, are entitled to compensation. If the passenger is one hour late, they are entitled to a 25% refund. If two hours late, the railway company is only liable to return 50% of the amount. The refund can be received either by fare payment or a voucher.  

Passengers can board a different train if the anticipated delay at the destination station is 20 minutes or more. When reservations are not required, higher-quality trains can also be utilized. Even though you might have to pay for an extra ticket or surcharge, you can later claim these expenses from the railroad operator. 

Delayed time is always calculated by arrival time. You are entitled to compensation, for instance, if your first train is ten minutes late and arrives at your destination an hour later, causing you to miss a connecting train. 

Passengers have the right to cancel their journey and ask for a full refund if it is known before departure that the train will arrive at its destination at least one hour later than scheduled. This also holds true for missing connections or canceled trains. 

Passengers who are already onboard and decide to break off will also receive refunds. Returning to the departure point will even result in a refund of the full price. You will even receive a complete refund if you return to the terminal. 

Ticket Refund Procedure

Deutsche Bahn says to confirm delays through the employees. The customer help center also suggests taking screenshots from the company’s app or website or taking pictures of display boards that reveal delayed or canceled trains. 

The ticket and the completed passenger rights form must also be presented when making a claim for reimbursement. On the delayed train, at the railroad travel center, or online for download, the form is readily available. The paperwork must be mailed to the railroad or turned in to the travel agency. 

Digital refunds are also an option. If tickets were purchased online, compensation can be claimed via the Bahn app or the customer’s own account at bahn.de. All refunds must be claimed within one year of ticket validity.

Substitute Transportation

In case a passenger is stranded at a station in the evening, they are entitled to a substitute mode of transport. In worst-case scenarios, accommodation & a meal is also provided. 

Deutsche Bahn has been organizing and issuing vouchers for shared trips by taxi and bus. If this is not possible, passengers can arrange their own taxis. The reimbursement costs in this case are capped at €80. 

However, fares can only be refunded if the train is scheduled to arrive between midnight and 5 am. The expected delay at the destination station is at least one hour. Passengers also need to ensure that their destination station can be reached by midnight by alternative means of transportation. 

Unable to Get to Workplaces  

Those who wish to work from home or take short breaks due to the strike should discuss this with their employers as soon as possible. Those who do not work are not entitled to wages. This also applies if you are late for work due to a strike.

In Germany, the so-called travel risk is always borne by employees, whether it is snow, storms, or strikes. Unfortunately, unless your employment or collective bargaining agreement stipulates otherwise, you have no legal right to make up time off from work. 

The strikes in Germany are sure to continue throughout this month. The daily life of citizens is invariably affected. It is advised that people consider their travel options before stepping out of their homes.

Read More:

Immigrants Run High in Germany

Public Transport Workers to Strike on March 3

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