Your rights as a rail passenger

Train delayed – train cancelled – connecting train missed. What you are now entitled to.

Your rights and entitlements in detail

  • If your arrival at the destination station is delayed by 60 minutes or more, you will receive compensation of 25% of the price paid for a single ticket
  • If your arrival at the destination station is delayed by 120 minutes or more, you will receive compensation of 50% of the price paid for a single ticket
  • In the case of return tickets, compensation is calculated on the basis of half the ticket price.
  • Passenger rights for rail transport also apply to night travel (e.g. EuroNight).
  • If you are entitled to compensation, you can choose between a voucher or monetary payment.
  • Compensation amounts of less than EUR 4 will not be paid out.
  • Contracts with tour operators where the rail journey does not constitute the main service of the contract are covered by transport contract law. If you have any other queries or complaints that do not relate to rail travel, please contact your tour operator or airline directly, as other legal regulations and entitlements may apply.

Season tickets for local and long-distance transport (e.g. weekly or monthly tickets, regional day tickets, day ticket for Germany) are compensated at a flat rate for delays of 60 minutes or more at the destination station.  

  • Long-distance season tickets: EUR 5 (2nd class), EUR 7.50 (1st class)
  • Local transport season tickets: EUR 1.50 (2nd class), EUR 2.25 (1st class)
  • BahnCard 100: EUR 10 (2nd class), EUR 15 (1st class)

In total, a maximum of 25% of the season ticket value shall be compensated.

You can also combine individual delays of 20 minutes or more and submit them together. The delays to be combined must have occurred within the season ticket's period of validity.

If you have a local transport season ticket, please note that compensation amounts of less than EUR 4 will not be paid out. We therefore recommend submitting compensation claims for delays together.

If you expect to arrive at the destination printed on your ticket at least 20 minutes late, you have the following options:

  • Continue your journey at the next possible opportunity using either the same route or a different one
  • Continue the journey at a later date
  • Use a different train that does not require a reservation

If you have a ticket for use on local transport (RE, RB, IRE, S-Bahn) but want to use a more expensive service (e.g. long-distance train such as an IC/EC or ICE), you must first buy the necessary ticket. You can then have the costs reimbursed via the Passenger Rights Service Centre. This rule does not apply to substantially discounted tickets (e.g. deutschland-ticket, regional day tickets, day ticket for Germany).

If the railway company does not inform you of the options available for your onward journey in the event of a delayed/cancelled train or a missed connection within 100 minutes after the scheduled departure time, you have the right to continue your journey with other railway companies (e.g. Flixtrain, Nightjet), a coach or a regional bus.

Any necessary, appropriate and reasonable costs incurred as a result will be reimbursed to you via the Passenger Rights Service Centre.

The costs of using a taxi, plane or private pick-up service will not be reimbursed in this case.

If the train is expected to arrive at the destination with a delay of at least 60 minutes, you have the following options:

  • Withdraw from the journey and have the full fare refunded
  • Have the unused portion reimbursed if you have only travelled part of the booked route
  • Be reimbursed for the portion already used and the unused portion if you have broken off the journey and returned to the station of departure

If you choose to withdraw from the journey, the refund will be paid exclusively via bank transfer. It is not possible to issue a voucher in this case.

  • If you are scheduled to arrive at the destination station between midnight and 5:00 am and are expected to be delayed by at least 60 minutes

or

  • If your train is cancelled and it is the last scheduled connection of the day, and the destination station can no longer be reached by midnight without using another means of transport

In these cases, you will be reimbursed for the cost of another means of transport up to a maximum of EUR 120 euros*) if the railway company does not provide another means of transport. This only applies if you are unable to contact the railway company for reasons for which it is responsible (contacting the railway company's ticket office, local information point or staff on the train used).

*) This maximum amount does not apply in cases of assistance according to Article 18 (2) (c) and (3) of Regulation (EU) 2021/782.

Please note:

If the railway company provides you with another means of transport, the use of this shall in principle take precedence over an alternative organised by yourself. If you nevertheless use a self-organised alternative, you cannot claim compensation for the costs unless you have made unsuccessful efforts to contact the railway company's ticket office or information point, or staff on the train used.

  • If, due to a cancellation or delay, it is not possible to continue the journey on the same day, or it is not reasonable to continue the journey on the same day, you will be reimbursed for reasonable accommodation costs if the railway company does not provide overnight accommodation.
  • This only applies if you are unable to contact the railway company for reasons for which it is responsible (contacting the railway company's ticket office, local information point or staff on the train used).

The railway company may alternatively provide you with another means of transport if this is cheaper. In this case, you will also be reimbursed for the costs of another means of transport up to a maximum of EUR 120 *) if the railway company does not provide another means of transport. This only applies if you are unable to contact the railway company for reasons for which it is responsible (contacting the railway company's ticket office, local information point or staff on the train used).

*) This maximum amount does not apply in cases of assistance according to Article 20 (2) (c) and (3) of Regulation (EU) 2021/782.

Please note:

If the railway company provides you with overnight accommodation or another means of transport, the use of the latter shall, in principle, take precedence over an alternative organised by yourself. If you nevertheless use a self-organised alternative, you cannot claim compensation for the costs unless you have made unsuccessful efforts to contact the railway company's ticket office or information point, or staff on the train used.

If reserved seats could not be allocated, if allocated seats could not be held ready or if you were unable to use them due to a delay, you are entitled to a refund of the reservation fee paid.

You can request a refund of the reservation fee (informally) at the Passenger Rights Service Centre. Alternatively, please contact a DB sales point (DB Travel Centre or DB agency).

Regulation (EU) 2021/782 states that complaints must be filed within three months of the incident.

However, we at DB will continue to accept and process passenger complaints even after the three-month period has expired. We base our procedure on the previously used 12-month period.

Nevertheless, we ask you to submit your passenger rights claim within the three-month period if possible.

Regulations and entitlements in international rail transport

  • If your arrival at the destination station is delayed by 60 minutes or more, you will receive compensation of 25% of the price paid for a single ticket
  • If your arrival at the destination station is delayed by 120 minutes or more, you will receive compensation of 50% of the price paid for a single ticket

In the case of return tickets, compensation is calculated on the basis of half the ticket price.

For the calculation of the total compensation, reservations, surcharges and supplements belonging to the ticket are added in addition to the ticket, provided they were obligatory and clearly recognisable as belonging to it.

Compensation amounts of less than 4 euros will not be paid out.

Claims for compensation can in principle be addressed to the Passenger Rights Service Centre.

If your cross-border ticket or your ticket for international routes was issued by DB, your claim will be processed directly at the Passenger Rights Service Centre.

If your international ticket or your ticket for international routes was issued by another railway company, that railway company is responsible for processing your claim.

Claims submitted to the Passenger Rights Service Centre when the ticket was not issued by DB will be forwarded by the Passenger Rights Service Centre to the relevant company for further processing. For faster processing, we therefore recommend sending the application directly to the issuing company in this case. You will find a list of contacts and customer service offices of international railway companies in the PDF "International Conditions of Carriage" in annex 1.

These claims are processed at the Passenger Rights Service Centre if a carrier was obliged to provide onward carriage or on-the-spot assistance on a DB route (generally the place where the journey was interrupted). This also affects the ICE trains on their entire route to Brussels and back. In each case, it does not matter whether the ticket was issued by DB or another company.

In all other cases, the Passenger Rights Service Centre will forward the ticket to the carrier who was obliged to provide onward carriage or on-the-spot assistance. They will then process the claim further. The Passenger Rights Service Centre will inform passengers of the forwarding without delay. Alternatively, you can make a claim for reimbursement directly from the international rail company who was obliged to provide onward carriage or on-the-spot assistance.

In the event of cancellation and/or delay of DB trains resulting in a delayed arrival at the destination of at least 60 minutes, the passenger is entitled to compensation.

The following flat rates of compensation apply in the event of delays of at least 60 minutes per case:  

  • EUR 5 for 2nd class passes
  • EUR 7.50 for 1st class passes

In the case of assistance according to Article 20 of Regulation (EU) 2021/782, the passenger is entitled to reimbursement of the costs incurred (e.g. for an overnight stay or an alternative means of transport).

The Passenger Rights Service Centre is responsible for processing and settling claims.

In the event of cancellation and/or delay of trains (or other means of transport of the participating railway and ship transport companies) resulting in a delayed arrival at the destination of at least 60 minutes, holders of an Interrail Pass (Global Pass or One Country Pass) are entitled to compensation.

The amount of compensation depends on the duration of each individual delay, and the price and validity of the respective pass. Details can be found in Eurail's compensation table.

Compensation will only be paid if the amount charged is higher than EUR 4. The maximum amount of compensation is limited to 25% of the pass price.

Global Pass holders can claim compensation for delays or train cancellations conveniently via the Eurail website.

In the case of assistance according to Article 20 of Regulation (EU) 2021/782, the passenger is entitled to reimbursement of the costs incurred (e.g. for an overnight stay or an alternative means of transport). In this case, your request for reimbursement of these costs will be processed directly by the Passenger Rights Service Centre.

Agreement on Journey Continuation in respect of International Passenger Traffic by Rail (AJC)

The Agreement on Journey Continuation (“AJC”) is a sector solution developed by different European railway undertakings to allow international passengers to take the next available train with the same carrier at no extra cost if they miss their connection due to delay or cancellation of the booked train(s).

The railway undertakings involved are: BLS (Switzerland), CD (Czech Republic), CFL (Luxembourg), DB (Germany), DSB (Denmark), MÁV-START (Hungary), NS (Netherlands), ÖBB (Austria), Renfe (Spain), SBB/CFF (Switzerland), SJ (Sweden), SNCB/NMBS (Belgium), SNCF (France), SZ (Slovenia), Trenitalia (Italy), ZSSK (Slovakia).

The AJC agreement is a documented goodwill arrangement. There is no legal entitlement.

If you miss your connecting train on an international journey due to a delay or cancellation of a train, you can use the next available train from the same carrier to continue your journey.

Please first obtain a delay confirmation (the type of confirmation may vary depending on the railway company), which can be issued by the train crew or by the local staff at the station.

Then you should go to the ticket office or other information desk at your connecting station (the station where you should have boarded the missed train). The staff will inform you of your onward travel options, and the conditions that apply to them.

The procedure is the same for all operators who have signed up to the agreement.

The following conditions apply for the application of the AJC compensation scheme:

  • You have separate tickets for international travel. Each of your tickets is a separate contract of carriage
  • You must have allowed sufficient connecting time in your initial booking.

Being able to take the next train without having to buy a new ticket does not guarantee you a seat.

You are travelling from Berlin via Prague to Pilsen and have separate tickets for this journey:

  • an EC ticket issued by DB from Berlin to Prague
  • a regional ticket issued by CD from Prague to Pilsen

The train from Berlin to Prague is unexpectedly delayed so that you miss your connecting train in Prague. You have already received a confirmation of the delay on the EC train. With this confirmation, you contact the staff at the station in Prague. The staff on the spot will check that you had allowed enough time for your connection when choosing your train and will then inform you when the next CD train to Pilsen will leave, which you can then use without further costs.

Further information on the AJC can be found at the bottom of this website

DB Gepäckservice (luggage service)

  • In the event of total or partial loss of or damage to luggage, compensation of an equivalent amount will be paid to the exclusion of all other damages if the amount of damage is proven. This compensation shall not exceed 1,200 units of account (approx. EUR 1,350.00) per item of luggage. Without proof of the amount of damage, a lump sum compensation of 300 units of account (approx. EUR 338.00) will be paid per item of luggage.
  • In the event of delayed luggage delivery, compensation will be paid for each 24-hour period or part thereof following the request for delivery for a maximum of 14 days. In the event of proven damage, compensation of an equivalent amount will be paid, but shall not exceed 14 units of account (approx. EUR 16.00) per piece of luggage delivered late. Without proof of the amount of damage, a lump sum compensation of 2.80 units of account (approx. EUR 3.00) will be paid for each piece of luggage delivered late.
  • The value of a unit of account is based on the current special drawing right (SDR).

Requirements to be able to assert passenger rights

  • You have a valid ticket for the delayed/cancelled journey at the time of the event.
  • There is a right to compensation for entire travel chains, i.e. also from trains of different railway companies if these are used with one ticket. Only delays and cancellations of participating railway companies can be taken into account, however.
  • Each ticket constitutes a separate contract of carriage. The delay compensation is determined separately for each ticket.
  • In the case of return tickets indicated on a ticket, compensation is calculated on the basis of half the fare paid.
  • Passenger rights for rail transport also apply to night travel (e.g. EuroNight).
  • Additional regulations may apply to journeys in transport associations and where regional tariffs apply. If you have a ticket for a transport association, please enquire with the respective transport association about the applicable passenger rights regulations. Underground trains and trams are not covered by the standard passenger rights regulation.
  • Compensation of less than EUR 4 shall not be paid out.