A new EU law on coach passengers’ rights will come into effect in 2013. The rules cover all long-distance scheduled passenger services, whether national or crossing borders.
Compensation can be as much as half of the purchase price as well as a full refund of the ticket, if an operator cancels a service or somehow cannot honour the transport contract, after a departure is delayed by at least two hours.
The law package includes the provision of information before and during a journey and the needs of people with disabilities or reduced mobility.
A more than 90 minute delay will entitle passengers to snacks and refreshments. If a trip is interrupted forcing passengers to make an unforeseen extended pause part-way, the operator has to pay for hotel accommodations.
The rules will not apply where natural disasters or unsafe weather causes problems; but the operator is liable in the case of death or injury from accident.
Lost or damaged luggage entails compensation under the law as well.