While a lot has been made of the rights of passengers in air travel, less is known about the situation for those undertaking coach journeys across Europe.
In this edition of Utalk Mark in London asks: “I am planning to travel through Europe by coach. Do I have any rights as a coach passenger?”
Jimena Gómez de la Flor, a senior communications officer with Europe Direct responds: “Well, yes you do of course! The EU law grants you certain rights as a bus or coach passenger.
“First of all (when buying a bus or coach ticket) you cannot be charged a higher price because of your nationality or where you are buying the ticket from.
“And then your other rights apply to regular long-distance bus and coach services – so more than 250 km – and to trips that start or finish or both in an EU country.
“Your first right in this case is to be informed all the time if your trip is delayed or cancelled, you’ve the right to be informed all the time about what is happening while you are waiting.
“Then you have the right to have a choice. If your trip is delayed for more than 2 hours, you have to be given the choice: – to continue waiting if you want – or just decide that your trip is not worth it anymore so you can have the refund of your ticket and even a free way back to your original point of departure.
“If you are not given this choice, you can also complain later and have not only a refund for the ticket but also a compensation worth 50% of the ticket price.
“Then you also have the right to assistance if your trip was scheduled to last more than 3 hours and departure is delayed by more than 90 minutes or cancelled, you have the right to be provided with refreshments, meals, whatever is necessary while waiting, and even accommodation if you have to stay for the nigh which will be a maximum of 2 nights and 80 euros per night. But you have to take into account that the company is not obliged to provide accommodation when the reason for the cancellation or the delay is caused by natural disasters or severe weather conditions.
“On the other hand, you also have always the right to complain if you think that your rights have not been respected by the company within 3 months (of the date on which the event happened). Then the company has the obligation to answer you within one month to acknowledge that they have received your complain and then they must give you a final answer within 3 months.
“If you are still not satisfied with this answer, you can always contact the national enforcement body in the Member State of departure of this bus or coach trip.”
For more information about the EU, call 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or check out the website: http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens
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