In this edition of U-talk, Ioannis, who is from Athens asks: “I am planning to travel through several EU countries this summer, mostly by coach and ship. I already know about the EU’s passenger rights for air and rail travel, but is there any protection for people using other modes of transport?”
Ruth Lopian is Policy Officer at the Passenger Rights Unit, Directorate General for Mobility and Transport at the European Commission. This is her answer:
“Yes indeed, there is. As of this summer, Passenger rights’ regulations will be extended to protect the rights of people travelling within the EU by rail, ship and long distance bus and coach.
You have some general rights, for example: access for people with disabilities, protection for you and your luggage in the event of an accident, and clear and complete information even before you buy your ticket.
Then you will have a set of specific rights if your journey is interrupted.
These apply if your trip is cancelled, if you have a long delay, or if the carrier denies you boarding even though you have completed all the necessary steps to be allowed to travel.
The same basic rights are applicable to all modes of transport, be it by plane, international train, boat or long distance bus or coach.
If you have any of the aforementioned problems, but you wish to continue with your journey, you are entitled to assistance until you reach your destination.
Remember that you can also agree to postpone your trip to a later date if this suits you better.
Should you decide to cancel the trip instead, you will be refunded and provided with transport to the point of departure.
You may be also entitled to financial compensation but remember that you have to claim it, and that compensation is not due in exceptional circumstances, if you were warned of the disruption well in advance, or if the carrier gets you to your destination within only a small delay.
In the event of disruption to your journey, you should first contact your carrier or travel provider.
Alternatively, you can also contact your country’s European consumer centre, whose details can be found on the European Commission’s website.
Should you have difficulty contacting the carrier, or the travel provider, or if you are not happy with their answer, you can contact the National Enforcement body in the country in which the incident took place or in the country of your destination.”
For more information on your specific case, you can use the new ‘Passenger Rights’ App on your smart phone.
You can also contact Europe Direct on 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or or check out the website: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/passenger-rights/
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