Passenger rights

Regulation (EU) No 181/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport.


Subject to certain exceptions, this regulation applies to passengers travelling with regular services * for non-specified categories of passengers where either the boarding or the drop off point is within the European Union (EU) and where the scheduled distance of the service is 250 km or more. Some of its provisions apply to all services, including those of shorter distance. The provisions of this regulation will apply as from 1 March 2013.

The new rights applicable to long distance services (i.e. of more than 250 km) include, amongst others:

Right of assistance in case of cancelled or delayed departures:

In case of a regular service of more than three hours of duration, in situations of cancellation or following a delay of more than 90 minutes passengers are entitled to adequate assistance: including snacks, meals and refreshments as well as, if necessary, accommodation (the carriers may limit the total cost of accommodation per passenger to € 80 per night for a maximum of two nights and they are not obliged to cover accommodation costs in case the cancellation or delay is caused by severe weather conditions or major natural disasters).

Right of continuation the journey and reimbursement in case of cancellation or long delay of departure or in case of overbooking:

In case of long-distance regular services, if there is an overbooking or the carrier reasonably expects either the delay of more than 120 minutes as compared to the scheduled time of departure or the cancellation of the service, the passengers have the right to choose between:

•    Continuation of the journey at the earliest possible opportunity or re-routing to the final destination at no additional costs under the same conditions as the contract of carriage


•    Renunciation of the contract, i.e. 100% reimbursement of the full ticket price and, where applicable, free of charge return service at the earliest opportunity to the starting point of departure (as stated on the ticket).The passenger is entitled to compensation up to 50 percent of the ticket price in addition to the above reimbursement of the ticket price if the carrier failed to offer the above described (payment within one month after the submission of the application).


In case of late arrival- due to traffic congestion- EU regulation not applicable. 



If the bus or coach breaks down during the journey, the carrier must offer the following options:

•    Continue the service with another vehicle from the point where the vehicle got damaged


•    Transportation from the point of damage to a suitable waiting point or bus station where the continuation of the journey becomes possible.


In addition to the above, the passengers also have the following rights:

•    Compensation in case of death or personal injury or in case of  damage or loss of luggage due to accidents, especially for the immediate practical needs of the passengers after the accident (including hotel accommodation for maximum two nights for a total amount of € 80 per night).

•    specific assistance free of charge for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility both at bus stations and on board and, where necessary, transport free of charge for accompanying people.The following rules will be applicable to all transport services (including those below 250 km):

•    non-discrimination with respect to tariffs and contract conditions for passengers based -  directly or indirectly- on nationality,

•    non-discriminatory treatment of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility, as well as financial compensation for loss or damage of their mobility equipment in case of accident;

•    minimum rules on travel information for all passengers before and during their journey as well as general information about their rights in terminals and online; where feasible, this information shall be provided in accessible formats upon request, in the interest of the persons with reduced mobility;

•    a complaint handling mechanism established by carriers and available to all passengers;

•    independent national bodies in each Member State of the EU with the mandate to enforce the regulation and, where appropriate, to impose penalties.


Link European Commission

Download Complaint Form


Enforcement of Passenger Rights

Each Member State shall designate a body or bodies responsible for the enforcement of the rights laid down in the regulation.
The national enforcement agency is responsible for the enforcement of the regulation in relation to regular bus services from within the territory of the Member State places and in relation to regular bus services from a third country to such places.
Each passenger may submit a complaint for an alleged breach of the Regulation at the relevant national enforcement body. A Member State may decide that the passenger has to first make a complaint to the carrier; in this case the national enforcement body serves as an appeal body for complaints for which no solution was found. The national Enforcement body for passenger rights can be reached under the following contact data:

Citizens Phone for Passenger Rights
Telephone: +49 228 30795-400
Fax: +49 228 30795-499

Heinemannstraße 6
53175 Bonn

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