Overview of the main passengers' rights regulations.
Delayed trains - cancelled trains - missed connections
These passenger rights apply to rail transport only. This includes all trains, from S-Bahn (local rapid transit) to ICE, but not U-Bahn underground trains and trams. The passenger rights also apply to IC Bus services operated by DB Fernverkehr AG. Additional regulations may apply to journeys in transport associations and where regional tariffs apply.
Passenger rights are limited to claims relating directly to a delayed or cancelled train. Arriving late for an appointment, for example, does not constitute a right to claim for compensation according to the contract of carriage. The railway undertakings involved in the transport and listed on www.bahn.de/fahrgastrechte or www.fahrgastrechte.info are jointly liable for passenger claims for compensation, refund and reimbursement of expenses, provided only one contract of carriage was concluded for the transport service.
Your passenger rights at a glance
1. Compensation for delayed arrival at the destination station
For a delay of 60 minutes or more, you shall receive compensation amounting to 25% of the amount paid for the single journey, for a delay of 120 minutes or more 50%; for return journeys, compensation is calculated on the basis of half the ticket price.
Holders of season tickets (e.g. weekly or monthly tickets) are entitled to lump-sum compensation for each delay of 60 minutes or longer:
o In regional and local transport: EUR 1.50 (2nd class), EUR 2.25 (1st class)
o In long-distance transport: EUR 5 (2nd class), EUR 7.50 (1st class)
o BahnCard 100: EUR 10 (2nd class), EUR 15 (1st class)
Passengers are entitled to compensation amounting to a maximum of 25% per cent of the value of the season ticket.
Compensation of less than EUR 4 will not be paid out. This means that holders of season tickets for regional trains ((e.g. regional day ticket (original name: Länder-Tickets), weekend ticket for Germany (original name: Schönes Wochenende-Ticket)) must submit multiple claims as one application.
More information on compensation
2. Continuing the journey with a different train
If the train is expected to arrive at the destination with a delay of at least 20 minutes, you can:
continue the journey at the next opportunity or at a later time on the same or a different route
use a different train for which no reservation is compulsory (you are obliged to pay additionally required tickets/supplements, but you can subsequently claim for a refund of these costs). The foregoing regulation does not apply to tickets for a substantially reduced fare (e.g. regional day ticket (original name: Länder-Tickets), weekend ticket for Germany (original name: Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket).
3. Refund due to abandonment or cancellation of journey resulting from a delay, train cancellation or missed connection
If the train is expected to arrive at the destination with a delay of at least 60 minutes, you can:
abandon the journey and have the entire fare refunded or
abandon the journey and have the unused section of the journey refunded in case of partial usage or
abandon the journey if it is no longer worthwhile and return to the departure station to have the fare refunded.
More information on refunds
4. Using substitute means of transport (e.g. bus or taxi)
If the railway undertaking provides the passenger with a substitute means of transport, this option shall take precedence over any alternatives organised by the passenger.
If the train is expected to arrive at the destination station with a delay of 60 minutes or more and the scheduled time of arrival is between 00:00 and 05:00, the cost of an alternative transport will be refunded up to a maximum of EUR 80, provided the railway undertaking does not provide a substitute means of transport and the passenger was unable to contact the railway undertaking (local ticket office or information point of the railway undertaking or personnel on the train used) for reasons the railway undertaking is responsible.
The above also applies if the last scheduled train of the day is cancelled and the passenger cannot reach the destination station by 24:00 without using a different means of transport.
The above also applies if the railway undertaking has to provide accommodation or if the onward journey with a different means of transport is cheaper.
5. Overnight accommodation
If the railway undertaking provides the passenger with accommodation, this option shall always take precedence over any alternatives organised by the passenger.
Passengers who need to seek overnight accommodation owing to a train cancellation or delay and who cannot reasonably be expected to continue their journey the same day are entitled to reimbursement of reasonable accommodation expenses, provided the railway undertaking does not provide accommodation and the passenger was unable to contact the railway undertaking (local ticket office or information point of the railway undertaking or personnel on the train used) for reasons the railway undertaking is responsible.
6. International rail services: Deutsche Bahn's regulations
In the case of international rail services, you can claim compensation based on the price of an international ticket. If you purchased the ticket from a DB ticket outlet, Servicecenter Fahrgastrechte will be responsible for processing your claim (see below for address).
Deutsche Bahn's regulations at a glance:
Applications for compensation concerning tickets are handled by the railway undertaking that issued the ticket. Therefore, DB will compensate international tickets and tickets for routes outside of Germany if the tickets were issued by DB. Applications must always be submitted to the railway undertaking that issued the ticket. In such cases you can submit your application for compensation directly to the respective carrier/s, which will inform you about the compensation amounts or whether your are entitled to compensation or not.
Passengers with an international through ticket are entitled to compensation amounting to 25 per cent of the fare in case of a delay of more than 60 minutes at the destination station.
Passengers with an international through ticket are entitled to compensation amounting to 50 per cent of the fare in case of a delay of more than 120 minutes at the destination station.
In the case of return tickets, compensation is calculated on the basis of half the ticket price.
The compensation is optionally available as a voucher or a cash payment. Vouchers are valid for one year and will be deducted from the fare of your next journey.
Compensation of less than EUR 4 shall not be paid out.
Passengers using the German Rail Pass, which is valid only in Germany, are entitled to lump-sum compensation of EUR 5.00 (2nd class) and EUR 7.50 (1st class) for each delay, provided there have been at least three delays of at least 60 minutes at the destination station.
Passengers using the InterRail Germany Pass (InterRail One-Country-Pass für Deutschland), which is valid only in Germany, are entitled to lump-sum compensation of EUR 10 (1st and 2nd class) for each delay, provided there have been at least two delays of at least 60 minutes at the destination station.
For the international rail passes InterRail Global Pass and Eurail Global/Select/ Regional Pass, specific compensation rules apply. In order get your compensation, please refer to:
EURAIL Group G.I.E., P.O. Box 2112, 3500 GC Utrecht, Netherlands
or online at: www.eurailgroup.com/compensation
Compensation claims for the InterRail One Country Passes must be sent to the relevant carrier/s, which will inform you about the compensation amounts or whether your are entitled to compensation or not.
7. Complaints, arbitration and national enforcement body
If you object to passenger rights decisions, please address any such objection to the body that made the decision.
Please send general complaints concerning DB Fernverkehr to:
DB Fernverkehr AG
Postfach 10 06 13
Please send general complaints concerning DB Regio to:
DB Regio AG
Postfach 10 06 07
Additional contact options: contact
If you are not satisfied with the way your complaint was handled, please contact:
Schlichtungsstelle für den öffentlichen Personenverkehr e.V. (söp), Fasanenstraße 81, 10623 Berlin, e-mail: email@example.com, www.soep-online.de, Tel.: +49 (0) 30 644 99 33-0, Fax: +49 (0) 30 644 99 33-10
The national enforcement bodies for passenger rights are the railway supervisory authorities of the federal states and the:
Durchsetzungsstelle für Fahrgastrechte
Tel.:+49 (0) 228 30795-400
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.eba.bund.de
Additional addresses of arbitration boards for passenger rights can be found at www.bahn.de/fahrgastrechte, www.fahrgastrechte.info or www.busse-bahnen.de.
Last updated: March 2016