European Youth Portal
Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.

Travelling Rights: Be in the know before you go!

There are countless reasons to travel and experience all the wonderful things that Europe has to offer. To make the most of your time abroad, be familiar with your rights, so you can travel worry free!

Have you experienced delays or cancellations? Has your luggage been lost before? Unsure of what to do if something goes wrong when travelling? Don’t worry, everything you need can be just a few clicks away thanks to the EU’s ‘Your Passenger Rights’ app!


Rail Passenger Rights 

Your rights as a railway passenger generally apply to all rail journeys and services within the EU.

European countries can decide whether or not these rights also apply to domestic trains (urban, suburban, regional, etc.) and international trains that start or finish their journey outside the EU.

What are my rights when my train is cancelled or delayed?

If your train is cancelled or delayed, you always have the right to adequate information about what is happening while you are waiting.

If you are told you will arrive at your final destination with a delay of at least 1 hour, you are entitled to:

  • Cancel your travel plans and request an immediate refund of the cost of your ticket (sometimes in full, sometimes only for the part of the journey not made.)
    You may also be entitled to a return journey to your initial departure point, if the delay stops you from fulfilling the purpose of your trip, or
  • Be transported to your final destination at the earliest opportunity (or a later date of your choosing). This includes alternative transport when the train is blocked and the service is suspended.
  • Meals and refreshments (proportionate to the waiting time)
  • Accommodation– if you have to stay overnight.


Air Passenger Rights 

Air passenger rights concern any situation that prevents you from boarding – if you were denied boarding, your flight was cancelled, delayed, upgraded or downgraded – each situation is handled case-by-case and step-by-step, regarding the compensation and assistance on the European air passenger rights page.

If you want to file a claim for lost or damaged luggage, you should do it in writing to the airline within 7 days, or within 21 days of receiving your luggage if it was delayed. There is no standard EU-wide form.


Ship Passenger Rights

Ship passenger rights concern delays and cancellations that prevent you from boarding, and apply if you are leaving a port in the EU with any carrier, or arriving in a port in the EU with any carrier.

These rules do not apply to:

  • ships that can carry fewer than 13 passengers
  • ships that have no more than 3 members of crew
  • ships that cover a distance of less than 500 meters, one way
  • most sorts of historical ships
  • excursion and sightseeing ships – if they do not have accommodation facilities, or if the overnight stay does not exceed 2 nights on board.


Bus Passenger Rights 

Your rights as a bus passenger mainly apply to regular long-distance (more than 250 km) bus and coach services starting or finishing in an European country. Some of these rights also apply to all regular services.

European countries can decide to exempt purely domestic regular services and services where a large part of the route – including a scheduled stop – is outside the EU.

What are my rights when my bus is cancelled or delayed?

If the service is cancelled or delayed, you always have the right to adequate and timely information about what is happening while you are waiting.

If the long-distance service (more than 250km) you are booked in for is cancelled or departure is delayed for more than 2 hours, you will be offered a choice:

  • Either you can get a refund for your ticket and where necessary free journey back to the service’s initial departure point – for instance if the delay or cancellation stops you from fulfilling the purpose of your trip
  • Or you can be transported, under similar conditions, to your final destination at the earliest opportunity, and at no extra cost.

If your long-distance journey (more than 250km) was scheduled to last more than 3 hours and departure is delayed by more than 90 minutes or cancelled, you are also entitled to:

  • meals and refreshments – proportionate to the waiting time
  • accommodation – if you have to stay overnight (Carriers are not obliged to cover accommodation if the delay was caused by severe weather conditions or natural disasters.)


Worried your rights haven't been respected? 

If you think your rights have not been respected, you can complain to the transport company who you have booked with, who must reply within 1 month.

If you are not satisfied with their reply, you can contact the national enforcement body in your country.

Published Tue, 28/08/2018 - 14:41
Last updated on Thu, 25/10/2018 - 13:39

Info for young people in the western balkans

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