EU bus and coach passenger rights apply to regular long-distance (more than 250 km) bus and coach services starting or finishing in an EU country, as long as you’re travelling along specified routes with predetermined stops at specified intervals. Some of these rights apply to all regular services.
When buying a bus or coach ticket, you may not be charged a higher price because of your nationality or where you are buying the ticket from.
Delay or cancellation
If your bus/coach is delayed or cancelled, you have the right to adequate and timely information. If you are denied boarding, in case of a cancellation or a delay of more than 2 hours, you have a choice between re-routing or a refund. A refund, where relevant, includes a free journey back to the initial departure point. Re-routing should be offered under comparable travel conditions at the earliest opportunity, or rebooking at a later date of your convenience. In some cases (depending on travel distance and length of delay), you are entitled to additional assistance such as meals and refreshments and, if necessary, accommodation.
If you are denied boarding, in case of a cancellation or a delay of more than 2 hours, and you are not offered a refund or re-routing , you can afterwards complain and claim a refund plus a compensation worth 50% of the ticket price.
Liability towards passenger and luggage
Carriers can, under certain circumstances, be held liable for injury or death resulting from an accident. In case of lost or damaged luggage resulting from a bus accident, passengers are also entitled to compensation.
If you are not satisfied with how your rights have been applied, you should first contact the carrier. If you are not satisfied with their response, you can lodge a complaint with the National Enforcement Body in your country of residence.
For more information and advice on your rights and how you can get a refund or compensation, visit the ‘Your Europe’ passenger rights website. Road passenger rights legislation, policy documents and studies can be found here.
At their recent General Meeting, the representatives of the European Passengers’ Federation (EPF) member associations discussed the Commission’s report to the European Parliament and European Council on the operation and the effects of Regulation 181/2011 concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport. A letter stating EPF’s view on this matter was sent to the members of the TRAN committee on December 15th.
Following the regulation for passenger rights in long distance coaches the national enforcement bodies are obliged to publish their reports and to transmit them to the European Commission. The Commission will not publish the reports, but has given EPF the green light to do this.