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Rights of passengers in bus and coach transport.

Regulation (EU) 181/2011 of the European Parliament and the Council, of 16 February 2011, concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport and amending Regulation (EC) 2006/2004, established rules for bus and coach transport for passengers travelling with regular services within the EU and distances equal to or greater than 250 kilometres. Some of the articles apply to all the services, including those travelling shorter distances.

In relation to long-distance services, i.e., more than 250 kilometres, the Regulation established the following:

  • Adequate assistance (for example, snacks, meal or hotel accommodation for a maximum of two nights) in case of cancellation or delay of the departure by more than ninety minutes for journeys of more than 3 hours.
  • Guarantee of re-routing or reimbursement in the case of overbooking or cancellation or due to a delay of more than 120 minutes in the scheduled departure time. Compensation of 50 % of the ticket price for a delay of more than 120 minutes to the scheduled departure time, cancellation of a journey or if the carrier does not offer the passenger re-routing or reimbursement.
  • Information when the service is cancelled or delayed at departure.
  • Protection of the passengers in the event of personal injury, loss or damage due to road accidents, or compensation in the event of loss of life.
  • Specific free assistance for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility both at terminals and on board and, where necessary, free transport for the accompanying person.

In addition, for distances of less than 250 kilometres, the Regulation establishes the following:

  • Non-discrimination on the grounds of nationality, with respect to tariffs and the conditions contracted by the passengers.
  • Non-discriminatory treatment of disabled persons or persons with reduced mobility, and economic compensation in the event of loss or damage to their mobility equipment in case of accident.
  • Minimum rules on the information about the journey for all passengers prior to and during the journey, and general information regarding their rights at the terminals and by internet.
  • A complaint handling mechanism set up by the carriers and available to all passengers.
  • Independent national bodies in each country of the EU, responsible for enforcing the Regulation and, where necessary, imposing sanctions.

The Regulation establishes the option to set up exemptions for regular national services and for regular services of which a significant part is operated outside the EU.

If the service is delayed or cancelled, the passenger has the right to adequate and relevant information regarding the situation during the wait.

If the long-distance service (over 250 km) reserved is cancelled or the departure is delayed by more than two hours, you may select between:

  • Reimbursement of your ticket and, where applicable, a return service to the first point of departure, for example, if the delay or cancellation prevents the completion of your original travel plans.
  • Re-routing to the final destination, in comparable conditions, at the earliest opportunity and at no additional cost.

If you are not offered this choice at that moment, you may submit a claim at a later date and require the reimbursement of the ticket equivalent to 50% of the ticket price plus compensation.

In addition, if your long-distance journey (more than 250 km) and expected duration of more than three hours is cancelled or its departure delayed by more than 90 minutes, you are entitled to:

  • Food and refreshments, depending on the waiting time or delay.
  • Up to two nights accommodation at a maximum cost of 80 euros per night; the carrier is not obliged to procure accommodation if the delay is due to extreme weather conditions or a natural disaster.

In the event of injury in a bus accident during a long-distance journey (more than 250 km), you are entitled to compensation. In the event of loss of life, your dependants are entitled to this compensation.

You are also entitled to compensation from the carrier in case of loss or damage to luggage or other belongings due to an accident during a long-distance journey.

In addition, if necessary, the carrier shall provide immediate assistance: first aid, food, clothing, transport and accommodation.

  • Regulation (EU)181/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004.