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Your rights when travelling by bus

- - 10. September 2015

Have you experienced a delay, cancellation or discrimination when buying bus tickets? Learn more about your rights as a bus passenger on routes within the EU.

The price of a bus ticket must be the same irrespective of your nationality or where you buy the ticket.

The bus company has an obligation to inform you of delays or service interruptions as soon as this information is available.

Rules for international bus journeys of at least 250 km within the EU

If a regular service that is scheduled to last more than 3 hours is cancelled or delayed by more than 90 minutes at departure, the bus company must offer complimentary meals and refreshments. In certain circumstances you must also be offered accommodation. 

If your regular service is overbooked so that you are denied access to the bus, or if the bus company expects a delay of more than 2 hours or the regular service is cancelled, you must immediately be offered a choice of the following:

  • A refund of the full ticket price and a free return journey to your initial place of departure
  • Rescheduling of the trip to the final destination at the first given opportunity (at no cost to you)
  • Rebooking of your trip to the final destination to a later date if that suits you better. And a free return journey to your initial place of departure

Further information: Your rights when travelling by train

Your right to compensation

If the bus is delayed, cancelled or overbooked, you are entitled to compensation corresponding to 50% of the ticket price if:

  • You were denied access to the bus because a regular service was overbooked
  • Your departure was cancelled or delayed by more than 2 hours relative to the agreed time of departure and the bus company did not offer to reschedule your trip or refund your ticket price

Rules for other bus services within the EU

The individual EU member states may choose to exempt purely domestic routes and routes on which much of the route, including one bus stop, is located outside the EU.

On domestic routes in Denmark, the EU rules apply. However, only few bus routes in Denmark are longer than 250 km. If the bus route is shorter than 250 km, the travel rules of the individual bus company define what your rights are. If you are delayed on a route between, say, Fåborg and Svendborg, you must contact Fynbus to hear about your rights.

Further information: Your rights when travelling by ferry and ship

Your rights if you are disabled or have reduced mobility

The rules regarding people who are disabled or have reduced mobility apply to all regular services.

If you are disabled or have reduced mobility, you are protected against discrimination. This means that you have the right to be able to travel without additional problems or costs.

You should inform the bus company of your need for assistance at least 36 hours before departure.

The bus company, ticket issuer and tour operator must inform you of the availability of bus services, access conditions and facilities on the bus.

The bus company and staff at bus terminals must help you get on or off when you change buses and at your final destination. Alternatively, they can let a person accompany you free of charge.

If any of your aids are lost or damaged as a result of the bus company staff’s or terminal manager’s handling of them, you are entitled to full compensation.

How to complain

  • Contact the firm that issued the ticket – irrespective of whether or not you actually travelled
  • Briefly summarise your complaint, providing relevant documentation, including dates, booking references and information about all the people you talked to
  • Remember to keep copies of your documents and allow the firm reasonable time to look into your claim
  • The firm must send you a final response within 3 months

Getting help in connection with a complaint     

If you are not satisfied with the response from the company, European Consumer Centre Denmark can help you with your complaint. Remember to include copies of all relevant correspondence.

The secretariat of the Appeal Board for Bus, Train and Metro (Ankenævnet for Bus, Tog og Metro) is an approved board of appeal which you can contact if the travel provider rejects your complaint or you do not find that the compensation offered is adequate.