European Consumer Centre Bulgaria

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Bus travel


Accidents, delays or cancelled bus travel or lost luggage – the passengers are entitled to ask compensation

General  advice

The rights of passengers travelling by bus and coach are governed by EU Regulation 181/2011. It entered into force on 1st of March 2013. This Regulation applies if the bus departures from an EU country, Iceland or Norway, or arrives in one of these countries.

Journeys of more than 250 km

  • In case of death or serious injuries or damaged luggage the passengers are entitled to compensation. Each country can determine the maximum amount of compensation but it must be at least 220 000 Euro per passenger or 1200 Euro per lost item of luggage.
  • The carriers are obligated to provide free assistance to disabled passengers or passengers with reduced mobility, both at terminals and on board the bus.
  • In case of accident the carriers have to provide assistance to cover immediate practical needs  (food, drinks and if necessary – 2 nights hotel accommodation for a maximum amount of 80 Euro per night)
  • If the journey has been overbooked, cancelled or delayed by more than 2 hours, the passengers should be offered a choice between rerouting to their final destination or reimbursement of the ticket price.  If the carriers do not comply they would have to pay compensation to the amount of 50% of the ticket price.
  • In case of cancellation or delay of more than 90 minutes when the journey duration is more than 3 hours, the passengers will be offered free of charge meals, refreshments and if necessary – 2 nights hotel accommodation for total amount to 80 Euro per night. The carrier is not obliged to provide these in cases of extremely bad weather conditions or natural catastrophes. 

Main passenger rights

All passengers travelling by bus and coach transport
have the same rights regardless of the distance:

  • Non-discrimination based on nationality;
  • Non-discrimination treatment of disabled persons and passengers with reduced mobility;
  • Minimum rules on travel information – all passengers must be provided with information before and during their journey;
  • General information for passenger rights must be provided in terminals and online.

 

Was this information helpful?

How to resolve a problem or complaint?

  • In the first instance you should contact the carrier.
  • If your travelling was part of a holiday package, you should contact the tour operator.
  • If you are unhappy with the carrier's response, you could contact us for help.

We can:

  • provide additional advice on your particular case
  • contact the carrier and try to find an amicable solution of the problem
  • help you to file a complaint to the authorities if your bus travel had been cancelled, delayed or you were denied boarding.
  • advise you to take your case to an out-of-court scheme, or to court procedures if necessary.

[!] Please note that the ECC cannot represent consumers before the court.

 

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