Bus and coach passenger rights


Regulation (EU) No 181/2011 of 16 February 2011 concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport is intended to improve the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport. The result of this Regulation is a more reliable and high-quality service for these passengers. This Regulation came into force on 1 March 2013.

What is the scope of this Regulation?

This Regulation applies in full to regular services with a scheduled distance of the service of 250 km or more. In these cases, you have the following rights:

  • Non-discriminatory contractual provisions
  • Accident compensation and assistance
  • Rights of disabled persons or persons with reduced mobility
  • Rights of passengers in the event of cancellation or delay

General rules on information and complaints

Only certain basic provisions apply to regular services that are shorter than 250 km:

  • Non-discriminatory contractual provisions
  • Right to transport for persons with reduced mobility
  • Compensation for mobility equipment
  • Travel information
  • Submission of complaints

The Regulation also applies to occasional services, but almost exclusively for compensation and assistance in the event of accidents.

More information can be found on the “Your Europe” website of the European Commission.

What are the special rights for disabled passengers or passengers with reduced mobility?

Carriers cannot refuse to transport persons on the grounds of their reduced mobility unless this would jeopardise general safety or is impossible due to the structure (design) of the vehicle. In addition, these persons have the right to assistance, free of charge, in designated terminals and in the bus/coach itself. Finally, the Regulation provides for disability-related training for persons who provide this assistance.

More information can be found on the “Your Europe” website of the European Commission.

Compensation for damages

If you are injured in a bus accident during a long-distance trip (over 250 km), you are entitled to compensation for damages. In the event of death, next of kin may claim compensation for damages.

You are also entitled to compensation for damages from the bus company if your baggage or other personal effects are lost or damaged in an accident.

Where necessary, the carrier must also provide immediate assistance: first aid, clothing, transport and accommodation.

When may I submit a complaint to the Federal Public Service (FPS) for Mobility and Transport?

If you believe that your rights have not been respected, you may submit a complaint to the carrier within 3 months after the incident. The carrier has a period of 1 month to respond, and a period of 3 months after receipt of the complaint to provide a final answer. If you are not satisfied with their response, you may contact the competent body at the Federal Public Service for Mobility and Transport.

The enforcement body at the FPS for Mobility and Transport only handles complaints regarding international regular services. For national regular services, passengers should contact the enforcement bodies of the regional governments.

For occasional services, complaints may only be submitted to the relevant carrier.

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