Your rights during the German train strike

11/6/2014

The train drivers of the German railway company Deutsche Bahn is currently on a strike. At first this only afflicted freight trains, but from Thursday the 6th of November passenger trains are also part of the strike. 

The Swedish national radio, Sveriges Radio, reports that the train drivers has been on strike several times this autumn, in a far-reaching conflict about salary and working hours. The drivers have their minds set on finally winning the battle against their employer Deutsche Bahn, by going on strike during the upcoming weekend which is expected to be a festive one in Germany – due to the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall.

If you are afflicted by the German train strike, or know anyone who is, these are your rights as a passenger:

Delayed or cancelled train

If your train ride is cancelled, or if the railway company estimates that the train will arrive more than one hour delayed to your final destination, you have two options as a passenger: 

  • To not go through with the trip
  • To carry through with the trip as soon as possible
  • To carry through with the trip on another day

Right to assistance from the railway company

If the train departs or is estimated to arrive delayed, you have a right the get information about this from the railway company. As soon as the company has any new information, they are obligated to communicate this to the passengers. If the trip is delayed by more than one hour, you also have the right to get other assistance from the railway company. 

Compensation

If your trip is delayed by more than one hour you have the right to be compensated. It is not of any significance whether or not the trip got delayed before or after the departure. As a passenger you also have a right to be compensated if your trip is cancelled and you choose to be rescheduled as soon as possible. Please observe that this is not applicable if the delay is less than one hour, or if you were informed about the delay before you bought your ticket.

Travel guarantee

Many railway operators have chosen to use a type of travel guarantee to help you as a passenger whenever there is a delay. These guarantees are often more generous than the basic protection that is provided by the legislation in the field.