The rights of passengers travelling by bus and coach transport apply to any journey beginning or ending within the European Union and to all passengers travelling on regular services with specified routes and pre-determined stops at specified intervals. These rights are governed by EU Regulation 181/2011, depending on the length of the journey, as follows:
Non-discrimination in tariffs and contractual conditions based on nationality
Non-discriminatory treatment of disabled and reduced mobility passengers, plus financial compensation for loss of or damage to their mobility equipment
Minimum rules on travel information – all passengers must be provided with information on their rights both before and during their journey. General information must be provided in terminals and online. Information should also, where feasible, be provided in an accessible format upon request so as to accommodate persons with reduced mobility.
Carriers must have a complaint handling mechanism available to all passengers.
Independent national bodies to enforce the Regulation – all Member States must have an appropriate national body designated in complete impartiality to handle complaints, enforce the Regulation, and, where appropriate, to impose penalties.
Journeys over 250km
Assistance – carriers must provide adequate assistance to passengers in situations of cancellation, or a delay of more than 90 minutes where the journey’s duration is more than three hours. Such assistance may take the form of snacks, meals, and refreshments as well as, if necessary, up to two nights’ hotel accommodation for a total amount of €80 per night (except in cases of severe weather conditions and major natural disasters).
Reimbursement or rerouting – Where the journey has been overbooked, cancelled, or delayed by more than 120 minutes, the passengers are guaranteed a right of reimbursement of the ticket price or rerouting to their final destination.
Compensation – In the event of a delay of more than 120 minutes from the estimated time of departure, passengers are entitled to compensation of 50% of the ticket price. This right also applies if a journey is cancelled and/or if carriers fail to offer the passenger rerouting or reimbursement.
Information – carriers must provide information to passengers on their rights and entitlements if a journey is cancelled or delayed.
Protection in case of death, injury, loss, or damage – in the event of a road accident causing any of the above, carriers shall provide practical assistance and protection in regard to the immediate needs of passengers (including up to two nights’ hotel accommodation, for a total amount of €80 a night).
Free assistance for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility – Carriers are obliged to provide assistance at no extra cost to disabled or reduced mobility passengers, both at terminals and on board. This may extend to free transport for accompanying persons where necessary.
The National Transport Authority is the designated enforcement body for EU coach/bus passengers rights in Ireland. If you have an issue with an operator in Ireland, please submit your complaint here.
Learn more about your EU bus/coach passenger rights here.