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FAQs: national services.

  1. What am I entitled to if I miss the last rail connection?
  2. What are the limits of liability?
  3. If I miss my flight, will SBB pay?


1. What am I entitled to if I miss the last rail connection?

If you cannot continue your journey on the same day, you are entitled to a refund of the resulting costs. The maximum sum payable for an overnight stay with breakfast is CHF 150. If a taxi makes more sense, SBB will pay the fare – again up to a maximum of CHF 150. Compensation is only payable on presentation of original receipts. Customers affected should make themselves known to the train crew or counter staff, who will help to arrange a taxi or hotel and issue vouchers against the associated costs. If several passengers are affected, shared taxis can be organised.

2. What are the limits of liability?

SBB is exempted from its liability if it can show that the problem was caused by passengers or due to circumstances that it could not avoid and the consequences of which could not be averted (accidents involving people, adverse weather conditions, landslides, industrial action, etc.).

3. If I miss my flight, will SBB pay?

SBB is obliged to convey customers to their destinations (their ultimate destinations as per their tickets) on the same day. This may involve a number of changes of train and/or a detour. However, transport law contains no provisions with regard to compensation for missing flight connections, theatrical performances, concerts, examinations and the like, or for loss of working hours.

FAQs: international services.

  1. I had to take a taxi or stay in a hotel abroad because a train was delayed or I missed a connection. Who pays?
  2. When am I entitled to compensation if a train is delayed?
  3. What exactly is a transport contract?
  4. How much is the compensation?
  5. What about InterRail/Eurail passes?
  6. How can I claim my compensation?
  7. Who processes my application for compensation?
  8. In what form do I receive compensation?
  9. There were quality shortfalls during my journey. Do I receive compensation?
  10. Who processes these applications?

1. I had to take a taxi or stay in a hotel abroad because a train was delayed or I missed a connection. Who pays?

Additional costs such as these are refunded by the rail company concerned, even if the delay was caused by a different one. The legal basis is the national transport law of the company issuing the refund. The application should be submitted to the rail company that issued the ticket.

2. When am I entitled to compensation if a train is delayed?

Customers can claim compensation on each transport contract (each ticket is a transport contract). The customer is entitled to compensation if he reaches the final destination on his ticket with a delay of 60 minutes or longer. Which train and which rail company caused the delay is immaterial. The only conditions are that the customer must have a ticket for the journey he has completed. TGV customers receive compensation for delays of 30 minutes or longer.

3. What exactly is a transport contract?

Every ticket sold individually is a transport contract. If customers arrive late at their final destination, they receive compensation of a percentage of the fare for that ticket (transport contract).

Example: Berne to London via Paris

This journey involves two tickets: Berne to Paris and Paris to London. It therefore gives rise to two transport contracts. If the TGV from Berne to Paris is delayed, customers receive compensation for that section of the journey. The same applies to the section between Paris and London.

Example: Sierre to Luxembourg

If a single ticket is sold for this connection, it is the arrival time in Luxembourg that matters. The customer is entitled to compensation if he reaches his final destination, Luxembourg, at least 60 minutes late.

4. How much is the compensation?

For delays of 60 minutes or longer, 25% of the ticket price will be refunded, and for delays of 120 minutes or over, 50%. The deciding factor is the delay to the arrival of the train at the destination stated on the ticket. The single fare for the ticket in question, including any supplements/reservation fees, must be at least CHF 24 per person for a delay of 60 minutes or longer or CHF 12 per person for a delay of 120 minutes or longer. Exception: TGV customers receive compensation of 25% of the fare for a delay of 30 minutes or longer.

5. What about InterRail/Eurail passes?

Special compensation conditions apply to passes such as InterRail, Eurail etc.

6. How can I claim my compensation?

Train crews on international services distribute stamped, addressed forms as soon as it becomes clear that there will be a delay of 60 minutes or longer (30 minutes or longer for a TGV). Customers complete the forms with the required information, and send them in together with their original tickets and reservations. The forms are also available from all sales points. Counter staff print the form out on request.

7. Who processes my application for compensation?

Every rail company is obliged to process applications for compensation involving tickets it has sold. All others are forwarded to the responsible body on receipt. If tickets were bought through a travel agency, the agency is responsible for processing applications.

8. In what form do I receive compensation for a delay?

SBB customers receive a voucher that can be redeemed for cash at ticket offices.

9. There were quality shortfalls during my journey. Do I receive compensation?

Compensation is payable for quality shortfalls, depending on their nature. Where quality shortfalls arise it is essential to obtain confirmation of this from rail staff. No subsequent investigation can be conducted without it, and compensation may be refused in such cases. Examples of quality shortfalls include defective heating or air-conditioning on night trains, or a lack of seats despite a reservation having been made.

10. Who processes these applications?

Applications are processed by the rail company that sold the tickets or on whose service the problem arose (contact). The rail company in question must pay compensation first: only then can payment be made to the customer. 

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