Until recently, passengers of CFR and private niche rail companies did not have many rights, but this is about to change thanks to the European Union. Even so, there is skepticism in Romania.
Citizens of the European Union can benefit in case of long train delays, reimbursement of the money paid on the ticket, continuation of the journey or rerouting free of charge and under comparable conditions.
The new rules apply to both national and international travel, as long as they are carried out within the European Union.
The European regulation applies even in our country, but our people have found a way to somehow postpone its implementation.
What the EU regulation says and “what the Romanians say”
EU Regulation 782/2021 introduced new rules regarding delays and possible compensation, as far as travelers are concerned.
These were supposed to apply from 2023, but part of them were postponed by the Romanians through HG 527/2023.
If the train is delayed by more than an hour, passengers should be able to choose either a full refund of the cost of their ticket, to continue their journey or to benefit from suitable alternatives without having to pay extra for it.
Moreover, “if the rail transport operator does not communicate the rerouting options within 100 minutes of the originally scheduled departure time, passengers will be able to organize their own journey with the help of public rail transport service providers , by coach or bus, on a different route and to ask for a refund of the money paid on the new ticket”, says avocatnet.ro.
In terms of regional rail transport, everything will come into force from 8 June 2028.
In addition, if there are delays of more than 60 minutes or the journey is cancelled, passengers will have to receive, depending on the case, food, refreshments, but also hotel accommodation, plus transport from the station to the place of accommodation.
Obviously, there are also exceptions to the granting of compensation, and these apply when the weather conditions are not favorable, but also in the case of a pandemic. Railway staff strikes do not fall into this category.
Despite this fact, according to HG 527/2023, “the minimum period in which the notification of the passenger’s assistance needs is made from 24 to 36 hours is extended until June 30, 2026”.