Deutschlandticket rules to change from August 15
Until now, anyone with a Deutschlandticket, which is valid on local and regional public transport only, was able to hop on a long-distance train in the event of a delay, but these rules are set to change from August 15, 2023.
New 49-euro ticket delay rules coming soon
Thanks to new EU-wide travel regulations, the 49-euro ticket will no longer be considered a standard ticket but an “offer with a greatly reduced transport charge”.
The new law means some changes to what Deutschlandticket holders are entitled to in the event of a delay. Previously, passengers using regional trains who were delayed to the point that they missed a connection to their final destination were allowed to change to an ICE, IC or EC train - they had to buy a ticket last minute but were able to request a refund from Deutsche Bahn retroactively.
But from August 15, passengers will only be eligible to switch to one of these high-speed trains under very specific circumstances; if a cancellation means reaching your final destination with the final connection after midnight, or if a delay means you arrive at your final destination between midnight and 5am.
In all other cases, it will not be possible to use alternative, high-speed connections, a change that the German Consumer Association is protesting. “It is totally incomprehensible as to why travellers cannot use higher-quality trains for free in the event of a delay, as is commonly the case with other monthly and annual travel cards,” representative Ramona Pop said in a statement.
Other new changes coming to Deutsche Bahn regulations
Alongside the new Deutschlandticket rules, passengers who use regional trains in order to travel to another station to catch an ICE train will no longer be able to claim a refund if the regional train is delayed and causes them to miss the ICE.
Another new rule regards extreme weather conditions and events beyond the rail operators' control. If Deutsche Bahn trains are delayed due to extreme weather or unauthorised people crossing the train tracks, the company is no longer required to refund the cost of passengers’ delayed journeys.
Considering Deutsche Bahn’s delay rate in 2022 was the worst in 10 years and the predictions for 2023 aren’t looking too bright either, critics argue that the company is absolving itself of responsibility to passengers.
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