Questions and answers on passenger rights
Who is entitled to compensation?
All public transport passengers who have a valid ticket are entitled to compensation for a delayed arrival at their destination of more than an hour. Passengers on long-distance international coach journeys may claim compensation if the scheduled departure time is delayed by more than two hours.
How do I obtain compensation?
You can claim compensation by completing the online form on the SwissPass website or by filling out a paper form also available on the SwissPass website or from rail travel centres. The paper form can be handed in either to the travel centre or posted to:
SBB Contact Center
SBB AG will examine your claim on behalf of the transport provider. If it is justified, a refund will be credited to your bank or post office account.
When am I entitled to compensation and how much is it?
You are entitled to 25% of your ticket price for a delay of more than an hour and to 50% for a delay of more than two hours.
Refunds under CHF 5 will not be paid out. This means that a refund for a delay of more than an hour will only be paid out for tickets costing at least CHF 20 and for a delay of more than two hours for tickets costing at least CHF 10.
How is the price of a ticket calculated?
The ticket price is the effective amount paid for a ticket. This applies also to tickets purchased with a half-fare travel card.
How long do I have to wait for compensation?
In general you should receive a refund within 30 days of submitting your claim. However, refunds may take longer than 30 days if there is a backlog of claims or if there are many complex claims to process.
How is compensation regulated for holders of travel cards (GA and point-to-point travel cards)?
The Federal Council has delegated this decision to the transport sector. You can find information on compensation at: www.swisspass.ch/passenger-rights
Can compensation be refused if the delay was caused by unforeseen events, such as natural disasters or obstructions on the railway line?
No. The law clearly prohibits exceptions for such events.
What rules apply for international rail travel?
The same rules apply for international rail travel as for rail travel within Switzerland. However, international travel within the EU is subject to the relevant EU directive.
Am I entitled to compensation on buses, cable railways and boats?
You are entitled to the same compensation on buses, but not on cable railways or boats. The reason for this is that the latter two forms of transport are particularly affected by adverse weather conditions.
What happens if a rail passenger is injured or killed in an accident for which the train company is responsible?
If this happens, the transport company must make an advanced payment of CHF 40,000 to the passenger’s family for expenses. Further compensation depends on the outcome of the investigation. This mandatory payment only applies to passengers and not to victims of other kinds of rail-related accidents (e.g. accidents occurring on level crossings or while crossing rail tracks).
Am I entitled to compensation if the journey takes longer and the transport company announced the delay before departure?
No, not if you purchased the ticket after the delay was announced.
Do I have to seek information myself on the travel situation?
In general, transport companies are responsible for keeping their passengers informed before and during a journey. They can do this over the usual channels, for instance through online timetables, website, visual and audio information, customer service staff at railway and bus stations, or on-board information. In the event of a cancellation or delay, you can decide not to travel and request a refund of the ticket price or claim compensation if your arrival is delayed by more than an hour.
Do transport companies have further obligations if a journey is delayed?
In the event of a delay of more than an hour, transport companies must provide their passengers with beverages or with suitable refreshments if the delay is longer, providing they are available on-board or at the station. If necessary, passengers should also be offered suitable overnight accommodation.
How do passenger rights in Switzerland compare with those abroad?
The changes that come into force from 1 January 2021 mean that passenger rights in Switzerland are now comparable with those of the European Union