IF you are travelling in Spain and your train is cancelled, do you have a right to a refund? The Olive Press explains.
Rail companies must respect customer rights under EU Regulation 2021/782 and the 29 of April 2021.
According to the regulation, if the delay is more than an hour, travellers have the right to complimentary food and snacks.
If the traveller requires accommodation as a result of the delay, this should also be provided.
This can extend for up to three nights in ‘extraordinary circumstances’ such as ‘extreme meteorological circumstances’.
Passengers also have the right to transport from the train station to their destination, on another train or rail replacement service within 48 hours of the original service.
If replacement cannot be provided, rail companies must give customers a full refund.
When a train is delayed or cancelled four or less hours in advance, the Consumer and User Organisation of Spain (OCU) states customers have the right to a a refund double the price of their original ticket.
To claim a refund, customers must make a request with the rail company, who must return the money within 30 days from the original request.
If the rail company provides alternative transport, customers still have a right to compensation.
You can claim 25% back if the train is delayed by 60-119 minutes or 50% if it is delayed by 120 minutes or more.
Again, the request must be fulfilled within a month after the disruption.
However, rail companies can avoid paying out if the cancellation or delay is out of their control such as bad weather or a public health emergency.
They also do not have to issue refunds if the delay or cancellation is the result of the customers’ actions or those of a third party, such as vandalism or stealing of rail equipment.
Strikes are not included in these exceptions, so you can still get a refund in the event of industrial action.