Passenger rights: Missed connection and overnight stay

  • 3 July 2022
  • 3 replies

Dear all,

my name is Sebastian and I purchased an Interrail global pass during the recent promotion.

Now I am planning my first trip, which will take me (all in one day) all the way from Zurich via Geneva, Lyon and Barcelona to Madrid. This is a long journey and as such, missing one connection will result in having to stay overnight somewhere, as there will be no later connection on the same day.

So far so good and since I am not in a rush it doesn’t matter if I arrive in Madrid only a day later. However, of course I would need to stay somewhere for the night if I strand for example in Lyon or Barcelona. I understand that in this case this happens, according to EU passenger’s rights, I will be entitled to compensation and overnight accommodation.

However, I didn’t find any information on the procedures on the interrail website and as such, I would like to ask for your experience to clarify my following questions:

  • How is the usual procedure of arranging accommodation should I be stranded during my trip (in particular by SNCF / Renfe)? Does train or station staff usually arrange hotels or do I need to book something myself and claim back the expenses?
  • Who will be the right point of contact for making these claims (expenses and compensation)? Is it the rail company responsible for the delay (e.g. SBB, SNCF, Renfe), EURail itself or the rail company that I purchased the pass from (that was National Rail UK)?
  • Will I receive a refund for any unused reservations that I could not use due to the missed connection?

Any experience or advice on the above points is strongly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance !

Best, Sebastian


3 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

Usually the Railcompany that caused the delay is responsible :) And it it´s handled differently ÖBB and DB give you a Hotel Voucher :)
SNCF and Renfe are famous to refuse assistence and you have to pay all on your own and claim it later in a very long process back. I had it twice that SNCF prebooked a Hotel for us as we had a huge delay and missed the lasttrain. Eurail can´t assist you as they have no 24hrs Helpdesk and the delay is not their fault.

They have to rearrange your onward journey means new reservations without extra cost for you. Means you wont get money back for the unused reservation but they should book for you the new ones without any extra charge.

i usually plan my trips with atleast 20-30mins changeing times in France & Spain :) Especially in Spain due the secruity Check

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

The asking back of compensation for delays of > 1hr has to be done after pass is finished via a form on the site-depending on what pass you have the amount may be so low its not worth it-there is also a clickable listing on how much.

This is in fact a little better as untill last yr-then you needed to have at least 3 different delays of >1hr to make claim.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Usually the Railcompany that caused the delay is responsible 

But normally the local company where you strand is responsible to arrange accommodation and onward travel. It's best to ask any staff (e.g. already on the train) what to do or whom to contact when you think you're going to strand.