Status: 02/13/2021 11:04 am
If a train is very late, rail customers can claim money back. But so far this has only been laboriously done by letter. This has long been the cause of criticism – it should also go online from June.
Starting in the summer, Deutsche Bahn passengers will also be able to apply for a refund online in the event of train cancellations and delays. “This June we will be offering our customers digital reimbursement options,” said Berthold Huber, Board Member for Passenger Transport, of the dpa news agency.
So far, customers of the railways have only been able to claim money back in analog form. You have to fill out a corresponding form and send it to the train by post. That should end then.
Criticism from passenger associations
The conditions for reimbursement in long-distance transport will not change. Passengers who are delayed by one hour at their destination receive 25 percent of the fare back. From two hours onwards, the railway reimburses half.
For years, customers and passenger associations have criticized the cumbersome analog reimbursement procedure. In the meantime, numerous start-ups have emerged that use this service gap and offer passengers via app to take over the process for them. The customers then only have to provide the train information online. The companies take care of the correspondence with the railway.
According to Huber, online reimbursement is only one component of a far more comprehensive digital reorganization of the rail systems. “We are building the sales system from scratch. We are also building the navigator from scratch,” said Huber, referring to the group’s booking app.
The convenience check-in and reservations are also being revised. Automatic transfer of reservations in the event of an unscheduled train change has been possible since autumn under certain conditions. “If you change trains, the new system will automatically reserve you for the new train and you will receive information about the new seat via your smartphone,” said Huber.
“We were repeatedly accused: I paid 4.50 euros for the reservation – and it’s gone now. That is a thing of the past.” However, the change of reservation only works if, among other things, the ticket was purchased online and the train change is known at least one hour in advance. By 2023, Deutsche Bahn wants to have rebuilt all digital channels for passengers.