Bus and coach passenger rights
When buying a bus or coach ticket, you may not be charged a higher price because of your nationality or where you are buying the ticket from.
Your other rights as a bus or coach passenger mainly apply to regular long-distance (more than 250 km) bus and coach services starting or finishing in an EU country. Some of these rights also apply to all regular services.
EU countries can decide to exempt purely domestic regular services and services where a large part of the route - including a scheduled stop - is outside the EU.
Cancellation or delay
If the service is cancelled or delayed, you always have the right to adequate and timely information about what is happening while you are waiting.
If the long-distance service (more than 250km) you are booked in for is cancelled or departure is delayed for more than 2 hours, you will be offered a choice:
- Either you can get a refund for your ticket and where necessary free journey back to the service's initial departure point – for instance if the delay or cancellation stops you from fulfilling the purpose of your trip
- or you can be transported, under similar conditions, to your final destination at the earliest opportunity, and at no extra cost.
If you are not offered this choice at the time, you can later complain and claim a refund for the ticket plus compensation worth 50% of the ticket price.
If your long-distance journey (more than 250km) was scheduled to last more than 3 hours and departure is delayed by more than 90 minutes or cancelled, you are also entitled to:
- meals and refreshments - proportionate to the waiting time or delay
- accommodation if you have to stay overnight – for up to 2 nights, at a maximum rate of 80 euros per night. Carriers are not obliged to cover accommodation if the delay was caused by severe weather conditions or natural disasters.
Accidents – compensation and assistance
If you are injured in a bus accident during a long-distance journey (more than 250 km), you are entitled to compensation. In case of death, compensation can be claimed by your dependents.
You also have a right to compensation from the bus company if your luggage or other belongings are lost or damaged in a bus accident on a long-distance journey.
Where necessary, the carrier will also provide immediate assistance: first aid, food, clothes, transport and accommodation.
If you think your rights have not been respected, you can complain to the carrier within 3 months of the date on which the event happened. The carrier must react within 1 month and give you a final reply 3 months after receiving the complaint.
If you are not satisfied with their reply, you can contact the national enforcement body, which in case of Republic of Bulgaria is:
Executive Agency "Road Transport Administration" 5 “Gurko” Str. 1000 Sofia, Bulgaria Tel: + 359 2 930 88 40 Fax: + 359 2 988 54 95 Email: email@example.com
Source: European Commission