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Swedish travel rules: What are your new rights if your train is delayed?
New travel protections for passengers on public transport in Sweden come into place on June 7th. What are they and what do they mean for you?
What are the new protections?
Starting on June 7th, passengers travelling via train or bus will have extra journey protections in place covering delays which result in missing the next leg of a connecting journey.
How have the rules changed?
Current rules on missed connections vary depending on the mode of travel, which can make it difficult for travellers to know their rights. There are different rules for long and short journeys, meaning that travellers have different rights depending on the total journey length of the bus or train they used, even if they weren’t on board for the full journey.
Now, the so-called kom-fram-garantin or “arrive guarantee”, offered by almost all public transport companies in Sweden through the Resplus network, has been strengthened, making it clearer what rights travellers have and in which circumstances.
The original guarantee means that companies within the Resplus network are responsible for solving any issues which may occur throughout your journey, in order to guarantee that you reach your destination in time. This could be through advising you to take a different route, paying for a taxi or hotel stay if you miss your final connection, or refunding your ticket and paying for a free return journey if your train or bus is so delayed that you miss the meeting or concert you were travelling for in the first place.
Travellers will now be able to see at the booking stage whether the ticket they buy is covered by the guarantee, as well as gaining the right to rebook a trip themselves via bus or train, if the company they booked through has not offered to rebook their ticket within 100 minutes from the original scheduled departure time.
“This is very positive for travellers,” Swedish Consumer Agency lawyer Maja Lindstrand said in a statement. “It’s clearer and much easier to keep track of what qualifies.”
Those affected by delays will also gain the right to be reimbursed for food and drink related to their delay.
This means that you will more easily be able to understand your rights if you miss a connection due to a delay on an earlier leg of your journey, and you will no longer have to keep track of which rules apply in which situations in order to claim compensation or rebook your journey.
Why is this happening now?
The background to the new rule changes is a new EU law for train travel, which also came into force on June 7th. The Swedish rules are now being updated to match this EU law.
“I’m proud that [public transport company] Samtrafiken and the Swedish Consumer Agency have made this agreement,” Samtrafiken’s chairman Göran Hägglund said. “The Swedish Consumer Agency planning ahead with the public transport industry before the introduction of the new EU law is an example of Sweden working at its best.”
Samtraviken is a company within the public transport industry promoting co-operation between different transport providers, the company’s CEO Gerhard Wennerström explained in a statement.
“We aid connections within the industry in a non-competitive manner which benefits travellers. It should be easy to travel in a climate-friendly way,” he said.