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Compensation in public transport - money back for delays

Public transport passengers will have more rights from 2021 onwards

The answer in detail

As a passenger on public transport, you will have stronger rights from January 1, 2021. You will be entitled to refunds or compensation for delays of one hour or more. The amount of compensation depends on the fare paid as well as the duration of the delay. Travelers have the following options:


If a trip becomes pointless due to delays or cancellations, you have the following options:

  • If the trip is not taken at all, you will be refunded the full ticket price.
  • If the trip has to be cancelled due to the delay or cancellation, you can return to the starting point of the trip without having to make an additional payment en route, and you will receive a refund of the full ticket price. 
  • If you voluntarily decide not to continue your journey, you are entitled to a proportional refund of the ticket price.


If a trip is continued in the event of a delay or cancellation, you have used a service. You are therefore not entitled to a refund. However, you are entitled to compensation for delays of more than one hour at your destination.

  • For delays of more than one hour, you are entitled to compensation of at least 25 percent of the fare paid (the ticket price here must be at least 20 francs).
  • For delays of more than two hours, you are entitled to compensation of at least 50% of the fare (the ticket price must be at least 10 francs).

In order to keep the expense of the transport companies within reasonable limits, the minimum recovery amount is set at five francs. Cable cars and shipping are excluded from the compensation rule, as these are particularly affected by difficult weather conditions.

How and when will I receive my compensation?

As a rule, the transport companies must pay you the compensation within 30 days of submission of the application for compensation (In case of delay: online application form or via form in the download area, in case of course cancellation: you can contact the respective transport company directly). The compensation can be paid in the form of travel vouchers, provided that they are flexible in terms of validity period and destination. However, you can also claim payment of the amount. The compensation claim also applies if the delay was caused by force majeure, e.g. a landslide or rock fall. In the event of a delay of more than 60 minutes, the transport companies must offer you refreshments and meals if they are available or reasonably deliverable on the train or in the station.

Compensation for SBB season ticket holders

If you have an SBB GA travelcard, or an SBB route or group travelcard, you are entitled to compensation equal to the daily value of your travelcard. The minimum value has been set at CHF 5, with a maximum of 10 percent of the subscription value being compensated for the entire subscription period.

Compensation for international long-distance bus services

Passenger rights in international scheduled bus services ("long-distance buses") differ from those in public transport. For long-distance buses, they apply to departure delays of more than two hours. This is because the arrival time of long-distance buses depends on external factors such as road conditions or traffic accidents.

In the event of a departure delay of at least 120 minutes, the company must offer you an alternative ride to your destination at no extra charge or, alternatively, a refund of the purchase price. In the event of an accident involving a bus, the company must provide you with appropriate assistance, such as meals and, if necessary, accommodation.

Complaints Office at the Federal Office of Transport (FOT)

If you do not agree with the decision of the transport company, you can have your request examined by the FOT. The FOT has set up a so-called enforcement office for this purpose. 

Legal advice in case of dispute

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Important documents
Compensation claim for delays