Trenitalia train delays: how to request compensation

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Passengers whose Trenitalia train arrives more than 30 minutes late at their final destination have a right to compensation. The “sum” goes from a coupon amounting to 25% of the ticket price (30 – 59 min.) to 25% (60-119 min) or 50% of the ticket price (120 min or more). Depending on the ticket, the request can be made from any Trenitalia ticket office, your travel agency, or online, between 3 days and 1 year of travel date. We suggest filing your request either online or at a ticket office.


Trenitalia train delays: how to request compensation

1) Trenitalia and Italo

In recent years, more and more passengers have decided to travel by train, instead of by plane, especially because of their speed and convenience to the center of the cities (almost all Italian airports are either in the suburbs or outside of the cities. For example, Linate or Malpensa airports for Milan, Fiumicino or Ciampino airports for Rome, Caselle airport for Turin, etc.). As a matter of fact, passengers can leave the center of Milan and reach the center of Rome in exactly three hours.

In Italy, there are two main train companies that allow passengers to travel throughout the Country. One is Trenitalia (Gruppo Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane) and the other one is Italo (Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori).

Italo has high-speed trains that connect major Italian cities, while Trenitalia, in addition to high-speed trains, also has regional/interregional trains that connect smaller towns.

The two companies are more or less equivalent as far as quality and number of services go. They both offer online services (including e-tickets, hotel and car rental offers), quite comfortable seats and little tables, sockets, air conditioning, wi-fi (you can also watch movies on board), etc., and acceptable customer services. It is usually possible to eat and drink sandwiches, salads, snacks, chips, coffee, water, wine, etc. on board, either at the vending machines or at the bars. Otherwise, it is possible to order “à la carte” hot or cold dishes from the restaurants (Trenitalia – Italo).

Pets are allowed on board provided some specific rules are respected (Trenitalia – Italo).

Most of the time you will see that their ticket prices and offers are similar, or at least not very different one from the other (this can be considered a little suspicious, if we might say so). Tickets are not very cheap, nevertheless there are always offers on, so an early bird booking could save you up to half of the price of the ticket.

We can say that they are both two good train companies and, therefore, are quite interchangeable.

Railroad transportation has become very efficient recently. However, it is useful to know what your rights are and how to ask compensation in case of train delay.

2) Your right to compensation in case of Trenitalia national train delays

Right to compensation in case of train delays is set forth by EC Reg. 1371/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council dated October 23, 2007.

Passengers whose Frecciarossa, Frecciargento, or Frecciabianca train arrives more than 30 minutes late have a right to compensation, as follows:

1) 30 – 59 minutes delay  a coupon (bonus) amounting to 25% of the ticket price to be spent on future train tickets;

2) 60 – 119 minutes delay   25% of the ticket price which can be reimbursed in cash, recredited to your credit card or as a coupon for future purchases (within 12 months);

3) 120 minutes or more delay   50% of the ticket price which can be reimbursed in cash, recredited to your credit card or as a coupon for future purchases (within 12 months).n1

In case of purchases made on the Trenitalia website, the compensation for delay is calculated based on the total price of the whole itinerary.n2

Art. 17, par. 4, of Reg. 1371/2007 establishes that “the passenger shall not have any right to compensation if he is informed of a delay before he buys a ticket, or if a delay due to continuation on a different service or re-routing remains below 60 minutes.”

The minimum threshold for the right to compensation for delays is € 4.00.

The compensation of the ticket price shall be paid within one month from the request.

3) How to request compensation

Your request may be made between 3 days and 1 year of travel date:

1) from any Trenitalia ticket office;

2) the travel agency where you purchased your ticket;

3) by filling in the web form;

4) in the dedicated area on the website for “ticketless tickets” bought online;

5) from the call center for tickets bought online or through the call center by credit cards

We suggest filing your request either online or at a ticket office, as it is not always easy to trace requests made through the call center. It is advisable to keep a copy of your ticket and request.

4) Compensation for delays on regional trains

If you bought a ticket to travel on a regional train and that train was delayed at its destination, compensation may be requested as follows.

Pick up a form at a train station or download one here. Mail the completed form along with your original ticket, which must have been stamped both on departure and arrival n3, to the “Regional or Provincial office” n4 relative to your final destination. This must be done no later than one year from the day of the delay.

If you bought an electronic ticket you must have it validated on board the train by the conductor (if you do not see him, ask for him), and then you must print out the pdf copy you received via e-mail, and attach it to your form.

The Regional or Provincial office will send you a reply within one month.

We suggest sending your form and ticket from a Post Office (Poste Italiane S.p.A.) by registered mail (Raccomandata A.R.) so you can trace and have proof of your letter, and keeping a copy of what you send.

 

n1 Pursuant to art. 17 of Reg 1371/2007 “The calculation of the period of delay shall not take into account any delay that the railway undertaking can demonstrate as having occurred outside the territories in which the Treaty establishing the European Community is applied.”

n2 “The solution is proposed by Trenitalia travel sales systems, and can contemplate the use of one or more services of the national transport in combination and/or in combination with one or more regional transport services, purchased contextually. International trains, other companies’ train and combinations of travels including regional services are excluded. The calculation of the compensation will take into consideration the regional train selected during the purchase process (indicated on the regional ticket – BER)” (from www.trenitalia.com).

n3 There are little boxes in stations or on platforms where you stamp your ticket.

n4 You can find the addresses of the “Direzione Regionale/Provinciale” of interest at page 4 of the form.

Claudia

Claudia

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