What happens if I miss my train?
There are several possible solutions if you miss your train. Firstly, the most important factor is why?
- Your connecting train or bus was delayed or cancelled
- If you miss your train because your first/connecting train was late, then click here to find out what you need to do.
- Your flight/ship was delayed or cancelled
- If you have a train connection from an airport or cruise/ferry terminal (or a city close by) and you miss your train due to a delay or cancellation, then this means that your tickets are unfortunately lost. Delayed or cancelled flights/ships are not covered in any rail operator’s compensation policy, so you are not eligible for a refund.
- Some ticket types are valid all day and are not bound to one specific departure time (SNCB, SBB, ÖBB, DSB, and NS), but it depends on your ticket type and conditions. Also, if you have booked a SNCF TER or Intercités ticket without a seat reservation, a Deutsche Bahn ticket with a “Flexpreis fare”, or a Trenitalia ticket with a “Ordinaria” fare then you may be able to take a later train with the same ticket and free of charge.
- If your tickets are not valid all day, the only solution is to cancel or exchange your tickets (if you have booked a refundable/exchangeable fare) before the train departs. Most tickets are strictly non-refundable after departure.
- Click here to find out how you can cancel your tickets or consult your confirmation email. Please note that you are also able to cancel the tickets at any ticket counter at a station or by phone.
- Tip: If you have taken out travel insurance, you may still be able to claim a refund with your insurance.
If you are taking a connecting train from an airport or ferry terminal (or city close by) we highly recommend booking a flexible and refundable fare. If you book this type of fare, then you have the opportunity to cancel or exchange your ticket (before train departure) in the event of any delays. To find out how to book this type of fare please click here.
- You were delayed due to a fault of your own e.g. you could not find your departure platform or train
- Unfortunately this means that your tickets are also as good as lost. If you miss your train due to a reason outside of the rail operator’s control (e.g. sleeping through your alarm clock), you will unfortunately not be given a new ticket free of charge or compensated for the loss.
- You will not be able to use your existing tickets to board a later train unless you have:
- a SNCF TER or Intercités ticket without a seat reservation;
- a Deutsche Bahn ticket with a “Flexpreis” fare;.
- a Trenitalia ticket with an “Ordinaria” fare;
- a SBB ticket (Switzerland) that does not have a departure time listed;
- a SNCB ticket (Belgium) that does not have a departure time listed;
- a NS ticket (Netherlands) that does not have a departure time listed;
- a DSB ticket (Netherlands) that does not have a departure time listed;
- a ÖBB ticket (Netherlands) that does not have a departure time listed.
If you have any of these ticket types, please click here for more information.
If you do not have any of the above ticket types (e.g. you instead have a SNCF TGV ticket with a seat reservation), you will have to purchase a new ticket. If the fare conditions permit it, you are able to cancel/exchange your tickets before the train departs. Please note that certain fare conditions do allow exchanges and/or refunds up until one hour after departure. You can check your ticket confirmation email or the tickets in your account to see which type of fare you have booked.
What to do if your connecting train was delayed
If you are travelling with the same rail operator and your train is delayed, you should be able to take the next connecting one free of charge.
- You can speak to the ticket inspector onboard to ask whether you can just jump on the next departing train using your original ticket. You might also be covered by the HOTNAT Railteam agreement which is explained below.
- For Deutsche Bahn trains, your connecting train may also wait if the delay is not significant. This will be announced on board your delayed train.
- If you are told to first visit the ticket office at the station to be issued a new ticket, then you can easily do so and will receive a new and free ticket for the next departing train. If you are worried that you will have language difficulties, it should not be a problem. All station staff should speak a limited amount of English and with a good charade and gesture tactic you can easily explain your situation. You can also ask any employee onboard the delayed train to please make a note on your tickets concerning the delay as proof.
What happens if I miss my train, but I am travelling with two different rail operators?
If you are travelling with any of the following seven rail operators, then thanks to the Railteam alliance, you will be covered in case of any delays
- TGV trains travelling within France and to Germany, Spain, Italy, and Belgium;
- ICE trains in Germany;
- Thalys in France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands;
- Lyria (France to Switzerland).
If you are travelling with one of these operators, all you need to do is follow the instructions in step one and two (above) and you will be able to hop on the next available train.
Stations covered by HOTNAT, even if your train is not in the above list
If your connecting train is departing from one of the following stations, you are also covered by Railteam’s HOTNAT (Hop On The Next Available Train) service, which means you don’t need to do a thing—just take the next train with your existing ticket!
The Hop On The Next Available Train service is currently available for departures from these stations:
- Paris Gare du Nord
- Paris Gare de l’Est
- Paris Gare de Lyon
- Paris Montparnasse
- Lille Europe Station
- Lyon Part Dieu
- Brussels Midi-Zuid
- Frankfurt Main Station
- Cologne Main Station
My rail operator isn’t included above! What do I do?
If your itinerary includes a trip with two different rail operators and one or both are not members of the Railteam alliance then you may have to file a claim after your trip is completed. In certain cases, you may not be eligible for compensation depending on whether the rail operator offers this or not.
We strongly recommend speaking to the staff at your transfer station to first find out whether there is anything you or they can do. If you are told that you cannot be issued a new ticket (free of charge) then your best option is to file a compensation claim after you have arrived at your destination. Make sure that you keep and document any additional tickets that you've had to purchase and/or any additional expenses. This will help with your claim.
To find out how to file a claim with your rail operator, please click here.