Travelling by bus in the EU: what are your rights?

If you travel more than 250 km by bus, from or to the European Union, Europe protects you (regulation 181/2011).

Booking a bus trip: practical advice

  • Check the departure and arrival locations of the bus. Some stops can be done outside bus stations.
  • Choose your schedule wisely if you have any imperatives (flight boarding, appointment…) because in case of delay due to traffic jams on the road, you will not be entitled to any compensation.
  • If you travel beyond French borders make sure you take your valid passport or identity card. Bus drivers do not make a systematic check at the departure, but the bus may be stopped along the way by the national authorities of the country.
  • Minors are also required to travel with a valid identity document and an official authorization to leave the country if they live in France and are not travelling with one of their parents. Further information on
  • Your travel may include one or more connections. Check your ticket and ask the bus driver for help if necessary.
  • During breaks, do not miss the departure time. Bus drivers are not obliged to check the presence of all passengers before leaving.

Cancellation or bus delay of more than 2 hours: what are my rights?

If your bus trip is cancelled or delayed on departure by more than 2 hours, you have the choice between:

  • A re-routing to your destination without extra charges and under similar conditions;
  • And the ticket refund (and if applicable, a free return to the initial departure point).

If you did not have this choice, you are entitled to the reimbursement of your ticket AND a compensation equivalent to 50% of the ticket price.

Journey of more than 3 hours: ask for free assistance in case of cancellation or delay

For travels longer than 3 hours that are cancelled or delayed by at least 1h30, you are entitled to free assistance consisting of:

  • Drinks, snacks or meals in reasonable quantities according to the waiting period;
  • Accommodation if necessary. This accommodation can be limited to 2 nights and an amount of 80€ per night. It is not due in case of exceptional weather conditions or natural disasters.

Other rights

  • Compensation in case of personal injury, death or luggage loss following a bus accident.
  • Access, information and care for passengers with reduced mobility.
  • Being informed before and during the trip about its proceedings as well as about passengers’ rights.

Luggage on the bus: under your responsibility!

During the whole trip, your luggage remains under your responsibility. The carrier is responsible only in case of a bus accident.

Nos conseils :

  • Before departure, think about taking a photo of your suitcase content.
  • Avoid valuables in the luggage that will be place out of your sight.
  • Keep an eye on your luggage during stops

Whom to contact in case of problems during a bus trip?

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.