I recently bought a non-refundable train ticket on Thello.fr from Paris to Venice. Unfortunately I made an error in the date, and noticed 10 minutes after the booking had been completed.

I know that most airline concede a 24-hour grace period over non refundable tickets, that allow for them being refunded. But calling the train's company customer service resulted in a negative answer.

Do you know if there is an European Regulation requesting a 24-hour or less grace period over online bookings, which could help me?

  • 2
    It's hard to prove a negative, but the closest directive I know of (14 days to cancel online/distance ordered goods and services) specifically excludes transport. eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/…
    – origimbo
    Nov 8, 2017 at 16:18
  • As a further indication that you're out of look: I know that ÖBB (Austrian railways) gives you something like 2 or 5 minutes after booking the ticket to cancel it free of charge, so that you can check again on the ticket whether everything (destination, date, ...) is in order. I don't think it would make much sense to set up their system in such a way, if they were legally obliged to allow free cancellation within 24 hours after purchase. Nov 8, 2017 at 21:24

1 Answer 1


I don't know which air lines you are regularly flying with, where 'most' have a 24 hour grace period for cancelling otherwise non-refundable tickets. I am regularly flying with different air lines in Europe and can't remember ever having seen anything like that.

But no, there is no European regulation requiring air lines or train operators to grant such a grace period. When buying non-refundable tickets for transport, you are bound when confirming the purchase. Any potential grace periods granted by the operator are voluntary.

  • 2
    The USA seems to have mandated a 24-hour cooling-off period for air tickets (provided they are not close to departure). Nov 8, 2017 at 19:56
  • If you buy from a travel agent, there is the possibility of cancellation of non-refundable tickets. Traditionally, travel agents report ticket sales to the settlement service (which collects money from the agent and sends it to the correct airlines/train/ship lines) once per day. Travel agents could cancel any transaction that they didn't send yet. Even though everything is instant now, the rules of the US system, ARC, and I believe IATA BSP, still allow cancellation until the end of the business day at minimum. (ARC is actually business day + 24 hours now)
    – user71659
    Nov 9, 2017 at 4:05
  • As an aside: BA offers a full refund if cancelled within 24 hours of booking (if you book direct) - see britishairways.com/travel/askbainter/public/en_gb?p_faqid=4073 Nov 9, 2017 at 9:40

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