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SJ is cancelling a bunch of SJ EuroNight bookings due to issues with authorisation of available sleeper cars. What are my rights when my booking is cancelled? I'm travelling from northern Norway to Germany. A night train is not only travel, it is also accommodation, but they don't seem to provide an alternative to either. Does the operator have to provide alternative travel and accommodation in case of a cancelled night train, or are travellers left on their own?

Although I have seen the message on the website of SJ, they have not contacted me directly, nor has ÖBB where I have booked the ticket. I have written to the customer service of both companies with the same question.

The train in question is running, which hopefully does not permit SJ to use a loophole claiming the train is not cancelled rendering rights related to cancelled trains inapplicable.

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    (I've booked a refundable ticket on snälltåget for the same route and night, so I've organised my own backup, but am still interested in answers about what my passenger rights are, as it's sheer luck there are two night trains running on the same route)
    – gerrit
    Aug 27, 2022 at 10:41

1 Answer 1

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+500

As you are travelling on an SJ cross-border train, Section D.1 of SJ's T&Cs of Travel applies to this journey, which states that SJ will compensate for any lodging expenses (Section 13.2d), as well as give the passenger the choice for SJ to arrange alternative travel, receive a refund, or a few other options (Section 13.2b). SJ's responsibilities are summed up by section 12.2:

SJ’s liability in the event of traffic disruptions includes an obligation to provide the passenger with assistance and, insofar as assistance is not provided, to provide the passenger with compensation for reasonable costs in respect of food, non-alcoholic drink and lodgings, [...]. The liability also includes refund of the ticket fare in certain cases. SJ’s liability in the event of traffic disruptions is described in greater detail in section 12.3 – 17 below. [...]

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    Apparently, the train is not actually cancelled (question edited), just the sleeper cars are unavailable (thus bookings are cancelled). Does that make a difference at all?
    – gerrit
    Aug 27, 2022 at 17:19
  • I can't say for certain, however, extrapolating from what other operators are doing, and given that you are not receiving the service you have booked, you will probably be able to get a refund on that portion of your ticket. If they can't carry you at all, I can't find anything in the T&Cs that wouldn't say that the above applies.
    – overground
    Aug 27, 2022 at 17:42
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    A refund on a service that is not provided would be the bare minimum I would expect. Sadly buying a single long-distance international train ticket is often (almost?) impossible these days, so my journey consists of several tickets, which may or may not impact my rights (not sure); but in the EU passenger rights tend to go beyond "if service not provided, money is returned" which simply follows from a purchase contract.
    – gerrit
    Aug 27, 2022 at 17:51
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    In general, EU rail passenger rights are only applicable within one ticket, and not across contracts. There is HOTNAT (railteam.eu/en/for-your-journey/railteam-services) by the Railteam alliance, however, SJ is not part of this alliance.
    – overground
    Aug 28, 2022 at 11:40
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    Conveniently for them, they rarely sell such through-tickets. Could one buy Oslo – Madrid theoretically?
    – gerrit
    Aug 28, 2022 at 21:41

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