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According to the Passenger Rights Regulations of Deutsche Bahn, one is entitled to a compensation of 25% of the fare for delays of at least 60 minutes, and 50% of the fare for delays of at least 120 minutes.

I was wondering how this works for flexible tickets: specifically, Normalpreis tickets for regional trains, and Flexpreis tickets for long-distance trains. Both these types of tickets allow using any train on the day of validity, and allow making stops at intermediate stations and resuming the journey using another train.

My questions then are:

  1. Will a delay in the actual train taken still entitle the passenger to compensation?
  2. How can one prove which trains were actually taken? Getting the delay confirmed could be an option, but it seems only delays of 60 minutes or more will be confirmed by Deutsche Bahn staff, so this does not seem to be an option if a small delay caused a missed connection that ended up in the arrival time at the final destination being delayed by more than 60 minutes.
  3. The claim form simply asks what the arrival time at the final destination as per the timetable was and what the actual arrival time was. But what if one had planned a stopover before the final destination, as allowed by the fare regulations? For example, a ticket could be from A to D via B and C. The A-B leg was delayed, causing the B-C train to get missed. This resulted in arriving at C with a delay of more than 60 minutes. The arrival time at D may be much later, and is not relevant to the claim being made. So how should this be handled?
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  • "The arrival time at D may be much later, and is not relevant to the claim being made. " This is a false assumption: the ticket you bought is from A to D, so the only relevant delay is "how late did you get to D?" Actually what is relevant is the planned arrival in D of the train you catch (C-D in your example), and what is the effective arrival in D of that C-D train.
    – EarlGrey
    Apr 20, 2023 at 8:02

2 Answers 2

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1.) Yes, the actual train taken is the only thing that counts for flexible tickets.

2.) If your ticket got scanned somewhere, that will be in the system. Otherwise they will rely on your word / how you fill out the form.

3.) I would fill out the form with your connections such that you don't have a stopover, but only a normal change at C. Then you figure out manually by playing around with the time table how much later you'd have arrived at D due to the delay in A-B and potentially missing the virtually planned C-D train at C. If that is still over 60 minutes, you should get your compensation. If not, you're probably out of luck. All this is no (legal) advice but only a description of what I would probably do in that situation, so take it with a grain of salt.

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  1. (...) But what if one had planned a stopover before the final destination, as allowed by the fare regulations?

As long as you arrive at the final destination on time, you won't be compensated for delays at an interchange. In that respect, it makes no difference whether you have a flexible or train-specific ticket.

I learned this a while ago when I went from southern Germany to the coast on a single ticket with a planned 8.5 hour overnight break at Hamburg-Altona. The train arrived at Hamburg 80 minutes late, however, I didn't get any money back since I was back on time the next day when I reached the final destination.

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