I was due to catch the last train from Zurich to Munich of the day. My trip began elsewhere in Switzerland. Due to a 20-minute delay of a previous train on the way to Zurich, I missed the connection and ended up being stranded there. I am travelling on a first-class Interrail pass.

I told a railway staff on board about the situation; told me in return to enquire at the train station ticket sales for assistance, which I did.

Once there, the answer was that there could be no compensation or accommodation arrangement, because a later but very impractical onward connection was available.

The initial train I missed left around 19h and reached Munich at 23h. Technically a day train.

The proposed alternative was as follows:

21h40 Zurich - 3h20 Salzburg (sleeper train)

3h50 Salzburg - 5h (roughly) Munich (regional train)

The problem is that it is a sit-up-all-night solution with a transfer at odd hours, at a time where the station can be populated by... let's say... interesting people. The first train is actually a night train, but they only offered me to use the seated carriage, all the lie-flat accommodations being sold out. The second is a regional train that stops frequently. At that point of the journey, I would have been exhausted and not able to watch my bags for instance.

The itinerary I chose was given by the official trip planner of SBB, therefore feasible by their standards regarding transfer times.

In the past, when I encountered a similar situation in Germany, also on an Interrail pass, the Deutsche Bahn arranged a taxi ride to the destination on them, as they were responsible for the train delay that broke the connection.

As I could not afford to pull an all-nighter, I changed my itinerary in order to sleep in a proper bed, which involved an extra expense for the hotel night.

How is it possible that the suggested alternative is considered as reasonable? Can I request compensation using a different channel, perhaps?

  • 2
    IANAL, but I am pretty sure that the alternative does not violate any objective criteria in your passenger rights. In case of a missed connection, you are entitled to rerouting at the earliest possible opportunity and that seem to be fulfilled with the alternative you were offered. A travel insurance may give you more support than what you are legally entitled to, but I would not be surprised if in this situation an insurance also would claim that a hotel stay was not necessary. Aug 11 at 7:15


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