If it is obvious that you will be more than 60 minutes late, you can choose between:
- Reimbursement (you can return free of charge to the station where you set off).
- Continue the journey immediately (in similar circumstances, if necessary with a detour).
- Continue the journey at a later date (in similar circumstances, if necessary with a detour).
Contact the railway company if you have a major delay.
If you simply continue your journey, you are also entitled to financial compensation:
- Did the train have a delay of 60 to 119 minutes? Then you can reclaim 25 percent of the ticket price.
- Was the delay 120 minutes or longer? Then you can reclaim 50 percent of the ticket price.
Every railway company can always reimburse more. If you have already received another reimbursement, you can no longer receive compensation (see "1. Reimbursement or transport via another route").
For people who travel frequently by train, a railway company may provide "compensation for repeated delays" (the rules for this are set out in its own regulation, the "general conditions").
If you request compensation, you must receive the reimbursement within one month.
Reimbursements can be made with vouchers or other services. If you request cash reimbursement, this should be possible (except for compensation for repeated delays).
In the event of compensation, the railway company cannot charge any administrative costs. However, it may set a minimum limit below which it does not have to pay you anything. This limit cannot be more than 4 euros.
For a return ticket, the compensation is calculated at half the price.
When you have to change trains, the whole journey counts: from the first to the last station.
If there are multiple transport agreements (contracts), for example when changing between a national and international train, the delays can be calculated separately. This principle is also referred to as 'contract segmentation' (or the splitting of the various contracts).
If you are informed that there will be a delay before you purchase your ticket, you cannot claim compensation.
If you could take a faster train with a delay of less than 60 minutes, you might not receive reimbursement.
SNCB applies a more favourable compensation system than that imposed by European law:
- For a delay of more than 60 minutes, you are entitled to compensation for 100% of the ticket.
- Multiple delays in a period of 6 months:
- From 20 delays of at least 15 minutes, you will receive compensation of 25%.
- From 10 delays of at least 30 minutes, you will receive compensation of 50%.
SNCB transfers these amounts to your electronic wallet, or you receive vouchers. SNCB does not pay the amounts out in cash. This is only the case for delays of at least 60 minutes, and only if you explicitly request it.
More information about SNCB's compensation system and how to apply for it can be found here.