Train traffic stopped: What to look out for if Deutsche Bahn is to reimburse hotel costs

In 2020, according to Statista data, 81.8 percent of Deutsche Bahn trains were on time – likewise almost 20 percent were late or canceled. While a short delay isn’t a big deal, longer delays can make a difference. In the worst case, travelers are stranded in the middle of nowhere at a small train station and can no longer get a connection to their destination station on the same day. If the Deutsche Bahn does not provide a hotel directly, you can look for accommodation yourself and have the costs reimbursed afterwards.

Reimbursement by the hotel only if there is no alternative and if the delay is more than 60 minutes

However, this is only possible under certain conditions. The delay, which is responsible for the fact that you no longer reach the destination on the same day, must be at least 60 minutes, the continuation of the journey must actually be impossible or unreasonable and the fault for this lies with Deutsche Bahn. In addition, the Deutsche Bahn can offer an optional means of transport, for which they reimburse professionals up to 80 euros. If you arrive at around 0:30 in Frankfurt (Main) Hbf and cannot catch the connecting train to nearby Heidelberg due to a delay of more than 60 minutes, a taxi voucher can be issued. If a group of four people has to go to Heidelberg, for example, they can get to their destination in a shared taxi without incurring any additional costs.

If such a solution is offered, Deutsche Bahn will not reimburse any hotel costs.

Warning: Luxury accommodation will not be reimbursed

Reimbursement of hotel expenses will only be approved if the traveler had no choice but to find accommodation independently to look for – also, for example, if the Deutsche Bahn is not available. According to Stiftung Warentest, it should not be luxury accommodation, otherwise disputes with the service center responsible for reimbursement of passenger rights could arise.

The right to a refund is valid for one year from the date of validity of the ticket and in order to receive the refund, travelers must submit a completed and stamped passenger rights form to the service center, the original receipts for the costs incurred and the ticket itself Submit. An informal request for reimbursement can also be submitted, provided that all relevant information is included.

Olga Rogler/ editors

Image sources: Lucian Milasan/


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