Your passenger rights: compensation for delays and cancellations

If you are delayed during a train journey in the Netherlands due to a breakdown, delay or missed connection, you may be entitled to a refund. You will receive a partial or full refund of your train ticket to compensate for the inconvenience. The exact conditions that apply depend on the train company and the route you are travelling on. In all cases, the amount of delay you incur is important for the claim you can make. See below for specific information for each train company.

How do I calculate my delay?

You can calculate your delay by looking up your original trip in the journey planner (make sure you also change the date if you are planning an itinerary in the past). The difference between the scheduled arrival time from the journey planner and the actual time you arrived at your destination station is your delay.

Train trip with multiple companies

If you are travelling with multiple companies (e.g. an NS train and an Arriva train) then in most cases you can only make a claim to the company where your delay originated. If you missed a train of one company due to a delayed train operated by another company, in most cases you are not entitled to compensation, unless the first train was delayed by 30 minutes or more.

When should I submit my claim?

Submit your claim as soon as possible, as processing may take some time. All carriers apply the rule that your refund request must be received within 3 months of the travel date at the latest.

Will I get a refund in case of (earlier announced) engineering works?

If you have been delayed due to engineering works that were announced in advance, you will not receive a refund in the event of a delay. After all, you could have known that your trip would take longer because you had to take a bus service or take a detour.

There is however an exception. If the timetable has changed as a result of engineering works, and you are half an hour (or more) late compared to the changed timetable, you can still claim a refund. To be on the safe side, include a printout of the journey planner and keep a good record of the trains you have finally taken, because there is a chance that your claim will be rejected in the first instance. In that case, you can object to the train company's customer service.

Refunds for NS delays

The NS refund scheme is called Geld Terug bij Vertraging (GtbV). In the event of a delay of half an hour (30 minutes) or more, 50% of a train ticket (on a one-way basis) will be refunded; in the event of a delay of one hour (60 minutes), the full amount of a one-way ticket will be refunded. If you travel with a season ticket, you will be reimbursed a part of the subscription costs (see table below). The costs of supplements like tickets for bicycles or dogs are also reimbursed.

In principle, the cause of the delay does not matter (although NS can invoke force majeure), unless the cause is announced engineering works (see above). Claims with an amount lower than € 2.30 are not taken into account.

When travelling with NS and another rail operator, you must pay close attention to whom you submit the claim to: NS does not refund for delays caused by other railway companies.

Claiming your NS refund

A claim request can be submitted online. On the NS website, fill out the form for claiming a refund. This form is only available in Dutch. It will ask you the following details:

  • Date of travel (reisdatum)
  • Departure station (vertrekstation)
  • Departure time according to the schedule (vertrektijd)
  • The ticket type you've used: an OV-chipkaart, a paper ticket or an e-ticket/mobile ticket
  • OV-chipkaart number or ticket number
  • Whether you have arrived at your destination (yes or no)
  • Planned destination (uw gewenste NS-eindstation)
  • Station where you have left the train (NS-station waar u bent uitgestapt)
  • Whether you have used Intercity direct (the high speed train between Amsterdam, Schiphol, Rotterdam and Breda). Check this in the journey planner, it should mention Intercity direct for your journey.
  • The amount of delay: 30 to 59 minutes, or 60 minutes or more.

The next stap will ask you whether you have used an addition ticket, like a bicycle ticket, but you cannot use this field two claim a refund for two persons at the same time. If you claim for two (or more) persons, each person will need to claim separately.

The third step will ask your contact details and payment details:

  • Salutation (aanhef). Mr. = meneer, Mrs./Ms. = mevrouw
  • Initials (voorletters)
  • Infix (tussenvoegsel, optional)
  • Surname (achternaam)
  • Birthday (geboortedatum)
  • E-mail address
  • Telephone number
  • Address details: country, street, number, number addition (toevoeging), zip code and city
  • Bank account holder (rekeninghouder)
  • Bank account number (rekeningnummer)

The bank account should be a valid IBAN account number. Foreign IBAN accounts are permitted. Tick the checkbox to accept the conditions and submit the form. Within a few weeks you should hear from NS whether your claim has been approved.

You can also submit a written request. Forms can be obtained at the ticket office or information desk at all major stations.

Please note: For a number of tickets, no compensation is paid in the event of a delay. This is often the case for action fares, such as discounted day tickets. If this is the case, this is stated in the conditions of the ticket.

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