Economy

Deutsche Bahn: Refunds finally digital from summer

Paul Zinken / picture alliance via Getty Images

Starting in the summer, Deutsche Bahn passengers will also be able to apply for a refund online in the event of train cancellations and delays. “This June we will be offering our customers digital reimbursement options,” said Berthold Huber, Board Member for Passenger Transport, of the German Press Agency. So far, customers of the railways can only claim money back in analog form. You have to fill out a corresponding form and send it by post. That should be over. According to Huber, online reimbursement is only one component of a far more comprehensive digital reorganization of the rail systems.

“We’re building the sales system from scratch. We’re also building the navigator from scratch, ”said Huber, referring to the group’s booking app. “The convenience check-in issue is also related to the new sales system.”

Online reservations are transferred when the train changes

Automatic transfer of reservations in the event of an unscheduled train change has been possible since autumn under certain conditions. “The new system will automatically reserve you in the new train when you change trains and you will receive information about the new seat via your smartphone,” said Huber.

“We were repeatedly accused: I paid 4.50 euros for the reservation – and it’s gone now. That is a thing of the past. ”However, the reservation only works if, among other things, the ticket was bought online and the train change is known at least an hour in advance.

Deutsche Bahn wants to modernize all digital customer channels by 2023

By 2023, Deutsche Bahn wants to have rebuilt all digital channels for passengers. For years, customers and passenger associations have criticized the cumbersome, analogous procedure for reimbursement. In the meantime, numerous start-ups have emerged that use this service gap and offer passengers via app to take over the process for them. The customers then only have to provide the train information online. The companies take care of the correspondence with the railway.

Huber emphasized that the reimbursement form is just one of many innovations. “We build new modules one after the other within the system, and these new modules can communicate with the old system.” However, nothing changes in the conditions for reimbursement in long-distance transport. Passengers who are delayed by one hour at their destination receive 25 percent of the fare back. From two hours onwards, the railway reimburses half.

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