The SNCF innovates by compensating all delays? Not all of them…


Yes, we apologize in advance for talking about the SNCFtwice in one week on TravelGuys.

But current events force us to…

Indeed, according to our colleagues fromLe Monde, the SNCF is preparing to reform its compensation rulesin case of delay. Delays and the SNCF, a national myth sometimes very unjustified. What are theconsequences for travelers and will all delays be compensated?

Rules that exceed the European minimum

Certainly, the new rules are more generous than before:

  • 25 % for a delay of thirty minutes to two hours,
  • 50% between 2 and 3 hours,
  • 75% beyond that.

The European ruleslimit the compensation to 50% of the ticket price for a delay of 3 hours or more.

Above all, all delays will be concerned: both those attributable and those not attributable to the SNCF. And trains rescheduled in the context of asocial protestare also included.

No, not all delays will be compensated

However, some delays are not concerned. And potentially the most embarrassing…

  • Concerning social protests, what about cancellations on the spot, and passengers who are left stranded with a ticket on a cancelled train? Nothing is specified for the moment;
  • But above all, the most penalising delays, i.e. those occurring on short daily journeys, are still not compensated. TER and Transilien are excluded from the program. Unfair yes, but the compensation on delays of this type of trains is complicated because they are often used with a subscription and it is difficult or impossible to know who was in which train…


The initiative is commendable, but it should be generalized and its conditions of application clarified.

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.

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