Thursday, October 28

Machinists’ strike at Renfe, what can I claim if my commuter, long or medium distance train is canceled or delayed?


Since last September 30, the Renfe drivers have been on strike. The workers have called stoppages for the next October 5, 7, 8, 11 and 12 – there were also September 30 and October 1 and 4 – but, how does it affect travelers? What can you do if your commuter, long or medium distance train is canceled?

AVLO trains: not always so ‘low cost’

Know more

The strike – of which you can check the reasons here – is causing many commuter trains to be canceling their routes, but there are as many of medium and long distance that are also being affected. Either because it is delayed or, in the worst case, it is canceled.

At ConsumoClaro, we briefly explain under what circumstances you get your money back if any of your trips are canceled.

Travel delay

Renfe, through its website, clarifies that a percentage of the amount will be returned according to the time of delay that the train takes. This percentage changes according to the type of train:

1. AVE

– If the delay is 15 minutes or more, the traveler may demand a refund of 50% of the amount

– If the delay is 30 minutes or more, 100% of the ticket price may be required

2. Avlo

– Avlo compensates 50% of the ticket price for a delay of 60 minutes or more

– Compensation amounts to 100% of the ticket in delays of 90 minutes or more

3. Avant

The same parameters apply as in AVE.

According to the Renfe website, compensation for delay can be requested after 24 hours from the arrival of the train up to 3 months later.

Cancellation of the trip

The first thing is to check the Resolution of minimum services through the Renfe website, since there are some trains that are already known to be canceled. Now, what if our trip is canceled more suddenly?

According to the Renfe regulations, if the cancellation occurs less than 4 hours in advance, we will be entitled to double the amount of the ticket. Whereas if it is canceled 48 hours in advance, the railway company may offer you another trip or refund the price of the trip.

But … does this apply to strikes?

According Tracker and the OCU, “there are no anticipated compensations” in this type of situations. The Regulation establishes that the railway company will be exempt from its responsibility when the delay or cancellation occurs “due to force majeure”.

This does not necessarily mean that Renfe washes its hands. The OCU recommends keeping the invoices and tickets to claim the company. But the management can be more difficult than a delay due to non-extraordinary causes.

Also, in the Resolution of minimum services, Renfe states that for long and medium distance trains that are affected “by the minimum services and, therefore, are not included in the list” of the document, the company undertakes to:

  • Travelers affected by canceled trains will be offered to travel at the time closest to the one we purchased
  • If you do not want to travel on the proposed date, you can change the date of the ticket or cancel it at no cost; i.e ask for a refund

But Renfe does not refer to possible delays derived.

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