CIT/UIC Passenger Claims Departments’ Conference
The new Passenger Rights Regulation and the Agreement on Journey Continuation were the highlights of this year’s CIT/UIC Passenger Claims Departments’ Conference, which was held on 28 September 2022 in Bern.
Meeting in-person after three years
After three years of pandemic, the Passenger Claims Departments’ Conference 2022 was once more held as an in-person event and was pleasingly attended by almost 50 people from all over Europe. The event was opened by Isabelle Saintilan (Eurostar and CIV Committee Chair) and Marc Guigon (Director of UIC’s Passenger department). Mr Guigon, who made the effort to join the Conference online from Canada, provided information on current challenges within passenger transport. He underscored that the event was taking place in a historic year, that of the 120th anniversary of CIT and the 100th anniversary of UIC. The conference was subsequently chaired by Isabelle Saintilan, who did not miss the opportunity to give a presentation herself.
Outcomes of the revised PRR
After opening the conference, Isabelle Saintilan gave an overview of the revised PRR (EU Regulation 2021/782) and the possible impacts on claims handling processes. Her presentation was followed by that of Oliver Hirschfeld (DB and CIV Working Group Chair), who underscored the major legal challenges presented by the regulation, e. g. the new obligations relating to the carriage of bicycles, re-routing of passengers, requirements on through-ticketing, complaints handling procedures, and PRM assistance.
Frauke Quik (NS and CER’s speaker in TAP activities) reported on the current state of play relating to the revision of TAP TSI (EU Regulation 454/2011). Ms Quik explained that this regulation has an important role as an “implementing act” for the PRR. She highlighted that the major contributions in this field are the Open Sales and Distribution Model (OSDM) as a new standard for ticket sales, reservations and price distribution, and the creation of a claims handling interface.
Jan Vavra (CIT) presented the outcomes of work to transpose the revised PRR into the CIT products of relevance for customer services, including the General Conditions of Carriage (GCC-CIV/PRR), AIV (procedures in after-sales) and the Manual for International Rail Tickets (MIRT).
Practical implementation of the revised PRR
In the second part of the morning session, different speakers from the rail sector presented how they deal practically with implementation of the law. Volker Mertens (DB) presented the status of preparatory work within DB explaining the methodology used. Jana Peleskova (CD) showed among others the practical impacts of new requirements on through-ticketing during the booking process, while Paul-Émile Boutin (SNCF) explained that in order to implement the law SNCF created six working groups consisting of representatives from long distance, regional, and urban/suburban services, each of which focused on different aspects of the PRR (through tickets, passenger information, access to traffic data, PRM, information systems, legal aspects).
Agreement on Journey Continuation (AJC)
The second session of the conference was dedicated to CIT’s Agreement on Journey Continuation (AJC), as this agreement is currently gaining importance at both sector, and EU level. Nina Scherf (CIT) presented what the AJC is and what the main principles are, followed by Volker Mertens (DB), who presented examples of how the AJC can be implemented at RU level.
Fruitful workshop and discussion
The highlight of the conference was a workshop, focusing this time on the question of who is entitled to handle claims (an important role of an issuing undertaking), journey continuation, and the challenges that arise from changes in a passenger’s itinerary in the context of the contract of carriage.
The lively discussions showed the value of networking in person and the importance of sharing views between participants.
At the end of the conference, participants were invited to attend next year’s Passenger Claims Departments’ Conference, which will be held on 27 September 2023 in the Czech Republic (Prague).