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Source: Fotolia / virtua73

1. Arbitration organized under private law

If, during a journey or flight, passengers are of the opinion that their rights have been violated by the transport operator and if they did not receive a satisfactory response to their complaint from this operator, they may contact an arbitration entity. This entity may submit a proposal for an out-of-court dispute settlement. Passengers and transport operators benefit from this procedure in equal measure. Passengers can avoid time-consuming and expensive judicial proceedings and for the operators the workload in connection with the internal handling of complaints is reduced. On the whole, customer satisfaction is enhanced.

a. Intermodal arbitration (rail, bus and coach, aviation and maritime and inland waterway sectors)
Arbitration for all transport modes which is organised under private law is performed by the "Schlichtungsstelle für den öffentlichen Personenverkehr e.V. (söp)". More detailed information about the transport operators participating in söp can be found on its website.

Schlichtungsstelle für den öffentlichen Personenverkehr e.V. (söp)
Fasanenstraße 81
10623 Berlin
Phone: + 49 30 644 99 33 - 0
Fax: + 49 30 644 99 33 - 10
Email address:

b. "Bus" and "railway" modes
In addition to söp, „SNUB Die – Nahverkehr-Schlichtungsstelle and the Schlichtungsstelle Nahverkehr (snv) have been recognised as suitable arbitration entities for consumers as regards bus and rail transport. More detailed information about the transport operators participating in SNUB and snv can be found on their websites.

SNUB – Die Nahverkehr-Schlichtungsstelle e. V.
Postfach 6025
30060 Hannover
Fax: +49 511 1668962000
Email address:

Schlichtungsstelle Nahverkehr e. V. (snv)
Mintropstraße 24
40215 Düsseldorf
Phone: 0211 380938990
Fax: +49 221 3809666
Email address:

2. Arbitration by the authorities (air transport)

If an air carrier does not participate in arbitration organized under private law (see above), the official arbitration entity will be responsible. The first point of contact for air passengers should always be the arbitration entity under private law since the official arbitration procedure should, in principle, only be applied in the case of air carriers that do not participate in the arbitration entity under private law.

Bundesamt für Justiz
Schlichtungsstelle Luftverkehr
Adenauerallee 99-103, 53113 Bonn
Postal address: 53094 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 228 99 410-6120
Fax: 228 99 410-6121
Email address: