Claims handling from a legal point of view and digitalisation affecting handling processes in the railway sector were some of the highlights of this year’s CIT/UIC Conference of Passenger Claims Departments, which was held online on 22 September.
More than 90 participants from CIT and UIC attended this year’s conference. The event was opened by Marc Guigon, Director of UIC’s Passenger Department, who provided information on current passenger transport challenges. The conference was chaired by Isabelle Saintilan, Legal Counsel for passenger matters at SNCF and Chair of the CIV Committee.
Legal aspects of claims handling processes
During the first part of the morning session, participants were provided with an overview of claims handling processes from a legal point of view, with analysis of the Uniform Rules concerning the Contract of International Carriage of Passengers by Rail (CIV), the current Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 on Rail Passengers’ Rights and Obligations (PRR) and CIT’s Agreement concerning the Relationship between Transport Undertakings in respect of International Passenger Traffic by Rail (AIV) by Oliver Hirschfeld (DB). Outcomes of the PRR recast (Regulation (EU) 2021/782) relating to the claims handling process and claim form were then discussed by Ms Saintilan.
Digitalisation of claims handling processes
The second part of the morning session was dedicated to digitalisation in claims handling processes. Challenges include online submission of claim forms, online claim interfaces and automation in processing of claims handling. Various speakers from the railway sector presented practical examples of how they deal with new technical solutions in claims handling processes and after-sales procedures.
Jessica Hamburger and Torsten Zapf (DB) presented a new online claim form and process for digital submission of claims, while Katarina Nyman and Frida Walker (SJ) demonstrated automation and self-service processes for customers in Sweden. Jana Peléšková (ČD) explained the importance of email management in claims handling processes, and James Blackwood together with Matthew Elvey (Eurostar) talked about Eurostar’s experience of digitalisation using e-vouchers and the challenges relating to Covid-19 in this respect. This part of the conference was concluded with a presentation by José Carlos Bravo Garcia and Angel De la Villa (Renfe), who emphasised the value of automatic systems for passenger compensation.
Development of a new EU claim form and CIT’s products
Sandra Dobler (CIT) and Jan Vávra (CIT) presented the development of a new EU claim form and provided an overview of CIT’s products relevant to customer services, including the revised Manual on Data Protection (MDP), amendments to the AIV and the Manual for International Rail Tickets (MIRT) and other useful information from CIT.
Fruitful workshop and discussions
The highlight of the conference was a workshop dealing specifically with cases relating to large-scale travel restrictions due to the pandemic, offering participants the opportunity to discuss unclarified or disputed cases. The animated discussions that followed demonstrated the value of networking and the importance of sharing views between participants.
At the end of the conference, the attendees were thanked for their active participation and were invited to next year’s Conference of Passenger Claims Departments, which will be held on 28 September 2022. The location for the event will be announced at a later date.