Bedbugs on Regiojet train leave passengers with marks, bites – and questions

Although RegioJet has compensated the affected passengers, questions remain as to how the insects found themselves on the train. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 10.05.2024 12:17:00 (updated on 10.05.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

Passengers of the Czech RegioJet railway carrier were met with an unpleasant surprise during an overnight journey from Prague to eastern Slovakia when they were bitten by several bedbugs that were nestling in their carriage. 

The situation occurred on a sleeper train a few weeks ago. "We turned off the lights, and laid down on the beds. About two hours into the journey, my partner's hand began to itch. After turning on the light, we noticed that they had large, red bites on their arms and legs," Vojtěch B., one of the affected passengers, told Czech Radio.

Upon closer inspection, the couple found bedbugs in their bedding and upholstery. "I only managed to take a few pictures, and then we quickly took our things and left the unit," added Vojtěch B. The passengers informed the conductor of the issue and promptly moved to another part of the train. Two other people from the same compartment, who may also have been affected by the situation, were also relocated. 

RegioJet replies

In response to the incident, RegioJet public relations manager Alexandra Janoušek Kostřicová said: “We have noted this case and are currently actively dealing with it. We inform other passengers if necessary and take measures to ensure everyone's safety."

expat tip

Customers who are unhappy with a company’s response after submitting a complaint may escalate their issue by contacting the public ombudsman. Information (in English) on how to do this is found on the official website

The company also says it offers fare compensation to affected passengers. "We also provide additional assistance, including covering the costs of disinfection or disinsection," added Kostřicová.

However, the affected passengers found the carrier's overall communication to be lacking due to how long it took for RegioJet to respond – despite reporting the issue immediately after they reached their destination.


The rise of bedbugs

According to Terezie Arnoldová, deputy head of the national reference laboratory for disinsection and deratization of the State Institute of Health, the demand for bed bug extermination rose by 15 percent in 2023. "Experts say that during the course of Covid-19, the bed bug has died down because there has been no travel. Currently, it is returning to normal, so the numbers are increasing," Arnoldová told Czech Radio.

In the event of a home infestation, biologist Oldřich Nedvěd tells Czech Radio that he advises calling in specialists for bedbug disposal.

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