Did you know that in the UK, you have the right to a full or partial refund, if your train has been delayed for more than 30 minutes? Yes, that’s right and some train companies are even more generous by allowing a delay of at least 15 minutes, for a passenger to claim a refund.
Which train companies offer compensation for delay?
Most train companies in the UK now offer compensation under the national Delay Repay scheme, which is great because under this scheme, compensation is paid out regardless of the cause of the delay and the delay only needs to be as little as 15-30 minutes.
You can find out whether your train company uses the Delay Repay Scheme by checking their website. If the train company does not use the scheme, you will need to check the train company’s policies regarding compensation for delayed trains and what they offer.
Which tickets can be refunded?
You can make a claim for a refund if you are travelling on a return or single journey ticket or with a season ticket.
When can I make the claim?
Within 28 days of the delay
How much am I entitled to?
How much you are entitled to and how this is calculated, is different between single and return journey tickets and season ticket holders.
On single or return journey tickets, the minimum you should receive back for a valid delay of 30 minutes or more is 50% of the fare (or the fare for the journey that was delayed, if you have a return ticket). This is regardless of whether the train company uses the Delay Repay Scheme or the old-style Passenger’s Charter compensation.
A point worth mentioning is that on some Delay Repay routes, 25% compensation for delays of between 15 and 29 minutes is now being introduced.
For train companies that do not use a Delay Repay scheme, they offer a bare minimum as instructed by the National Rail Conditions of travel, which is a 50% refund, for a delay of 60 minutes or more for both single and return tickets.
If you have a season ticket, the best thing to do is ask at your station ticket office or check your train company’s website. You will usually be able to get some money back for a delay or cancellation.
How can I make a claim?
By obtaining a form from a staffed train station, enclosing the ticket and sending it by post. You can also claim online through the train company’s website and attaching a clear photo or scan of the ticket.
How is the compensation paid?
The train company is required to offer you the choice to choose how you would like to receive the payment; either as a bank transfer, by cheque or a refund to the card you purchased the ticket with. Companies can offer rail vouchers as well.
Are there exceptions?
There are some exceptions to the rules and compensation rules are different when there are engineering work or strikes happening.
During engineering works, because disruptions to services caused by engineering works is usually publicised beforehand, and most train companies will publish a revised timetable that sets out when reduced services (if any) will be running, you will need to be delayed long enough to qualify under that train company’s rules, based on the revised timetable your train company has published and not according to the regular timetable.
It is the same with strikes. Sometimes companies put in place an emergency timetable and this may mean that you can only claim compensation based on delays to services on the emergency timetable, if the company uses the Delay Repay scheme.