Getting a refund for a delayed or cancelled train

Font size

0
0
0
0

Finding out that your train isn’t going to turn up when you expect it to is frustrating. The process for getting a refund for a delayed or cancelled train depends on the scheme you’re claiming under.  Find out what the rules say and whether you can claim from your credit card company.

Getting a refund for a delayed or cancelled train

If your train journey has been cancelled or delayed, you may be eligible for compensation. There are two different schemes that you may be able to claim compensation under. One is called ‘delay repay’ and the other is compensation under normal conditions of carriage.

  • Delay repay: This let you claim 100% of the cost of your single ticket if you arrive at your destination more than one hour late. If you’re between 30 minutes and an hour late, you’ll be able to claim 50% of the cost of a single ticket. If you’re more than two hours late you’ll be able to claim 100% of the cost of the return journey. It doesn’t matter why you’re claiming a refund – the train company has to pay up. The only exception is if it’s due to planned engineering work.

SAVVY TIP: You’re able to claim 25% of the cost of the train journey if the train is more than 15 minutes late and you’re travelling on Govia (Great Northern) Thameslink or Southern trains. In the future, as franchises are replaced or as the government is able to do a deal with individual train companies more companies will offer compensation for delays of more than 15 minutes.

  • Compensation under ‘conditions of carriage’. Here you normally have to be delayed by at least 30 minutes to qualify for compensation. The amount of compensation you’ll get may vary between train companies. You can’t normally claim for delays if it is caused by things such as vandalism, terrorism, someone trespassing on the line or severe weather as well as planned engineering works.

If your train is on an emergency timetable

If your train company decides to run an emergency timetable, the delay to your journey is based on the emergency timetable, not the time your train would have arrived if a normal timetable was running.

How the refund will be paid

Some companies used to try and pay refunds in vouchers for future journeys. These days you’re supposed to have more choice about how you’re refunded. You can normally get your refund in some or all of the following:

  • National Rail voucher – this should be cashable if you exchange it at a ticket office of the train company that gave it to you, otherwise it can be used for future train journeys within the expiry period,
  • a cash voucher – not all train companies issue these and those that do may impose an expiry date of just a few months,
  • a cheque,
  • a refund on your credit or debit card,
  • a bank transfer,
  • a payment via Paypal,
  • an e-voucher if you have an online account.

SAVVY TIP: As I write this least one train company couldn’t give refunds onto MasterCard cards, only Visa debit or credit cards.

How do you claim a refund?

The key part is to make sure you claim your refund within 28 days of completing your journey. If you miss this deadline, you won’t be entitled to compensation.

SAVVY TIP: As I write this, two train companies (C2C and Virgin West Coast) do automatic delay repay refunds for Advance tickets, which means you don’t have to claim the refund yourself. As long as you’ve registered your card details with them and they have contact details for you, the payment will be made automatically.

If the train company has signed up to Delay Repay, there will be information about how to claim on their website.

Rail companies signed up to Delay Repay

Here are the links to the claim section of the websites of train companies signed up to Delay Repay. Unless I’ve said differently, all companies will pay out if you’re delayed by more than 30 minutes.

C2C If you have a C2C Smartcard, you’ll automatically get compensation if your train is delayed by more than two minutes. The website doesn’t say how quickly you’ll receive your compensation if you’re not using the automatic claim facility.

East Midlands Trains You can claim compensation if your train is delayed by more than 30 minutes. It normally pays compensation within 14 days of your claim being agreed – which isn’t the same as 14 days after you submitted it.

Gatwick Express You can claim compensation if your train is delayed by more than 15 minutes. It aims to pay refunds within 20 working days.

Great Northern Thameslink You can apply for compensation if your train is delayed by more than 15 minutes. You should get a refund within 20 working days.

Greater Anglia You can apply for compensation if your train is delayed by more than 30 minutes. You should get a refund within 14 days of the company agreeing your claim. You can sign up to an account so you can claim in one click if you’re a season ticket holder.

London North Western You can claim compensation if your train is delayed by more than 15 minutes. It normally pays compensation within 14 days of your claim being agreed.

Northern Trains  You can apply for compensation if your train is delayed by more than 30 minutes. The website says that it’s currently receiving lots of claims for refunds and there may be a delay in paying refunds.

Scot Rail You can apply for compensation if your train is delayed by more than 30 minutes. It doesn’t say how long it takes to pay refunds.

South Eastern Trains You can apply for compensation if your train is delayed by more than 30 minutes. It says it will respond to your claim within 10 working days of receiving it.

Southern Trains You can claim compensation if your train is delayed by more than 15 minutes. It says it will respond to your claim within 20 working days of receiving it.

SouthWest Trains You can claim some compensation if your journey is delayed by more than 15 minutes. It aims to pay compensation within 10 working days for online claims and 15 working days for postal claims.

Stansted Express You can claim compensation if your train is delayed by more than 30 minutes. It normally pays compensation within 14 days of agreeing the claim.

TransPennine Express You can claim compensation if your train is delayed by more than 30 minutes. It says it will respond to your claim within 20 working days of receiving it.

Virgin Trains You can claim compensation if your train is delayed by more than 30 minutes. You can get an automatic refund if you’ve bought an advance ticket through Virgin Trains or an app. Otherwise you can fill in an online form. It has a nifty compensation calculator on the website. It looks very straightforward to use. However, it has the longest payout time, saying it aims to pay refunds within 28 days.

London North Eastern Railway You can claim compensation if your train is delayed by more than 30 minutes. It aims to process claims within 10 working days.

Train companies not signed up to Delay Repay

Train companies that haven’t signed up to Delay Repay have refund policies covered by their conditions of carriage.

Arriva  You can claim compensation if your train was delayed by more than 30 minutes. You can download a claim form and you’ll have to upload a photo of your train ticket or other proof of travel (booking confirmation). If you prefer, you can write to the company.

Caledonian Sleeper You can claim compensation if your train was delayed by more than 30 minutes.

Chiltern Railways You can claim compensation if your train was delayed by more than 30 minutes. You can fill in the online form and you have to provide a photo showing your train ticket cut in half diagonally, unless it’s a season ticket. It says it aims to respond within 10 days but it may take longer.

Grand Central You can claim compensation if your train is delayed by more than an hour. It aims to pay refunds within 10 working days.

Great Western Railways You can apply for compensation if your train is delayed by 30 minutes or more for London and Thames Valley services. For other services you have to be delayed by over an hour to claim compensation.It aims to pay refunds within 20 working days.

Heathrow Express You can get compensation of 50% of the cost of your Heathrow Express ticket if your train is delayed by more than 15 minutes and of 100% of the cost if it’s delayed by more than 30 minutes. You’ll be refunded by the primary method you paid within 14 days of them receiving your claim.

Hull Trains You can get compensation if your train is delayed by more than 30 minutes. You can fill in an online form. The train company’s website says it aims to pay refunds within 10 working days of your claim being agreed.

London Overground and Transport for London You can get a refund if your journey is delayed by more than 30 minutes if it’s a train journey or 15 minutes if it’s a tube or DLR journey.

Mersey Rail If your journey is delayed by 30 minutes or more, you’ll get back the entire cost of the single journey or 50% of the cost of a return ticket. You can fill in the online form and you should get your compensation within 14 days of your claim being agreed.

Claiming under the Consumer Credit Act

You may be able to claim extra costs under the Consumer Credit Act. There’s a useful PDF from National Rail which explains what you may be able to claim for.

Claiming from your credit card company

You may be able to claim from your credit card company. There’s more information on how to do this in Understanding your credit card rights under Section 75.

 

Related articles:

What ombudsman schemes are there? Who can you complain to?

When can you get flight delay compensation?

SavvyWoman email newsletters: If you found this information useful why not sign up now to receive free fortnightly email newsletters with money saving tips and help? You can sign up at the top of any page on the website and your details won’t be passed to any other company for marketing purposes.