The consumer group Which? has found that train companies are making it increasingly difficult for passengers to claim compensation for delays, by asking for 10-24 fields of information before a claim can be submitted.
Which? is calling for the refund process to be simplified to make it easier for passengers to quickly receive the money they are entitled to.
Unsurprisingly a recent survey conducted by the Department for Transport found over a third of passengers admitted to not bothering to claim often claiming that the hassle was not worth the amount they'd get back or that the claims process is simply too complicated to bother.
The government has previously raised the issue stating it wanted to see a "one-click" online financial redress system in operation by the completion of the current franchises in 2025.
Can I get a refund on train tickets?
How to claim compensation if your train is delayed
All train operators offer compensation when trains are delayed beyond a certain period of time. However, the actual amount of compensation varies between train operators and often depends on the type of ticket you have and the length of the delay.
In most instances, in order to claim a refund, you will need to make it within 28 days of completing your journey and your claim will need to be accompanied by your ticket (or a photo of it) to prove its validity.
What is Delay Repay?
Delay Repay is a scheme that was introduced nationally to compensate passengers for delays. Each train company has an individual Delay Repay scheme. The qualifying delay time varies between train companies and is outlined in its individual Passenger's Charter, all of which are listed below. A lot of customers have expressed their success with Delay Repay and having used them myself, I managed to claim back a total of £16 from 3 journeys, although not a great amount, the pennies add up eventually.
Rail Operators Compensation Schemes
- Caledonian Sleeper
- Chiltern Railways
- East Midlands Trains
- Grand Central
- Great Northern
- Great Western Railway
- Greater Anglia
- Heathrow Express
- Hull Trains
- London Northwestern Railway
- London North Eastern Railway
- London Overground
- South Western Railway
- TfL Rail
- TransPennine Express
- Virgin Trains
- West Midlands Railway
Checking train delays
If you commute to work you may fall into the third of people surveyed who said it was too much hassle to claim for a train delay. However, there is a handy online service called Raildar, which has both Apple and Android apps, that allow you to track trains and their current locations. As well as giving you the ability to track the train you normally travel on, you can also see the history and lateness of the service. As a result, you don't have to commit to remembering every train that was delayed and how long it was delayed for. Hopefully saving you time and effort when filling out refund applications.
For more information and help on claiming train delay refunds listen to our recent podcast episode where we explain how to claim for train delays.