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Profile: senior passenger team advisor

Hi, I’m Halima Khan, a senior passenger team advisor at Transport Focus, and my job is helping passengers resolve their complaints with train companies.

Passengers make millions of journeys every day across Great Britain’s railway. This means the complaints we receive can be quite varied: issues arising from delays, industrial action through to penalty fare notices. If a passenger’s complaint has not been resolved to their satisfaction by a train company, they come to us for help.

When the team in Manchester receive a passenger complaint we send out an email outlining how long it should take to resolve their case. However, all sorts of things can happen that could speed it up or delay it. I may need to negotiate with the train company involved, or even escalate further within the company itself.

Every passenger case is important, no matter how big or small, all cases are handled and investigated in the same fair way. Some cases even see passengers end up in court, this means time can be of the essence. No two days are ever the same!

The team are dedicated to putting the best possible case forward to a train company. Aiming for the best outcome, whether that be receiving compensation, policy changes, or just answers to questions. Transport Focus is not a regulatory body, so we can’t force train operators to pay compensation, but can use our influence to get the best deal for passengers.

If a train company fails to handle passenger complaints properly, Transport Focus can take steps to get answers from train company bosses, for example our recent special Board meetings with Great Western Railway and Virgin Trains West Coast.

My role is very rewarding. Not only do I help resolve passengers’ issues case-by-case, but actually spot trends, raise these with the train companies, and help ensure more passengers don’t go through similar experiences in future.

The team handles a lot of cases, nearly 600 per month, so each one I receive is an opportunity to make a difference.

You can see case studies of passengers we’ve already helped on our website and our guide on how to take your rail complaint further.

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