On 21 June 2021 a new type of ticket became available, for use from 28 June. Read our comment here.
A Flexi Season ticket offers eight days of travel in 28 days between two stations at any time of day. You don’t need to decide which days you will travel on in advance – you can use them however you want in that 28-day period, it doesn’t have to be a regular amount each week. But it is important to use them all (or to apply for a refund) within the 28 days – any unused days do not roll forward. If you use them all there is nothing to stop you buying another flexi season – you do not have to wait until the original 28-day period ends.
This is a new ticket type, an alternative to buying a separate ticket for every day you travel or a traditional season ticket which provides unlimited travel for a week, month or up to a year.
Your questions answered
Will a flexi season save me money?
Flexi Season tickets offer a saving when compared with the cost of purchasing 8 separate Anytime Day Return tickets. The amount you could save will vary on different routes.
The Flexi Season will not suit everyone, so it is really important that you look carefully at your own journey to see what the best option is for you. As a rough guide:
- if you travel on average less than twice a week, or outside peak times you may be better off buying separate tickets for each day that you travel
- if you average twice a week in peak times then the Flexi Season should be cheaper than buying separate tickets
- a Flexi Season may also be cheaper for some who make three peak journeys a week on average – though you may also want to check out the cost of a traditional weekly season ticket as well
- if you are travelling more than three days a week then you might be better off looking at a weekly, monthly or annual season ticket.
This is just a rough guide – the best fare will depend on your own circumstances. For instance, in some rarer cases it is actually cheaper to buy a weekly ticket if you are making two peak trips in a week.
To help decide which ticket is best for you we recommend using the updated season ticket calculator on the National Rail website.
Transport Focus has welcomed Flexi Seasons. Our insight showed there was strong demand for a new ticket that suited people who expected to commute less frequently in future.
Flexi Seasons will allow some people to save money and in some cases significant savings are possible. However, on some routes you may want to consider carefully if the additional flexibility to travel more often offered by a traditional season ticket is worth the extra money.
How do I get a Flexi Season ticket?
Flexi Seasons are only available online, as either a Smartcard or Barcode ticket (available via an app), Check with your train operator to see what they offer. You may need to apply in advance to get a Smartcard – they can take time to arrive by post.
Can you get a refund on a Flexi Season ticket?
Yes, but you must apply before the end of the 28-day validity period.
The refund is calculated from the difference between the price you paid for the Flexi Season and the cost of an Anytime return ticket for each day you have used, minus an administration fee of no more than £10. This refund calculation may mean if you only have one or two journeys left on your Flexi Season you may find the ticket has no refund value.
This means it’s important to consider whether you will take enough journeys within the 28-day period to benefit before you commit to purchasing a flexi-season.
If you were sick you may still be able to get a refund after the Flexi Season expiry date if you can provide evidence, such as a doctor’s note, that you couldn’t apply for a refund earlier due to illness.
Can you use a railcard with a Flexi Season?
16-17 Saver and Job Centre Plus Travel Discount Card holders can get 50 per cent off their Flexi Season ticket but no other Railcard or group discounts apply.
Are there any other benefits to Flexi Seasons?
Each of the eight-day passes offers unlimited travel between the two named stations from the time the ticket is activated until 04.29am the next day. You can also break, start or end your journey at any station on your route.
This means you could use a Flexi Season to get to work, go home, and then go back out for the evening.