Passenger Voice September 2015: Big win for passengers
28 August 2015
Train passengers who face delays can now claim refunds in cash instead of vouchers as new compensation measures come into effect.
Up until recently most train companies only offered vouchers as compensation. Vouchers limited passengers’ options as they could not be used online and station staff cannot access the best online-only deals.
Train company contact centre staff could access online deals for the vouchers, but only at least 14 days in advance as the vouchers need to be sent to them before the tickets can be sent.
How passengers can claim for compensation can differ but generally if a passenger is delayed by more than 30 minutes for any reason they may be entitled to some compensation.
As part of the changes to National Rail Conditions of Carriage, passengers will be able to claim cash from 19 July.
Having campaigned on the issue for some time, passengers will be pleased to have the flexibility of cash and to see the rail industry taking their views on board.
However, train companies still need to go further to make it easier to claim compensation. Our survey published in 2013, found that almost nine in ten passengers entitled to compensation did not bother to ask for it. From announcements on train journeys, to handing out and tweeting claim forms there are many ways companies can do more to make passengers aware when they are entitled to compensation.
The changes to the National Rail Conditions of Carriage also offer improvements for passengers who lose their season ticket. Previously, passengers could have their season ticket replaced a maximum of twice but this limit has been removed. Passengers with duplicate season tickets can now obtain a refund on it if they no longer need it, whereas previously they could not.
For more information on how to claim compensation click here.