Transport User Voice – January – Case study

21 December 2018

Asking LNER to revoke a unpaid fare incurred through illness

Mr H booked tickets for the 18:58 service from York to King’s Cross for his family and himself. Sadly, his wife became quite unwell so had to return early. Mr H attempted to call London North Eastern Railway (LNER) to change the tickets to travel back on an earlier train but he was unable to get through. Mr H then attempted to locate a member of staff at York station to assist in getting his tickets changed. However, this search was also fruitless. In a last attempt, he e-mailed LNER, hoping someone would assist. However, he did not receive a response until 10 days later… apologising for the lack of response.

Mr H boarded the earlier service with his family. The ticket inspector inspected their tickets and issued Mr H and his wife with an Unpaid Fares Notices, totalling £284.00.

Mr H was unhappy with this as he felt he did everything he could to get his tickets changed, so he approached Transport Focus in an attempt to get a refund. Transport Focus escalated this at LNER on the basis that Mr H clearly demonstrated he took every reasonable step to get the tickets changed. In so far as he was unable to speak with station staff, LNER’s contact centre and even via e-mail, Transport Focus argued the notices should be refunded.

LNER stated that, although the correct process had been followed in issuing him and his wife Unpaid Fares Notices, on this occasion the train company was happy to refund the Unpaid Fares Notices.

It should be noted that LNER did, however, advise that in future, should a situation like this arise again, the passenger would need to visit the travel centre of the departure station, prior to the departure of the originally booked train, and make the relevant change there.

Mr H was delighted with the outcome and thanked us for our assistance.

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