Train strikes: How to claim refunds and who’s eligible for compensation?


Nine out of ten trains won’t be running today (Picture: CARLOS JASSO/AFP via Getty Images)

More travel chaos is hitting Britain this weekend – as the biggest strike in decades hits the rails.

The Rail, Transport and Maritime union (RMT), Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF) and Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) are all striking simultaneously, resulting in nine out of 10 trains being cancelled.

Trains across the country are either not running at all or severely disrupted as negotiations continue to get transport workers a fair pay rise in line with the cost of living crisis and inflation.

While the country is brought to a standstill, fortunately, various rail companies have highlighted how customers can get compensation or use their train tickets for travel at different times or days.

Here’s everything you need to know about the getting a refund or compensation for tickets you’ve already bought.

Am I eligible for a full refund?

If travelling using an advanced or season ticket, people can get a partial refund.


Man inserting a subway pass

People are eligible for partial refunds (Picture: Getty / iStockphoto)

The Delay Repay scheme ensures that customers are eligible for a partial refund if their train is delayed by 15 minutes or longer.

If people happen to buy a walk-up ticket on the day then they are also eligible for a partial refund.

People are required to get in contact with the train company they are travelling with and provide a photo of their ticket and details of the train they were planning to catch.

You have to do this separately for each time you are delayed.



Companies participating in the Delay Repay scheme

These are the train lines and companies that will be affected by the strike and links to their Delay Repay claim forms:


map of trains affected by strikes in london

The highlighted lines will remain open (Picture: Network Rail / Metro.co.uk)

How much refund will people receive for advanced, off-peak or anytime tickets?

The Delay Repay scheme states people with single tickets get 25% off the fare if delayed by 15 to 29 minutes.

This increases to 50% off the fare if held up by 30 to 59 minutes and 100% off the fare if delayed by 60 minutes or longer.

For return tickets, this is calculated on whether one or both legs of the journey were disrupted.

If delayed by more than 120 minutes during one leg then people are entitled to a full refund of the whole ticket price.

Passengers can get a full refund or change a ticket date if they wish not to travel of their own accord.

According to National Rail, this only applies though if a specific train has ‘been cancelled, delayed or rescheduled’.


Commuters at Liverpool Street Station

Many local lines will have no services for days on end (Picture: Bloomberg via Getty Images)

How do refunds on season tickets work?

Season tickets use a formula where the price of a ‘single journey’, for the purpose of a refund, is a percentage of what you paid for your whole pass.

This means for an annual season pass, customers are eligible for 1/464th of the price back for every single journey.

For monthly season tickets it is 1/40th of the price and weekly 1/10th.

Can season ticket holders get automatic refunds?

The short answer is no, despite Grant Shapps’ claims otherwise.

The Transport Secretary said: ‘I’ve moved to help make that an automatic process’, to ‘remove the inconvenience for passengers.’

But this has been confounded with suggestions season ticket holders will have to use the Delay Repay scheme like everybody else.

But, under a one-off arrangement, season ticket holders will be able to claim back 100% of the Delay Repay compensation they are entitled to if they decide not to travel on the three strike days.

This applies to the strike days themselves and not the days in-between.

How fast will money return to bank accounts?

It is difficult to say.

The sheer number of passengers requesting delay repay may mean ironically, there will be delays for people wishing to get some or all of their money back.

However, it is best to check directly with the train company you were due to be travelling with – either via its customer service helpline, email address or social media.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

For more stories like this, check our news page.

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