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Last updated: 10:32

Book with confidence

Last updated: 20 September 2022

The below Book with Confidence policy applies to Advance tickets bought on or before 30 November 2022. Please note rail vouchers are valid for one year from issue.

Following other transport industries, we are reinstating the standard Advance ticket terms and conditions that existed before the pandemic, from 1 December 2022.

For more information, please visit National Rail Enquiries.

We understand that you may need to change your travel plans as a result of changing COVID restrictions.

Whether you are looking to change the date of your journey or get a refund, we have put the following information together to help you book with confidence.

The information is based on the different ticket types in place, if you hold a paper ticket and you’re not sure what type of ticket you have, please check the information printed on the orange stripe in the top left corner of the ticket for one of the following.



Advance tickets

Advance tickets under normal circumstances attract a fee for changing to a different service or date and are not refundable.

However, given the current situation we have introduced the following temporary changes:

If you still want to travel but on a different day:

You can change the time or date of travel at any National Rail Ticket Office, before the departure of the first reserved train printed on your ticket.

Until 18:00 on Wednesday 30 November 2022:

  • Changes made before 18:00 the day before you travel – you can change your ticket at any National Rail Ticket Office to travel on a different day, without being charged the £10 change of journey fee, but you will need to pay any difference between the fare you have already paid and the best available fare for the new journey

    Whilst were not limiting the number of times you can do this, if you’re not sure when you will travel, you may prefer to exchange your ticket for a non-cashable voucher of the same value.

    You will be able to use this voucher towards the cost of a future National Rail journey over the next 12 months, more information about how to apply for your voucher is below.

  • Changes made from 18:00 the day before you travel until the departure of the first reserved train printed on your ticket – you’ll need to pay any difference between the fare you’ve already paid and the best available fare for your new journey, plus a £10 change of journey fee for each ticket changed.

    After 18:00 the day before you travel, you’ll no longer be able to exchange these tickets for a non-cashable voucher

If you bought your ticket from us and no longer want to travel.

Whilst Advance tickets remain non-refundable we can exchange your ticket for a non-cashable voucher of the same value up until Wednesday 30 November 2022.

Your voucher will be valid for 12 months from the date of issue, allowing you to use them towards the cost of a future journey on the National Rail network.

If you bought your ticket from another retailer, you will need to contact them to request your voucher.

We cannot exchange any other tickets for a voucher.



Anytime, Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak tickets

Travel on a different date

You can change the date of travel without paying a change of journey fee, so long as you request the change before the date of your original journey.

If you bought your ticket from us and no longer want to travel we can refund your ticket less a £10 admin fee, up to a maximum of 28 days from the expiry date of the ticket, please see our refunds process for full details.

If you bought your ticket from another retailer or train company, you’ll need to contact them to request your refund.

Car park tickets
If you will not be using your car park season ticket for some time, you can request a refund by following the normal refund process.
Carnet tickets

Travel on a different date:

Please do not date your carnet ticket until you know for certain that you are going to travel, as it is not possible to amend the date of travel with these tickets once dated.

If you no longer want to travel we can only refund your Carnet tickets, less a £10 admin fee if they are:

  • Within 28 days from the expiry date of the tickets
  • A complete unused book of tickets
DaySave tickets
These tickets are not refundable. Please only purchase them if you are certain you will travel.
Oyster tickets
Please contact Transport for London for any refunds for tickets purchased on Oyster.
Rover tickets
A full refund is available before the period of validity starts with no fees applied. Tickets cannot be refunded once the period of validity has started.

Additional FAQs

How do I refund / change my ticket?

How do I get a refund?

For paper and eTickets, please use our online refund form.

For smartcard refunds please use our Key Smartcard refund form on the Southern website.

Alternatively, please visit one of our Ticket Offices for assistance.

We aim to process all refunds within 20 working days.

When should I follow up on my claim?

We understand that receiving your refund is important and it will be processed as quickly as possible.

If you have not heard from us within 28 days of submitting a refund application, please get in touch and we will investigate your enquiry.

If you applied at a ticket office, please provide as much information as you can, including a copy of any paperwork issued by the ticket office. If you applied using the web form, or other online service, please quote your reference number.

Am I entitled to a refund or extension on my Railcard?
After careful consideration, the government has confirmed that Railcards will remain non-refundable and will not be extended.
I have a National Rail Voucher that has expired, and I have not been able to use, what do I do?

We know many of you have not been able to exchange your National Rail Vouchers, as you were following the Governments ‘stay at home’ advice.

Therefore, we will accept National Rail Vouchers at our Ticket Offices for payment towards the cost of your next rail journey, with an expiry date between the 20th October 2020 and 30th June 2021; for a maximum of 6 months from when they expired.

We cannot extend the validity of any Rail Travel Vouchers:

  • That expired before the 20th October 2020
  • Will expire on or after the 1st July 2021

We cannot replace any Rail Travel Vouchers that have been lost or destroyed.

How do I exchange my Advance ticket for a voucher?

You can apply for a non-cashable voucher for the value of your ticket, which will be valid for 12 months from the date of issue, for use as payment towards a new ticket.

If you bought your ticket from us:

If you have an e-ticket and bought it from us please use our Contact Us form by selecting the “Make an enquiry” option and “Refunds” subject. Include the following information:

  • Booking reference of the e-ticket
  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Telephone number

You will have a non-cashable travel eVoucher added to your online account within 14 days of receiving your request.

eVouchers can be used for tickets that are available from our website.

To use your eVoucher, you will see your voucher total in the delivery options screen once you have selected your ticket and you will have the option to use some or all of your voucher as payment in full or towards that ticket.

Please note that eVouchers cannot be exchanged for cash and are valid for 12 months from the day of issue.

Follow this link for the Contact Us form.

If you have bought a paper ticket, if you have not already done so, please print the ticket(s) and then send it in the post to the following freepost address:

Govia Thameslink Railway
Freepost RTGL-ELXC-HAUU
Ashby-De-La-Zouch
LE65 9EB

Please include the following information:

  • Full Name
  • Postal address
  • Email address
  • Telephone number

If your ticket value is above £50 you may wish to use an enhanced Royal Mail service to do this. We cannot be responsible for any tickets lost in the post.

If you bought the ticket from another train company or retailer, even if the journey is on our network, you will need to contact them to apply for a voucher.

What is the latest date I need to request a change of date or voucher for my Advance Ticket by?
As soon as possible and must be made prior to the time and date of travel. Once your travel plans change, the sooner you let us know the better, especially for a voucher exchange as these can take up to 2 weeks to process.
Can I change my Advance Ticket for another journey?
If you would like to take a different journey, please request a voucher and rebook.
I would like to change my Advance Ticket to another date, but can’t go to a Ticket Office due to shielding, what do I do?
Please request a voucher and use this to purchase a new ticket for the date you would like to travel.
Once I’ve changed the date of my Advance Ticket, can I then change it again in the future if there are further lockdowns?
You can change it again, however, if your travel plans are uncertain the better option for you would be to exchange your ticket for a voucher which can be used to purchase another ticket in the future.
Can I just get a refund for my Advance Ticket into my bank account?
As this is an enhanced service offered due to Coronavirus and the subsequent guidelines. We are only able to exchange advance tickets for non-cashable vouchers. Advance tickets are not normally eligible for refund or credit notes.
I don’t know if/when I will be travelling again, which option for my Advance Ticket is best for me?
If your travel plans are uncertain the best option is to exchange your ticket for a voucher which can be used to purchase another ticket in the future.
I’ve arranged e-ticket refunds myself through my account before, why can’t I process my own refund for my Advance Ticket?
As this is an enhanced service offered due to Coronavirus and the subsequent guidelines. Although this process is similar to our refunds process, we are only able to exchange Advance tickets for non-cashable vouchers, and we do not have a self-service function available for this.
I have received an eVoucher, how do I use it to make a purchase in the future?
To use your eVoucher, you will see your voucher total in the delivery options screen once you have selected your product(s) and you will have the option to use some or all of your voucher as payment in full or towards that product, you can also view these within eVouchers screen. Please note that eVouchers cannot be exchanged and are valid for 12 months from the day of issue.
What happens if I send you my Advance Ticket, and it gets lost in post?
Unfortunately, we are not able to take responsibility for any tickets not yet in our possession. If your ticket is of high value or you are concerned, you may want to consider using an enhanced Royal Mail service.
I have received my non-cashable vouchers; can I use them on a different service or operating company?
These vouchers can be used to purchase National Rail tickets for travel on any National Rail service regardless of the train operating company.
I have applied for a voucher, but I haven’t received them?
If you have not received your voucher within 3 weeks, please contact our Customer Relations team using the Contact Us form.
I would like to exchange my Advance Ticket for an eVoucher but I don’t have an online account; can I still use an eVoucher?
If you purchased an e-ticket as a guest, you can link it to an account retrospectively but clicking on the link in your booking confirmation email. When you have set up your account you can apply for your ticket to be exchanged for an eVoucher.