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Coronavirus refunds

Ticket refunds and exchanges

To help our customers during the pandemic we have made a number of temporary refund changes for when travel plans unexpectedly changed due to Coronavirus. Now that the vast majority of our services are running again and lockdown-related refunds have been processed, these temporary changes are coming to an end. Below are details of the changes, and when they will occur.

Season tickets submitted for refund on or before Sunday 6 September 2020

  • Season Tickets can be refunded at any time. We will calculate how much is refunded based on the value left on your ticket. We do this by deducting the value of any other tickets you could have travelled with in the same time until you stopped using your Season Ticket. If you submit your ticket for refund on or before Sunday 6 September 2020 this refund can be backdated up to a maximum of 56 days from when it is submitted to the last date it was used, if you were unable to travel due to the government’s guidance about only travelling if necessary during the pandemic. This has been extended to other types of Season Ticket such as PlusBus, or car park Season Tickets
  • If you were unable to travel due to illness immediately before the government’s guidance was given in March, you can apply for this to be backdated further with evidence of the period you were ill
  • To see how much you could get back from your Season Ticket, try the Season Ticket Refund Calculator below.  For more information, including if you require a refund due to sickness that prevented you from using a Season Ticket, see the Season Ticket Conditions page

Season tickets submitted for refund on or after Monday 7 September 2020

  • Unexpired Season Tickets can be refunded at any time. We will calculate how much is refunded based on the value left on your ticket on the day you submit your Season Ticket for refund. This refund can also be backdated with evidence that illness prevented you from travelling but we will no longer be able to back date them to a maximum of 56 days if you have chosen not to travel. For more information, including if you require a refund due to sickness that prevented you from using a Season Ticket, see the Season Ticket Conditions page

All other tickets purchased on or before Sunday 6 September 2020:

  • If you have an Off-Peak or Anytime ticket, you can get a full refund and we have waived the £10 admin fee
  • Advance tickets are normally non-refundable but you can now also get a full, fee-free refund if your Advance ticket was booked before 23 March 2020
  • If you have Carnet tickets, we have increased the flexibility by allowing part-refunds on any unused Carnet tickets
  • With the exception of Season Tickets, we have doubled the time people can apply for ticket refunds – up from 4 weeks to 8 weeks from the last day that the ticket was valid. Refunds are now being processed within 4 weeks, provided all details provided at time of application
  • If the train you intended to use has been cancelled in the reduced timetable you can get a full, fee-free refund.

All other tickets purchased on or after Monday 7 September 2020

The following rules will apply:

  • If you have an Off-Peak or Anytime ticket, you can get a full refund and an admin fee may apply
  • Advance tickets:
    - These tickets are non-refundable, therefore please consider carefully whether this is the right ticket for you
    - You can change the date and time of your booking and an admin fee may apply
    - For more flexibility we recommend choosing one of our flexible tickets (Anytime, Off-Peak, and Super Off-Peak tickets) giving you that added peace of mind, should your plans need to change
  • If you have a complete book of unused Carnet tickets, you can get a full refund and an admin fee may apply
  • You can apply for a ticket refund up to 4 weeks from the last day that the ticket was valid

How do I calculate the refund I will receive for my season ticket?

For refund requests submitted on or before Sunday 6 September, Season ticket refunds can be backdated to a maximum of 56 days from the date of submission. Entering a date more than 56 days into the past.

Season ticket refund calculator

 

For refund requests submitted on or after Monday 7 September, season ticket refunds will be calculated based on the value of the ticket on the date of submission. Please see our refunds process here.

The information below does not apply to season tickets submitted for refund on or after Monday 7 September or to other tickets purchased on or after Monday 7 September. Please refer to our refunds page for information.

Our revised arrangements make it as easy as possible for you to change or cancel your travel plans.

If you bought your ticket from Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern or Thameslink, enhanced arrangements for refunds and exchange are detailed below.

If you bought your ticket from another train company or a booking agent, please contact them for information on their refund policy.

Ticket type Refund exchange policy
Season tickets

Season tickets offer a discount to encourage customers to purchase the ticket up front, instead of buying each day/week/month as they travel.

Refunds are calculated as the difference between the cost of your season ticket and what it would have cost you to make the journey daily without the season ticket. This means that towards the expiry of the season ticket, there comes a point when it will no longer have been cheaper to travel using a shorter duration ticket and therefore no refund is due.

For tickets of more than a month, you can use our season ticket refund calculator above to estimate the refund due. Please consider the amount you will receive carefully before proceeding with the refund as all refunds are final, and season tickets cannot be “restarted” once the refund is processed.

We can generally give you a refund if there is:

  • Seven days (or more) left on a Season Ticket valid between one and ten months
  • Three days (or more) left on a weekly Season Ticket
  • For an annual Season Ticket, there may not be any monetary value left on it if it is surrendered in the last couple of months of validity. Annual Season tickets have no refund value after 10 months and 12 days, although they are still valid for travel until the expiry date and you can continue to enjoy any Gold Card benefits along with it

Please use the calculator above to calculate the refund for your specific ticket. A £10 admin fee is charged for all season ticket refunds.

Refunds are normally calculated based on the date you submit the ticket for refund; however, there are certain circumstances in which backdated claims can be made if you have not travelled during the period you are claiming for:

  • From 12 May, if you have been unable to travel for any reason claims may be backdated for a maximum of 56 days (eight weeks) from the date you submit your claim
  • In addition to this if you have been unable to travel due to sickness for at least 28 days (four weeks) you can claim a refund. If you are claiming a refund due to sickness, we will ask for supporting evidence, such as a medical certificate for the period you wish to backdate your claim. You can find out more and apply by getting in touch with our Customer Services team

More information on season ticket refunds can be found at National Rail Enquiries.

We do not offer a “pause and restart” option for season tickets.

Anytime, Off-Peak, and Super Off-Peak tickets A full refund is available for unused tickets with no fees applied. You have up to 56 days from the date you intended to travel to apply for this refund, however refunds will be processed in the order they are received.
Advance purchase tickets (tickets for a specific, timed service)

We will only be able to offer a refund or exchange if the service you have booked for is disrupted or cancelled after the time of booking. Please only make bookings if you definitely intend to travel.

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.
Daysave tickets These tickets are not refundable. Please only purchase them if you are certain you will travel.
Carnet tickets A full refund is available on all unused Carnet tickets based on the face value of each ticket. Each individual unused ticket must be submitted.
Oyster / Contactless Please contact Transport for London (tfl.gov.uk) for any refunds for tickets purchased on Oyster or Contactless.

If you purchased your ticket online:

  • as an e-ticket
  • as a “ticket on departure” that you have not yet collected

it is easiest to manage your refund or exchange is through your online account in most cases:

If you have the paper tickets or you are unable to process a refund via your on-line account, you should apply for a refund remotely using our Paper Ticket Refunds form at Thameslink, Southern, or Great Northern.

We have worked hard to process an unprecedented number of refund requests over the past two months and aim to process most of them within 28 days.

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.

After careful consideration, the government has confirmed to us that Railcards will remain non-refundable and will not be extended. Primarily as this would come at a significant cost to the taxpayer. We continue to focus on keeping our services running for our customers, in order to support the country’s recovery from the pandemic