Skip navigation

Hello screen reader user. To ensure our website is continually improved and meets the needs of its visitors, we would like to hear your views about our website whilst using your screen reader. Please email your feedback to For more information please read our Accessibility statement. Thank you. Skip navigation

Check times & buy tickets
Outward Journey
Return date and time
Ticket types

Improvement works

Live service info



Station info

Important alert

This is an important announcement

RMT Strike Action announced for 3rd and 5th October


You are here: Home > Southern > Automatic delay compensation for Govia Thameslink Railway passengers

Automatic delay compensation for Govia Thameslink Railway passengers

Date: 04 Jul 2017

The key smartcard

As part of plans to modernise one of the most congested networks in the country, train operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has today announced that Thameslink and Great Northern passengers using a key smartcard are now being automatically compensated for delays of 15 minutes or more.

In the coming weeks, the system will also be phased to roll out to the larger Southern and Gatwick Express network, benefiting thousands more people.

The automated system uses complex algorithms after the customer has tapped in and tapped out and will be able to tell if the journey made was delayed by 15 minutes or more. If that's the case, it will send an automatic claim to the customer's online account. All the customer has to do is to review the claim for accuracy and confirm the method of payment preferred.

Thameslink and Great Northern's Passenger Services Director, Stuart Cheshire said: "While our punctuality continues to improve for the sixth month in a row, inevitably, there will still be delays to some journeys. Now, with automatic Delay Repay it couldn't be simpler to get compensation when this happens, but you have to have a key smartcard to benefit from this amazing new system."

Getting a key smartcard is really easy. It's free, it's paperless, it's hassle-free and it's a speedy way to purchase tickets. It only takes a few minutes online to get one and it's delivered within 3-5 working days. Customers can go to or to get theirs.

Southern and Gatwick Express customers will also benefit from automatic Delay Repay compensation once launched on those networks in the coming months.


Editor’s notes

To determine whether a claim can be made, the system uses data that comes from entry and exit taps at the station validators. It compares how long it has taken the customer to complete the journey against how long the journey should have taken. Where there is a discrepancy, it looks to see whether there were any corresponding train delays/cancellations and if it finds a relevant delay of 15 minutes or more, a claim will be automatically created.

This method is complimentary to the conventional Delay Repay claim process and does not replace it. Claims for delays of 15 minutes or more can still be made as usual.