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You are here: Home > Your journey > Customer services > Delay repay > Delay repay - frequently asked questions

Delay repay

What is Delay Repay?
Delay repay is a national compensation scheme that most train operating companies have in place. You can claim compensation if you're delayed by 15 minutes* or more (including cancellations) when you travel with us.

*Delays of 15-29 minutes can only be claimed for delayed journeys from 11 December 2016 onwards.

How do I claim compensation for a delay to my journey?
You can claim compensation using the online form. You can also complete a paper form by downloading the PDF from our website or you can collect a pre-printed form from any of our staffed stations.

What information do I have to provide to claim?
You will need to provide some personal contact information so that we can get in touch with you once your claim has been assessed.  You will also need to provide proof of travel and details about your delayed journey. 

What is acceptable proof of travel?

Paper ticket:
- Your original ticket 
- The ticket receipt (if you no longer have your ticket)
- A scan or photograph of your season ticket and photocard

The key smartcard: 
- Key smartcard number (found on the front of your smartcard)
- If you have a smartcard issued by another train company, please provide the card number and the receipt/booking confirmation showing details of the ticket(s) held on your smartcard 

Oyster and contactless:
- Oyster season ticket: a receipt showing the date of purchase, the price you paid and the zones covered by your Oyster card
- Oyster pay as you go or contactless payment: a print-out showing where you touched in and out and the cost of your journey 

To access your Oyster or Contactless journey information visit www.tfl.gov.uk

Please note there is an attachment limit of 5mb in place

How is Delay Repay calculated?

Season ticket holders (weekly or longer)
To calculate the compensation value of each journey, we divide the cost of your season ticket by 464; other period tickets are calculated pro-rata on the same basis.

- an annual season ticket covers 464 single journeys
- a six-monthly season ticket covers 240 single journeys
- a quarterly season ticket covers 120 single journeys
- a monthly season ticket covers 40 single journeys
- a weekly season ticket covers 10 single journeys

If you're delayed by:

- 15-29 minutes you're entlted to at least 25% of the single fare paid, or for a return ticket at least 25% of the fare paid for the affected portion
- 30-59 minutes you're entitled to 50% of the cost of a single journey
- 60-119 minutes you're entitled to 100% of the cost of a single journey
- 120+ minutes you're entitled to 100% of the cost of a return journey (a full day’s travel)

Day ticket holders
If you're delayed by:

- 30-59 minutes you're entitled to at least 50% of the single fare paid, or for a return ticket at least 50% of the fare paid for the affected portion
- 60-119 minutes you're entitled to 100% of the single fare paid, or for a return ticket at least 50% of the fare paid for the affected portion
- 120+ minutes you're entitled to 100% of the cost of the fare paid whether it was for a single or return journey

How will compensation be paid?

Your statutory rights are to receive your compensation in the same way you paid for your ticket. The full range of repayment options are available through the online form. These are:

  • Electronic bank transfer (BACS)
  • E-voucher (you must have an online account with us)
  • PayPal (you must have a paypal account)
  • Visa/Mastercard debit/credit card
  • Cashable voucher (these may be exchanged for cash at any Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern or Thameslink ticket office)
  • Cheque

Repayment options on the postal form are more limited. If you do not select a preferred method of repayment on the postal form, we will issue cashable vouchers. 

Why create an account?
It is simple and straightforward. The account will remember your contact details allowing claims to be made quicker. You’ll also be able to access the full range of repayment options if you have an account. We’re also working on some further enhancements such as saving favourite journeys, season ticket information and claim history.

What are the benefits of applying online?
If you create an online account with us, we will store your personal information, season ticket details and repayment preferences which will save you time if you need to apply for Delay Repay in the future. You can also benefit from the full range of repayment options. 

Can I submit more than one claim at a time?
Yes, if you use the online form, you can submit up to 5 claims. Each claim is processed separately so you will receive a separate contact for each claim you make and they may be processed at different times.

How do I make a claim on behalf of my children or other members of my family if we travelled together?
Although our process is designed for the person who experienced the delay to make the claim, we do understand this isn’t always possible or practical, for example where a family are travelling together and experience a delay. Our online form allows you to make up to 5 claims in one submission. If you need to make more than 5 claims, simply repeat the process.

After you have made a claim for yourself using the ticket you travelled on, select ‘add another claim’. You can then choose to ‘copy details from claim 1’ which will populate the same journey information. However please ensure that you supply ticket information for the other person who travelled following the on screen instructions. If you provide the same ticket information more than once the claim will be rejected as a duplicate. Please note that each claim submission will be assessed separately and you may hear from us at different times.

Why must I submit my claim within 28 days?
In common with most retail organisations, any claims for a refund or compensation must be made within 28 days. 

What if I am delayed on a multi-leg journey?
If you are travelling with more than one train operator and you experience a delay, it is important that you make your claim for compensation to the operator that caused the initial delay. It is important that you leave sufficient time to maintain connections (including crossing London connections). Compensation will only be paid for missed connections when enough time has been left to meet the connection and you hold a ‘through’ ticket that covers the entire journey. Further details can be found at nationalrail.co.uk    

Will I get compensation if my train is cancelled?
If a cancellation causes your journey to be delayed by 15 minutes or more, then you are entitled to compensation. Unless you give us more information we will assume you were able to take the next available train.

Can I change my payment preference once my delay repay has been submitted?
No, we cannot change the option you have chosen so please make sure you select the right one for you when filling in your claim

Failed payments
We’ve been working hard to offer a range of repayment methods for Delay Repay. Some of these payment methods will fail if you do not provide accurate information. Here are some top tips to avoid a failed payment:

  • If you select BACS payment, double check that the sort code and account number you supply are correct and it is for the account you want the payment to go into
  • If you select PayPal, you must have a PayPal account and you must check that the email address you supply at the payment method stage of the claim is valid and relates to your PayPal account
  • If you opt for a cashable voucher or cheque, please make sure the address you provide is correct and up to date

In the event that one of the electronic payment methods fail, we will write to you and send a cashable national rail voucher instead.

Why was my claim declined or not processed?
Your claim may be declined for a number of reasons and the specific reason for this will be provided to you in our response. Common reasons for turning down a claim are:

Your claim was submitted outside of 28 days

Your ticket was not valid for the journey you have claimed for – please check the details of your ticket

We were unable to find a delay of 15 minutes or more

The delay occurred with a different train operator

You have exceeded the maximum compensation payable for a day’s travel*

*Why can I only make one 120 minute (2 hour) delay claim in a day?
Where a delay of 120 minutes occurs, the calculation for this provides you with 100% of the cost of the day’s travel (whether you are a season ticket or daily ticket holder). Because we provide the full cost of the ticket (or value of the day’s travel in the case of season ticket holders), compensation is capped at this level for the day.

Why were you unable to complete my claim?
You will need to provide some personal contact information so that we can get in touch with you once your claim has been assessed.  You will also need to provide proof of travel and details about your delayed journey. If any of this information is missing, we won’t be able to process your claim. If this happens, we will contact you explaining exactly what information is missing from your claim and what to do next.

If my claim was declined or not processed, what should I do?
If we declined your claim or were unable to process it for any reason, we will contact you to tell you and we will provide a claim reference number. If you would like us to reconsider your claim you should complete the online form again selecting “Resubmitted claim” under ‘reason for claim’. You will be prompted to provide the case reference number we provided you with.

Why don’t you accept claims from a third party?
So that we can process claims as quickly as possible, it is important that you use our systems and tools to do this. As you are the person who has experienced the delay, you are the best placed to tell us what happened.

Why do you limit the range of compensation methods on postal applications?
In order to complete repayment by credit/debit card or bank transfer we need your personal financial information. It is perfectly secure to provide this information online but we cannot guarantee its security by post. You must have an online account with us to be able to accept e-voucher compensation. As part of the online application process, only those who have created an account are offered e-vouchers as a method of repayment and paypal will only be available if you have a paypal account.  

Can I send you multiple Delay Repay claims via a letter rather than sending individual forms?
Yes, but please ensure you provide all the details requested on the form otherwise we will not be able to process the claim, and all claims must be submitted within the time limit of 28 days from the date of travel.

Why can’t you give me Delay Repay automatically?
By summer 2017, holders of the key smartcard will benefit from automatic notification of entitlement to Delay Repay where we believe a delay of 15 minutes or more has occurred. 

Paper tickets simply operate the automatic ticket barriers according to pre-set rules on the gates depending upon the product held on the ticket, no information about the journeys people make can be obtained from our ticket gates. That’s why we rely on customers to tell us about the delays they have experienced. As TfL operate Oyster and contactless payment schemes, we don’t have access to any journey information so we need you to supply it.

Why do I have to provide you with information about my ticket, don’t you know?
Customers can now purchase their tickets using a variety of methods and retailers. Many stations on our network, for example Cambridge, Peterborough, London Bridge and Clapham Junction, are not operated by us, as we don’t have information about tickets sold by other operators/retailers you must provide it.

Why do I have to provide my season ticket information again?
We do know this is frustrating. In order to make some changes to enable us to offer a wider range of repayment methods, we have changed some of our systems. The new site enables you to create an account and this will save time next time you apply.

Why do you now ask for the ticket number?
If you hold a paper ticket, we ask you to provide the ticket number if you apply online. This allows us to assess your claim more quickly and accurately by referencing ticket sales data behind the scenes. Details of where this information can be found are available on the online application form. 

Can I cash in all National Rail Vouchers at Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern or Thameslink ticket offices?
Only cashable rail vouchers (blue vouchers) issued by us can be exchanged for cash at our ticket offices. We do not have an agreement with other train operating companies to cash their vouchers and in most cases, these vouchers are not of the cashable variety. You should contact the train company who issued the vouchers if you have any queries.  

Can I exchange my old vouchers for one of the new payment methods?
No, the legislation came into effect on 1 October 2016 and all claims received prior to that were clearly detailed in our payment options.

Why can’t I have money put back onto my American Express card?
Unfortunately American Express have advised that at present they cannot support the solution which the card payment industry is developing for rail and we will therefore not be able to offer Delay Repay repayments back to American Express cards. 

Season Ticket holders – enhanced compensation 
If there's a period of sustained poor performance, season ticket holders may be entitled to enhanced compensation. 

This could be two free return journeys anywhere on our network to be used within 12 months or National Rail Travel Vouchers for the value of a single journey between the stations for which your ticket is valid. 

Find out more and claim online