COMMUTERS have two weeks left to claim back hundreds of pounds on unused train tickets.
Since March 23, the day lockdown was introduced, millions of people have scrapped going to the office in favour of working from home.
So to help make it easy for people to claim refunds on unused travel tickets, the government stepped in to say passengers must be refunded for tickets that haven’t been used after March 23.
You will have to act quickly to get your money back though as the deadline for refunds is on September 7.
Just bear in mind that the info below is for National Rail users, and there’s a different system in place for Transport for London (TfL) customers – see the box for more on this.
Here’s what you need to know.
Usually, annual, monthly and seven-day season ticket holders have 28 days from the date the ticket was last used to claim a refund.
You’ve now got until September 7 to apply for a refund, although you’ll only get a refund for the eight weeks you haven’t used since making the claim – you can’t get a refund all the way back until March 23.
This also applies to other types of annual season ticket, such as PlusBus, or car park season tickets.
The amount you get back also depends on how much value is left on your ticket.
You can calculate how much you are owed using the National Rail refunds calculator.
Off-peak, anytime, advance tickets
All National Rail off-peak, anytime and advance tickets bought before 7am on March 23, 2020, when the pandemic officially started, are refundable.
For anytime and advance tickets purchased after lockdown, you can still get a full refund without incurring the usual £10 admin fee if you book before September 7 – regardless of whether or not travel is after this date.
Advance tickets bought after March 23 remain non-refundable unless disruption to your booked journey, such as trains being cancelled or delayed, means you’re entitled to a refund under your train operator’s normal rules.
You can, however, change your advance ticket journey up until September 7 without incurring the usual £10 admin fee.
Train firms have committed to making refunds a completely remote and virtual process.
This means they can only be done online, although different operators have different systems.
For example, Great Northern has an online form and asks customers to take an image of their ticket cut into two halves.
The Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators, says you should check the website of the company that sold your tickets for full details of the best way to get a refund.
Commuters in England, Scotland, and Wales are set to be hit with ticket price hikes of 1.6% next year as inflation has risen to its highest level in four months.
A watchdog has urged operators to introduce discounts and flexible season tickets to help Britain get back to work.
In March, franchise rail operators were offered the chance to transfer all revenue and cost risk to the government to avoid firms collapsing due to coronavirus.