Claiming refunds and compensation
You can claim if you have been delayed on the London Underground or DLR for over 15 minutes if the circumstances are within TfL’s control but must do so within 28 days. You should receive the single fare for the affected journey.
Oyster and contactless cards
By signing up for an Oyster or contactless payment card on the TfL website you gain a number of benefits that easily enable you to check your balance, the journeys you’ve made and use auto-top up. It also protects you against fraud if your card is lost or stolen.
TfL’s Oyster section has information on how you can get a refund of your deposit and unused Pay As You Go (PAYG) credit if you no longer need it. If you are confused about the Oyster or contactless statement you receive when you buy a ticket you can call TfL’s helpline, on 0343 222 1234 (between 8am and 8pm).
Train operators have a responsibility to provide impartial advice on fares, and therefore if you ask for the lowest fare from a particular station they should make this available to you and advise you about conditions of the ticket. In the London zone, Oyster PAYG or a contactless payment card may offer the lowest fare. However, if you board a train using PAYG (or you buy an advance purchase ticket close to departure time) but delays to that service have been announced before you board, you may not be able to claim compensation for this delay.
TfL will, in certain circumstances, refund you for delays automatically. If you are unsure, check your online account.
If your train has been delayed or cancelled you may be able to claim a refund from your train operator. Generally, you are entitled to compensation based on the train operator’s individual policy set out in their Passenger Charter (found on individual company websites or ticket offices). These documents outline the operator’s commitment to you as a passenger, what you should expect from your journey and what compensation you are entitled to when your train or Tube is delayed.
Compensation payments can be made in various different forms but it is your right to receive your compensation in the same way you paid for your ticket. These include cashable vouchers, BACs payments and card refunds. However, if you have a monthly or annual season ticket, some companies will only provide compensation if the average punctuality throughout the year falls below a minimum standard rather than based on your actual journey. You must claim with 21-28 days (depending which company is involved).
If an emergency timetable has been introduced most rail operators will refund or pay compensation based on delays to that timetable only.
The links below show what compensation individual train operators offer and give details on how to apply for compensation.
- Cross Country
- DLR and London Underground
- East Midlands Railway
- Grand Central
- Greater Anglia
- Great Western Railway
- Heathrow Express
- Hull Trains
- London Northwestern Rail
- South Western Railway
- Southern including Gatwick Express
- Stansted Express
- Thameslink Great Northern
- TfL Rail and London Overground
- West Midland Trains
- Eurostar has different terms and conditions to mainline operators.
All train operators in and around London are now signed up to the Office of Rail and Road’s ticket vending machine (TVM) price guarantee scheme. This entitles passengers who buy a ticket from a TVM and then discover they could have bought a cheaper product for the identical journey, to a refund to the value of the difference in cost.
Need to complain?
Our complaints section has information and advice on complaining to transport operators.
There is also information about how you can complain on independent consumer body, Which?’s website which contains general information about your rights around train delays and cancellations, advice on ‘how to claim compensation‘ and a template letter. The Money Saving Expert website also contains some useful information.