London Underground

You can claim a refund if you’ve been delayed on the London Underground or DLR for over 15 minutes if the circumstances are within TfL’s control but you must do so within 28 days. You should receive the single fare for the affected journey as compensation.

Oyster and contactless cards

Oyster card at readerBy signing up for an Oyster or contactless payment card on the TfL website you gain a number of benefits including being able to easily 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.

If you’re 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 companies 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 the conditions of the ticket. In the London zone, an Oyster or a contactless payment card should offer the lowest fare. However, if you board a train using Oyster/contactless card (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.

National Rail

train disruptionIf your train has been delayed or cancelled you may be able to claim a refund from your train operator. Generally, you’re entitled to compensation based on the train company’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 is delayed.

Compensation payments can be made in different ways 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 within 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 it.

Ticket machines

All train companies 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.

ticket machines at Waterloo Station

Need to complain?

Our complaints page has information and advice on complaining to transport operators.

There is also information about how you can complain on Which?’s website. It 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 has some useful information.