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What is Delay Repay compensation?

Nobody likes a delay or a cancellation. Don’t worry though, as you can claim compensation. In most cases, this is known as Delay Repay compensation. Let’s take a look at what it is and how you claim it.

What is Delay Repay compensation?

If you suffer a delay or cancellation, then you’re usually entitled to Delay Repay compensation. So, when does it apply?

You can get it after a delay of 30 minutes or more, and for any reason. The delay doesn’t have to be the train company’s fault. Some companies will even offer it for delays over 15 minutes:

  • 15-29 mins: 25% of the cost of a single ticket, 12.5% of a return
  • 30-59 mins: 50% of the cost of a single ticket, 25% of a return
  • 60-119 mins: 100% of the cost of a single ticket, 50% of a return
  • 120+ mins: 100% of the cost of a single or return ticket.

If you have two Advance single tickets, then these don’t count as a return ticket. You’ll only be able to claim based upon the cost of the single ticket that you were using.

Some companies will only offer compensation for delays over 30 minutes. However, if you’re travelling with Avanti West Coast, c2c, Chiltern Railways, East Midlands Railway, Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Great Western Railway, Greater Anglia, Northern, Southern, Southeastern, South Western Railway, Thameslink, TransPennine Express, Transport for Wales or West Midlands Trains (including London Northwestern Railway), then compensation kicks in after 15 minutes.

How do I claim Delay Repay compensation?

You can’t claim Delay Repay compensation through Railsmartr. You’ll need to claim from the company that delayed you first (by over 15 or 30 minutes). Even if every train on your journey was late, you’d still just make one claim to the first company.

If you go to the Find a Train Company section of the National Rail website, then you’ll find a list of who to claim from. In most cases, you’ll find the Delay Repay information in the contact details section:

How will I receive the compensation?

You’ll usually have a choice when it comes to how you receive any compensation. At a minimum, you’ll be able to receive a refund to your bank account, or Rail Travel Vouchers for a future journey.

Some companies will also refund money to a PayPal account. Northern will offer you a free ticket for anywhere on their network!

Which companies don’t offer Delay Repay?

Some companies don’t offer Delay Repay compensation, or might have their own version of it. For example, Grand Central, Hull Trains and Merseyrail have their own schemes. If you’re travelling with Transport for London, such as on the Elizabeth Line, London Overground or London Underground, then they do compensation a little differently. Let’s go through each of them.

Grand Central

Grand Central offers Passenger Charter compensation. This isn’t quite as generous as Delay Repay, and the delay will normally have to be the fault of the railway:

  • 60-119 minutes: a free journey, 50% of a single ticket or 25% of a return ticket
  • 120-179 minutes: a free journey, 75% of a single ticket or 37.5% of a return ticket
  • 180+ minutes: a free journey, 100% of a single ticket or 50% of a return ticket.
Hull Trains

Hull Trains offers Delay Repay compensation, but it’s slightly different. Here’s how much compensation they offer:

  • 30-59 minutes: 50% of a single ticket or 25% of a return ticket
  • 60+ minutes: 100% of a single ticket or 50% of a return ticket.

The amount of compensation you receive from Merseyrail will depend on whether you’re travelling with them exclusively, or if you have a connecting train. Compensation applies after a 30 minute delay:

  • Journey exclusively on Merseyrail: 100% of a single ticket or 50% of a return ticket
  • Connecting onto another service: up to 20% of ticket price.

You can find more information here.

Transport for London services

Transport for London-operated services are a little different. If you’ve travelled with London Overground or Elizabeth Line, then you’re entitled to a refund for your journey if:

  • You were delayed 30-59 minutes and the issue was within TfL’s control (eg. train fault, signalling issue)
  • You were delayed 60+ minutes, irrespective of the reason for the delay.

We’d recommend visiting the TfL website for more information about how to claim.

Can I claim Delay Repay compensation if I have multiple tickets?

Yes, you can. Remember, Delay Repay compensation applies to the entire journey. So, if you have multiple tickets, then these form a complete journey. The National Rail Conditions of Travel say that:

…You may use a combination of two or more tickets to make a journey provided that the train services you use call at the station(s) where you change from one ticket to another.

National Rail Conditions of Travel, Section 14.2

Train companies cannot refuse a claim or reward you a lesser amount of compensation if you’ve used multiple tickets. Of course, this is so long as you’ve left enough time between connecting trains.

We’d recommend having tickets for the entire journey, without any gaps. For example, if you’re travelling across London, it’s best to have ticket that also covers the Underground, rather than using Contactless or Oyster.

What if I have a Season ticket or Ranger/Rover ticket?

These tickets are all eligible for Delay Repay. Usually, if you have a multi-day ticket, the price will be divided by the number of days that it’s valid for, first.

What can I do if my claim is unsuccessful?

Was your claim unsuccessful? Were you not awarded the full amount? Don’t worry, you can appeal the decision. Just get back in touch with the train operator.

Often, an automated system will process the claims first. An appeal will ensure that a real person can look over them again.

If you think that there might be an issue with your claim, you might prefer to log some evidence of the delay. For example, you could take a time-stamped photo when you arrive, or a photo of the station clock. Realtimetrains will also keep evidence of historic train times for at least seven days.

Ultimately, if you’re still not happy, you can complain to the Rail Ombudsman.

What’s the difference between Delay Repay and a refund?

You’ll get a refund if you choose not to travel at all (because of disruption, or even if you change your mind), and you’ll get it from us (or whoever you booked the ticket with).

Delay Repay is compensation. You get it when you do complete your journey, but it was delayed. You get this from the operator that you travelled with.

Is there anything else I should know?

If you have any question about Delay Repay, and you’ve booked your tickets with us, then feel free to Contact Us. We’re happy to help if your claim is unsuccessful.

We’ve also written about disruptions and cancellations, and what you can do.

Looking to book your next journey? Railsmartr is here to help. We don’t charge any fees, including refund fees. So, if you need to change or refund your journey, you’ll receive the whole amount back.

All information is issued without liability. It was correct at 7 September 2023, and issued in good faith. Railsmartr is not responsible for any disappointment, inconvenience or financial loss incurred as a result of the information provided. Delay Repay is the responsibility of rail operators.