Delayed rail passengers are to be given stronger rights to claim for extra expenses, such as taxis, hotels and missed flights, following disrupted train services.
A clause that meant operators could turn down requests for “consequential loss” – reasonable additional losses beyond the cost of a ticket - is set to be deleted from national travel terms and conditions.
Passengers will now be told they are entitled to claim for additional losses under the Consumer Rights Act, which came into force in the rail industry on October 1 2016.
Consumer group Which? said the change, which comes into force on Sunday, will “ensure passengers are not misled about their ability to claim compensation and their entitlement to seek consequential losses under common law”.
How to make a successful claim
- Take a note of the date, time, train company and the service you’re on
- Make sure you include the reason given for the delay or cancellation and how long you were held-up for
- Record what impact the service disruption had on you - eg you had to take a taxi because the last train home was cancelled
- Keep any receipts and take photos that can support your claim
A spokeswoman for the group told the Standard the change means any passenger that has attempted to claim for consequential loss since October 2016 can try and make that claim again, provided they have evidence.
She added: “We have asked train companies to make clear that people can claim.”
A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group, which brings together train operators, Network Rail and rail suppliers, said: “Train companies are sorry whenever journeys are disrupted and we have been happy to work with the government and the regulator to make clearer our customers’ rights.
“Nevertheless, it is important for our customers to understand that it is very unlikely they will be entitled to compensation for additional losses.
“Compensation is becoming increasingly generous and easy to claim, which is why payments have increased fivefold in five years to £74 million.
“As part of our plan for a changing and improving railway, train companies have committed to creating a new independent railway ombudsman to rule on complaints and build confidence in our services.”