December train strikes 2022: How to get refunds for tickets affected by RMT strike - criteria for compensation

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RMT strikes that are taking place across the UK in the lead-up to Christmas 2022 have begun. Here’s how you can get train ticket refunds if your journey has been affected.

Travel chaos is rampant throughout the UK as a combination of industrial action and winter  weather causes widespread disruption. RMT strikes over the Christmas period have begun as the nation’s rail service has grinded to a halt.

Network Rail’s 15 train operating companies are taking part as 40,000 union members walk out in hope of attaining what they would define as  “a fair pay rise. RMT secretary Mick Lynch has lobbied for an increase that matches rising inflation during the cost of living crisis, which is currently at a 40-year high of 11.1%”.

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Rail workers are set to go on strike in a series of 48-hour walkouts on December 13, 14, 16 and 17, as well as on Christmas Eve until December 27. Strike action is also set to open in the new year with RMT members taking a stand on January 3,4, 6 and 7 in 2023.

Mick Lynch explained that RMT are apologetic for the disturbance that the strikes will cause the general public but urged them to direct their frustrating at the UK government. He said: “We feel that we’ve been compelled to take this action due to the intransigence of the government. We’ve been faced with an extremely detrimental offer and our members simply aren’t in a position to accept the changes the companies have put on the table.”

As a result of the planned RMT industrial action, a number of passengers will see their scheduled journeys disrupted and will therefore be in search of a refund. A number of rail companies have since highlighted how customers can get compensation or switch their train tickets over to other unaffected days.

Are passengers eligible for a full refund due to the RMT strikes?

Advanced or season ticket holders will only be eligible for a partial refund if their train journeys are affected by the December RMT strike action. Passengers who purchase a walk-up ticket on the day will also be able to gain a partial refund.

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This is achieved through the Delay Repay scheme which ensures customers are eligible for a partial refund if their train is delayed by 15 minutes or more. In order to take advantage of this, you will need to get in contact with the train company you are travelling with directly, provide a photo of your ticket and details of the train you were planning to take.

Please note that you will have to do this separately for each time a journey has been delayed. For more information, visit the websites of the train operating companies that participate in the Delay Repay Scheme:

The following is what you could be entitled to using the Delay Repay scheme. Includes information about advanced, off-peak, anytime and season tickets.

  • Single ticket holders will receive 25% of the train fare back as a refund if their train is delayed by 15 to 29 minutes. This increases to 50% if delayed by half-an-hour to 59 minutes and then passengers are entitled to a full refund if it goes over an hour.
  • Return ticket refunds are calculated on whether one or both legs of the journey were disrupted. If delayed by more than two hours in one leg, passengers can receive a full refund.
  • Passengers are also entitled to change a ticket date if they do not wish to travel. National Rail notes it only applies when the specific train has been cancelled, delayed or rescheduled.
  • Season ticket holders are entitled to 1/464th of the price they paid for the pass as a refund for a single journey that has been disrupted by strike action. Monthly holders will receive 1/40th of the pass price, while weekly will get 1/10th.

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