Coronavirus: Third of rail passengers still waiting for season ticket refunds

There has been a jump in claims for season ticket refunds as many people started working from home due to the coronavirus lockdown. (PA)

One in three rail passengers who requested a season ticket refund due to the coronavirus pandemic are still waiting for a payout, according to Transport Focus.

The watchdog found that 36% of travellers have not been told if they will receive a refund, while some customers have been waiting to get their money back for over six weeks, leaving them “out of pocket and in the dark.”

Over half (51%) of passengers were not satisfied with how their claim has been handled, according to the survey of around 700 people.

There has been a jump in claims for season ticket refunds as many people started working from home due to the coronavirus lockdown.

In the last two months over 109,000 season tickets have been refunded, which is more than the whole of 2019, according to industry body the Rail Delivery Group.

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Transport Focus chief executive Anthony Smith said: “While the majority of passengers have received a refund, six weeks on from applying others are still out of pocket and in the dark.

“Operators must reassure passengers on how long they can expect their refund to take and when they can realistically expect to see the money back in their bank account.”

Jacqueline Starr, chief operating officer for the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Train operators are working hard to process an unprecedented number of refunds as quickly as possible — and in the last two months over 109,000 season tickets have been refunded, which is more than the entirety of last year.

“We thank people for their patience as refunds are processed during these exceptional times and we have doubled the number of staff processing refund claims, extended the claims period to eight weeks and are backdating refunds.”

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