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Virgin Trains West Coast rolls out automated delay repay system

Virgin Trains West Coast has become the UK’s first operator to introduce automatic delay repay (ADR), which refunds passengers automatically for delays.

It calculates the money due to a customer if a delay occurs and automatically deposits this compensation onto the card they used for the purchase.

The compensation is calculated under the existing ‘delay repay’ scheme, refunding customers for delays of more than 30 minutes.

The new service is available for West Coast Main Line travellers who purchased their advance tickets through the Virgin website or the mobile app, estimated to be the case of around 3.5 million journeys. Passengers travelling in journeys with multiple connections across different train operators are not eligible for ADR.

Patrick McLoughlin, transport secretary, said: “Making it easier to get compensation when trains are delayed is a vital part of our plan for passengers. Today’s announcement is fantastic news for people travelling along the West Coast Main Line. Virgin Trains are making the most of modern technology to improve the service customers get.

“Our plan is to make sure passengers across the country benefit from schemes like this and we are encouraging other operators to roll out similar schemes nationwide.”

The TOC expects this system to result in £2.8m being paid to passengers in compensation within the next year on top of the existing amount of compensation – “because many people simply do not claim at the moment”.

Phil Whittingham, the operator’s managing director, said they were “delighted” to be the first company to implement the automated refund service and promised it was just “one of a range of innovations” planned for the coming year.

In August, RTM revealed that the amount of cash paid in delay and repay compensations to passengers by most major train operating companies had more than doubled over the last five years.

Virgin Trains West Coast spent over £10m in compensation costs in 2014-15 – up from £6.7m the previous year.

Other TOCs followed similar patterns, with Abellio Greater Anglia paying out 50% more during 2014-15 at a sum total of £2.3m, compared to just £120,000 in 2011-12.


Robert   06/10/2015 at 12:37

What about those of us get tickets via an agent? At the moment we get the money returned to us, under this system the booking agent would get the money and we would have to chase them for it.

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