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Change of travel plans

We understand that you may need to change your travel plans as a result of changing COVID restrictions.

Whether you are looking to change the date of your journey or get a refund, we have put the following information together to help you see what options are available.

The information is based on the different ticket types in place, if you hold a paper ticket and you’re not sure what type of ticket you have, please check the information printed on the orange stripe in the top left corner of the ticket for one of the following.

Student travel window

If you are a student and you booked an Advance ticket before 11th November 2020 for travel after 9th December 2020, you can change your date of travel at any National Rail Ticket Office without paying a £10 admin fee.

Flexible tickets such as Off-Peak and Anytime can already be rebooked to another date without an admin fee.

The government has set a window from 3rd to 9th December 2020 for students to travel home from university.

Travel on a different date

You can change the date of travel without paying a change of journey fee, so long as you request the change before the date of your original journey.

If you bought your ticket from us and no longer want to travel

  • Tickets sold up to and including Sunday 6th September 2020:

    We can refund your ticket, up to a maximum of 56 days from the expiry date of the ticket and we have waived the £10 admin fee, please see the separate FAQ section at the bottom of this page for full details of the refunds process.
  • Tickets sold from Monday 7th September 2020:

    We can refund your ticket less a £10 admin fee, up to a maximum of 28 days from the expiry date of the ticket, please see our refunds process for full details.

If you bought your ticket from another retailer or train company, you will need to contact them to request your refund.

Advance tickets under normal circumstances attract a fee for changing to a different service or date and are not refundable.

However, the following temporary changes have been put in place, which are dependent on when you bought your ticket, the journey itself and the travel date:

Travel on a different date

  • Tickets sold up to and including Saturday 31st October 2020 for travel anywhere between Sunday 1st November and Wednesday 2nd December 2020:

    You can change your ticket at any National Rail Ticket Office, but you will need to pay any difference between the fare you have already paid and the best available fare for the new journey.

    You will not be charged the £10 change of journey fee.

    Whilst there is no limit to the number of occasions where you can make this change, if you are not certain of when you will make the journey, you may prefer to use the option to exchange your ticket for a non-cashable voucher detailed below.

All tickets sold from Sunday 1st November 2020 or tickets purchased before that date for travel from Thursday 3rd December 2020, can be changed for a different service or date, but you will need to pay any difference between the fare you have already paid and the best available fare for the new journey, plus a £10 change of journey fee for each ticket changed.

If you bought your ticket from us and no longer want to travel

Whilst these tickets remain non-refundable, in the following specific circumstances you can exchange your ticket for a non-cashable voucher of the same value, which will be valid for 12 months from the date of issue, which can then be used towards the cost of a National Rail journey:

  • Tickets sold up to and including Saturday 31st October 2020 for travel before Sunday 1st November 2020:

    If your journey was to an area where local restrictions were already in place (e.g. journeys to or from Liverpool, Greater Manchester, or London), provided the Advance ticket was purchased prior to the official announcement of that areas change in tier, and to areas subject to local restrictions before the tier system was introduced on 12th October 2020 (such as North East England).
  • Tickets sold up to and including Saturday 31st October 2020 for travel anywhere between Sunday 1st November and Wednesday 2nd December 2020:

    Please see the separate FAQ section at the bottom of this page for full details of how to apply for your voucher.

If you bought your ticket from another retailer, you will need to contact them to request your voucher.

Tickets purchased for travel from Thursday 3rd December 2020, cannot be exchanged for a voucher.

If you bought your ticket from us and no longer want to travel:

Unexpired Season Tickets can be refunded at any time.

We will calculate how much is refunded based on the value left on your ticket on the day you submit your Season Ticket less a £10 admin fee for refund.

You can find out how much refund you are due by using this calculator:

Season ticket refund calculator

Please see our refunds process for tickets here, for full details.

This refund can only be backdated with evidence that illness prevented you from travelling.

For more information, including if you require a refund due to sickness that prevented you from using a Season Ticket, see the Season Ticket Conditions page.

If you bought your season ticket from another train operator or retailer, you will need to contact them to request your refund.

Travel on a different date:

Please do not date your carnet ticket until you know for certain that you are going to travel, as it is not possible to amend the date of travel with these tickets once dated.

If you bought your ticket from us and no longer want to travel:

  • Tickets sold up to and including Sunday 6th September 2020:

    We can refund both complete and partially used books of tickets, up to a maximum of 56 days from the expiry date of the ticket and we have waived the £10 admin fee, please see the separate FAQ section at the bottom of this page for full details of the refunds process.
These tickets are not refundable. Please only purchase them if you are certain you will travel.
A full refund is available before the period of validity starts with no fees applied. Tickets cannot be refunded once the period of validity has started.
Please contact Transport for London for any refunds for tickets purchased on Oyster.
If you will not be using your car park season ticket for some time, you can request a refund by following the normal refund process.

Additional FAQs

If you purchased your ticket online as a “ticket on departure” that you have not yet collected, its easiest to manage your refund or exchange is through your online account in most cases:

If you have an eTicket or paper ticket, or you are unable to process a refund via your on-line account, you should apply for a refund remotely using our Paper Ticket Refunds form at Thameslink, Southern, or Great Northern.

We aim to process all refunds within 20 working days.

We understand that receiving your refund is important and it will be processed as quickly as possible.

If you have not heard from us within 28 days of submitting a refund application, please get in touch and we will investigate your enquiry.

If you applied at a ticket office, please provide as much information as you can, including a copy of any paperwork issued by the ticket office. If you applied using the web form, or other online service, please quote your reference number.

You can apply for a non-cashable voucher for the value of your ticket, which will be valid for 12 months from the date of issue, for use as payment towards a new ticket.

If you bought your ticket from us:

If you have an e-ticket and bought it from us please use our Contact Us form by selecting the “Make an enquiry” option and “Refunds” subject. Include the following information:

  • Booking reference of the e-ticket
  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Telephone number

You will have a non-cashable travel eVoucher added to your online account within 14 days of receiving your request.

eVouchers can be used for tickets that are available from our website.

To use your eVoucher, you will see your voucher total in the delivery options screen once you have selected your ticket and you will have the option to use some or all of your voucher as payment in full or towards that ticket.

Please note that eVouchers cannot be exchanged for cash and are valid for 12 months from the day of issue.

Follow this link for the Contact Us form.

If you have bought a paper ticket, if you have not already done so, please print the ticket(s) and then send it in the post to the following freepost address:

Govia Thameslink Railway
Freepost RTGL-ELXC-HAUU
Ashby-De-La-Zouch
LE65 9EB

Please include the following information:

  • Full Name
  • Postal address
  • Email address
  • Telephone number

If your ticket value is above £50 you may wish to use an enhanced Royal Mail service to do this. We cannot be responsible for any tickets lost in the post.

If you bought the ticket from another train company or retailer, even if the journey is on our network, you will need to contact them to apply for a voucher.

It will depend on certain criteria including your journey, when you bought your ticket and the date of travel.

You can refer to the relevant government website, to check for dates of announcements for the previous local restrictions, using the links below:

UK Government website

Scottish Government website

Welsh Government website / weler Llwodraeth Cymru

As soon as possible and must be made prior to the time and date of travel. Once your travel plans change, the sooner you let us know the better, especially for a voucher exchange as these can take up to 2 weeks to process.
If you would like to take a different journey, please request a voucher and rebook.
Please request a voucher and use this to purchase a new ticket for the date you would like to travel.
You can change it again, however, if your travel plans are uncertain the better option for you would be to exchange your ticket for a voucher which can be used to purchase another ticket in the future.
As this is an enhanced service offered due to Coronavirus and the subsequent guidelines. We are only able to exchange advance tickets for non-cashable vouchers. Advance tickets are not normally eligible for refund or credit notes.
If your travel plans are uncertain the best option is to exchange your ticket for a voucher which can be used to purchase another ticket in the future.
As this is an enhanced service offered due to Coronavirus and the subsequent guidelines. Although this process is similar to our refunds process, we are only able to exchange Advance tickets for non-cashable vouchers, and we do not have a self-service function available for this.
Unfortunately, we are not able to take responsibility for any tickets not yet in our possession. If your ticket is of high value or you are concerned, you may want to consider using an enhanced Royal Mail service.
These vouchers can be used to purchase National Rail tickets for travel on any National Rail service regardless of the train operating company.
If you have not received your voucher within 3 weeks, please contact our Customer Relations team using the Contact Us form.

If you purchased an e-ticket as a guest, you can link it to an account retrospectively but clicking on the link in your booking confirmation email. When you have set up your account you can apply for your ticket to be exchanged for an eVoucher.
To use your eVoucher, you will see your voucher total in the delivery options screen once you have selected your product(s) and you will have the option to use some or all of your voucher as payment in full or towards that product, you can also view these within eVouchers screen. Please note that eVouchers cannot be exchanged and are valid for 12 months from the day of issue.
After careful consideration, the government has confirmed that Railcards will remain non-refundable and will not be extended.

We will accept National Rail Vouchers at our Ticket Offices for payment towards the cost of your next rail journey, with an expiry date between 17th March 2020 and 16th September 2020 for a maximum of 6 months after they have expired.

We cannot accept National Rail Vouchers with an expiry date from the 17th September 2020, that have since expired.