Delayed on Southern: Make Sure You Keep Proof of Travel to Claim Compensation

If your journey with Southern is delayed by more than 30 minutes, then you are entitled to claim compensation via their Delay Repay scheme.  You must claim within 28 days of travelling.

You must be able to prove you made the journey, which is perfectly reasonable in order to prevent fraudulent claims.  What Southern fails to point out is that for those using single tickets (or the Out portion of a return) the automated barriers found at many stations retain these tickets and do not return them to passengers, even if the train is more than 30 minutes late.  This may make it difficult for passengers to claim compensation.

I approached Southern to ask what procedure passengers should follow under these circumstances.  Here is their response.  Disappointingly this is still not made clear on their Delay Repay page more than a year after I contacted them and suggested they proactively inform passengers:

If a passenger is wishing to claim Delay Repay when disembarking at a station that has electronic barriers, they should inform a member of gateline staff that this is the case so they can let them through without having to put their ticket through the barrier. If you forget to do so and the ticket is taken then you could also attach the receipt to the claim.

So, it is a good idea to avoid using the automated barriers if you plan to claim compensation.  You may also wish to get a receipt for your ticket: automated ticket machines have an Add Receipt option just before you get to the payment option, and ticket offices should also be able to provide a receipt on request.

The compensation is allocated as follows:

  • More than 30 minutes:
    • Single ticket: 50% refund
    • Return ticket: 25% refund
  • More than 1 hour:
    • Single ticket: 100% refund
    • Return ticket: 50% refund
  • More than 2 hours:
    • Return ticket: 100% refund