How to get a refund for Advance Train Tickets to Conference

Like many Liberal Democrats, I booked train tickets for the just-cancelled Conference in Brighton many months ago to save money. Advance tickets are not normally refundable, so when conference was cancelled, I was concerned that I was going to be out of pocket for the price of return tickets.

When I checked, though, it turns out that there is still a COVID policy until 30 September 2022: Advance tickets can be exchanged for rail travel vouchers for any reason, so you get a full refund for the value of the ticket. I’ll be using my vouchers to travel to York in the Spring, and I hope this will help more of you to be able to afford to be there so I can see you all, and in the words of the Queen: “We’ll meet again”.

To get the refund on a paper ticket, you need to go to the train operator that issued your ticket; this will normally be the operator that will carry you to London before you change onto the London-to-Brighton train. If you are travelling from London, it will be Southern or Thameslink, depending which one you have the ticket with.

If you are using Avanti, LNER or GWR, then you can click those links to go directly to the page to apply for a refund.

To get a refund on an electronic ticket bought through a website, you’ll need to contact the website that you bought from; they should be obliged to comply with the rail industry policy on refunds

* Richard Gadsden is a Lib Dem member from Manchester and most recently the Acting Returning Officer for the Liberal Democrats in England.

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  • So you pretend to have Covid to get a refund?
    Yet the Lib Dems have said nothing about refunds for the most loyal customers, season ticket holders affected by Rail strikes.

  • David Rogers 10th Sep '22 - 10:39pm

    Good article – except for the assumption that all rail travel would have been via London! There is much of southern England for which that would not be so…

  • Richard Gadsden Richard Gadsden 10th Sep '22 - 11:23pm

    Denis Clay: you don’t have to pretend to have COVID to get a refund at all. The article does say that you can get a refund “for any reason”

    David, all of the non-London routes are local services on which Advance tickets aren’t generally available; and full cash refunds are available on non-Advance tickets, so there’s no need for this article if you have a ticket that doesn’t go via London.

  • @Denis – this is a Covid-era policy that made refunds easier etc. It is not a policy just for people who have Covid.

  • Kay Kirkham 12th Sep '22 - 2:12pm

    LNER are only offering an e voucher for my advanced ticket valid for 12 months. So that’s £72 of my money they hang onto until I next pass through London. Autumn Confereence 2023 perhaps?

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