The information here is to help you get the most from your Season ticket. It does not affect your statutory rights, or replace, form part of, or modify in any way, the National Rail Conditions of Travel relating to Season tickets.
1. Using your Season ticket
You can use your Season ticket up to and including its expiry date for any number of journeys between the stations shown on it and/or within the zone(s) shown on it at any time of day. You may use it to and from intermediate stations, and on any permitted route, unless a route or other restrictions are specified on the ticket. Details are available where these tickets are issued.
With First Class Season tickets you may travel in the First Class or Standard Class areas of the train. If you have a Standard Class Season ticket you may upgrade your Season ticket to First Class at the ticket office before you board the train (or on the train if there is no open ticket office where you board the train).
Travelcard Season tickets allow unlimited travel at any time of day on National Rail, London Underground, Docklands Light Railway and Croydon Tramlink within the London Fare Zones Area. Travelcard Season tickets are also valid on most London Bus services throughout the London Bus network. For journeys starting outside the London Fare Zones Area, the Travelcard Season ticket allows travel by train between the starting station and the London Fares Zones Area boundary, and then unlimited travel within the zones paid for.
You cannot give your Season ticket to someone else to use.
You need a photocard to buy most Season tickets. You can get a photocard free of charge from ticket offices – you’ll need a recent passport-size photo of yourself. Where required, your photocard number must be on your Season ticket. For your Season ticket to be valid, you must show both your Season ticket and photocard with matching numbers if requested by rail staff.
All children aged between 5 and 15 inclusive require a photocard to travel on Child Season tickets. Proof of age will be required when the Season ticket is issued. A photocard for a child aged under 14 is valid for 2 calendar years from the date of issue. So, for example, a card issued on 22 January 2017 expires on 21 January 2019.
If the child will reach 16 within 2 years and 6 months of the photocard being issued, the photocard will be dated to expire on the day before their 16th birthday.
3. Change of journey
If you move house, change your place of work or wish to change the class of travel, you may apply to exchange any Season ticket, as long as it has 1 month or more remaining, for one with the same expiry date for your new journey or class. This is called a changeover. You can apply for a changeover at any rail ticket office (preferably one relevant to the new journey), a few days in advance of the date of the change. Any additional charge or refund will be based on the ticket prices when you bought the original Season ticket, pro rata to the periods before and after the changeover.
We won’t charge an administration fee. If you’ve changed over your ticket before, we’ll still accept it for further exchanges if necessary.
To claim a refund on a Season ticket you’ll need to return it to the same place you bought it. If it’s a monthly Season ticket, there must be at least 7 days remaining on it. If it’s a weekly Season ticket, there must be at least 3 days remaining on it – but it might not have any refund value left. See how we calculate the refund value below.
Refunds are calculated from the date you return the Season ticket. If you’ve been ill, we can backdate the refund if you provide written evidence and have not started using the Season ticket again. We won’t give you a refund or extend your Season ticket just because you don’t use it for a period of time, for example because you’ve been on holiday.
To calculate the refund value we’ll work out the total cost of the tickets you’d have needed to buy to make one return journey a day up to the date you returned your Season ticket. The refund will be the difference, if any, between this total cost and the price you paid for the Season ticket, less a reasonable administration fee (no more than £10).
This means the refund won’t be just a pro rata proportion of what you paid, and in some cases there may be no refund value – because of the discount on weekly Season tickets, for example, they have no refund value after 4 days use. For the same reason, annual Season tickets have no refund value after 10 months and 12 days, although they’re still valid for travel until the expiry date and you can continue to enjoy any Gold Card benefits along with it. For this reason we recommend that employers' Annual Season ticket loan schemes are set up so that reimbursements are made in 10 equal monthly payments with 2 ‘free’ months at the end of the year, rather than in 12 equal monthly payments.
Conditions apply if you want a refund for a duplicate Season ticket we issued to replace one that was lost or stolen. You’ll need to contact our Customer Service Centre, and we’ll normally only give a refund for a replacement Season ticket where any of the following applies:
- The original Season ticket is returned within 1 month of the date you told us it was lost
- The original and replacement tickets were Electronic Tickets and it was possible to cancel the original ticket
- You were made redundant, resigned, retired, changed your job or address, became pregnant or suffered prolonged illness, and you provide satisfactory evidence of this
We’ll consider a refund on a replacement Season ticket in other circumstances, but we may ask you to attend a meeting with us to confirm the reason for your refund. All train companies have agreed a Code of Practice for such meetings, which you can find on the National Rail website.
If we agree to a refund, we’ll calculate the amount in the same way as for ordinary Season tickets.
When you renew your Season ticket, we’ll give you a discount if the timekeeping or reliability of our train service has fallen below the performance standards set in our Passenger’s Charter. You’ll find details on our Compensation page.
6. Lost or stolen Season tickets or Photocards
If you lose your Season ticket or it’s stolen, report this immediately to the ticket office where you bought it, and also to the police. If you or we cannot recover the ticket, we’ll then consider an application for a replacement ticket. We’ll charge an administration fee for this. We may ask you or other relevant people for information.
We’ll issue a replacement Season ticket if:
The lost Season ticket is valid for 1 month or longer – we won’t issue a replacement for a 7 Day ticket
You tell staff at the ticket office where you bought the ticket as soon as you reasonably can and, if required, you give a reasonable explanation for the loss
You agree to immediately return the lost Season ticket if you find it
If you later lose or mislay your duplicate Season ticket or it is stolen, then we’ll issue further replacement Season tickets on the same basis as the first duplicate. However, we may ask you to attend a meeting with us to explain the circumstances in which your duplicate Season ticket was lost. All train companies have agreed a Code of Practice for such meetings, which you can find on the National Rail website.
If you buy tickets to travel on the same journey as your Season ticket while waiting for a replacement Season ticket, we’ll refund the cost of these tickets with no administration charge – you’ll need to hand these tickets in when you claim your refund.
If you lose your photocard or it is stolen, we can issue a new one – you’ll need to bring a passport-size photo again. If we need to reissue your Season ticket, we’ll charge an administration fee.
7. Damaged or defective Season tickets
If your Season ticket is damaged, illegible or defective, for example it will no longer work in ticket gates, you can get it replaced free of charge at any National Rail ticket office.
8. Travel not covered by your Season ticket
If you don’t have your Season ticket with you, it has expired, it doesn’t cover your journey in full, or it’s for Standard Class accommodation but you wish to travel First Class, then you must buy the appropriate additional ticket before you travel.
If you’re travelling from a Penalty Fare station on a Penalty Fare train and your Season ticket doesn’t cover all of your journey, then you must buy an appropriate ticket or permit to travel before you start your journey and you may be liable to a Penalty Fare if you do not.
9. Season tickets left at home
If you do not have your Season ticket with you when you travel then you must buy a ticket for your journey. We’ll give you a refund on the cost of this ticket the first 2 times this happens in any 12 month period. On the second such occasion we’ll charge an administration fee – see below, and we won’t make more than 2 of these types of refund in any 12 month period. You’ll need to hand in the tickets you’ve bought, and make your claim for a refund within 28 days of travel.
10. Administration charges
Duplicates for lost or stolen tickets: £10
Replacement photocard, including new Season ticket: no more than £10
Replacement of damaged or illegible Season tickets or those which no longer work in ticket gates: no charge