Do you split your time between working from home and commuting? Or do you work part time and need a flexible season ticket to choose the time and days you travel?
If you’re making the same journey at least two days per week but not enough to get a season ticket, a Flexi Season ticket may be a good-value alternative for many commuters compared to buying Anytime Day Return tickets.
What is a Flexi Season ticket?
The new Flexi Season ticket offers 8 days of travel in 28 days – any time between two stations. It is available for adults and Standard Class travel only and can be purchased up to 14 days in advance. You will have 28 days from the start date selected to use up all 8 day passes. After 28 days, any unused day passes will expire.
The Flexi Season ticket is available across most routes in Britain and is not limited to journeys within the SWR network. Flexi Season tickets aren’t available for journeys wholly within the London fare zones. London Travelcards aren’t available with Flexi Season tickets, so you’ll need to use an Oyster card or contactless when using the TfL network.
Before you buy a Flexi Season ticket, you’ll need a free SWR smartcard. You can order a smartcard online or you can get a smartcard immediately from a growing number of our stations. Click here for further details.
Once you have a SWR smartcard you can buy your Flexi Season ticket online, on our app or at select SWR stations.
Your Flexi Season ticket will be ready to collect two hours after you buy it from your chosen station’s smartcard reader. This will also activate a day pass, so we suggest adding your Flexi Season ticket when you want to make your first journey.
Open the app, select Flexi Season from options
Enter your journey details
Buy your tickets
If you buy a Flexi Season ticket through the SWR mobile app, it can be added straight onto your smartcard from all Android operating systems with NFC and iPhones with iOS 13 or later.
Alternatively, you can choose to collect your ticket two hours after you buy it from your chosen station’s smartcard reader. This will also activate a day pass, so we suggest adding your Flexi Season ticket when you want to make your first journey.
At SWR stations
You can buy a Flexi Season ticket for your smartcard from a growing number of our ticket offices. You can find the list of stations here.
How do I use a Flexi Season ticket?
On the day you want to travel, just touch in on the origin station’s yellow smartcard reader found on the ticket gate or platform validator to start your journey and activate a day pass. You’ll now have unlimited travel between your origin and destination stations and any in-between for the day, right up to 04:29 the next day.
You must touch in on a yellow smartcard reader before you start a journey, otherwise you may be considered to be travelling without a valid day pass. If the station doesn’t have a yellow smartcard reader to start a day pass, download the National Rail Smartcard Manager app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and follow the instructions or a member of staff on-board may be able to help you.
Don’t forget you must touch in and touch out on yellow smartcard readers for every journey you make and keep your smartcard separate to avoid card clash.
Things you need to know about using a Flexi Season ticket
Currently, we recommend you having a smartcard just for a Flexi Season ticket and a separate smartcard for using Tap2Go for pay as you go travel and adding other types of train tickets. If you have Tap2Go or a ticket with a similar journey on the same smartcard as your Flexi Season ticket, we can’t guarantee our system will select the right ticket or correctly charge you for your journey. You can order additional smartcards to be stored within your online SWR account free of charge.
If you already have a Flexi Season ticket on your smartcard with days of travel remaining, you must avoid having a second Flexi Season ticket with overlapping validity. You should either use all your day passes before buying a new Flexi Season ticket or ensure the start date of the new Flexi Season ticket is after the last day of planned travel on your current Flexi Season ticket to avoid the new ticket being used before all 8 days on the active ticket have been used.
Other flexible train ticket options
If a Flexi Season ticket isn’t right for you but still don’t want to be restricted by time, we have a range of flexible train tickets for you to choose from. Find the right one below for your journey, then just book online or on our app.
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.
Using your Season Ticket and requirement to activate your Flexi Season Ticket
You can use your Season Ticket up to, and including, 04:29 in the morning following its expiry date for any number of journeys between the stations and/or within the zone(s) shown on it at any time of day. It may be used at intermediate stations, as long as the Ticket you hold is valid for the route you wish to use. Details are available where these tickets are sold.
With First Class Season Tickets you may travel in the First Class or Standard Class areas of the train.
Standard Class Season Ticket holders may upgrade their Season Ticket to First Class at the ticket office before they 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, DLR and London Trams within the London Fare Zones Area which you have purchased. 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 transfer your Season Ticket to another person. Additional conditions specific to Flexi Season Tickets
Flexi Season tickets are valid for a 28-Day period and entitle you to 8 days of travelling between the stations specified, within that 28-Day period.
You must activate a day’s worth of travel in your Flexi Season before you board a train service. If you board a train without activating a day’s worth of travel, you will be treated as not having a valid ticket, unless
you are specifically permitted to board a train service with an un-activated Flexi Season by an authorised member of staff or notice of the Train Company whose service you intend to board.
Once activated, your Flexi Season is valid for any number of journeys between the origin and destination stations, including intermediate stations, as long as the Flexi Season you hold is valid for the route you wish to use. It remains valid until 04:29 the day after it is activated.
Once activated, you cannot deactivate or refund a day’s travel if you decide not to travel.
You will need to be able to produce a photocard to buy most Season Tickets. These are issued free of charge from staffed ticket offices and you must provide a recent passport-type photograph of yourself. Season Tickets held on a smartcard or other media may not require a Photocard. This will be made clear when you purchase your Season Ticket.
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 any rail staff.
All children aged between 5 and 15 (inclusive) require a photocard. 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 2021, expires on 21 January 2023.
If the child reaches 16 within 2 ½ years of the photocard being issued, the photocard will be dated to expire on the day before their 16th birthday.
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 for one month or longer with at least 7 days remaining, for one with the same expiry date for your new journey or class. This is called a changeover. We do not issue changeovers for 7 Day Season or Flexi Season Tickets.
A changeover may be applied for at the rail ticket office or retailer where the original ticket was issued or at any station relevant to the new journey. The new journey Season Ticket is a continuous renewal and it must start on the day following surrender of the original ticket. Any additional charge or refund will be based on the ticket prices when the original Season Ticket was bought, pro rata to the periods before and after the changeover.
No administration charge is made. Any ticket that has already been exchanged in this way may be accepted for further exchanges if necessary.
If you no longer need your Season Ticket, you can apply for a refund from the retailer you bought it from. You will need to return the Season Ticket to the retailer, except where the retailer can remotely cancel the Season Ticket.
Any refund is calculated from the date the Season Ticket is returned to the retailer or the date the retailer has cancelled the Season Ticket for further use, and will be the difference between the price you paid and the cost of a ticket or tickets for the period for which you have actually used the ticket up to the date the Season Ticket has been returned or disabled (for Flexi Season Ticket refund calculation – see 4.5).
There will be an administration charge of no more than £10.00. Additional conditions specific to Flexi Season Tickets
You must apply for a refund before the end of the 28-Day validity period.
A refund is calculated as the difference between the price you paid for the Flexi Season and the cost of the appropriate ticket(s) to travel at peak time, covering one return journey between the origin and destination of the Flexi Season, for each day’s travel you have activated. Where the price is higher between the destination and origin of the Flexi Season for the appropriate ticket(s) to travel at peak time, covering one return journey, this higher price will be used in the refund calculation.
The refund calculation will be based on the price of the appropriate peak time fare as it was on the start date of your Flexi Season.
There must be at least seven days remaining on a monthly or longer Season Ticket, or at least three days remaining on a 7-Day Season Ticket to obtain a refund (although on some 7-Day Season Tickets there may be no refund value after three days of use, dependent upon the relevant Anytime Day Return price). Flexi Seasons can only be refunded within their 28-Day validity period, regardless of number of unused days held.
Refunds are permitted on Duplicate Season Tickets. In these instances, an interview with the original retailer of the Season Ticket/Duplicate Season Ticket may be necessary. Please ask your retailer for more details.
In cases of illness, the refund can be backdated if you can produce evidence (such as a medical certificate) for a period before you request a refund, provided that you have not started travelling again using your Season Ticket since your illness. Additional conditions specific to Flexi Season Tickets
If you can provide evidence (such as a medical certificate) that you were not able to apply for a refund before the end of the 28-Day validity period because of illness, your retailer will still consider your refund application.
Railcard discounts are not available, except for 16-17 Saver and Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card. Child discount is available on Season Tickets. Additional conditions specific to Flexi Season Tickets
There are no Child or Railcard discounts available on Flexi Season, except for 16-17 Saver and Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card.
If you are affected by cancellation or disruption to your journey, you may be entitled to compensation under the terms of the Passengers’ Charter of the operator you are travelling with. This could be in the form of a compensation payment (such as “Delay Repay”), or in the form of a discount on your Season Ticket renewal. This will be made clear in the Passenger’s Charter of the operator concerned.
Lost or stolen Season Tickets or photocards
If you lose your Season Ticket or it is stolen, report this immediately to the retailer from whom you bought it. If you or we cannot recover the lost or stolen ticket, we will then consider an application for a duplicate ticket, if the original was issued for a period of one month or more. We do not issue duplicates in respect of lost or stolen 7 Day Season or Flexi Season Tickets. We may ask you or others for information. There is an administration charge when we issue a duplicate Season Ticket.
We will refund (with no administration charge) the cost of tickets you buy while you are waiting for the duplicate ticket to be issued, if you hand these tickets in.
If you lose your photocard or it is stolen, we can issue a new one, for which a further passport-type photograph is required. If we need to reissue your Season Ticket, an administration charge will be made.
Please refer to National Rail Conditions of Travel; Conditions 39.1-39.4 for further details.
Requirement to Show Season Tickets (including dead battery on a mobile device) - Damaged or defective Season Tickets
You must always hold a valid ticket to travel and it must be readable by rail staff and validators.
If you are unable to show a valid and readable ticket, you will be treated the same as any other customer unable to provide a ticket and in line with the train company’s ticketless travel policy, which may include the issuing of a Penalty Fare.
If your valid Season Ticket is damaged, illegible or defective, for example it will no longer work in ticket gates, it will be replaced by the retailer from whom it was purchased, provided the retailer which sold it can confirm the ticket is still valid.
Where your Season Ticket is held on a defective smartcard (e.g. damaged or unreadable smartcard), you must contact the train operator or retailer that issued the smartcard to report your smartcard as damaged.
If your Season Ticket is held on a mobile device, you are responsible for ensuring that your Season Ticket can be scanned and your device has enough battery for the duration of your journey.
Season Tickets left at home
If you hold a valid Season Ticket but were unable to present it when requested because you had forgotten to carry it on that particular journey or mislaid it, the retailer of your Season Ticket, may at their discretion, refund any fare or Penalty Fare paid, less an administration charge not exceeding £10. In order to claim such a refund, you will need to provide the retailer from whom you bought your Season Ticket with your Season Ticket (and photocard if applicable), together with the additional Tickets you have purchased or any Penalty Fares notices.
A maximum of two refund claims on tickets purchased when a Season Ticket cannot be presented will be considered in any 12-month period regardless of the number of Season Tickets bought during that time. Additional conditions specific to Flexi Season Tickets
We will not make any refund on additional tickets purchased when you forgot to carry your Flexi Season ticket.