How to claim a refund for non-refundable train or bus tickets

If you want to claim back your non-refundable train or bus tickets you may be able to do so in exceptional circumstances. Each operator has a different policy about what classifies as an "exceptional circumstance", and not all of them will accept this type of refund request. They asses all claims on a case-by-case basis, and may request official paperwork to support your claim. 

Please note that submitting a claim is not a guarantee of a refund. 

If you have semi- or fully-flexible tickets and want to refund your tickets, please see How to get a refund for a train or bus ticket.



Most operators will only offer a refund for non-flexible tickets if one of the passengers has a serious illness or injury, for which they are hospitalised on the day of travel. Being ill and choosing not to travel, even with a doctor's note, isn't usually enough. 

Documents you will need to submit a claim:

  • Letter from a hospital, showing date of admission. Letters from GP's/doctors are not accepted. 
  • Your original tickets, which you may need to return by post.
  • Rail operator claim form. We will advise you if this is necessary.

Expected compensation

Though it's the operator's decision, a refund for illness is typically 50% of the original ticket value. 


Compensation is usually only awarded when the death of a husband/wife, child, parent or grandparent results in the traveller attending a funeral during the time of the travel.

We would like to add that approving or denying the refund, in case of bereavement of the relative or even the passenger, depends on the railway's discretion.

Documents you will need to submit a claim

  • A copy of the relevant death certificate.
  • Your original tickets. You may need to send your tickets to us by post.
  • Rail operator specific claim form. We will advise you if this is necessary.

Expected compensation

Though it's the operator's decision, approved refunds for bereavement are typically 50-100% of the original ticket value. 

Most operators' policies don't include the death of siblings, cousins and other family members. We will usually submit the claim anyway as there have been a few cases where compensation has been awarded.
If you have non-flexible tickets and believe you may be eligible for compensation, you should contact us by clicking "More Help" on the bottom right of your screen. Please provide as much detail as possible so we can advise the suitable course of action for your situation.

Cancellations and delays

If your train is cancelled or delayed and you wish to seek compensation, please refer to the following help document: How to claim compensation for a cancelled or delayed train or bus.