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Can you get a refund for your cancelled Christmas travel?

Here’s the deal with that pretty expensive train ticket you now can’t use

Ellie Walker-Arnott

Here’s some actually good news for a change. Christmas might be effectively cancelled this year, thanks to the Tier 4 restrictions which came into force in London this weekend, but if you have already spent money on travel out of the city you will be able to get that cash back. 

In case you need catching up, Londoners, and everyone else across the country living in new Tier 4 areas, must now stay in their homes and can no longer travel out of their local area, even to form a Christmas bubble. So if you did have plans to head out of the city to visit family and friends across the UK later this week, you now won’t be able to. We know. 2020 just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it?

Train or coach journeys booked for December 23 to 27 – the period which, until Saturday’s rule change, would have seen restrictions lifted for everyone across the UK – are now eligible for refunds. Just as long as they were purchased after November 24 and before the rules changed on December 19. 

This news applies to people who aren’t living in Tier 4 areas too, as the Christmas bubble period has been reduced to just a single day on December 25, and cross border travel into Scotland is no longer allowed. 

The secretary of state for transport Grant Shapps has said people shouldn’t be ‘left out of pocket for doing the right thing’ and following the rules. 

As for how it will work in practice, people are being advised to contact the company they purchased tickets from, as refund processes will vary. 

Something we do know for sure: you should put that extra cash to good use on mince pies and wine that you can get delivered to your front door. 

Still confused about all the tiers? Here’s what Tier 4 means for London and for travelling out of London. And here’s the deal with travelling around the UK right now. 


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