From The Times, Thursday 24th April 2008
Passengers will lose out from a decision by train companies to stop giving refunds for tickets bought in advance and to double the fee for changes to journey times.
The move is part of what the companies are calling a simplification of rail fares into three main types, which they claim will be easier to understand. More than a million leaflets will be distributed at stations from today explaining the changes but they fail to mention that many passengers will be worse off under the new national refunds policy.
First Great Western, Virgin, East Midlands Trains and TransPennine Express are among the companies that currently offer refunds on some advance tickets but will cease to do so. The no-refund policy comes into force today for tickets bought for travel from May 18.
The leaflets also fail to mention that the fee for changing journey times for return tickets bought in advance is doubling on many routes from £10 to £20, plus any difference in the price of the new journey. Train companies will make millions of pounds in extra profits because many people will throw away their tickets rather than try to change them.