In a rail industry exclusive, leading train company CrossCountry has announced it has removed the administration fee charged when customers need to change the date or time of their Advance ticket.
Because Advance tickets are intended for specific trains and set times, the rail industry charges a £10 administration fee if a customer needs to change their plans.
However, recognising that sometimes circumstances can change and to prevent customers being left out of pocket for unforeseen events, CrossCountry will no longer charge for changes to Advance tickets booked through its website.
Removal of this fee makes rail ticketing simpler and Advance fares more accessible.
Research conducted in March and April 2016 showed that value for money was the second most important consideration for CrossCountry’s customers.
David Watkin, commercial director at CrossCountry, said: “We always encourage our customers to book as far ahead as possible to get the best deals.
“However, we recognise that sometimes plans can change and a customer may not be able to travel when they originally wanted.
“Waiving the admin fee means customers can now change their journey up to 24 hours before they travel without paying a penalty charge.
“This will open the door to more flexibility and choice – something we know is important to our customers.”
The waiving of admin fees via the CrossCountry website is one of a suite of benefits for registered customers booking direct with the train company.
Other benefits include cheaper Advance fares available up to 15 minutes before departure, an interactive seat selector tool and no booking fees unlike many ticket retailers.
Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, has welcomed the initiative: “Rail passengers want options and they don’t want to be penalised for needing more flexibility. CrossCountry introduced Advance on the day fares to ensure those who need to wait until the day to buy are not paying higher booking office prices, this takes that flexibility a step further.
“At a time when fares are increasing, this flexibility is welcomed.”