While we can't help you out with transport delays caused by the Tube strikes this week and next week, this might come as some good news – did you know that you can claim money back from Transport for London (TfL) for late journeys?
If your journey has been delayed by more than 15 minutes or was cancelled, you can claim back the fare for that single journey, even if you took a later train on the same route and eventually made it to your destination.
The caveat, however, is that TfL will not refund journeys if the delay is beyond their control, i.e. situations like security alerts, bad weather or industrial action.
Nevertheless, in most other cases, such as those annoying signal failure incidents (or cement in the signalling equipment), you might have a chance to reclaim your fare.
How to claim
If you were delayed on a journey on the Tube, DLR, London Overground or Emirates Air Line cable cars, you can claim by filling in one of four online forms in the Refunds section on the TfL website.
For the DLR, you can also pick up a paper form from Bank, Canary Wharf, Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich, Island Gardens, London City Airport and Tower Gateway DLR stations (although now that ticket offices have been earmarked for closure, this might change).
It will take 21 days for your refund to be processed and you will receive the refund with a cheque in your name, posted to the address you listed in the claim form.
Details to take note of
When travelling, if you are affected by a train delay or cancellation, make sure to make a note of what time you started your journey (put down what time you reached the train platform), what time the train was supposed to arrive, what time the delay occurred, and how long the delay lasted for.
A handy tip to note is that if your journey was meant to be across London and you needed to take two types of TfL transport, such as the Tube and the DLR, you can claim twice.
For example, if your journey from the Canary Wharf DLR station in Zone 2 to the interchange at Bank was delayed, and then you switched to another line at Bank to get to your final destination at Marble Arch using the Central line, then technically you were delayed from getting on the earlier Central line tube train.
Therefore, you can make a separate claim using the underground claim form for Bank to Marble Arch, but you need to know the time of the train you would used as a connection if the first part of your journey on the DLR had not been delayed.
For the Emirates Air Line, you cannot claim if you decide not to get onto the cable cars for any reasons other than delays or cancellations.
How much compensation will I get?
If you want to estimate how much you think you will receive (there is no option on the form, TfL decides), then you can check out this handy Single Fare Finder tool on the TfL website.
From personal experience, whether I was using the Pay-As-You-Go scheme on the Oyster Card or a monthly Travel Card, in both instances TfL refunded me the equivalent cash value of the single journey.
So what are you waiting for? We cannot guarantee that you will get a refund for your journey, but it is always worth a try.