Virgin Trains has introduced automatic delay repay (ADR) in the UK, which issues automatic refund to passengers in the event of delays.
ADR calculates the money due to a customer if a delay occurs and automatically deposits this onto the card they used for the purchase.
Passengers using Virgin Train services on the West Coast Main Line (WCML) and who book their tickets via the company’s mobile app or website will receive automatic repayments.
The compensation is calculated under the existing delay repay scheme, refunding customers for a delay of 30min or more, irrespective of what caused the delay.
Virgin Trains on the West Coast managing director Phil Whittingham said: "This is just one of a range of innovations we have planned for the coming year, all of which are aimed squarely at the most important person – the customer."
Passengers with a single or return ticket can claim compensation using the delay repay scheme.
According to the company, around 3.5 million customer journeys are expected to benefit from the scheme.
The new service is also available for WCML travellers, who purchased their advance tickets through the website or the mobile app.
Passengers travelling in journeys with multiple connections across different train operators are not eligible for ADR.
Until earlier this year, all compensation was paid in vouchers. Introduction of this new technology follows the government’s announcement that delayed passengers have a right to be compensated in cash.
The government has urged other train operators to follow suit, according to BBC.
UK Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin said: "Making it easier to get compensation when trains are delayed is a vital part of our plan for passengers.
"Virgin Trains are making the most of modern technology to improve the service customers get. Our plan is to make sure passengers across the country benefit from schemes like this and we are encouraging other operators to roll out similar schemes nationwide."
Virgin noted that it expected to pay out an extra £2.8m in compensation in the first year of the new system.
Image: Virgin introduce industry’s first automatic delay repay system. Photo: courtesy of Virgin Trains.