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In the months since coronavirus hit Britain many things we once took for granted have changed almost beyond recognition.

Even the simple process of getting from A to B – whether locally, nationally or internationally – has seen new rules, schedules and habits.

Especially if, like me, you can’t drive.

So I’ve been looking nervously at the transport networks around the UK and wondering what might tempt us all aboard again in the future.

So here’s a look at the problems people are having with transport now – and what the future might look like.


Problems now
If you’ve got on a train recently, you’ll have seen that the carriages are looking distinctly empty.

With many people working from home (possibly permanently) and concerns about social distancing too, train companies are struggling to get by.

At present, the main complaints I’m seeing are about season ticket refunds. Most businesses are being reasonable about refunds, but each company has a slightly different approach.

So if you’re after a refund, follow the process on the train company’s website. Annual season ticket refunds may have deductions for administration fees and because of the discount you get for paying yearly, you don’t get the exact proportion of your unused ticket back.

Sounds complicated? It is! Get the train company to explain how they’ve calculated your refund for you.

In the future

Train companies are already planning ‘flexible’ season tickets to reflect the fact that many of us will be travelling less or working from home more.

Why not register your interest now – it’ll be cheaper than ‘pay as you go’. Bear in mind less travellers mean fewer trains and higher prices too.


Problems now

Holidaymakers ran to book ferry trips after lockdown eased.

For many the prospect of being on a plane seemed less than enticing, whereas taking the car abroad and driving to your destination seemed much safter (and more of an adventure).

However, social distancing requirements and high demand have led to long queues for both UK and international ferry companies. I’ve also heard quite a bit of dissatisfaction about double bookings too.

If you feel you’ve lost out due to an error made by a ferry company there is a complaints process for each business. You can find more information at Resolver on how to make a complaint.

In the future

It seems likely that there will be a much higher demand for ferry trips in future as travellers going abroad opt for the car option. Back in the UK, staycations are already pretty much booked up for 2021 too.

So if you are getting a ferry in the coming year, confirm your booking, allow lots of time to get to the terminal and keep an eye on the news.


Problems now

Where to begin?! Of all forms of transport, the airline industry has faced the biggest challenges (and losses).

Refund issues are still the single biggest area of complaint.

But increasingly, I’m hearing from people who are unhappy that they’ve been billed for moving a booking, when these charges were initially suspended over lockdown.

People are also saying they’re struggling to cash in vouchers or rebook flights at reasonable prices.

Remember cancelled flights mean you are legally entitled to a refund.

In the future

While some airlines haven’t behaved well over the pandemic, the fact remains we need them if we want a holiday in the future.

At the moment, the industry is struggling to adapt. But as quarantine rules come in and out of force, it seems likely that we’ll see flexible tickets that you can move around more easily, transferable tickets for those who can’t fly and (hopefully) help from the insurance industry for administration costs.

Eventually, the Covid-19 restrictions will ease and we’ll all need to get around more.

So keep an eye on the news and support travel firms if you can – we’ll need them more than ever in the coming years.

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