Top tips for coping with rail disruption

Christmas is fast approaching and that generally means a number of things for rail commuters and business travellers... delays, planned maintenance work, cancellations and that dreaded phrase over the speaker 'Please make your way to the car park to await your rail replacement bus service!'

We appreciate it's not a pleasant feeling and often can fill you with frustration just thinking about it. So, how do you cope when unfortunately, the inevitability of this happening, is likely to affect you at some point?

Here are some helpful tips to get you back on track (figuratively speaking at least):

  1. Listen to something you enjoy - Music, a podcast or audiobook can help to refocus the mind and take you away from the chaos of delayed and cancelled signs flashing around you. It allows you to objectively view your surroundings and can minimise your stress. It can help make longer delays shorter as your mind is focused on something more enjoyable.
  2. Keep hydrated - Drink plenty of water as this will allow you to remain in a healthy state and allow you to make rational decisions on your travel options. Being thirsty and dehydrated does nothing apart from put you in a bad mood and this will only aggravate the situation.
  3. Don’t get 'Hangry' - Apart from being dehydrated there is nothing worse than feeling hungry. You can plan and bring daily snacks such as fruit with you or ensure you have a little money to go to a shop at the station and fill up on some of the food on offer there. With hunger comes anger and we all know that a 'hangry' feeling doesn’t bring out the best in us!
  4. Prepare for the weather – Getting cold only adds to the pain so ensure you carry a hat, gloves, scarf and extra layers to protect yourself from any long waits on a cold, windy railway platform. Again, it is all about minimising your ability to get stressed by an unfortunate situation.
  5. Communication is key - Make a phone call and/or send an email to your boss, colleagues or customer and explain the situation if you are going to be running late. Your boss or customer should appreciate your honesty and will hopefully be understanding in this matter. It might be that if it is a recurring issue that is out of your control, that you discuss potential alternatives or flexible working arrangements to accommodate the issues that you are facing. It is better to communicate the situation rather than turning up late and frustrated, having to face explaining to your boss why you are late.
  6. Don't get mad get even - It’s easier said than done but it is important not to get mad but to get even! The best way to do this is to know your rights around claiming compensation for delayed and cancelled trains as well as putting points (1) to (5) in place to help reduce your stress and anger levels. There are several options for you to reclaim compensation as a result of the delay or cancellation of your rail provider.

None of the above is a solution to the inevitable delays and cancellations we may face in the future, just a few tips on how to cope with stress levels and frustration. With the 3.1% rail price increase that we're facing in January 2019, this should be an even bigger motivating factor for commuters and business travellers to want to claim to what they are rightly entitled to; compensating for stress, frustration, loss of business hours and lost customers as a result of the situation.

If you're travelling personally find out more about claiming here. Alternatively if you’re travelling for business, take a look at how Business Travel Compensation can support your organisation with Delay Repay compensation claims.