Heathrow Express has responded to complaints that railcard concessions cannot be claimed online or at ticket machines by saying “[this is] something we are aware of and are working to find solutions for”.
The issue was brought to Business Traveller’s attention by a reader who was unable to purchase a senior concession ticket either online or on the train.
This means that the only way concessions can be claimed is by queuing at the ticket office. A senior railcard entitles the holder to 34 per cent off full-fare tickets in Express Class or First Class. Day returns and carnets aren’t available using this railcard.
A spokesperson for Heathrow Express said: “At the moment you cannot use senior citizen concession online or via the ticket machines – you can only get the concession at ticket offices. This is something we are looking into as part of a change to our ticket machines in 2014.”
As well as the possible delay to a passenger’s journey, the present situation also has a further disadvantage for those who collect Heathrow Rewards points (formerly BAA Worldpoints). These points can only be collected automatically by those booking Heathrow Express tickets online.
To clarify the situation, Business Traveller has determined that although Heathrow Rewards points cannot be claimed when purchasing from the ticket office, members can claim points retrospectively, upon production of the receipt. This applies for all tickets purchased using a discount railcard, including 16-25 and Disabled Persons railcards.
Heathrow Express said: “It is also true that you cannot get Heathrow Rewards points at the ticket offices – they require an internet connection to make the Rewards machine work which we do not have.
“However, in these cases it is possible to send your receipt to Heathrow Rewards and have the points added retrospectively. We have done this a number of times for people in this situation and would always honour this.”