Heathrow Express to upgrade ticket machines

Heathrow Express has confirmed that it will work on the glitches with its ticket machine system.

Heathrow Express, which provides a non-stop rail service to Heathrow from central London’s Paddington station, was responding to a customer’s complaint via online business travel agency, Business Traveller, that rail card concessions could not be claimed online or at ticket machines.

The aggrieved passenger said that he was unable to purchase a senior concession ticket either online or on the train. Queuing at the ticket office was the only way to claim concessions. A senior rail card entitles the holder to 34 percent off full-fare tickets in Express Class or First Class. Day returns and carnets are not available on the senior rail card.

‘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,’ said a spokesperson for Heathrow Express.

In addition to the likely delay caused to a passenger’s journey, the current situation is also disadvantageous for those who collect Heathrow Rewards points, formerly called BAA Worldpoints. These points can only be collected automatically by those booking Heathrow Express tickets online.

However, Business Traveller found that even though Heathrow Rewards points cannot be claimed when buying from the ticket office, members could claim points retrospectively, by producing the receipt. The facility applies for all tickets purchased using a discount rail-card, including 16-25 and Disabled Persons rail-cards.

Heathrow Express confirmed the situation saying: ‘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.’