The latest results from the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) show that London North Eastern Railway (LNER) saw the most customers return to its services when compared with pre-pandemic usage than any other operator.
In the year from April 2021 to March 2022, LNER recorded relative usage of 83 per cent, which is up 63 percentage points compared with the previous year. That means LNER has topped the table for four consecutive quarters.
Between January and the end of March 2022 more than four million passengers travelled across LNER’s network. Over the past 12 months, leisure travel on LNER has returned to and at times exceeded pre-Covid levels, particularly during school holidays. The company’s extended booking period as well as other digital innovations has made travel simpler and smarter for customers.
Customers can currently book tickets up to mid-late September, and will soon to be able search for weekday journeys as far ahead as December 2022. LNER’s website and app provides flexibility when planning future staycations, days out, and work trips. The extension and automation of its booking process are part of LNER’s pioneering investment in technology and innovation to make journeys simpler.
If there is a change to timetabled services that requires customers to change their booking, LNER can automatically alert them or provide live updates with the offer to amend their journey free of charge via the Change of Journey app and web features. For customers who book direct, if their services are delayed by 30 minutes or more they can make use of One-Click Delay Repay. Customers can book directly via the LNER app or website, lner.co.uk.
LNER has an enhanced rewards scheme, LNER Perks, for loyal customers that offers two per cent credit back on LNER journeys and £5 credit for signing up, along with further exclusive offers. Over 400,000 people have already joined.
Danny Gonzalez, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer at LNER, said “It’s fantastic to be welcoming so many customers back to rail and we are proud to have led the industry comeback over the past year. We put our customers at the heart of all we do, offering greater choice and control with an extended booking horizon, which we plan to open even further ahead to offer people greater flexibility. We believe our innovative approach has created a better experience for customers that paves the way for pioneering change.”