Train passengers with unconfirmed tickets in AC compartments can now upgrade to a flight by paying a little extra, and sometimes even nothing at all.
In a new agreement between national carrier Air India (AI) and the Indian railways, rail passengers of AC compartments will be given the choice to take an AI flight if their tickets do not get confirmed. While first class passengers need not pay any extra charges, second and third class passengers will have to pay an additional Rs 1,500-2,000 to convert their ticket.
“The tie-up with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will initially start with Rajdhani trains,” said Ashwani Lohani, chairman and managing director, AI. The system is designed to send wait-listed passengers a message from the IRCTC, giving them the option to travel by Air India instead. “If the passenger agrees, he can buy the ticket through the IRCTC website for a flight over the next 24 hours,” said an official.
“The option will be provided depending on the availability of seats. If an aircraft has 10 vacant seats, we would offer them on a first-come-first-serve basis,” said Lohani. “An airline seat is a perishable commodity. An empty seat is lost forever once the aircraft takes off. So, this makes business sense,” said aviation expert Rajji Rai.
A Delhi-Mumbai Rajdhani AC I ticket costs Rs 4,750 while AC II is priced for Rs 2,865. A Delhi-Bangalore AC I ticket costs Rs 6,665 while and AC II is priced at Rs 4,015. “Trains have a long waiting list so it’s a win-win situation both for the airline and the travelling public,” said Rai.
Still have an unconfirmed train ticket, try Air India