Indian Railways has been on an overhaul spree in the last few months. On 1 April 2015 it announced 120 days of advance booking in trains in India.
Now, it’s time for the latest news. For passengers failing to get a confirmed ticket, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has decided to provide an option of converting it into a airline ticket at a competitive fare. The railways has already tied up with GoAir and it has sold approximately 100 tickets through this scheme in the past one month. They are also planning to rope in SpiceJet under this scheme. Most of the domestic airlines fly with 25% empty seats and IRCTC plans to utilise this opportunity. This calculated move will not only be a boon for the domestic airlines but also help the passengers to avail much benefit.
Points to be Noted:
- The scheme is applied to the tickets booked at least three days prior to the date of the journey.
- IRCTC will intimate the wait-listed passengers to seek benefit under this scheme.
- Any passenger (with a booking in sleeper class or AC) can avail this facility.
- Airline tickets for these wait-listed passengers (who failed to get confirmed tickets) will be competitively (by 30-40%) priced.
Changes in Tatkal Booking Timings
Further, to ease out the pressure and meet the demands of ticketing the Indian Railways have become lenient for Tatkal bookings. IRCTC is also considering the refund (upto 50%) on cancellation of Tatkal tickets.
The revised Tatkal bookings schedule is as follows:
- Reservations in AC class from 10 am to 11am
- Reservations for Non-AC class from 11 am to 12 noon
This will ensure faster service through online booking facilities, and in turn reduce the passenger rush at the booking counters.
Tatkal Special Train
On certain busy routes, Indian Railways will soon launch its ‘Tatkal Special’ trains to cater the additional demand. The advance reservation period for these trains will be of a minimum of 10 days and maximum of 60 days.
Premium Trains “Suvidha”
The Indian Railways decided to rename the premium trains which are already operational to “Suvidha” with an overhaul in the fare structure, booking schedule and cancellation policy. The authorities believe that this will benefit more passengers. They also promise to introduce a dynamic fare structure to standardise the tickets and get rid of all the earlier discrepancies.
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