IRCTC Partners With Spicejet, GoAir. Waitlisted Passengers Can Now Upgrade to Flights
Getting confirmed railway tickets in this peak season is a very tough task, unless of course you are willing to stand in long tatkal ticket queues for hours or are lucky enough to get a confirmed tatkal ticket online. But from now on, if you have a waitlisted train ticket then you can simply upgrade to a flight by paying a little extra.
IRCTC has made tie-ups with low-cost carriers like SpiceJet and GoAir to make this upgrade-to-flight possible.
IRCTC is trying to rope in other airlines too, but as of now SpiceJet and GoAir are the only two airlines offering such upgrades and are sure to benefit a lot form this deal. The airlines will offer competitive rates to the waitlisted railway passengers.
“We entered into this tie-up a month ago and all tickets passed on by SpiceJet and GoAir during the month have been sold to wait-listed travellers,” said Sandip Dutta, Public Relations Officers at IRCTC.
Ajay Singh, Chairman & Promoter at SpiceJet said, “Passengers on the waiting list with no confirmation can upgrade to an airline seat if they are ready to pay a little extra. The ticket prices will depend on the season and the routes on which we fly to. So, if it’s a weak travel season, we will charge less for the upgrade.”
How This Upgrade Works?
There are some conditions that one must meet in order to be eligible for this railway-to-flight upgrade.
- Only those railway tickets which have been booked at least 3 days prior to the train departure are eligible, and for availing the upgrade the railway tickets must be cancelled at the specified website.
- The flight ticket will be available only for the day of the scheduled train journey or a day before. No exceptions.
- The airlines are not obliged to reserve a fixed number of tickets to be made available for this railway to flight upgrade.
- The incremental fares (over the price of train tickets) are not fixed and will vary depending upon the route and the season.
This will definitely be a win-win situation for both, the passengers and the airlines. It is however not known whether these airlines will give some sort of commission to IRCTC or not.
Expressing his views on this tie-up between IRCTC and the airlines, Subhash Goyal, President of Indian Association of Tour Operators said that this plan will not only be beneficial to the passengers but also to the businesses of IRCTC and SpiceJet.
Coming back to the point of profit of IRCTC in this pact, I think that more and more affluent people who like to travel by railways, but are put-off by unavailability of train tickets in this peak season will not resort to travelling by luxury buses and cars now. This is because of the fact that they will now be able to upgrade to a flight (at a discounted rate) in case their waitlisted railway ticket is not confirmed in time.
It remains to be seen how many other airlines are interested in joining IRCTC under such a pact, but if you are a frequent railway traveller (in AC trains and luxury coaches) then you have a reason to rejoice. You don’t have to waste your time in planning your travel according to the availability of railway tickets. If your train tickets haven’t been confirmed, then you can just upgrade to flights.