Waitlisted on Rajdhani? No Probs, You Get an Air India Flight Tickets!
This is coming straight out of a traveller’s dream! Now passengers with unconfirmed train tickets on Rajdhani can actually upgrade to a flight ticket with Air India by paying nothing or a little extra, depending on the train seats booked.
After registering profit this year, Air India has tied up with Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation(IRCTC) to offer an upgrade to passengers with an unconfirmed seat in their train of choice. Currently only available to Rajdhani train passengers, a seat with Air India can be reserved if there are flights available from origin to the destination.
First class AC passengers will not need to pay anything extra to get upgraded to a flight, while second and third class passengers will have to shell out upto Rs.1,500 to 2,000 for the same.
How this makes sense for Air India and IRCTC
Train tickets in India have a long reservation list and often customers keep waiting till the very end to get their seat confirmed. In other cases, tatkal comes to rescue but even there the probability of getting a seat confirmed is equally low.
This is where Air India comes to rescue. Usually between large cities with regular flights, seats go vacant and these seats can be filled up by passengers travelling by train who can not only save time but also travel more comfortably at a little higher cost.
Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and Managing Director – Air India, said, “The details are being worked out and we hope to have this in place within a week.” The service is expected to be rolled out with a full fledged plan soon.
Rajdhani’s waitlisted passengers will receive a text message from IRCTC, providing them an option of travelling by Air India, to which they can respond within the next 24 hours. The customer can also buy flight tickets from IRCTC’s website upon confirmation of details.
Could this benefit Air India?
We know for a fact that IRCTC is not losing out here, because the wait list of passengers is generally quite big and there is nearly always a shortfall of seats. However, Air India will definitely benefit from an increase in passenger requests coming from railways.
All of this comes with a caveat that the point of origin and destination should be on route where Air India operates too. You cannot upgrade to an Air India seat if your destination does not have an airport around, in which case it makes sense to stick with the train ticket and wait for other passengers to cancel their tickets.
The flight tickets will be booked on first-come first-serve basis and since flights cannot be overbooked, it is possible that you might not get a flight of your choice to your destination. However, a flight is much quicker than a train between major cities and metros, thereby compensating for the time lost.
One more seat booked on a flight can turn around profits for an airline. So, the next time you’re travelling by Rajdhani with an unconfirmed ticket, you know Air India’s got your back!