Thiruvananthapuram: Unable to travel in a train because your waitlisted ticket could not get confirmed? Don’t abort your trip as you have now the option to fly to your destination at a competitive fare, courtesy an initiative of IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) which has tied up with Go Air and Spicejet airlines for the benefit of its patrons.
Under the arrangement, IRCTC sends a mail to all waitlisted passengers booked through its website after the reservation chart of a train has been prepared. For availing the facility, the date of ticket booking has to be three days prior to the date of journey.
Explaining, an IRCTC official said the name of the passenger has to be same while the date of flight booking has to be the same day (date of original train journey or the day after),” he pointed out.
“The passenger may cancel the train ticket and try for air ticket through www.air.irctc.co.in for a sector in which the flight and seats are available. The facility is available on only those train routes that are also served by airlines,” he added.
The official said the price of flight ticket is lower than the dynamically priced air fare of the day for the particular airlines. “Go Air has tied up with us while Spicejet is yet to pass on its inventory. Talks are on with other airlines as well,” he added.
“An important feature of IRCTC’s tie-ups with the airlines is that passengers will not have to pay dynamically priced air fares. On the contrary, fares would be incremental and competitive by even 30-40 per cent as compared to the prevailing spot prices. However, sectors and seats are limited; hence bookings are on first come first serve basis,” he pointed out.
The arrangement could be a win-win situation for all the stakeholders. It will help reduce the waiting lists for train tickets; airlines will be able to find customers for their unsold tickets, especially during the off-season, by placing them on the IRCTC website. As for the waitlisted passengers, they may be able to buy air tickets cheaper for their journey.
A ‘mini Ratna’ PSU of Indian Railways, the 1999-founded IRCTC handles the catering, tourism and online ticketing operations.