NEW DELHI: Passengers on the waiting list who don’t get confirmed train tickets can now upgrade to travel by air by paying a little extra.
National carrier Air India (AI) has entered into an agreement with Indian Railways wherein the airline will offer air tickets to passengers with unconfirmed AC class tickets. While AC first class passengers need to pay no extra, AC II passengers will have to pay Rs 1,5002,000 plus their train fare.
“The tie-up with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will start with Rajdhani trains,” said Ashwani Lohani, chairman and managing director, AI.
The system will work like this: passengers on the waiting list will receive a message from the IRCTC giving them an option to travel by Air India. “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 would 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. 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.