Ever had to share a berth through the seventeen hours it takes to get from Kolkata to Delhi? Ever watched the train ride away as you stand crying on the platform with your packed bags?
Well do we have some good news for you, you can use the same wait-listed ticket to book your seat on Air India and fly your way to your destination in style!
The government has recently announced a new arrangement that will make all our travel plans significantly easier. Under this, passengers with unconfirmed tickets on the Rajdhani Express, can upgrade to an Air India flight, if the latter has the same service route allotted on the same day.
Image credit : Freepik
Air India viewed this business venture as the answer to all their prayers. The Airlines, which has been dipping under the profit curve for the past couple of months, hope for a rapid filling of its seats and a turn in fortune.
“An airline seat is a perishable commodity. An empty seat is lost forever once the aircraft takes off. So, this makes business sense,” says Rajji Rai, an expert on Aviation.
The system is designed in the way that the waitlisted passengers of Rajdhani will receive a message on their phones from IRCTC, providing them with the option of travelling by Air India instead. If the passenger is to agree to this, then he or she needs to confirm and purchase their seat on the Airlines within the next 24 hours.
The arrangement entails that the provision holds true for only those holding an unconfirmed ticket to the AC Compartments of the trains. First Class Passengers won’t have to pay additional charges, due to its near-equal pricing with the standard flight prices (economy). The passengers holding tickets to the AC-II and AC-III compartments, will have to pay an additional fee of between Rs. 1500- 2000, for the conversion of their train tickets.
The tie-up between Air India and Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation Limited is confirmed by Air India’s Chairman and Managing Director, AshwaniLohia.
“Several state governments have asked Air India to look at launching virgin routes connecting different cities in their respective states. The details are being worked out and we hope to have this in place within a week,” he said (as stated to news agency PTI).
The primary selling point of this system is that you can use the same unconfirmed ticket to board a confirmed seat on the flight. However, there are certain clauses to this much-anticipated arrangement. For instance, the Airlines will offer this program as a ‘first come first serve basis’, when it comes to the matter of availability of seats. For instance, if there are only ten seats available, then the first ten to arrive at the location would be granted these seats.
According to the IRCTC website, a first-class Rajdhani ticket from Delhi to Mumbai would cost about Rs. 4,750 while the price for the second class ticket for the same would be Rs. 2,865. The same source states that a first class Rajdhani ticket from Delhi to Bangalore would be priced at Rs. 6,665 while a second class ticket for the same would cost about Rs. 4,015.
This arrangement is hoped to be a win-win for both the Airlines and the commuting passengers.
In the midst of this, Air India is setting up the blueprint for a fairly ambitious plan of operating a greater number of smaller aircrafts to launch virgin routes connecting different cities in their respective states. This would involve Air Alliance, Air India’s ‘wholly-owned’ subsidiary to increase the number of ATRs (Aircraft Manufacturer) in its existing fleet by 35, in the next four years. Currently, it has about seven ATRs in its fleet, including two ATR-42 that are to be phased this fiscal year. Till now, 16 state representatives have come forward for the deal while Air India plans to add more planes to its fleet.
Acche Din, indeed.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)
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