Railways offer wait-listed passengers option to fly by Air India

Indian Railways is now offering passengers failing to get confirmed AC-I and AC-II class tickets for Rajdhani Express the option to fly by Air India, by paying the difference in charges.

The scheme will be applicable to wait-listed passengers with unconfirmed AC-I or AC-II, media reports quoting the new chairman of the Indian Railway Board, Ashwani Lohani said.

Lohani had mooted the plan last year when he was Air India chief and Air India and IRCTC had even entered into a pact for the proposed arrangement. However the plan was not implemented.

The Railway chief has said that he will clear the plan if Air India puts it up again.

Under the proposed arrangement, people who have unconfirmed tickets across classes on Rajdhani trains would have the choice of boarding an Air India flight by paying the difference, provided the airline has services in the particular train route chosen by the passenger.

Air India tickets would be offered to such passengers through IRCTC.

The scheme will be applicable to passengers with unconfirmed AC-I or AC-II tickets for Rajdhani Express.

With many passengers ending up with unconfirmed AC-I AC-II tickets, Railways had come up with dynamic pricing model in which, only the first 10 per cent of the tickets sold in premium trains will be available at the original listed price.

After that, for every 10 per cent tickets sold, the fare goes up by 10 per cent. However, after the sale of 50 per cent of tickets, when fares are 50 per cent more than the original prices, there is no further hike.

This made air travel and Rajdhani AC tickets fare almost similar, prompting passengers to opt for air travel. Lohani himself was not very happy with the dynamic pricing system, which earned the Railways an additional Rs240 crore.

''I personally was not happy with the way dynamic pricing has been structured. We have to really look at the way airlines are doing it,'' Lohani said in an interview.