IRCTC has launched a mobile application for booking flights called IRCTC Air on the Google Play Store. Users can book tickets with their existing IRCTC credentials although the app also allows people to book tickets via guest login.
The company says it does not charge any fee just like other online travel agents. It, however, charges Rs 10 per flight PNR when booked through net banking, as indicated by this Times of India report . The report added that people cannot book more than nine tickets on a single PRN number on a particular flight.
A fee of 1.8% of the total flight fare will be charged for bookings done from the app using credit cards. There is no option to pay via wallets but allows users to pay via cash cards from ItzCash, OxiCash, Beam Cash Card (Rs 10 or 1.5% whichever is lower). A full list of charges is provided on the app while users book a ticket.
Note that there is a disparity between online card payments for IRCTC. Earlier in the month, Indian Railways said it would not charge service fee on payments made via cards, while purchasing train tickets at railway platforms. However, the service charge levied on net banking and card payments for tickets booked on IRCTC’s online ticket portal remain the same.
Cancellation: IRCTC says it would refund tickets which were cancelled within 30 days. According to this Times of India report, the cancellation charges on the app will be ‘minimal’.
Recent initiatives by IRCTC
– E-bedrolls: Last month, the IRCTC introduced e-bedroll, a paid service where train passengers could book the bedsheet top, bedsheet bottom, pillow and a fabric pack for their journey at Chennai and Trivandrum Central Railway Stations.
– In the same month, the IRCTC tied up with OYO Rooms to launch an IRCTC hotel-booking page on OYO Rooms, offering its inventory to train travellers. Note that IRCTC’s website continues to list various budget hotel, retiring rooms, lounges etc., and added a button for IRCTC OYO Rooms.
– Food tie ups: It has been tying up with multiple food delivery companies to let users order food while on the go, as well at train stations. In January, it tied up with TravelKhana, who it had incidentally sued in December for copyright infringement; Hello Curry in November, Foodpanda in the same month, and earlier in 2015 with Pizza Hut and KFC andJubilant Foodworks.