irctc

IRCTC has tied up with SpiceJet and GoAir to allow train travellers with wait listed tickets to cancel the train ticket and instead book a flight on either airline, reports FirstPost. An IRCTC executive told the publication that it had entered into this tie up over a month ago, during which it has sold air tickets to waitlisted passengers. The executive also said that IRCTC will look to tie up with other private airlines in the future, to offer similar deals.

The new feature will only apply to tickets booked at least three days before the date of travel. In case such a ticket it waitlisted, the passenger can cancel the train ticket and avail an air ticket for the original day of journey, or a day before it. Note that the deal does not specify airlines to make a certain number of tickets available for IRCTC passengers, so it looks like only unbooked or last minute cancelled airline tickets will be available to train travellers.

This initiative by IRCTC could be useful, however in its current state it only ties up with two airlines and with no ‘reservations’ for IRCTC passengers, the actual availability of such tickets for waitlisted passengers seems low. However, by tying up with more airlines, and maybe with a requirement for airlines to save some tickets for waitlisted passengers, the initiative could really take off so to speak. Note that it’s not clear if IRCTC is paying any royalties to the airlines for this tie up or vice-versa.

Booking rules change: In March this year, IRCTC implemented a new rule to stop agents from hogging tickets, by allowing only one ticket per user in one login session between 8am and 12pm. The next month the agency went ahead and introduced further rules that could restrict even legitimate users from booking tickets they need, like only allowing a maximum of 10 tickets per individual a month, only 2 tickets per user-id in a day for advance reservation and only 2 tatkal tickets per IP address per day. Read more about this change here.

Previous IRCTC developments:

– Last month, The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation entered into a partnership with the couponing website Mydala, to offer its users deals and offers across categories like food & beverages, beauty, health & wellness, tattoos & retail shopping to its customers. Users can use the deals while booking train tickets. However, it isn’t clear how IRCTC will monetise these transactions.

– The same month, IRCTC added Paytm wallet as an option for its users to pay for train tickets online. Through this partnership, Paytm would be able to expand its reach to Tier II and Tier III markets, like Mydala, where trains form the primary mode of long distance travel and IRCTC the default train booking platform.

– In March, IRCTC roped in Pizza Hut and KFC in order to deliver pre-ordered meals to its passengers. Passengers would need to order the food from the IRCTC website 48 hours prior to the date of the journey after which a password would be sent to the passenger’s mobile phone from the vendor.

– In the same month, IRCTC also partnered with Union Bank of India (UBI) to offer a RuPay prepaid card which would let users book train tickets and buy goods or services from the IRCTC portal. The card was developed jointly by IRCTC, UBI and National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI).

– IRCTC also tied up with Amazon.in to sell various products to IRCTC customers. However, the products were not sold on IRCTC’s website, instead clicking on ‘Shop by Amazon’ redirected users to Amazon.in, which sported an IRCTC logo on it.

– Earlier in February, IRCTC tied-up with Jubilant Foodworks to deliver Dominos’ pizza to the passengers’ seats if they were traveling across selected stations in India. In the same month, Last month, IRCTC tied-up with BookMyTrain.com to introduce cash on delivery (CoD) payment mode for buying train tickets.