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Mar 25, 2015

Do IRCTC Flight Booking worth Your time and Money

We all know that IRCTC provides online facility for booking domestic airline tickets at air.irctc.co.in and ever since they have renamed their reservation system to IRCTC next generation e-ticket booking system, all expects a  world class online flight booking services which provide ease of use and flight tickets at cheap price. So, do IRCTC flight booking site worth your time and money? Let's see.

Actually when the flight tickets were first offered by IRCTC, Sharell Cook, India travel expert did a review where she put the new airline booking facility to test. She found out that on basis of both price it offers and ease of use, the new airline booking site came second when compared to other travel agency websites. It was found that not only sites like Makemytrip.com, Cleartrip.com and Yatra.com were providing tickets at cheaper price for same flight but also were better in terms of services to the user. Other sites allowed international debit and credit cards for payment while IRCTC did not allow it. In fact it refused to accept the non-indian residence address while entering passenger details. No wonder she came to following verdict -
Stick to booking flights directly through the airlines' websites, or with the other travel portals. - Sharell Cook, on goindia.about.com
That review was done in 2010. Let's see if something has changed in 2015. As soon as we opened the home page of IRCTC online passenger reservation system for flight booking, we saw a journey planner that had tabs named - Domestic, International, LTC. See screenshot below.

irctc flight booking
journey planner at air.irctc.co.in

Without investigating further we knew that IRCTC flight booking is now improved and allow reservation in both domestic and international airlines. Obvious, it now accepts international credit and debt cards too for receiving payments from the customers.

Second thing to test was the price. Is IRCTC now providing airline tickets at better price than the others? We searched for a flight from New Delhi to Mumbai, and chose economy class for booking. Here are the results.
ticket price of flight between new delhi and mumbai on IRCTC
Next we move onto other travel agent website - Makemytrip.com and made same search. The results are shown below.

ticket price of flight from new delhi to mumbai on makemytrip.
We found that the IndiGo airline ticket was available on IRCTC for Rs. 3976, while the same flight ticket was available on flights.makemytrip.com for Rs. 3901.

Clearly other travel agencies are providing cheap flight tickets. They provide bonus points too, like IRCTC, and accept payments through internet banking and other options too.

Verdict - While IRCTC's domestic fligh booking services has improved to great extent, it is still better to book flight tickets from somewhere else. However, it is always good to look on various sites on internet for any offers that might be available for the customers on online air ticket bookings.


irctc said...

Other sites like cleartrip also enable online rescheduling of domestic flights without extra handling fee. IRCTC still charges Rs. 10. Not good.

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