What would you normally do if you check your railway PNR status and it remains WL (wait listed) every time you check it and doesn't change to 'confirm' status? In most cases you will bang your head, curse your luck, or say some harsh words to railway authorities.
But soon you will start praying that if your status of reservation is wait listed, it remains so. This is because IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) has planned to provide discounted flight tickets to such passengers who have booked their tickets online (through IRCTC next generation e-ticket system) at least 3 days before the date of journey, and their tickets doesn't get confirmed even after train chart is prepared. Because of this condition the railway customers having purchased e ticket using IRCTC tatkal booking won't get benefited from flight ticket discount scheme.
IRCTC has held talks with GoAir and Spicejet airlines in this connection. Although the discount amount is not fixed at the moment, it is estimated that passengers will have to pay about 30-40 percent less than what would be payed to buy the normal airline ticket.
Good thing about the whole scheme is that - that the passengers don't have to do anything at the start. IRCTC will take the initiative to send emails to all the passengers in waiting list who purchased railway e Ticket. Then it is up to the passenger to buy a plane ticket.
For booking tickets passengers will have to login at air.irctc.co.in and have to choose a passenger name's from list of train ticket list. As soon as this action is taken a flight search option will be made available to user by IRCTC. The if there is a flight service in the city and the seat is available, passenger can book seats in domestic flights.
The passenger initially will have to pay for the domestic airline ticket booking. The railway ticket will be cancelled meanwhile and refund will be processed as per railway reservation and cancellation rules and refunded amount will be deposited back to the bank account which was used to purchase the e ticket initially.
The only drawback or something to worry about this scheme is - what if a customer wishes to cancel his plane ticket? Customer can do so but their will be huge overcharge for cancellation at last moment which customer will have to bear. This is because the flight ticket will be issued under 'last minute booking' service in which the ticket cancellation charges are high. It means the wait list passenger will be provided airplane ticket as per last minute competitive fare rate.
Other problem which passengers might face is to actually be able to reach airport on time. This is because the train chart gets prepared just 3 hrs before the train departure time. And one has to check in at airport at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before the flight is scheduled to take off. If distance between railway station and airport is long, this could be problematic as in crowded cities one might miss the airplane.