When you are doing online ticket booking for a train in Indian Railway, you will see an option "Consider for Auto Upgradation". What the hell it is? Many people get confused whether to select it or not, and what will be the consequences if you opt it.

irctc autoupgradation option

What does IRCTC auto upgradation means? Are there any extra charges for it, and how seats are allocated within train when it works. All these are discussed below

IRCTC Auto Upgradation

Indian Railways auto-upgradation scheme upgrades a passenger having  confirmed ticket of a lower class to an upper class automatically, after chart of the train is prepared, if seats are available in higher class.

It completely depends on what is current seat availability status of a train, at a time when upgrade process is implemented.

For example, if a passenger has got a WL (waitlisted)  ticket (check your pnr status) of a non AC sleeper class (SL), and he had opted for the Indian Railways auto upgradation scheme at the time of filling up reservation form. And now, if at the  the time of chart preparation of train, passenger reservation system (PRS) of Indian railway finds that a berth is available in 3 AC class (which is higher class than a sleeper class), the railway reservation system may accommodate him into higher class coach.

Who is considered for auto upgradation by Railway?

Only full fare paying passengers who availed no concession are considered. People who opted to get senior citizen concession or other discounts like those given to students/journalists/disabled persons/war widows/patients won't be considered.

Will there be any extra charges? How will I Pay?

You don't have to pay any extra charges. Railway upgrades you to make sure that there is no vacant seat and those who are waiting to get a berth allotted to them.

Checking Auto Upgradation Status

Did railway considered me auto-upgradation? And if so what is my new coach and seat number. How do I know in which coach I need to shift?

Earlier you could actually find it out  online easily on Indian Railways official website. The list of  upgraded passenger was maintained. But this option seems to be not available ever since the railway site is revamped

auto upgradation railway
To know if you are upgraded or not, enter the train name/no. along with chart date
in railway enquiry's upgraded passenger list page.

What to do now?

Don't worry! You can still know if you are one of those lucky one's who were looked upon by IRCTC for upgrade of travel class.

Just check what is latest PNR status of your train ticket. Whether you are upgraded or not, the PNR number remains same.

In response you will get your new coach number and seat number. Looking at it you can easily know of you are allotted seat in higher class coach or not.

Other option is to check out reservation charts on railway platform. These are displayed about an hour before the departure of a train from a particular station. On these charts both old and new coach and seat numbers are marked for your reference.

Railway Upgradation Rules

There are some other railway auto-upgradation rules which you must know. Some of these may be hinted already above.
  1. Upgraded passengers will be accommodated in same train departing on same date which they mentioned while doing reservation.
  2. Only full fare paying passengers are considered. Those who have concessional passes and discounted tickets won't be entertained.
  3. PNR (Passenger Name Record) remains same. All railway enquiry still can be done using original PNR
  4. If you cancel your ticket the cancellation charges applicable to original class of travel apply.
  5. If there are 6 passengers booked on a particular PNR, than either all are considered for upgrading or none of them is selected.
  6. You cannot make berth choice (lower/ upper/ middle/ side lower/ side upper etc.) when opting for IRCTC auto upgradation scheme.
  7. In upgradation process seats will be allotted in next higher class only, if available.
  8. Fees/ Charges applicable for travel in higher class won't be collected from upgraded passenger.
  9. Once a passenger is upgraded his seat will be made available// released to RAC and other waitlisted passengers
  10. Ticket up gradation will be done only for confirmed (after RAC/WL management) passengers of general and Tatkal quotas.

Benefits of railway auto upgradation 

This scheme is beneficial in a scenario where one wants to travel in, say 2 AC coach, and at the time of ticket booking seat is not available in the wanted coach, but in the lower coach i.e. 3 AC. What one can do? One can do reservation in 3 AC and opt for auto-upgradation, and see what happens. If somehow a seat becomes vacant in upper coach the person might get a wanted seat,

You must be wondering - what happens to the original seat when a passenger is shifted to upper seat?  The seats vacated are allotted to other passengers under RAC scheme.

Terms used in this article:

RAC: Reservation against cancellation.

IRCTC: Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation.

PNR: Passenger Name Record.

Autoupgradation: Scheme of Indian Railway.

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