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‘In-line’ to online: Most train tickets are booked on the Net now

Gone are the days when passengers would sweat it out at railway counters to book a train ticket,or shell out extra cash for travel agents’ commission.

Written by RituSharma | Chandigarh | Published: February 16, 2009 3:06 am

Gone are the days when passengers would sweat it out at railway counters to book a train ticket,or shell out extra cash for travel agents’ commission. Embracing the concept of online tickets,70 per cent of train travellers in the city now use www.irctc.co.in.

The reasons: concepts like ‘loyalty customers’ on ‘Shubh Yatra’ with incentive points scored for every ticket booked online and relaxed norms on identity verification,among others. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) has relaxed the identity proof norm for passengers travelling on an e-ticket. While on board a train,the passengers are now given the liberty to submit any authorised proof — be it passport,office identity card,driving licence,PAN card and voter I-card — for verification,irrespective of which identity poof was used while booking the ticket.

“We received several complaints from people travelling on e-tickets about the hassles in proving their identity. The decision to relax the norms was taken last month to make travel easier,” said IRCTC Chief Regional Manager Aneet Dulat.

For the passengers,the relaxed norms came as a sigh of relief.

“I often get my train tickets booked online. This is a welcome step by the IRCTC as we tend to forget to carry the same ID proof while travelling,” said Avinash Bhandari of Panchkula.

The introduction of the scheme,‘Shubh Yatra’,also deserves credit for passengers preferring the online mode of ticket booking. Some points are added each time a customer books an online ticket. On the accumulation of certain volume of points,the customer can redeem the ticket fare. “As many as 45,000 people have already enrolled for the scheme launched four months ago. It is applicable to the AC,AC-I,AC-II,Executive and Chair Car classes,” added Dulat.

While online tickets were earlier a hit with superfast trains (Shatabdi and Jan Shatabdi),the passengers travelling in express trains are also gradually going “online”.

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