Railways Offers 10% Cashback on Flight Tickets
I am subscribed to the promotional emails from IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited). This morning I received an email from them with the subject line “Limited offer on Airlines Tickets”. This made be curious to open the email and have a look at it. It was a surprise to see that IRCTC is offering 10% cash back on airlines tickets booked through their website. But I liked the enterprising aspect of IRCTC that although airlines are a competitor to the railways they are offering a one-stop solution to the customers.
In India the transportation – flights, trains and buses are not integrated as they are here in Europe. In India each of them compete with each other to get a larger share of the passenger traffic. Under this scenario, it is a welcome move by the IRCTC to also offer flight bookings and promotions on them.
I have been following IRCTC since they introduced the online booking of railway tickets. This made booking railway tickets a breeze unlike before where you paid hefty commission charges or queued up before the booking counters. Initially the online booking was available only for few important trains. Later it was extended to all the trains. They started with i-tickets where tickets can be booked online and are delivered by courier. Later they also offered e-tickets where tickets can be booked online and printed at home. The issue with i-tickets is that for their cancellation one will have to go the booking counter whereas e-tickets can be cancelled online.
All these has really made it convenient for millions of passengers traveling by train. I agree that their website still has a lot of scope for improvement particular with its constant server and connection errors. But given that the amount of traffic that it sustains, I feel it does a decent job.
Gradually IRCTC evolved into a railway tourism site from just an online booking site. They started offering holiday packages, railway packages, hotel bookings, etc. And now it is good to see that they are also offering flight bookings. Hats off to IRCTC :).