Did you know that you can opt for the auto-upgradation of your train berth in the Indian Railways, to a tier higher than the one you reserved initially without any additional charges?
Those using IRCTC, the national transporter’s online portal, to book tickets, would have undoubtedly come across this option and also gotten their confirmed berths upgraded to a higher tier!
For those who weren’t aware of this scheme, IRCTC gives all of its customers the opportunity to choose for auto class upgradation at the time of booking mail and express train tickets on its website.
The aim behind this scheme is to achieve optimal utilisation of available berths in trains by reallocating vacant ones to those passengers who opted for the auto class upgrade, which in turn will help move waitlisted ones to the confirmed passenger list.
Here’s everything you need to know about IRCTC’s auto-upgrade scheme that will allow you an upgraded rail travel experience and that too, at no extra cost!
1. One needs to keep in mind that the upgradation process is only applicable to the next level, which means if you have a ticket for the sleeper class berth, it will be upgraded to the AC third tier. Similarly, berths in third and second AC tiers will be upgraded to second and first AC compartments.
2. To be considered for an auto upgrade, you will have to tick the checkbox stating the same at the time of booking the tickets online. If you don’t tick this box while submitting the requisition form for reservation, the answer will be treated as affirmative, and the passengers can still be eligible for upgradation.
3. This upgradation is automatically processed by the Passenger Reservation System (PRS) while the charts are being prepared and no train conductor or ticket examiner from the Railways has the authority to upgrade any passenger under this scheme on the train.
4. Only waitlisted passengers will get confirmed berths under this scheme. Meanwhile, the remaining vacant berths would be moved for booking on the current counters as per the standing mechanism. So if there is a likelihood of trains with no waiting list, the auto upgrade will not take place.
5. The passengers, whose confirmed berth reservations have been upgraded to the higher tier, will be now included in the Reservation Against Cancellation (RAC)/ Waitlisted (WL) passenger list of that tier and if some berths still remain vacant, passengers from the next lower tier with confirmed tickets will be then allocated these berths.
6. The upgradation process for all single-ticket passengers is administered together. On the other hand, while multiple passengers (up to six) with tickets booked under a single PNR number are eligible for to be considered for an auto upgrade, the unavailability of adequate berths in such cases, however, will mean that none of these passengers will benefit from this scheme.
7. Also, the scheme doesn’t consider block-booking transactions as well as tickets booked under senior citizen or other concessionary categories for upgradation.
8. If a passenger with upgraded reservation cancels his or her ticket, the cancellation charges levied by IRCTC will only reflect that of the class booked initially. Also, the PNR number remains unchanged for passengers with upgraded tickets, and they can continue using this same 10-digit number to place enquiries with the PRS or receive any train-related information.
9. An important thing to remember once you receive upgradation updates from IRCTC is that you will have to make a personal effort to crosscheck the final coach number and berth number allocated to you before occupying it. This is important as any carelessness might lead to untoward arguments and scuffles between passengers, who will both be under the impression of the reserved berth is their own.
10. The final charts prepared before the commencement of the train journey will contain all the upgradation-based changes including names of passengers along with their newly allocated coach and berth numbers that will all carry an indication on the chart denoting their upgraded status.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)