In the realm of Indian railway travel, navigating the various options and services can be quite a task. One such service that has garnered attention and convenience is Vikalp in IRCTC’s “Vikalp” feature. In this article, we’ll delve into the ins and outs of Vikalp, understanding what it is, how it works, and how it can enhance your railway journey experience.
In recent years, the Indian Railways has been striving to enhance passenger experience and convenience through various digital initiatives. One such initiative is the Vikalp in IRCTC scheme introduced by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). This scheme aims to address the issue of waitlisted tickets and provide passengers with an alternative solution.
2. What is Vikalp in IRCTC?
Vikalp in IRCTC, which translates to “alternative” in English, is a customer-friendly service that allows passengers with waitlisted tickets to opt for an alternative train or route, which has better chances of confirmation. This service intends to minimize the uncertainty and inconvenience faced by passengers due to waitlisted tickets.
3. How Does Vikalp Work?
When a passenger books a ticket on a particular train, there might be instances where all the available seats are already booked, and the passenger is placed on a waitlist. Here’s where Vikalp comes into play. If the original train’s seats are unavailable, IRCTC’s system automatically searches for alternative trains or routes with available seats for the same destination.
Passengers who opt for Vikalp in IRCTC will be shifted to an alternative train if seats become available on that train. The aim is to ensure that the passenger’s journey is not disrupted due to ticket unavailability.
4. Benefits of Opting for Vikalp:
- Higher Chances of Confirmation: By opting for Vikalp, passengers increase their chances of getting a confirmed seat on an alternative train, even if the original train is fully booked.
- Reduced Uncertainty: Vikalp in IRCTC reduces the uncertainty associated with waitlisted tickets. Passengers can plan their travel with more confidence.
- Flexibility: This service offers passengers the flexibility to choose an alternative train that suits their schedule and preferences.
5. How to Check Vikalp Availability:
Passengers can check the availability of the Vikalp option while booking their tickets on the IRCTC website or app. The availability of Vikalp in IRCTC will be subject to certain terms and conditions, such as train-specific criteria and time limits.
6. Steps to Opt for Vikalp While Booking:
- Login: Log in to your IRCTC account on the website or app.
- Ticket Booking: Initiate the ticket booking process for your desired train and route.
- Vikalp Option: If your chosen train has a waitlist and is eligible for Vikalp, the option will be presented during booking.
- Opt-In: Choose the Vikalp option and complete the booking process.
7. Vikalp vs. Regular Waitlisting:
While regular waitlisting only gives you a chance of getting a confirmed seat on the same train, Vikalp offers the advantage of alternative options. Vikalp increases your chances of a confirmed seat by considering multiple trains traveling to your destination.
8. Limitations and Considerations:
- Limited Trains: Not all trains are eligible for the Vikalp scheme. It’s important to check the availability of the option for your desired train.
- Tatkal and Premium Trains: The Vikalp service is generally not available for Tatkal and premium trains.
9. Frequently Asked Questions about Vikalp:
Q1: Can I choose any alternative train?
A: The alternative train options are provided by IRCTC’s system based on availability and route compatibility.
Q2: Is there an extra charge for opting for Vikalp?
A: No, there is no additional charge for choosing the Vikalp option.
Q3: What if my Vikalp alternative ticket is also waitlisted?
A: If the alternative ticket is waitlisted, the passenger’s original waitlisted ticket remains valid.
In the ever-evolving landscape of railway travel, IRCTC’s Vikalp scheme emerges as a beacon of convenience and flexibility. By offering passengers an alternative in the face of ticket unavailability, Vikalp enhances the overall travel experience. This service not only addresses the challenges of waitlisted tickets but also reflects the Indian Railways’ commitment to passenger-centric solutions.