Festive rush: Flight fares go up, people prefer trains

Following cancellation of Kingfisher flights and increase in fares of flight tickets during the ongoing festive season, rush of passengers for train services seems to have grown due to affordable costs.

"There has indeed been a marked increase in number of railway passengers due to cancellation of Kingfisher flights and skyrocketing flight fares," said railway spokesperson Y K Singh.

"Only a few days ago we had opened bookings for Pune-Patna and Pune-Nizamuddin (New Delhi) special trains. The tickets were sold in a day and half. Generally it takes much longer. It's apparent that there has been a considerable diversion of air travellers to trains," said Singh.

Harsha Shah, president of Railway Pravasi Group, said air travellers are not hesitating to opt for trains after upgrade of facilities in trains such as Duronto and Rajdhani as it will make the journey comfortable and also keep the costs in check.

"The flight tickets to Delhi is around Rs 10,000 to 12,000 and people are finding it very expensive if the entire family has to travel. Besides, there are trains to almost all the important destinations from the city which have good facilities in AC II and AC III tier classes," said Shah.

The rush has also made it difficult in securing a train ticket. Those who are trying to reserve seats for travels during Diwali are finding themselves at the bottom of long waiting lists.

"As the air tickets are expensive, we decided to travel by train to our home in Delhi. We booked tickets but we are 220 on the waiting list. It is difficult to clear that long a queue," said Meghna Arora of Pashan who works with an IT firm. The ticket cost of Pune-Delhi travel by Duronto for AC III tier and II tier is Rs 1,650 and 2,000 respectively.

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