We might have experienced anytime that we happen to book reservation tickets in Sleeper class, and after final charting, our berth gets upgraded in AC-3 tier. All this without paying an extra buck from your pocket! Well, if you have experienced a similar situation, you are not alone! It is a part of the Indian Railways Autoupgradation scheme. So, you might now be echoed with a series of questions in your mind like What is Auto-upgradation? What is its aim and the rules of auto up-gradation? Well, in this article, we are here to clarify all your queries surrounding the Auto-upgradation scheme.
What is the Auto Upgradation Scheme of Indian Railways?
The Indian Railways introduced the Auto-upgradation scheme in 2006 to fill the vacant berths in various trains. It is a win-win situation for both passengers and the Indian railways, wherein the passengers can upgrade their journey without paying anything extra. On the other hand, railways can benefit from filling up the seats that are running vacant. The passengers are selected randomly by the system at the time of chart preparation. All the passengers need to do is tick/mark the auto-upgrade option while making a reservation. The scheme applies to ticket bookings made via railway counters as well online. Indian Railways upgrades the full-fare paying waitlisted passengers to the upper class based on the accommodation availability.
Motto Behind the Auto-Upgradation Scheme
The ministry of railways, on May 25, 2006, has introduced the auto-upgradation scheme in select trains. But after witnessing the success, the railways has decided to implement the scheme in all trains from 2007. The motto behind this scheme is to achieve the optimal allocation of available seats in trains. It can be done by reallocating the vacant berth to passengers who opted for the auto class upgradation scheme..
Indian Railways Auto Upgradation Scheme: Everything You Needed to Know
- The Auto Upgradation scheme applies only to fully paid waitlisted passengers.
- It is free of cost service provided by the Indian railways, and you need not pay anything extra for the same.
- The remaining vacant berths, if any, are transferred for booking on current reservation counters.
- The upgradation is facilitated by the Passenger Reservation System (PRS), and the Train Ticket Examiners (TTE) does not have any authority to upgrade to any higher class.
- In IRCTC, you need to check the option “ Consider for Auto Upgradation in the website while booking the train tickets online.
- The passengers are not charged anything extra for upgradation. In case a passenger with upgradation opts for cancellation, the cancellation charges against the original booking class are only payable by the Indian Railways.
- The original PNR number of the upgraded passengers remain unchanged and provides all the details when an inquiry is made against the PNR number.
- All the passengers in the PNR record (for bookings made for more than one passenger) are upgraded once to the higher class subject to the availability of the vacant berth. No individual passenger will be upgraded to the higher class, even if there is a vacant berth.
- The upgradation scheme applies only to the next higher class, for instance, from Sleeper class to 3AC and from 3AC-2AC and the likes.
- The final chart includes all the details of the upgradation-based changes such as the name of the passengers, their allocated coach, and their berth number. Further, there would be an indication on the chart that indicates the upgraded status.
- The Auto-upgradation scheme works on the “First Come First Serve Basis”. So, the passengers with lower waitlist numbers stand at a higher chance of occupying a seat in the upgraded class.
- You cannot make the berth choice such as Lower/middle/upper/side lower and Side Upper) when opting for the IRCTC Auto upgradation scheme.
Consider for Auto Upgradation in IRCTC
There is an option in reservation form called “ Consider for Auto-upgradation,” and you need to check the option. When you are booking an e-ticket online via IRCTC online website, you can also find the option. It is free of cost service offered by the Indian Railways, and you need not pay anything extra for the same. In simpler terms, “Consider for Auto Upgradation” implies allocating a vacant berth in the higher class in times of availability.
Rules for Auto Upgradation
Before you check the box for Auto Upgradation, you must be well aware of the rules and regulations for Auto Upgradation:
Must check the auto-upgradation option while booking
The passengers would be given the auto upgradation option in the requisition form when a booking is made at the reservation counters. For tickets booked online via IRCTC, one can find the option while booking on the portal. The upgradation applies only to waitlisted passengers at the time of chart preparation.
Auto Upgradation Does not Apply to:
The auto upgradation scheme does not apply to all the reservation ticket bookings, and there are some categories, wherein the scheme does not apply. They include:
Passengers with Concessional ticket:
If the reservation ticket includes any concession, then he/she is not eligible for auto-upgradation. Tickets booked under concessions, including medical benefits, unemployed youth, and so on, are not eligible for upgradation.
Railway Pass Holders:
Indian Railways issues free travel passes to the family members of the railway employees. Such employees are not eligible for the railways auto-upgradation scheme.
Senior Citizen Concession:
Railways offer concessions on the ticket bookings for senior citizens. The eligible age to avail concession is 58 years for men and 60 years for women. The passengers availing senior citizen concessions are not eligible for the auto-upgradation scheme.
How does the PRS system Select Passengers for Upgradation?
The PRS system adopts random selection when it comes to picking up the passengers for an upgradation scheme. One PNR will be selected from the list of general passengers with confirmation status after final charting (Waitlist or RAC). The next PNRs would be pickets from the confirmed tickets booked under Tatkal Scheme. So, the process of alternately picking the passengers from the general confirmed list and the Tatkal list continues until the filling up of all the vacant berths in the upgradation scheme.