No confirmation on train ticket? You can book air tickets on Railofy

Updated: 08 April, 2020 11:07 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Railofy, launched by a bunch of youngsters from IIT, IIM and ISB, claims it will accommodate waitlisted train passengers in empty flight seats

The team behind railofy.com
The team behind railofy.com

Waiting to get your railway ticket confirmed need not be ulcer-causing worry anymore. A team of brains from IIT, ISB and IIM professionals have launched a website called 'Railofy' that provides 'Travel Guarantee' to waitlisted or RAC train passengers, which means you can fly if you can't get your train ticket confirmed.

The platform will provide "Travel Guarantee to WL/RAC train passengers, for a nominal amount," Rohan Dedhia of Railofy told mid-day. "In case, the passenger's rail ticket gets confirmed, he proceeds on his journey with no refund from us. In case it does not, we ensure that the passenger reaches his destination within 24 hours by flight at a similar cost to his train ticket," he explained.

The railofy website
The railofy website

Railofy provides Travel Guarantee product to waitlisted or RAC train passengers. It is priced in a range of R50 to R500 depending on the route and date of travel. If the railway ticket is not confirmed at the time of chart preparation (four hours before departure), Railofy provides a flight to the user at the price of a Tatkal train ticket.

Railofy partners with airlines to them optimise their networks. In India, more than 50,000 air seats go empty every day. Despite this, waitlisted train passengers cannot afford to fly as last-minute flight prices are exorbitantly high.

Rohan Dedhia of Railofy
Rohan Dedhia of Railofy

This prompted the trio - Rohan Dedhia, an alumnus of Indian School of Business (ISB), Hrishab Sanghvi, an IIM Lucknow alumnus, and Vaibhav Saraf, an IIT Bombay and ISB alumnus – to build Railofy.

How it works
A train passenger with a WL or RAC ticket booked on any railway portal, can visit railofy.com and enter the PNR number, based on which Railofy will display a refundable Travel Guarantee fee. Once purchased, Railofy guarantees the trip. If at the time of departure, the train ticket is not confirmed (railway will refund ticket amount), Railofy will provide flight ticket to the user at a pre-agreed price which is the tatkal price of the train. At any point after the booking, Railofy also gives passengers the flexibility of cancelling Travel Guarantee.

"Getting a confirmed seat on a train is like a toss of a coin. The passenger doesn't know till the last minute if he is going to get a seat on the train. At this point, he has no other alternatives left to travel. This is an unacceptable experience in a country that is getting increasingly aspirational," says the founding team.

Railofy has initially launched its product in Mumbai for AC class train travellers. The product will gradually extend to all cities and classes.

Mixed response

Shailesh Goyal, member of Western Railway Zonal Users Consultative Committee, said the idea would take time to settle down and was not sure if it would work. "There are too many parameters to be considered for an individual's journey depending on urgency and priority. Does this include 2AC and 3AC? It will all depend on a case-to-case basis," he added.

Subhas Gupta, member of National Railway Users Consultative Committee, however, said it sounded like a nice idea. "An Indian Railways passenger is always a disturbed person. This website seems to be trying to give that passenger one more option. The more options a waitlisted passenger gets the better. Those who can afford will definitely go for this website and complete their journeys without hassle," he said.

Former Railway Board Member (Engineering) and ex-General Manager Subodh Jain said the idea was a tried and tested formula, something like an insurance scheme that commuters used to run in old days.

50,000
No. of empty seats on domestic flights every day

Rs 50-500
Price range that Railofy will charge over train ticket price

For more details check www.railofy.com

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First Published: 30 January, 2020 07:11 IST

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