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Passengers Question Indian Railways Over Downgrading Seats

Passengers traveling on the Ahilya Nagari SF Express from Chennai to Palakkad, Kerala, have raised concerns about a potential overbooking policy similar to the airline industry. Some passengers received a message from the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) just before boarding the train, notifying them that their confirmed air-conditioned coach seats were downgraded to the newly introduced third AC Economy class.

This class offers higher seat/berth capacity and lower fares than normal third AC coaches. To claim a refund for the fare difference, passengers are required to navigate a complicated process, involving sending a certificate of downgrade from the Train Ticket Examiner (TTE) to the IRCTC office in Delhi, who then forwards the claim to the relevant Railway Zone.

Passengers have expressed dissatisfaction with this process, suggesting that offering upgrades, instead of downgrades, would earn the goodwill of passengers.