New Travel Guidelines in India: Ticket Fares, Rules and Booking Details as Air and Rail Services to Resume
(Photo Credits: Pixabay and Wikimedia)

New Delhi, May 23: Amid the nationwide lockdown 4.0 due to the COVID19 pandemic, the Civil Aviation and Railway Ministries has decided to restart the air and rail services for the passengers.
Air Services 
The domestic civil aviation operation will start from May 25th in a calibrated manner and will be scaled gradually up, the Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri informed on twitter.
“After domestic travel has been eased, we will address the issue of international travel depending on the evolving the situation”, the Aviation Minister further added.
Meanwhile, ticket booking has already been started by various air carriers after the announcement made by the government. The domestic flights are starting exactly after the two months, being stopped from March 25th onwards due to the nationwide lockdown announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The operations will be to a limited extent of their respective approved capacity of Summer Schedule 2020, as per the official document released by the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary, Civil Aviation said, “Restarting air service is indeed a very crucial step for the restoration of normal traffic and economic activity. The first step is from 25th, about one-third of the capacity of domestic aviation will be put into action. After proper feedback and response, the operation will be ramped up further”.
Ticket Fares 
As per the official circular, seven sectors have been classified based on the duration of flights, starting with the minimum fare of Rs 2000 to a maximum fare of Rs 18000. Further details related to the seven sectors and fares are available on the official website of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)-
Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation:
-From origin to the airport
1. Before entering the airport, the passenger should wear a mask.
2. Passenger to report at the airport as per the revised reporting time of 2 hours.
3. Passenger to travel in an authorised taxi or personal vehicle following the norms specified by MHA.
4. During transit to the airport, the passenger should take all precautions to prevent infection.
5.Passenger to certify the status of his/her health through the Arogya Setu app or self-declaration form.
6.Social distancing and minimum touch.
7. Only one check-in bag and one cabin bag allowed.
8. Vulnerable persons such as elderly, pregnant ladies, the passenger with ailments are advised to avoid air travel.
9. Ensure Web check-in and obtain a boarding pass.
10. Passenger to download the baggage tag or identification number, print it and affix it on the bag at a prominent place.
11. In case the passenger is not able to print the baggage tag, then he/she should mention the PNR number and name on a paper and affix/tag it with a strong strip.
Inside the aircraft
1. During the flight, passenger to strictly follow hygiene and sanitation. Face to face interaction to be minimised.
2.passenger to minimise the use of toilets and avoid non-essential movements in aisles.
3. No queuing at the toilets and only one companion for children and the elderly would be allowed.
4.No meal services in the aircraft. Water bottle to be available on seats or in the gallery area. Eatables not to be consumed during the flight.
5.No newspaper/ magazine will be available, no onboard sale of aby item.
6. If a passenger feels uncomfortable, it should be brought to the immediate notice to the crew.
Rail Services
The Ministry of Railways has also decided to restart train services from June 01. The Railways will start operation of 200 passenger services and the ticket booking has already been started. Starting from May 22, the Railways have also re-opened the reservation counters & booking through Common Service Centers (CSCs) and Agents which was not possible earlier.
Zonal Railways will decide & notify opening of counters in a phased manner, the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted.
These services will be in addition to the on-going Shramik special trains running since May 01 and special AC trains running since May 12th.
Rajesh Dutt Bajpai, Spokesperson, Railways Board said, “Indian Railway is the lifeline of this nation. There are a lot of expectations of passengers from railways. Everyone was waiting for the services to start. We were finding ourselves helpless, as one side it was the global pandemic and on the other expectations of passengers”.
Train coaches and Ticket fares
These will be fully reserved trains having both AC & Non-AC classes. General (GS) coaches shall also have reserved seat for sitting. There will be no unreserved coach on the train. Fare shall be as normal and for General (GS) coaches, being reserved, second seating(2S) fare shall be charged and seat will be provided to all the passengers, as per the official release on PIB.
Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Railways:
Ticket and charting
1. The ARP (Advance Reservation Period) shall be maximum of 30 days.
2.RAC and waitlist will be generated as per extant rules, however waiting list ticket holders shall not be permitted to board the train.
3.No unreserved tickets will be issued and no tickets will be issued onboard to any passenger during the journey.
4. No tatkal and premium tatkal booking shall be permitted in these trains.
5. The first chart shall be prepared at least 4 hours before scheduled departure and the second chart shall be prepared at least 2 hours (unlike the present practice of 30 minutes) before scheduled departure.
While boarding 
1. Passengers shall be compulsorily screened and only asymptomatic passengers are allowed to board the train.
2. Only passengers with Confirmed tickets shall be allowed to enter the Railway station.
3. Passengers must wear face covers/masks at the entry and during travel.
4. All passengers must download and use the Aarogya Setu application
5. Passengers shall reach the station at least 90 minutes in advance to facilitate thermal screening at the station.
6. Passengers shall observe social distancing both at the station and on trains.
7. On arrival at their destination, the travelling passengers will have to adhere to such health protocols as are prescribed by the destination state/UT.
Quota Permitted
All quotas shall be permitted in these special trains as has been permitted in Regular trains. The limited number of reservation (PRS) counters shall be operated for this purpose. However, normal ticket booking cannot be done through these counters.
Only four categories of Divyangjan concession and 11 categories of the patient, concessions are permitted in these special trains.
Cancellation and Refund rule
Railway Passengers (Cancellation of Ticket and Refund of Fare) Rules, 2015 shall be applicable.
If during screening a passenger has a very high temperature/symptoms of COVID19 etc., he shall not be allowed to travel despite having confirmed tickets. In such a case, a full refund shall be provided to the passenger as under:
· On PNR having a single passenger.
· On a party ticket if one passenger is found unfit to travel and also all other passengers on the same PNR do not want to travel in that case full refund shall be granted for all passengers.
· On a party ticket if one passenger is found unfit to travel however other passengers on the PNR want to travel in that case a full refund of fare shall be granted to the passenger who was not allowed to travel.
1. No catering charges shall be included in the fare.
2. Provision for pre-paid meal booking, e-catering shall be disabled.
3. However, IRCTC shall make provision for limited eatables and packaged drinking water on payment basis only in limited trains, having Pantry car attached. Information to this effect shall be made available to passengers during the time of booking ticket.
4. Passengers are encouraged to carry their food and drinking water.
5. All static catering and vending units like Multi-Purpose stalls, Bookstalls, Misc./Chemist stalls etc) at stations will remain open. In the case of Food Plaza and Refreshments rooms etc, cooked items may be served as taking away only with no sit-down eating arrangements in place.
Linen and Blanket
1. No Linen, blankets and curtains shall be provided inside the train.
2. Passengers are advised to carry their linen for the travel.
3. The temperature inside AC coaches shall be suitably regulated for this purpose.
Zonal Railways have been instructed to ensure that there are separate entry and exit gates at Railway stations to the extent feasible so that there is no face to face the movement of passengers. Zonal railways will be guided by standard social distancing guidelines on stations and trains and observe the safety, security and hygiene protocols, the official release reads.

(This article has been sourced from Prasar Bharati News Services as part of Coronavirus coverage)