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How does IRCTC auto-upgradation work?

For those who aren’t aware, IRCTC has an auto-upgrade facility on its online booking portal and app that upgrades passengers one class higher in case there’s a vacant berth in the said higher class.

This facility allows for optimal utilisation of berths in a train while allowing more people in the waitlist or RAC (Reservation against cancellation) list to get confirmed seats.

In this article, we’re taking a deeper dive to help you know everything that there is to know about the auto-upgradation facility provided by IRCTC.

Who can avail auto-upgradation?

The scheme doesn’t include block-booking transactions as well as any other bookings under the senior citizen or any other concessionary categories. If there are multiple passengers travelling on a single PNR (a maximum of six), they won’t get the facility unless there are adequate berths. For example, if you’re a family of six but only a single seat is available for auto-upgradation, then your ticket won’t be considered as there aren’t ample seats available.

Also, only waitlisted passengers will get confirmed seats under this scheme. The remaining vacant berths will be moved to the current booking counter. 

Also read: How to book a Tatkal ticket on IRCTC?

How to avail this facility?

To opt-in for auto-upgradation, all you need to do is just check the small check box that says consider for auto-upgradation when you’re booking your ticket. 

Auto-upgradation feature on IRCTC’s website (L); Auto-upgradation feature on IRCTC’s mobile app (R)

Keep in mind that auto-upgradation is completely handled by the PRS (Passenger Reservation System). No ticket collector or examiner has the authority to upgrade any passenger under this scheme.

Can you upgrade from Sleeper class booking to 3 AC using auto-upgradation?

Yes, you can. Under this scheme, you can upgrade one class above your booked ticket. For example, if you’ve booked a ticket in AC III Tier (or 3AC) you’ll be eligible for an upgrade to AC II Tier (2AC), or from AC II Tier to AC I and so on.

Do you have to pay extra after upgradation?

No, the auto-upgradation facility is entirely free of cost and you don’t have to pay extra regardless of the fare difference between the two classes you got upgraded between.

What happens if you cancel your ticket?

If you cancel your ticket, cancellation charges based on your original booking will be levied. For example, if you booked a sleeper class ticket, got upgraded to AC III and cancelled your ticket, you’ll only have to pay cancellation charges for Sleeper class. 

Also read: How to check train PNR status and seat availability online?

Do you have any berth preference when you’re upgraded?

No. The system doesn’t take into account your berth preferences whatsoever when you get upgraded. You simply get upgraded to an upper class while your berth depends upon the vacant berths in the said class.

However, if you select ‘no’ when asked for auto-upgradation during the time of booking, the PRS doesn’t take into account your PNR and you retain your seat of choice.

How will you know your berth has been upgraded?

You will have to make an effort to check the final charts and your berths if you have opted for upgradation. Since the berth numbers and positions might have changed from your original booking, there can be confusion between passengers over a confirmed berth.

So, if you opted for auto-upgradation at the time of booking, it’s always recommended to check the final charts before boarding the train to avoid any confusion, in case your berth and coach have changed. The final charts include the updated passenger details, coach and berth numbers for their reference. If a passenger has been upgraded, it’ll be mentioned next to their updated coach and berth details.

The PNR number stays the same for each booking regardless of the upgradation. You can use it to make enquiries about the train and your seating. 

Also read: How to check the ticket booking history in IRCTC?

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