Friday, March 21, 2008

Plan your travel

It has now become a routine for me to crib about the annoying things that happen around me. The latest inclusion is the private travels that run across the city. I'm bad at planning or would simply say work occupies my mind most of the time. So tend to miss appointments, dinner notes, mails, msgs, calls and end up getting left & right from all. Thats ok (I dont explain myself.... My friends understand me and the rest wont believe it anyways... - courtesy Karthi).

In my usual style, for traveling for Thursday afternoon I landed in Madiwala at 9pm on Tuesday night. Fortunately I got a ticket, was happy to take that and quickly walk away. Then for the return I asked my Dad to try out something in Coimbatore. Some days back he called me and said he booked one! I was happy again. Then part of the conversation, he said I only got seat number 38. Damm me! Seat No.38. Are you kidding! I never knew that Airbus had so many seats. So I asked him to call and confirm the booking center again. There the ticket booking girl, "Yes sir the bus has that seat number. Infact it comes in the middle so no worry. This is a special bus, it has 52 seats." F$(k! you call that as special bus, a 3+2 seater. On a normal travel itself I fold myself two times, before parking my leg (or the girl in the front seat would turn back giving a killing stare! conveying don shake my seat and disturb me!). Most annoying part of all is that it would take costlier than regular buses. Its was Rs.420 for an Rs.210 ticket. I would still think, if they really have permit for this bus.

Before canceling this special 52 seater. I want to book my seat in some other travels. Many of them turned down the offer with repeated dialog of, "Sunday full sir". Then finally KAVI travels said he had ticket for Bangalore on Sunday afternoon. It was a non-ac sleeper. Funny part is it costs Rs.500. I asked him why, he says like a cool cat, "Its a special bus and we cost every Sunday like this." WTF Even the night sleeper would not cost like this.

The actual thinks that happen within are, the booking agents book the online ticket when the open and show the status in FULL status. Then at the last moment, they hike the ticket at high rates and sell them to all such late comers. I have even spoke to some agents like this, they would say at the moment the ticket opens there would be many agents from other locations trying to book the tickets. So they just type the Name / Sex and rest fill with 1 character by pressing tab and booking the ticket. One other interesting thing would the cancellation charge would be 20%-30% for any time cancellation. When you cancel 4-5 tickets you could have planned another travel with the cancellation money. You can even see a booking guy from KPN get tickets for CONTI & ABT. No government or police would ask them until its been taken to lime light.

Another specific travels to talk about is ABT. ABT would have really entered passenger transport to compete with KPN, Since the ABT parcel service got into a toss when KPN parcel service started growing and sliced good portion of the profit. When they introduced the ticket rates where Rs.360, which was nominal for a non-volvo A/C bus. But they brand it as A/C coaches, really there is a lot of difference in traveling in Volvo A/C and normal A/C bus. As days progressed and he got some good customer base because anyone would accept an A/C travel at a lower cost. But he then hiked his prices to Volvo rates soon (Rs. 415), which is never worth when compared to Volvo experience. But people really take time to differentiate them.

Thought KPN has introduced ID card proof for the online ticket bookings. This would reduce by a small number but still there are hundreds of travels that continue to operate this way. Also its encouraging that SETC get into these routes with good buses, they need to increases the buses many folds to give passenger a good relief from private monopolization.

Conclusion: Finally I planned to cancel the ticket in Kavi too and go to Bangalore on Monday. No harm I can spare a working day.

Moral: Plan your travel days ahead. Dust your calender. Atleast a month ahead, else cancel your traveling appointment. :) Put appointments in your Google calender of when all you need to book tickets for long time.

Good Night.


Abirami Rajendran said...

Indian Railways rocks!Maybe you should try that Google cal route and book tickets asap.

but yeah,its only the trains that rock,not IRCTC.

Vijesh said...

Will try. I need to start 3 hours early from office if I need to catch a train, which my calender does not accept. :)