The railways have waived onboard service charges on all meals and drinks that are not pre-ordered on premium trains. But there is a catch – the INR 50 charge has been added to the prices for snacks, lunches and dinners. Tea and coffee prices will be the same for all passengers, who have pre-booked it or ordered those on the train, and will see no increase in fares.
According to the previous Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) standard, if the person had not booked their meals with their train ticket, they had to pay an additional INR 50 when ordering food during the journey, even if it’s just a cup of tea or coffee at INR 20.
Now, a passenger on premium trains like Rajdhani, Duronto or Shatabdi who has not pre-booked their meals will pay INR 20 for tea (similar to the amount paid by those who pre-booked their meals). Previously the cost of this non-pre-booked tea was INR 70 including service charge.
Previously the rates for breakfast, lunch and evening snacks were INR 105, INR 185 and INR 90 respectively, while an additional INR 50 was levied at each meal. However, passengers will now have to pay INR 155, INR 235 and INR 140 for these meals, with the service charge added to the cost of the meal.
“Waiving the service charge will only affect the prices of tea and coffee. In this, the passenger who has not pre-booked will pay the same amount as a passenger who has booked it. However, for all other meals, the service charge amount has been added to the cost of meals for non-booked facilities,” an official explained.
For Vande Bharat trains, passengers who have not booked onboard services must pay the same amount for breakfast/lunch or dinner/evening snacks as when they were charged for the service fee, the increase manifesting in the cost of food instead of charges.