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 Rs 50 charge has been added to the prices of 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 50 rupees when ordering food during the journey, even if it’s just a cup of tea or coffee at Rs 20.
Now, a passenger on premium trains like Rajdhani, Duronto or Shatabdi who has not pre-booked their meals will pay 20 rupees for tea (similar to the amount paid by those who pre-booked their meals). Previously, the cost of this non-pre-booked tea was 70 rupees including service charge.
Previously, the rates for breakfast, lunch and evening snacks were Rs 105, Rs 185 and Rs 90, respectively, while an additional Rs 50 was levied at each meal. However, passengers will now have to pay Rs 155, Rs 235 and Rs 140 for these meals, with the service charge being added to the cost of the meal.
”Waiving the service charge will only affect tea and coffee prices. 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-reserved 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.