Road, rail, airfares shoot up; Holiday travel to home drains purse of non-resident Keralites

Kerala: Ticket rates from major Indian cities have skyrocketed ahead of the Christmas-New Year holiday season.

Road, rail and air fares have shot up. As the union government refuses to intervene in the floating flight rates, the companies have hiked five times. Most of the direct flights to the state which have a journey time of 3 hours are packed and connection flights take up to 7-15 hours to reach Kerala.

Railways is also applying flexi rates according to demand. During the holiday season, Railways move half of the tatkal quota tickets to premium tatkal. The rates are three times higher than normal.

The union government removed the ceiling for rate hikes for flight operators post the Covid-19 lockdowns. The government refuses to intervene due to the impact of restrictions on the industry.

There are no winter special trains from any place other than Chennai to Kerala.

Besides, the Kerala government's decision to fine buses that don't pay state tax has affected road transport.

New Delhi-Kannur train tickets normally cost Rs 845. Now tickets are available only under premium tatkal and cost Rs 2,100. Meanwhile, flight charges have risen as high as Rs 22,000. Normally, it is around Rs 4,000.

Bus rates from Bengaluru to Kozhikode have reached 2,000.

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