UdChalo.com Review – Booking portal for defense personnel & dependants

Army Life, India, Review, Travel

UdChalo.com is a booking portal exclusively for the Indian Armed Forces & Paramilitary personnel, their dependants, Ex servicemen, AWES College Students and SSB candidates.

Although UdChalo has been around since 2014, I only recently heard about it officially through the Army Channel a month back that strengthened my trust about securely using the website and giving away information considering that it asks Defense personnels and their families their service number.

Udchalo Flight Booking

  • Enter your journey details
  • Enter passenger details
  • Select the Indian Armed Force you belong to.
  • Serving/Retired Army/Navy/AirForce personnel and dependents, will have to enter their spouse/father’s Service number and they will be able to check and book the discounted flights and fares instantly.
  • Other Armed Forces(Paramilitary) and AWES college students) have to upload a scan copy of any one these- ECHS / Dependent card / Canteen Smart Card / AWES College ID card.
  • SSB Candidates will have to upload their SSB call letter.
  • SSB/Paramilitary personnel will receive an email for the booking link once their documents have been verified. Click on the link in the email to view best discounted flights.
  • Select the flight, enter passenger information and provide your billing details to UdChalo.
  • Make the payment for the tickets with debit / credit card / netbanking.
  • Print ticket and fly.

Review: My Experience with UdChalo

As is the usual case in the Army, we were booking some last minute flights and the prices had really shot up. Our usual favourite is Indigo Airlines because they are mostly on time, their service is great, their food is good and they offer a defence discount that works out to be the cheapest. But this time, all the defense tickets were sold out and the only option we were left with was to buy it full fare. Heartbroken, I suddenly remembered UdChalo.com and decided to give it a try.

Flight Ticket on Jetairways.com

I searched for the flight tickets on JetAirways.com on Defense Discount and found the flight I wanted at a price of INR 6,003 (See screenshot below).

jetairways-flight-udchalo.com
Flight ticket price after defense discount on Jetairways.com

udchalo-discounted-air-tickets-armyFlight Ticket on Udchalo.com

The same flight was available on Ud Chalo for INR 4,276 which was a sweet deal so I just went ahead and booked it. I did not book a return flight because the Jet Airways timings were not suiting me. For the return flight, I booked full fare on Indigo Airlines. It’s a shame that UdChalo’s inventory has only Jet Airways right now.

UPDATE 2017: Udchalo.com  has added more airlines to their arsenal. Now they also offer discounted tickets from Indigo Airlines, Air India, Air Vistara, Air Asia and Go Air. So just go on ahead and book flights from any airlines, literally, Yay !

The booking and the payment process went very smoothly and I was very impressed by how little time it took and that there were just 2-3 steps to the whole booking process which otherwise can be quite tedious on other booking portals.

After booking the ticket, the ticket and the PNR was mailed to my email id. You can either take a print out of that or be lazy like me and show it on your phone screen (don’t take that chance if you are used to your phone battery running out). Everything went well from booking to flying and I have to say that I became their new happy customer !

Make sure that you do not make a mistake and are sure of the dates and timings as the tickets on Udchalo are no changeable and non refundable. Online booking can be pesky sometimes especially for our defense people who are not so internet savvy. If you are not comfortable booking online, you can also visit Udchalo physical booking offices in Delhi Cantt and other cities. You can see the contact details and the list and address of Udchalo.com offices here.

Pros of UdChalo.com:

  1. Discounted Flight Tickets – You get what they promise.
  2. Seamless payu payment gateway
  3. Can pay through Credit Card, Wallet or Net Banking – All Banks available.
  4. Minimal Steps – No logins / discount coupons, codes
  5. Secure and SSL certified website
  6. No convenience fee UPDATE 2017: Now Udchalo charges a convenience free of 150 per ticket.
  7. Discounted flight ticket fares for Defence and Paramilitary Personnels, their Dependants, AWES (Army Welfare Education Society) College students and SSB candidates.

Cons of UdChalo.com:

  1. They haven’t tied up with most airlines so the flight options are less – Right now they only have Jet Airways. UPDATE: Udchalo.com  has added more airlines to their arsenal. Now they also offer discounted tickets from Indigo Airlines, Air India, Air Vistara, Air Asia and Go Air.
  2. Boring website interface.
  3. UdChalo.com doesn’t emphasise more on security considering that they ask you for the service number upfront. Many officers would not like to give it away so easily on a website.
  4. Tickets, once booked are non refundable.

SINCE THE TIME THIS REVIEW WAS WRITTEN A LOT HAS CHANGED ON UDCHALO AND THE PORTAL HAS EXPANDED ITS SERVICES. Even though, I have updated the review as per the changes and it is very much relevant today, in 2017 as well but I would also recommend you to read about the latest updates and Udchalo Plan here.

UdChalo.com is a startup conceived and run by Alumni of AIT (Army Institute of Technology). Read how UdChalo came into being, here.

Recommended Reads:

Flying to Indian Airlines with an Infant

Travelling with an Infant on Indigo Airlines

Infant Travel on Jet Airways

JetScreen Entertainment App on Jet Airways { Review }

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