Booking a tatkal ticket is nothing sort of war. You go there, try hard and return empty handed like a defeated warrior. What you’re doing wrong, is your internet connection weak, or you don’t have the trick that some brokers execute, or you’re still following the already gone ways of ticket booking.
Ease a bit, lean on your sofa, relax and read on as we’ll tell some scintillating ways that’ll make you an expert in tatkal booking.
1. Get a fast internet connection
Better internet connectivity means faster opening of irctc.co.in, faster berth status retrieval, faster payment and faster booking of ticket. Little delay, of seconds may turn a confirm ticket to waiting list.
Mobile 3G internet, broadband connection all are pretty fast.
2. Select fast browser
Good internet connectivity must be complimented by a fast browser. Choose either Chrome, Safari or Mozilla Firefox.
Chrome is fastest, Internet Explorer is slowest.
3. Prefill entries, Save time
A great tweak to save few minutes is by prefilling entries. For this, logon to irctc.co.in using Google Chrome some 30 minutes prior to tatkal timing of 10 am. Start reservation process as usual; enter station names, date, select train and class, enter passenger info – name, age, id type and number, phone number. And just as the payment page comes up, click ‘Replan’ to go back.
Website considers this as an incomplete process and hence when reservation is tried for the next time previous entries fill up automatically.
Additionally, all older entries remain stored in Chrome browser locally and show up as auto-suggestion when first character of name, age, id or phone number is typed.
4. Login in Advance
For doing tatkal reservation, login at least 10 minutes prior and be ready for booking entering station names and date. Server is little easy at that time and becomes suffocated around 10am due to large amount of login requests.
After login, don’t leave page idle for more than 2 minutes, as inactivity may lead to automatic logout. To bite time, check trains, availability or anything else just to tell browser you’re doing something.
5. Understand the ticket booking process
Its pivotal to know the complete ticket booking process. You must know what to do on the page that loads next. For this, read our tutorial on booking railway ticket through irctc.co.in to understand the procedure.
6. Watch the ‘watch’
Best option is to view time on Google typing ‘India Time’ and keep the page open in tab next to irctc.
Be absolutely ready around 09:58 am, 2 minutes prior to tatkal time.
7. Move hands faster on keyboard and mouse
There is nothing more important than time in tatkal booking. Tickets are limited and finishes in a jiffy.
If typing speed is slow, alternative solution is to keep all information – passenger and debit/credit card information in a separate file and do copy-paste rather than typing.
8. Make no mistake
Mistakes may happen doing hasty work but its important to make sure passenger name, age and id details are entered correctly if auto-fill option mentioned above isn’t used. There is no time for double-checking entries and rectifying errors while booking tatkal ticket.
Passengers travelling on tatkal tickets must show the entered id proof in original to TTE.
9. Enable Auto-Upgradation
Checking ‘Consider for Auto-Upgradation’ option increase chances of getting confirm tatkal ticket. Upgradation means if a ticket is attempted for 3AC and there is berth available in 2AC or 1AC then confirmed ticket would be issued in those higher classes.
Passengers have to pay the difference to TTE while travelling on upgraded ticket.
10. Use credit or debit card for payment
Though payment using netbanking is hassle-free and marginally faster but it entirely depends on netbanking portal of the bank which may sometimes be unresponsive. SBI netbanking has 95% success rate while most private banks like ICICI, Axis bank has little over 80% and HDFC, PNB has around 75% which is not-satisfactory.
Its always a good option to use debit/credit card for making payment. Its marginally faster since it has less redirections and third-party dependencies.
11. Be little patient at important junctures
Never hit submit button twice or return back from a page. Never interrupt browser processing no matter how much time they take. It may lead to connection error and ultimately auto-logout of irctc.co.in, the Indian railways online ticket reservation portal.
12. Few more tips and tricks tricks for faster tatkal ticket booking
Apart from threaded, systematic attempts there are few tricks that can be helpful in making tatkal booking faster. I’ve been following these for more than 5 years and booked over 100 tickets – for my father, sister, mother, myself, friends, and many known and unknowns with a success rate of over 95%.
- Create multiple ids on irctc using all your gmail or yahoo ids, and try tatkal reservation logging from all ids at the same time through different browsers. This is important, as sometimes server becomes unresponsive and entire booking process resets. Trying using multiple ids at the same time ensures you have other options available when attempt through one id fails. Its important to note that logon must be done with different ids on different browsers, say on Google Chrome with one and on Mozilla Firefox and Apple from others.
- If not using auto-fill way, avoid entering full name of passengers like enter ‘M Anand’ for ‘Mukul Anand’, or ‘R K Laxman’ for ‘Ramakant Laxman’, ‘S Lata’ for ‘Dr. Suman Lata’. Its not compulsory to write name as written in the id proof through it must be similar.
- Entering phone number of passenger is good but not always important if carrying paper ticket. You can avoid entering phone number and save few seconds.
- If travelling with kids or more than 4 co-passengers, better get few confirm online tatkal tickets and few confirm (or waitlist) tickets from platform counter. In one go (ie on 1 PNR) a maximum of only 4 seats can be booked, and for booking confirm seats for more than 4 passengers the same booking process is to be repeated multiple times which has little chances of being successful.
13. Book Tatkal ticket 2 days in advance
Finally a great tip you probably don’t know. If, despite your best efforts you’ve failed in booking a confirmed tatkal ticket, you can give a second try in some trains that allow upto 2 days of tatkal booking.
I know the current rule is of one day but trains like Brahmaputra Mail, Mangala Lakshwadeep, Kerala Express and 100 others trains provide 2 days of tatkal booking window. This is because of their schedule which is such that 2 trains depart from their source station between 10am of current day and midnight of next day which is well within the tatkal period as per the railway rule.
Current tatkal rule says ‘Tatkal booking can be done 1 day in advance’ which means anytime between the tatkal day(after 10am) and midnight of next day.
Having an extra day gives you a second opportunity as tatkal tickets for second days are finished very slowly and you’ve more than 15 minutes to give a second try.