We all book railway tickets online on irctc.co.in. Its easy, instant and prevent us from tiring queues of booking counters. I’ve been doing it for more than 8 years now and in the process learnt lots of amazing things like brokers trick and clever tweaks to book confirmed tatkal tickets. In today’s post, we’ll talk about some cool features of irctc online ticket booking that you probably don’t know,
1. Book tatkal ticket 2 days in advance
There are more than 100 trains in which you can book tatkal tickets upto 2 days in prior. This is because of their unique schedule.
Current tatkal rule says, ‘Tatkal booking is allowed 1 day prior to train departure from originating station’. So going by the rule, we have bookings open in trains that depart from their source anytime between 10am of current day and midnight of next day. Now take Brahmaputra mail for example. It starts from Dibrugarh at 23:10 and reaches Delhi few days later. If you carefully see the schedule of the train you’ll find that there are 2 Brahmaputra Mails starting journey in this time – one on the night of tatkal booking day and other one on the next day. Tatkal booking is open in both these trains which in a way means 2 days window for tatkal booking.
2. Boarding with Partially Waitlisted Ticket
Unlike window ticket, boarding on train isn’t allowed on a waitlisted ticket booked through irctc. But what if a ticket has one confirmed passenger and one (or more) waitlisted passengers. Can they all board the train? The answer is ‘Yes’. The railway rule says ‘if PNR is generated for a ticket then all passengers, confirmed as well as waitlisted can board the train’. PNR is generated when at least one passenger gets a confirmed berth. But if all passengers are waitlisted, none of them could board the train as PNR isn’t generated in such cases.
3. Never Pay by Credit Card
Realized how much extra you’ve paid on tickets you booked using credit card? Interest rates for credit card payment on irctc is 1.65% which is hell lot if booking a long distance ticket and enormous if booking a tatkal or a premium tatkal ticket. Take an example of a 3AC ticket booked from New Jalpaiguri to Danapur of Capital Express which costs Rs 1065 when booked through window at railway station. The same ticket will cost 20 rupees more if credit card is used instead. This money would double itself per thousand rupees. So if you book a Rajdhani ticket you could lose upto Rs 100 very easily.
One the contrary, payment made through netbanking or debit card is cheaper as they have a fixed rate of Rs 10 per ticket. So its very much advisable to pay by netbanking or debit card for long distance travel and credit card for short distance(<500kms).
4. Get Full Refund if Train is Late by 3 Hours or More
Indian trains are always late but if your train is late by 3 hours or more before arriving your boarding station, you can cancel the ticket before departure of train from your station with 100% money refund and no cancellation charge.
5. Id Card is Enough
If you’re travelling on a tatkal ticket and forgot paper ticket at home and don’t have message on mobile then don’t panic as id-proof is enough. TTEs have the passenger name, age and id type and number in their passenger chart which they match with the id. Carrying ticket isn’t that important.
6. Money Deducted, Ticket Not Booked
Online transactions are atomic in nature which means you will not lose money if ticket isn’t booked. However, there are instances where money is deducted and ticket isn’t booked. In such cases, settlement is made automatically and money is refunded back to the account in 3-4 days. In very rare cases, if money isn’t refunded back, contact your bank and they’ll sort things out.
7. Waitinglist Tickets are Automatically Cancelled
If your ticket isn’t confirmed till chart preparation, you don’t need to cancel it by yourself as its done automatically by irctc. However, if berth is allotted to any of the waitlisted passengers, you must cancel the ticket manually if aren’t travelling.
8. Autofill option on irctc
We’ve discussed this in our previous post on tatkal ticket booking but this one is worth mentioning again. Irctc saves passenger details of last incomplete/failed booking and prefilled the passenger form with the same entries when booking is tried again. This is one great improvement in irctc recently.