The new IRCTC website has a new look and feel which is compatible with all platforms – be it mobile or desktop. One interesting and helpful feature in the IRCTC website is that you can check availability of trains without logging in. With the festival season a few months away and advance booking options opening, we take a look at some tips that would be helpful for Indian Railways passengers, tatkal ticket passengers and those who travel in a group:
1) If you are not sure about ticket availability or your ticket is waitlisted, you can now use the new tool that has been introduced by IRCTC on its e-ticketing website that allows users to see the probability of a waitlisted ticket getting confirmed. This would help you make a more informed choice.
2) For business travellers who need to take multiple trips during a single month, IRCTC now has the option of booking up to 12 tickets from a login ID in a month. The limit is 6 tickets per month, but in case your Aadhaar is linked to your IRCTC account, then you can nook up to 12 tickets in a month.
3) For those who wish to book a tatkal ticket but are not clear about the timings can check the IRCTC website instead of panicking at the last moment. As per the IRCTC website, online tatkal tickets can be booked on the opening day for AC class from 10:00 AM onwards and for Non- AC class from 11:00 AM onwards. During booking of tatkal tickets, keep all the required documents handy including Aadhaar or any other ID card. As the tatkal ticket booking facility is available on first come first serve basis, it is advised to keep all the necessary documents ready.
4) For those who wish to travel in a group on Indian Railways train can do so by visiting the ticket booking centre. As bulk booking is not allowed online through the IRCTC website or app, any group with more than 6 people can repeat the procedure multiple times. However, it does not guarantee seats/berths in the same coach.
5) If you are afraid of food overcharging in Indian Railways, then you can check the list of food items along with their prices on ‘Menu on Rails’ app, which shows the list to passengers who are travelling in Mail or Express trains including Rajdhanis, Shatabdis, Humsafars, Duronto, Tejas and Gatiman Express trains.
6) It is always advisable for railways passengers to plan their train journey in advance. However, in case one is not able to book a ticket in any particular train then he/she can check the IRCTC website, which has the new feature to suggest alternative trains. Opting for the VIKALP option would ensure that Indian Railways on its part is able to find alternate trains for the route and allot you confirmed seats accordingly.
7) Indian Railways has extensive rules for refund of tickets. These rules vary across situations and are bound by the time frame in which the claim has been filed. In case you plan to cancel your train ticket, it is best to read up about the refund policy so that you are able to timely file your claim and don’t end up losing money.