With the intent of making the train travel more affordable and convenient for the average passenger, the Indian Railways keep making changes to its rules regarding ticket booking, tatkal tickets, cancellation process etc. So, keeping in mind the upcoming rush during the festive seasons, new rules for booking tatkal tickets are being applied. These new tatkal ticket rules are given below.
Tatkal tickets are reserved train tickets which you can book at the last minute. These tickets are booked in first come first serve basis. No one is given any special preference here. Tatkal tickets can be booked online via IRCTC website. But, due to a huge number of passengers traveling during the festival season, these tickets get booked within 5 minutes, quite literally! Add to that the server related issues of the IRCTC website and the chances of you securing a ticket becomes negligible.
Therefore, IRCTC has made some new rules to avoid such a scenario during rush hour. The rules are:
- If the train does not leave within 3 hours of its scheduled departure time, then the passengers will be able to claim a full refund of the fare of their ticket as well as the extra Tatkal charges. In other words, no ticket cancellation charges will be applied at all.
- The timings for booking Tatkal tickets remains the same. For AC coach tickets, the time is 10 am and for non-AC tickets, the time is 11 am, one day before the scheduled departure of the train from the source station.
- If the train’s route is diverted which does not include the station of the passenger then the passenger can claim for a full refund of his ticket fare.
- Also, if the train’s route is diverted and the train stops at the passengers‘ station as well, but if the passenger does not want to travel on this diverted route, then he can claim for a full refund of his ticket fare.
- Due to some reason, if a passenger is shifted to a lower class, then he/she can claim a full refund if they don’t want to travel in that class.
- However, if the passenger does decide to travel in the lower class, they will be paid the ticket difference by IRCTC.
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There have been various cases reported in which the Tatkal tickets were being misused. The Indian Railways have taken many steps over to years to curb these misuses. Newly added steps to stop misuse of the Tatkal tickets is:
- No refund on cancellation of a confirmed Tatkal ticket.
- No modification in the seat allotted allowed.
- No agent will be allowed to book Tatkal tickets in the first 30 minutes after the opening of the quota.
To stop ticket bookings done by using automation software (also known as bots), many features have been added like the use of Captcha while registration of new account or during login or booking tickets online. Like earlier, you cannot book Tatkal tickets at the reservation center on the station. You can only book Tatkal tickets online within the given timeframe. OTP has been made mandatory while making online payments as well.