There is no denying the fact that how good we are at planning our travel journeys, there's always a time when we go wrong with it and have to make our bookings at short notice. This is where the Tatkal train ticket booking service of IRCTC comes in handy. Established by the Indian Railways in 1997 to book train tickets at a short notice, the Tatkal scheme has undergone lots of changes, including change in timings of its booking in 2015. Also, ticketing agents, including IRCTC agents, are prohibited from booking non-Tatkal tickets from 10 a.m to 12 a.m. About 1.3 lakhs Tatkal transactions are processed by IRCTC daily but a bulk of these are booked within minutes of the Tatkal quota opening.
Here's what you need to know about Tatkal
Booking window: The bookings of Tatkal AC tickets begin from 10:00 am while non-AC tickets can be booked from 11:00 am onwards, one day in advance of actual date of journey, excluding date of journey. The tickets can be procured either from over the counter or through logging onto irctc website-www.irctc.co.in. According to Tatkal rules, only four passengers are allowed to travel per Tatkal ticket. However, one can book two Tatkal tickets per user id in ticket classes except first AC and executive class.
Confirmed and waitlisted tickets on the same ticket: Even if one passengers on Tatkal ticket has a confirmed or RAC ticket,the others with a waitlisted status are allowed to board the train.
Cancellation: You can cancel your waiting list or RAC Tatkal tickets, up to 30 minutes before the departure of the train. Earlier, cancellation of waiting list/RAC was allowed 24 hours prior to the departure. But now it is possible quite near to the departure. If wait listed Tatkal tickets do not get confirmed or RAC, they automatically get cancelled and the passenger gets refund.
Refunds: Confirmed tickets do not get refund upon cancellation. In case of RAC or waitlisted tickets refund is available if the same are cancelled up to 30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure.
Train cancellation: In case a train is running behind 3 hours or gets cancelled by railway authorities, you are entitled to file Ticket Deposit Receipt (TDR) for claiming a refund.
Charges: Tatkal charges have been fixed as a percentage of fare at the rate of 10% of the basic fare for second class and 30 per cent of basic fare for all other classes subject to minimum and maximum. Here's the full list:
Payment options: Apart from regular payment options, you can also pay for Tatkal bookings using options like ePaylater or Pay-on-Delivery. The former lets you to book tickets first and pay later. You get a payment link through email and SMS on making your booking and up to 14 days to make the payment. However, this facility comes with an additional small charge of 3.50 per cent