If you need to go on an urgent trip and don’t have a reservation on any train, or your chances of making it in the final reservation list are almost nil, you need not be disappointed. There’s still a chance to have a confirmed reservation in the train you desire. The Tatkal ticket is the solution and the name itself means ‘immediate’ or ‘urgent’.
Even during the peak travel season like summer vacation or festival, when getting a confirmed reservation is difficult, one can get confirmed reservation by booking a Tatkal ticket.
All you need to do is book a ‘Tatkal’ ticket by logging into the IRCTC website.
Steps to book a Tatkal ticket
– Enter the source and destination.
– Select your travel date.
– Select your train and class you want to travel.
– Select the Quota as Tatkal and click on ‘Book Now’ button
– Fill in passenger details carefully and select a berth of your choice.
– Tick in checkbox ‘Book only if confirm berths are allotted’.
– Don’t forget to enter Captcha carefully.
– Select your bank for payment.
– Pay for the tickets using any one of the options like internet banking, credit or debit card, payment wallet etc, once you are at the payment gateway. The gateway provides you options.
Timings for booking Tatkal ticket
– Tatkal booking for AC classes opens at 10 am.
– Tatkal booking for non-AC classes opens at 11 am.
– You can book your Tatkal ticket only ‘One day’ in advance. For example, if you want to travel on 15 July, you need to book your ticket on the morning of 14 July – not before or after that.
Preparation before booking Tatkal ticket
– One needs to be ready at least five minutes before booking time by logging into the IRCTC website and as the booking opens, one should immediately get cracking.
– Keep your payment options like debit or credit card etc ready.
Things to remember
– You can cancel your confirmed Tatkal ticket but you won’t get any refund as in the case of regular reservation.
– For contingent cancellation and waitlisted Tatkal ticket cancellations, charges will be deducted as per existing Railway rules.
– An unconfirmed Tatkal ticket will be cancelled automatically after the chart is prepared.
– It may happen that after booking a Tatkal ticket, you get ‘Waiting List’ (WL) status. In such cases, you may get a confirmed seat once the chart is prepared. Confirmation of reservation depends on the availability of berths under Tatkal quota.
– One needs to check the final chart before travelling in case of WL status.
– Concession to senior citizens, physically challenged and accredited journalists are not available on Tatkal tickets.
– One can book only four passengers per PNR on a single IP address.
– Tatkal bookings are allowed in all classes except First AC.
Although there is no refund in the case of confirmed Tatkal ticket, there are exceptions.
1) Refund of fare and Tatkal charges will be made, if the train is delayed by more than three hours at the journey originating point of the passenger and not the boarding point – if the journey originating point and boarding point are different.
2) If the train is to run on a ‘Diverted route’ and the passenger is not willing to travel. In the case of non-attachment of a coach in which Tatkal accommodation has been earmarked and the passenger has not been provided in the same class.
3) If the passenger has been accommodated in the Lower Class and doesn’t want to travel, the refund will be given. In case, the passenger travels in the Lower Class, the passenger will be given the difference of fare.
The Tatkal charges have been fixed as a percentage of fare at the rate of 10 per cent of basic fare for second class and 30 per cent of basic fare for all other classes subject to minimum and maximum as per the norms of the Railways. It’s in addition to the price of the normal ticket.
A final word
Finally, one needs to book a Tatkal ticket with a ‘fastest finger first’-like skill, seen in the Amitabh Bachchan–anchored Kaun Banega Crorepati. Needless to say, one needs to be swift while booking a Tatkal ticket, as people across the country simultaneously try to book a limited number of seats available under Tatkal category — both online and across the counter — within a short span of time.
(This story originally appeared on Firstpost)