E booking of tickets through ICRTC

November 20, 2006

I find the Indian Railways booking site still pretty user-unfriendly. I am unable to book round-trip tickets, and have to spend a lot of time on the “to” and “fro” trains. Also, very often, by the time I finish entering all the information required, it says my transactions have been timed out and I have to do all the work over again. And sometimes I am told a day or two later that my credit has had some problem (why I don’t know) and that my booking is not through; by then, sometimes, I am under the 48 hour limit and have to physically go to the booking office.

There is the problem of cancellation, which is not properly explained. I share these questions with .

I know that when you book an e-ticket on www.irctc.co.in, cancelling it is pretty easy. However, can you cancel the ticket for just ONE person out of a group?

Now, what if the one person who cancels the ticket is the one who booked it in the first place? Like, suppose I have booked e-tickets for 4 people, and I have given my photo ID (yes, the ID is checked on the train, and they also do cross-check with the ID number you have entered!), and I cancel my ticket alone - will it affect the others?

Another grouse that I have had for many years is that while on overnight trains, I can choose my berth (upper, middle, lower, etc`), on day trains I am not allowed to choose my seat. When this can be so easily incorporated, why is it not done? Some years ago I had written to Southern Railways about this, and the reply I got was illogical : “We run so many trains from Bangalore every day so we cannot do this.” What on earth do the number of trains have to do with it? If I can choose my berth, surely I can choose my seat on a day train as well?

Is there any way we can get replies to these valid questions? The site doesn’t have good explanations for not-usual scenarios…..