IRCTC lets you book a railway ticket online, through the IRCTC portal (www.irctc.co.in). When this portal was started, only 29 tickets were booked. Now more than 13 lakh tickets are booked on this portal. As the number of tickets booked through this portal increases, malpractices have also increased. To avoid such malpractices and to improve the services to travelers, Indian Railways has issued new guidelines.
Modified rules of online ticket reservation for Indian Railways:
1. You can book a railway ticket online through the IRCTC portal 120 days in advance. The date of a journey will be excluded from the 120 days.
2. You can book six tickets in a month from a single user ID. If you are an Aadhhar verified user, you will be allowed to book 12 tickets a month. Only two tickets can be booked from a single user ID during the opening hours between 8 am and 10 am.
3. Single page for booking tickets or quick book functionality will not be available between 8 am to 12 pm.
4. To enhance security, captcha has to be entered 3 times that is to log in, while filling passenger detail and payment web pages.
5. To prevent agents from booking several tickets in a short span, they are allowed to book tickets only between 8 am and 8.30 am, 10 am and 10.30 am and 11 am and 11.30 am. Aadhaar is compulsory for the registration of agents.
6. Authorized travel agents will not be allowed to book Tatkal tickets, during the first 30 minutes after online reservation opens.
7. You have to answer a security question after you fill your personal information such as username, email, mobile number and so on.
8. According to the modified rules, the standard time to fill passenger details is 25 seconds. The Captcha on passenger details page and payment page need to have a minimum input time of 5 seconds.
9. You should make the payment within 10 seconds and One-time password (OTP) is a must if you are making payment through Net banking.
10. You can claim the refund on the train fare if the train does not depart within three hours of its scheduled departure time.
11. You can also claim the refund if the train's route has been diverted and you don't wish to travel on that route.
12. You can also claim the refund if you have been shifted to a lower class and you don't want to travel in this class. If you are willing to travel in this class, you will be paid back the difference.