IRCTC is unarguably the 2nd largest online travel ticketing platform in the World. Currently serving more than 600000 tickets a day, IRCTC is the subsidiary company of Indian Railways, the 4th Largest railway network in the World. We all have certainly benefitted by IRCTC and are certainly proud of this indigenous platform for its tireless service to the nation.
Serving half a million passengers every day is not an easy task by any means. That means, catering tens of millions of online bookings each day for various other freight, tourism, catering, flight tickets. Anyone can understand the painstaking efforts behind this behemoth booking engine.
However, the policy makers behind this system continue to invent multiple condition and validations to facilitate travel booking. This is beneficial for many and often turns out to be a worst experience. The following are some of the problems with IRCTC people face when they try to book a ticket.
- IRCTC’s Ultra-Shrewd Ticket Booking Logic Limitations
We understand that IRCTC caters to a billion people hence competition among people is fierce. Online traffic may spike to the levels that it might just burn down the servers. It doesn’t mean that while trying to be fair, one can simply be unfair to million others.
- One account can book 6 tickets a month. If you integrate Aadhaar, you can book 12 tickets. With so many mistakes, is this possible to achieve?
- One can book only 2 Tatkal Tickets from 10 AM to 12 PM. That too if the starting point and destinations need to be different.
- Maximum 6 persons per Ticket booking. What will happen to people with more family members?
- Just 25 seconds per session to book a train ticket. Input time for filling a Captcha is 5 Seconds. IRCTC, please understand we are still a long way to become a Cyborg!
- Multiple logins in a Same IP Address
- And many more…
- IRCTC Tatkal Ticket Booking Scheme
Perhaps IRCTC Tatkal Ticket Booking scheme is the most frequent economic attack on the middle-class citizens of our Nation. IRCTC charges 100% to 150% extra of a normal ticket cost for the same train, same coach and seat category. What is the only difference? People who are willing to spend extra money on desperation can only afford this scheme.
- IRCTC’s schemes for Senior Citizens, Women, differently abled
We all have come across Senior Citizens get allotted the Upper berths, Side upper berths or middle births. What kind of a system that will leave elderly people at the mercy of other passengers all the time?
It will be great to interview anyone who successfully booked IRCTC tickets using “Women Category”. The differently abled people can accompany one additional person with a concession. But in this blind horse race, how do they get their tickets booked?
- IRCTC Ticket Cancellation
Needless to mention that IRCTC is swift enough to intimate and refund passengers on failure transactions. But imagine a close to a million e-booking transactions get cancelled each day with an average ticket value ranging from INR 500 to INR 1000. There are several hundred million rupees that are exchanged, rotated, re-conciliated and accounted in the next few days. Passengers are penalized with 15% to 100% of the cost price of their tickets based on the cancellation rules and time. The time value of money in this scale is unimaginably huge. Who gains here actually?
- Unreliable Seat Availability in Counters and Online
First of all, IRCTC sells countless tickets for unreserved or general category coaches. With no other affordable means to travel, people flock into train coaches like uncivilized herds. For the coaches with reservation facility, how often we have come across the situation that before booking the system will just a hundred available tickets and before that session gets ended our tickets will be in the 200+ waiting list.
- IRCTC Transaction Failure Errors
This is a nightmare for many. After a painstaking effort to get into the system, filling multiple fields, selecting specific category values, getting past Captcha validation, answering Yes or No questions, submitting values to secret questions, mobbing ahead of OTP generation delays, Payment gateway delays the session might simply show a Transaction Failure Error.
- IRCTC Ticket Booking Agents or Passengers your ultimate customers?
What we hear from people is that the Agent Login aspect of IRCTC Ticket Booking Platform is simply amazing and agents can simply book several tickets in bulk and make huge money using the demand. Like everything else in this nation, the citizens are taken for granted.
- IRCTC’s Irritating Intelligence
Acting very smart in front of humble people with its intelligence is simply irritating. We mean the system’s intelligence in pre-emptively analyzing the users’ data such as
- Login Time
- IP Tracking
- Aadhaar Verification
- Count of Ticket Booking
- Browser version update
- User Navigation
- IRCTC Ticket booking using Automated Scripts
- Multiple logins on same, different browsers
- And many more…
Will IRCTC ever imagine a situation to alert a humble passenger and checking if he/she likes to book ticket to return to native like last year same date he traveled? But they can think of 100 more new conditions to make sure that a common man’s hope of affordable travel gets spoilt.
- IRCTC Train Ticket Insurance Scheme
As if they had cared about the passengers with ease of use in booking tickets, clean seats, fans in running condition, hygienic toilets, healthy catering food, the platform made it a mandatory question to answer whether we need an travel insurance for an overnight journey. Straightaway 10% of the ticket cost often goes to the Insurance Scheme which we can’t avoid and risk the chance of getting a confirmed ticket. Who knows?
- IRCTC Insiders Back-end EQ Clearance Scheme
Beyond all these traumatizing limitations if a passenger blindly hopes that his waiting ticket will get confirmed, it is only his or her ignorance. People who are linked to IRCTC or Indian Railway Staff can just book tickets online in any waiting list on any given date and get their ticket to confirmed status with insiders help. They all exploit a quota called Emergency Quota. What more we like to explore further about this whole dirty circus?
This may sound entirely negative. But, so does the experience every time people get when trying to book a regular train ticket. The above list may be an endless one during IRCTC Diwali /Dussehra / Durga Pooja / Pongal / Ticket Booking Season. Let’s not give up. Let’s just continue to hope that someday this IRCTC Online Ticket Booking experience will be a bliss.