How to book a Tatkal ticket on IRCTC Website
In our previous article, we discussed the procedure for booking a railway ticket using the IRCTC website. Today, we will talk about how to book a ‘Tatkal’ ticket using IRCTC website. As you may know, tatkal tickets are emergency tickets and the window opens for a limited time period, making it a time-sensitive process. Therefore, we will also discuss a few tips to help speed up the process.
Tatkal tickets are special tickets that are meant for immediate or unplanned journeys. As of now, Indian Railways allows users to book tatkal tickets for most of the trains, while the booking window opens one day (or two days) before the actual departure date of the train. For example, if you are planning to book a tatkal ticket in a train that originates from its first station on the 11th of the month, the tatkal window for the same will open at 10 am (or 11 am in case of AC classes) on the 10th. Tatkal charges are not fixed and depend on the base fare of the particular train. You can find more details about the Tatkal Scheme and Charges at Indian Railways website. Let’s start with the booking process.
Procedure to book a Tatkal Ticket on IRCTC Website
Follow the steps below to get your tatkal rail ticket booked.
Step 1: IRCTC Account
Visit IRCTC website www.irctc.co.in
There is an option for ticket booking right at the homepage. You can search for the trains right away, or log in to your IRCTC account first.
Do not have an IRCTC account? Click on ‘Register’ option at the top of the page to create one now. Fill in the details correctly, validate, and click on ‘Register’ button to continue. You will receive a mail on your email id. Confirm the email to be able to sign in to your account.
After email confirmation, log in to your IRCTC account using the ‘LOGIN’ option at the top of the website homepage. Enter your username and password to log in to the website.
Step 2: Finding the Train
On the top menu, click on ‘Trains >> Book Ticket’ option to start the booking process.
A new window will open with a ‘Book Your Ticket’ form. Enter the name of ‘From’ and ‘To’ stations, select the journey date, select the journey class (if you have a preference), and click on ‘Find trains’ button.
Note: In the date option, make sure to enter the next day’s date if you want to take the tatkal booking option.
A list of trains from-to your selected stations on the given date will appear on the screen.
Step 3: Tatkal Ticket Booking
Now, select the ‘TATKAL’ option in the Quota section, as shown in the image below, in order to see the list of trains that are accepting bookings in the tatkal category.
Scroll down to your desired train, select the class in which you want to travel, and click on ‘Check availability & fare’ button.
It shows the current availability status under tatkal booking for your selected train.
Note that you can make a tatkal booking only after 10 am for AC classes and 11 am for non-ac classes on the previous day from the day on which the train actually originates.
Click on ‘Book Now’ button to proceed. (The ‘book now’ button will not show if you are trying to book a ticket outside of the tatkal window timings as mentioned above.)
Enter passenger details properly. (In case if you are using an auto-fill browser plugin, the details will be auto-filled on this page.) Click on continue button.
Select your desired payment option, enter payment details and proceed. (The netbanking payment is the fastest option.)
Upon payment verification, your IRCTC tatkal ticket will be booked and the details will be sent to your registered email id and phone number. A PNR Number will be generated, you can check the status of your booking here by entering your PNR number.
Note: Avoid booking a tatkal ticket in the waiting list (WL) as the chances of getting it confirmed are very low. General WL tickets are preferred for confirmation before Tatkal WL tickets.
Tips for booking IRCTC Tatkal ticket effectively
As we mentioned before, the tatkal booking window opens at sharp 10 am (for AC classes and 11 am for non-AC classes) on the previous day from the originating date of the particular train and stays open only for a limited time period or until all the tatkal seats are booked. Since this a time-sensitive process, you need to be very fast in order to get a confirm tatkal ticket booked during the short window. Here are a few tips to help increase your chances.
Check the tatkal schedule properly: If the train in which you are planning to travel reaches your station on the next day or later than its originating date, chances are that the tatkal window for your station will open two or even more days in advance. The tatkal booking opens one day prior to the originating date of the train, irrespective of the intermediary stations. Kindly confirm that before you proceed with the booking.
Try multiple accounts: The chances of getting a confirmed tatkal ticket in a single attempt are very low. A good alternative is to try booking the ticket simultaneously with multiple accounts. You can borrow an account from your friend or create another one for yourself. Log in to your IRCTC accounts in different browsers and try booking tickets simultaneously to increase your chances.
Keep details handy: Before you start booking a tatkal ticket, keep required details such as id card information, passenger details handy so that you can fill them quickly.
Try 2A before 3A: For most AC trains, class 3A fills quicker than 2A. Therefore you have a higher chance of getting a confirmed 2A class ticket.
Payment through netbanking: Netbanking payments are the fastest as you do not have to enter the card details, OTP, etc.
Browser Autofill: Some web browsers such as Google Chrome allow you to set data to be auto-filled in web forms. You can set the data to be auto-filled by following the steps mentioned below.
- Open Chrome browser.
- Go to Settings (by clicking three dots at the top right).
- In the settings, click Advanced at the bottom.
- Click on ‘Autofill settings’ under Passwords and forms.
- Enter the data such as Addresses and credit card information to be auto-filled at the time you are filing an online form.
The details you can set to auto-fill are limited in this method. For a better option, try an auto-fill plugin for Chrome.
Chrome Autofill Plugin: There are several auto-fill plugins for Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers. Try this one for Chrome. It is a completely free auto-fill plugin designed specifically for IRCTC tatkal ticket booking. How to use it? Install the plugin on your chrome browser using the link. It will let you auto-fill all the details, including journey stations, date, passenger details and payment information. All the details will be saved in your browser so that when you log in to the actual IRCTC website and try booking a ticket, the information will be auto-filled from the saved data. This is probably the fastest method to book a confirmed IRCTC tatkal ticket.
With this simple procedure and helpful tips, anyone can manage to book a confirmed IRCTC tatkal ticket, without having to seek the help of and pay extra to an agent. Now, you can book a tatkal ticket through IRCTC mobile app as well.