Think twice before booking a Tatkal ticket

Profit and Loss is part and parcel of Life, but booking a Tatkal ticket in Indian Railways is a sureshot loss if opt to cancel it.  It so happened that my Dad asked me to book a ticket to Hyderabad just 5 days prior to the departure date. Since this is the peak season there was no chance of getting a Confirmed berth. My Dad insisted on booking the ticket in Tatkal which had about 10 available seats.

Indian Railways charge Rs. 150 per ticket as Tatkal charges. So, I had to pay Rs 313 + 150 = Rs 463. Just about 2 hrs later, due to unavoidable circumstances, my Dad told that he would cancel his trip to Hyderabad and asked me to cancel the ticket.

Just as I pressed the cancel ticket button, I got a shocker. 25% of the total fare charged on the ticket would be 25% of Rs 313 = Rs 78.25 is all that was refunded. Now, isn’t this fraud? This is open theft straight from the customer’s pocket.

Cancellation of a ticket booked under Tatkal –

A flat refund of 25% of total fare charged on ticket,excluding Tatkal Charges is granted on cancellation of confirmed Tatkal tickets, which are cancelled up to 24 hrs. before the schedule departure of train.

A hasty decision from the traveller’s side cost him Rs 384.75. Thats a huge loss in just 2 hours 😦 I strongly feel that this is harsh on the customer for booking a ticket in Tatkal and then cancelling it. It would have been fine if the Railways kept the Tatkal charges for itself, but taking away 75% of the fare is just insane.

Now that the money is gone, nothing much can be done about it. A lesson for the future – Book a wicket in waiting list when your trip is tentative.


11 thoughts on “Think twice before booking a Tatkal ticket

  1. Sad but not harsh.
    This is a clear policy which is pretty well known among those who book the tatkal tickets. If you look at it seriously, this penalty ensures only serious buyers go for tatkal, not travel agents who will buy large number of tickets and then cancel in the end so that they can make money out of giving ensured seats.

  2. I read your posts for a long time and should tell that your posts always prove to be of a high value and quality for readers.
    p.s. Year One is already on the Internet and you can watch it for free.

  3. Mine was a worse case, I had booked a 3 Ac tatkal, now I was to board the train on 25th July, but the train would start from its source on 24th july, so when I was asked for the date of journey while booking the ticket I punched in 25 th July, this was supposed to be 24th July as I was later told and I got a ticket with date of Boarding 26th And finally what you find printed on e-ticket is also the date of journey as date on which train starts from source.
    The catch is The site irctc shows date of journey as 25th itself, but when you punch in it the date of journey means date on which the train starts from its source.
    So They themselves use the same terminology differently.
    Now when I went to the station master he said, no this is correct, its your fault and anyways he can not do anything, its a matter you need to discuss with irctc.
    So passing the buck has always been a trait possessed by Indians. Though I knew what his response would be, but still I gave it a shot, but to no success.
    So guys be cautious while booking a Tatkal ticket.

  4. let me tell u aditya this is not at all harsh and insane.govt has made it very clear regarding rules and regulations of tatkal tickets.
    this is rather a facility by railways so that immediate passengers can go for it without much hassles.u seems to be generalising it just because u lost your money…!!

  5. Its good that you have learned your lesson
    Bottomline is
    “Be ready to bear consequnces of your actions without complaining”

  6. I agree that the penalty should be high, but I still feel there’s a flaw in the Tatkal scheme. If we cancel the ticket more than 24 hrs before the departure, we get back 25%, but what if less than 24 hrs are left ?

    We get zero refund ! In that case why would anyone even bother to cancel his ticket if less than 24 hrs are left. Though they may do a “no refund” after train charting, but between 24 hrs & charting, at least some amount (say the Tatkal charges) should be refunded.

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