With the Indian Railways rolling out yet another user friendly feature, passengers can now cancel confirmed train tickets booked at counters through phone call or SMS to 139 and claim refund for the same. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu launched the two facilities today as part of his ministry’s endeavor to improve the portfolio of passenger amenities.
There is yet another facility that would be largely welcomed by Non Resident Indians (NRIs) and foreign travelers, as they can book train tickets on Indian Railways with any international credit and debit card. As of now, only American Express international credit cards are accepted at Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC)’s portal.
For cancellation of Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counter tickets, passengers need to dial 139 and select option 6 from the main menu of Interactive Voice Recorder (IVR). They will then get a one-time password (OTP). On validation of the OTP, cancellation will be processed. They have to reach the counter within stipulated time to get their refund.
Cancellation of tickets and refund of fare will be permitted only on fully confirmed PRS counter tickets and not in case of late running of trains or cancellation of trains.
Online cancellation or cancellation through 139 will be allowed only up to four hours before the scheduled departure of the train while refund of the amount can be collected only at the journey-commencing station on nearby satellite PRS locations defined by Zonal Railways.
Passengers can also cancel confirmed tickets through SMS by sending PNR number and train number to 139. User will get an OTP number, which has to be entered into for cancelling tickets.
Refund can be claimed during the first two hours of the opening of the PRS counters on the next day for the tickets for the trains whose scheduled departure time is between 1801 hrs and 0600 hrs. For trains whose scheduled departure time is is between 0601 hrs and 1800 hrs, refund can be claimed up to four hours after the scheduled departure of the train during the working hours of the PRS counters where cancellation is allowed round the clock.
This facility will be available only to those passengers who have furnished their mobile numbers at the time of booking the ticket. Also, no refund would be given after the expiry of the stipulated time limit.
IRCTC Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Dr. A. K. Manocha said such a facility would enormously help passengers in cancelling their confirmed tickets and getting refund.
“There are times when passengers find it difficult to reach counters within the stipulated time and cancel their tickets. Now cancellation is just a phone call away and passengers don’t have to race against time for doing so,” he added.
IRCTC will introduce a new page on its website (www.irctc.co.in) without any login for cancellation of counter tickets. They need to enter PNR number and train number on the website along with captcha code. An OTP will be sent to the passenger on his mobile number for cancellation. Refund amount will also be displayed to the passenger on the website.
As for booking of rail tickets by international travellers, IRCTC will now accept any international credit or debit card at its portal through payment gateway provided by Atom Technologies.
“Any credit or debit card issued outside India will be allowed for ticket booking using Atom Payment Gateway. At present, only American Express international credit cards are accepted at the IRCTC portal,” Dr. Manocha said.
“This facility will benefit 3.56 lakh registered international users and NRIs who want to book tickets for themselves or for their family members in India,” he pointed out.
Initially, this facility will not be applicable to Tatkal and premium train tickets. Also, booking through international cards will be available at least two days in advance of the journey date.