Monthly Archives: October 2014

Online railway ticket booking registers sharp increase

Stripped of catering services from most of the express trains, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is focusing on online ticket booking system across the country. Buoyed by the sudden increase in the online booking, the IRCTC has chalked out various plans to provide better services to its customers duly registered with its site http://www.irctc.co.in during peak festival time.

According to an official, the IRCTC has been making all possible efforts to expand its network in other private sectors. “Efforts are on to link our services to airline ticket booking operation also. This would be a major thrust area for spreading our business,” he said, adding the premium Tatkal ticket booking online is another important area for it to streamline its services in the larger interest of passengers.

IRCTC

Railways online ticket reservation through the IRCTC site has registered an astronomical increase to about 4,00,000 bookings daily compared to about 40,000 bookings per day in 2008. However, the IRCTC is likely to target about 7,50,000 bookings a day by 2015, an IRCTC official said adding Bihar has a major share in online ticket booking these days.
Confirming the sudden increase in the ticket booking through its site, either online or through SMS system, an MD rank official said the IRCTC has chalked out a comprehensive plan to cope with the rush of customers on its own site during festivals. “The IRCTC has managed to maintain its lead position in the domestic travel ticket bookings. But, it is keen to make its portal a ‘one-stop shop’ for planning tours and other services that passengers require while undertaking journey,” he said.

IRCTC, which is a part of Indian Railways, has already become an agent of International Air Transport Association (IATA). It has tied up with Air India and Jet Airways to provide services to an elite class of passengers, sources said, adding IRCTC ticket business constitutes about 40 to 45% of the total revenue for the corporation which is about Rs600 crore annually. Become an authorized IRCTC online rail ticket booking agency.

However, one of the major initiatives of IRCTC is to achieve its goal to make fast bucks through SMS ticket booking service on the line of online ticket booking system. It has already reduced the payment transaction time, which is about 1.5 to 2.5 minutes per ticket booking online. The failure rate at the transaction stage is hardly 20% to 25%. In case of certain banks, the failure rate is up to 40% due to lack of state of the art arrangement between IRCTC and a few banks, sources said.

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IRCTC Connect: Official Android App Finally Launched By Indian Railways

Indian Railways has finally launched their official Android application: IRCTC Connect on Google Playstore. Users can use their existing login details to access this app, and book tickets, enquire about availability of berths and perform all the activities which can be performed on their website.

Official-IRCTC-App

Earlier, IRCTC had launched an application only for Blackberry platform. Now with Android covered as well, more users would be able to access Indian Railways, on the move.
With more than 170 million mobile internet users in India, a number which is increasing at fast rate, Indian Railways has done the most sensible thing to help users connect with IRCTC seamlessly. Earlier, in the month of August, Indian Rail has upgraded their e-ticketing platform to accommodate 7200 ticket bookings every minute along with a capacity of 1.2 lakh users at any given moment.
IRCTC has banned the usage of this application between 8.00 AM to 12.00 PM, a step which has been taken to reduce the load on mobile platform during the morning rush hours. Additionally, as this time period is used extensively to book Tatkal tickets, the decision seems right as everyone will get a fair chance to attempt Tatkal tickets.

IRCTC-8-12

Users can easily navigate this app, as the designers have followed the best practices of UX while designing this app; meanwhile complete care has been take to choose the right color combination to come up with nicely designed interface.
IRCTC is also providing a detailed user-guide which explains every screen process in depth. For example, here is how users can enquire about a particular train and book tickets:

Details-user-Guide

Users can view all the major information about a train route, as the applications summarizes the details optimally in one screen. For example, train list:

Train-List

The process to book tickets, and add the person’s name and other details are easy as well. Just like in the website, passengers can opt for various payment options while making the booking. This is how the confirmed ticket appears once booked via this app:

ticket-booking-fina-1024x484

Within few hours of its launch, IRCTC Connect has attracted thousands of downloads, with 750+ reviews as the time of writing. Average rating is 4.3/5, which is excellent to say the least.  Become an authorized IRCTC online rail ticket booking agency.
There are some complains mentioned in the reviews such as lack of synchronization between the website account and mobile app account; provision to change password, creation of profile etc.

Railways doubles `Tatkal’ fares under `dynamic pricing’

Indian Railways has entered the realm of private tour operators with a demand-based dynamic fare pricing system, under which premium `Tatkal’ tickets could cost passengers double the normal Tatkal fare. Under the scheme, introduced from 1 October, the Railways will sell half of the Tatkal quota tickets on select high-density routes through the ‘Premium Tatkal Scheme’. More the demand, higher the price, that is the new rule for pricing such premium tickets. These premium tickets can be booked only online through the web site `irctc.co.in’ and the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the ticketing and catering window of Indian Railways, said the fare would vary according to slabs. ”For instance, the first 20 per cent of the premium Tatkal tickets would have one fare, the next slab would have a higher fare and so on,” according to IRCTC. The minimum premium fare is the basic train fare plus the `Tatkal’ charges, which vary from 10 per cent to 30 per cent with an upper limit depending on the class of travel. The maximum premium is up to 30 per cent of the base fare or Rs400 (whichever is higher). The new scheme has made Tatkal tickets more expensive on 80 popular trains. While this may fetch the Railways more revenue, it will also burn holes in the pockets of train travellers, who just missed the chance to book his ticket in advance or has to go on an urgent call. The new pricing plan was introduced on trains that had heavy rush during the festival season, which will continue for some time now. Exact details on the fare structure would be available after the Railway Board makes a final decision and the programme is fed into the computer system, sources said.

IRCTC

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