20 vital elements to successfully book Tatkal tickets online

  1. Have tons of patience.  Booking tatkal tickets is not for the faint-hearted and for those who are in a state of perpetual hurry
  2. Be focussed on the booking alone.  Trying to multi-task either on the computer or outside will not work.
  3. Have the key details ready.  You would need the id card details as well as the credit card details for completing the transaction.
  4. Be persistent.  if you are able to get the tickets on the first attempt, be very thankful.  it would take a few trials.  Giving up is not the option.
  5. Be positive.  When you see the number of available tickets dwindling at each stage, it is very easy to panic and give up.  Be hopeful of a favourable outcome and persist.
  6. Have clarity in train and class.  There may be many trains to your destination and different classes as well but you may not have the luxury of trying them on the spot.  At best, have a back up option.
  7. Have the codes of the origin and the destination stations ready before you login.  while the system supports a drop-in of names as you type the characters, sometimes it may take very long.  if you do not know the station codes, then visit www.90di.com and get the information.  This will really save you crucial time and can even make the difference between buying and not buying the ticket.
  8. Don’t click on the Quick book option before 10 am.  The normal opening form is Plan my travel and use it if you are trying to book at 8:00 am.  i discovered to my horror that quick book option is not available only after 8 minutes and in the process lost confirmations.
  9. Create a master last of passengers in your account in the IRCTC website.  Once you login, click on user profile and you will find the facility. This will save you lot of crucial minutes especially in the busiest hours.
  10. Don’t ever ever ever ever click on refresh or back buttons in the browser.  All that you did will be lost in that second and you will be out of the IRCTC website.
  11. If  you are buying using your Visa credit card, remember to register for the 3D Secure facility and generate the password before you take the plunge.  That is the final stage in the booking process and it doesn’t make sense that you went all the way and couldn’t pay.
  12. If you are using Mastercard, there is a similar second level authentication for online payments.
  13. If you are really serious about getting the tickets, then don’t make  the  particular berths allotment as a pre-condition.  even if you are scattered in different compartments, you can make arrangements with fellow passengers and the TTE to travel together.
  14. Remember to carry the same  ID in original that you have mentioned in the booking process.  The TTE is within his rights to reject your reservation if you present a photocopy or a different document altogether.
  15. Go ahead even if you get a Waitlisted ticket on Tatkal.  I had the recent experience of my Tatkal waitlisted ticket getting confirmed well in time.
  16. Don’t be complacent if you find the availability to be high.  It may dwindle and even go to waitlist by the time you finish the process.  Just this morning, I had the experience of seeing 238 available for Chennai mail from bangalore to Chennai going all the way down to WL 20 thanks to the multiple connection and communication errors that i faced in an hour-long contest.
  17. Avoid checking your email or doing any other online activity while you are booking.  This can delay the response times from IRCTC and give you serious heartburns
  18. Keep changing gateways for credit card payments.  We do not know the loads on the various gateways and sometimes we may get a failure message at the last 2 legs.  when you try the next time, choose a different gateway.
  19. If someone else is travelling, then mention their mobile number while booking and the confirmation sms will be delivered to them.  Do remember that this sms is a proof of your reservation.
  20. Take it in your stride if you cannot get the ticket.  Beating yourself or being bitter about the system will not solve the problem.  Try not to repeat the mistakes you made this time.

I would love to hear of more Do’s and don’ts from you!!  

And please share this with people you know so that they are

successful in buying tatkal tickets online



  1. August 27, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Great Tips to book an tatkal ticket successfully. Thanks alot.

    • badrirag said,

      August 28, 2012 at 3:14 am

      Thanks Anil for finding the tips valuable. Pls share the word around so that more people get the benefit.

  2. August 28, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    […] 20 vital elements to successfully book Tatkal tickets online (badrirag.wordpress.com) […]

  3. Mukund said,

    October 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Thanks for sharing so many valuable tips. You almost covered everything…Just to add –

    a. Master Card uses SecureCode for 3rd level authentication, i guess
    b. Though you are not assured of the selected berth, you cannot skip berth selection
    c. Please remember, ID details of all travelling passengers need to be fed while booking & carried while travelling
    d. If you do not receive the booking confirmation SMS, you may request it through the ‘Get SMS’ option under Booked Tickets history

    Last but not least, see if you have exercised all other booking options before choosing Tatkal option. Other options I mean are different quotas available like student quota, handicapped quota, lower birth quota etc. which may fulfill your requirement and save you from the ‘Tatkal Trouble’. Bear in mind there is no refund on cancelled / unused tatkal tickets….Happy Booking 🙂

    • badrirag said,

      October 23, 2012 at 2:58 am

      Dear Mukund (Bond),

      Thanks for your additional inputs.

  4. AK Sharma said,

    November 8, 2012 at 1:37 am

    Very valuable tips. Thnx a lot.

    • badrirag said,

      November 9, 2012 at 12:03 am

      Dear Shri Sharma,

      It is indeed very generous of you to acknowledge the value of our inputs. Thank you and keep visiting.


  5. January 8, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    […] year does not mean that it will not have any readership.  In fact, my posts on Sandhyavandanam or Booking Tatkal tickets have regularly and repeatedly got views (including today) even though they are not recent. In […]

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