The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has offered the option of a foreign tourist quota while booking train tickets on its website/app, informed the Indian Railways' online ticketing arm on its official Twitter handle.
Foreign Tourists (including NRIs) holding a valid passport can now avail the IRCTC Foreign Tourist Quota facility to book railway tickets online. According to the ticketing arm of the Indian Railways, international users can book tickets under the IRCTC Foreign Tourist Quota up to 365 days in advance. For bookings done within current Advance Reservation Period (ARP), berths are allocated at the time of booking.
Here are certain factors to keep in mind regarding booking railway tickets under the foreign tourist quota in India.
- For bookings done beyond current ARP period, berths are provided at a later stage when allotted by Railways Passenger Reservation System (PRS) at the time of opening the ARP. Users are notified about berth allocation through International SMS facility. At present, ARP on Indian Railways is 120 days, said IRCTC in its services guidelines.
- Registration/profile update charges for international/NRI (Non-resident Indian) users is INR100 + GST.
- Service charge of INR200 + GST per ticket is also charged on booking in addition to rail ticket fare under the IRCTC Foreign Tourist Quota through the e-ticketing website/app.
- In case of cancellation by an international user, 50 per cent of the fare is deducted in addition to the cancellation charges. Time limits for cancellation of tickets booked online are as per extant rules set by Indian Railways.
- In case a berth is not allotted by Railway PRS system, tickets are automatically cancelled and cancellation SMS/email with details are sent to the user on registered mobile number/email id respectively.
- If booking amount is debited from a customer's bank account and ticket is not issued, IRCTC refunds the entire fare and IRCTC service charges electronically (as credit to the relevant credit /debit card account used for the transaction).
- Refund amounts if any, are credited only in the account which was used for ticket booking.
- IRCTC offers no guarantees whatsoever for the accuracy or timeliness of the refunds reaching the customers card/bank accounts, mentioned IRCTC. This is on account of the multiplicity of organisations involved in processing of online transactions, the problems with internet infrastructure currently available and working days/holidays of financial institutions, IRCTC further said. All refunds are processed as per extant railway refund rules.
Click here to visit the official IRCTC website.