IRCTC launches upgraded e-ticketing website

IRCTC launches upgraded e-ticketing website as 'New Year gift to passengers'

Customer experience has been the focus for revamping the features, according to the Ministry of Railways

Representative image. Credit: iStock.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday launched an upgraded version of the e-ticketing website of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which has personalised features.

Pegging it to have “best-in-class” features, the Railways offered it as a "New Year gift to passengers."

“The Railways is committed to serving the nation, and constantly working to augment its services to further improve the rail travel experience. This upgraded e-ticketing platform for booking of online Railway tickets, will enhance passenger convenience,“  he said.

He said the IRCTC should continue to work towards constantly improving the website and ensure that is second to none in the world as per the digital India mission and vision of the prime minister.

In 2014, the Next Generation E-ticketing (NGeT) system was launched to provide seamless e-ticketing services - higher booking loads and better user interface, through IRCTC.

The upgraded e-ticketing website and App will provide the next level of services and experience to rail users, a statement from the ministry said.

Customer experience has been the focus for revamping the features, it said.

"The railway customer has been focus of the design of this new world class website for booking of rail tickets. Novel user personalisation features linked to user log in have been incorporated for the first time ever, along with customisations for seamless travel experience, one stop train selection for booking, and integrated booking for meal and accommodation with tickets," it said.

Predictive entry suggestions using Artificial Intelligence will be given to the passenger when he is entering the station.

"This will greatly reduce the hassle in searching stations and also save time in ticket booking.There will be simpler checking of the refund status at the user accounts page. Earlier this feature was not easily accessible.'Regular' or 'Favorite' journeys can be booked easily by automatically entering relevant details," the statement said.

Train search and selection has also been simplified by putting the information on one page to reduce the time used by passengers and enhancing the booking experience.

Availability for all class are displayed along with respective fares for all trains, it said.

"Simply scroll the page and choose to 'Book' the desired train and class. Earlier each train seat availability and fares could be seen only after clicking on that train individually," it said.

"A 'Cache system' has been introduced in the backend to provide availability status. This will avoid delays in loading availabilities.In case of waitlisted tickets, its 'confirmation probability' is displayed. Earlier this had to be checked for each waitlist status separately.

Availability for other dates can be toggled on the page itself.

The journey details will be shown also at the payment page. It will prompt the user to check and rectify, if there are any typographical errors. These corrections can only be corrected by visiting a PRS centre.

The website has in-built features for enhancing cybersecurity by using appropriate captchas.

"The upgraded and enhanced e-ticketing website and Mobile App aims to provide best in class user experience amongst various other online travel and ticketing websites.

"The level of these features will be even more advanced than the ones offered currently by the other ticketing websites. In most websites, the station search entry is still alphabetical, availability status is either not there or old in time. Moreover, the convenience of integrated booking for stay and meal in this upgraded eticketing website is unmatched," it said.

At present, this e-ticketing website of IRCTC has more than 6 crore active users, using it to book more than 8 lakhs tickets daily. Around 83 per cent of the total reserved railway tickets are booked through this online system.