Unlike the popular belief among railway authorities, there are many common rules for train travel, which are quite difficult to fathom for the average passengers. The list of “ifs” and “buts” that come with any important railway rule, makes it very difficult to understand for every passenger, barring the Rail Fans. One such set of, confusing, rules is pertaining the train ticket cancellation. To be frank, Indian railways too has to account for endless scenarios while formulating their rules, so it can automatically get a bit confusing for the passengers. But, we at RailYatri always make it a point to present the rules in a simple and easy to understand manner. And with this thought in mind, we bring you every detail you wanted to know about train ticket cancellations. Here it goes…
What are the cancellation charges?
Cancellation charges are more commonly known as Clerkage Charges in the Indian railways circle. Passengers with Confirmed or RAC ticket, at the point of booking, need to cancel their tickets manually. As for the Waitlisted tickets, if they are not confirmed at the point of final chart preparation then a complete refund would be provided, automatically. Here is however a break-up of the cancellation charges that are expected, when a ticket is cancelled 48 hours before the departure of a train.
- Cancellation Charge for Sleeper Class: INR 120 (for Confirmed tickets), INR 60 (for RAC or WL tickets) on per passenger basis.
- Cancellation Charge for 3 AC: INR 180 (for Confirmed tickets), INR 60 (for RAC or WL tickets) on per passenger basis.
- Cancellation Charge for 2 AC: INR 200 (for Confirmed tickets), INR 60 (for RAC or WL tickets) on per passenger basis.
- Cancellation Charge for 1 AC: INR 240 (for Confirmed tickets), INR 60 (for RAC or WL tickets) on per passenger basis.
What is Partial Cancellation?
Partial Cancellation, or popularly known as Part Cancellation, allows cancellation of tickets for some people while keeping the tickets for other valid. Suppose, you have booked tickets for 5 passengers in a single form. Now, 2 passengers have Confirmed tickets, 1 passenger has RAC and another 2 passengers have Waitlisted ticket. Partial cancellation can be done for the passengers with RAC and Waitlisted ticket, while the two passengers with Confirmed ticket can still board and occupy their berth during the journey.
What are the Partial Cancellation rules?
Just like normal cancellation, the refund value for partial cancellation depends on the time frame when you have cancelled the tickets. There are time slabs of 48, 12 and 4 hours, before train’s departure, depending on which the refund amount is calculated.
- NOTE: In case of Partial Cancellations, make sure that a fresh mail with all the updated details is sent to your registered email ID. Do carry a printout of this fresh email at the point of boarding to avoid any confusion.
Is auto refund available for Partial Cancellation?
Yes, if some of the passengers mentioned in the same booking form, are found to have waitlisted ticket at the point of final charts preparation, then the tickets of such passengers would be auto-cancelled and refunds would be processed. But, it has to be noted in this respect that the tickets of other fellow passengers (with Confirmed or RAC PNR status) mentioned in the same form will not be applicable for auto-refunds. So, suppose you are journeying with your Father, Mother, Wife, Sister and Yourself. Your Father and Mother have Confirmed tickets. Your Wife and Sister have RAC tickets. You have Waitlisted ticket. In this scenario, your ticket would be auto-refunded after the final chart is prepared (usually 4 hours before the train’s departure). But the RAC tickets of your Wife and Sister would have to be cancelled manually (as passengers can still journey with RAC status). Now if you have made up the mind to travel together, then barring your own ticket all the others have to be manually cancelled.
How does time lapse effect your refund amount?
Unlike the popular belief there is no early bird prizes for cancelling train tickets. You get full refund for cancelling tickets within the time frame of 119 days to 48 hours before the departure of the train. But the deductions are implemented once you exceed the 48 hours threshold. Let us take a look at how time lapse effects your train ticket cancellation refunds:
119 days – 48 hours before departure of a train
Indian railways always rewards definitive decision making. As a passenger, when you cancel train tickets with at least 48 hours still in hand, the railways still gets enough time to reallocate the berths to some other passenger in the queue. In such scenario you get a complete refund, albeit the clerkage charges (cancellation charges) are deducted based on your class of travel.
- Summary: Passengers get full refund minus the Cancellation charges between INR 120-240 (depending on the class chosen for travel.
Till 12 hours before departure of a train
If you have missed the 48 hours deadline, you can still expect a significant portion of refund value to be credited to your account. Albeit this time 25% of the base fare value or the cancellation charges (whichever is higher) will be deducted.
- Summary: 25% of the base fare or cancellation charges, whichever is higher, will be deducted.
Till 4 hours before or at the time of train’s final chart preparation
Mostly the final chart of a train is prepared 4 hours before the commencement of journey. And that is the last opportunity Indian railways has to reallocate the seats of non-journeying passengers. So, when you cancel the train tickets before the final chart is prepared, and after the 12 hour time frame, there would be a deduction of 50% from the base fare or cancellation charges (whichever is higher).
- Summary: 50% of the base fare or cancellation charges, whichever is higher, will be deducted.
After the Final Charts are prepared
If you cancel the tickets after the final charts are prepared, then you will not get any refund.
Timings of Final Charts
Why are there variable timings for final charts preparation?
Everyone knows that since 2015, there are two final charts prepared for a train. Once 4 hours before the departure of a train and the second happens 30 minutes before departure. But there are exceptions to this practice as well. When a train departs from its source station between 12 midnight and 4 AM, the final chart is usually prepared 6 hours before.
- Summary: Final charts for trains leaving between 12 midnight to 4 AM are prepared 6 hours before their scheduled departure time. For other trains, final charts are prepared 4 hours before commencement of journey.
Full and Partial Refunds
What are the other scenarios when auto-refund is processed?
There are some scenarios, apart from WL tickets, where Indian railways with auto-refund your full ticket price.
- Train cancelled: If your train is cancelled for some reasons, you will be provided with a complete refund of the train ticket fare.
- Train running late: In the second instance (and this is a new rule), you can claim refund of the full ticket fare if the train is running 3 hours or more delayed at your boarding station. To claim such a refund you need to file a TDR from the station manager’s office at the boarding station. If you board the train, then the TDR will be considered null and void.
- Train route diverted: Third instance occurs when a train is diverted and you do not want to journey in the changed route. Again, the TDR should be raised at the station manager’s office of the boarding station within 72 hours of the train’s scheduled arrival at your boarding station.
What are the other scenarios where partial refund of the ticket fare is provided?
There are some more scenarios where you would be provided a refund of the difference in fare. These scenarios include:
- AC not working (in AC classes): If you have reserved a berth in an AC coach and find that the AC is malfunctioning (or simply not working) you have to report the same to TTE. On inspection, the AC would be repaired. But if the AC does not work, the TTE would refund the difference in fare (between your class and the Sleeper class).
- Seat allotted in lower class: If you are somehow allotted a Confirmed seat that is in a lower class you can claim the difference in fare between your pre-booked class and the class that you have been presently allotted a berth in.
We know, we know, we might have missed out on certain rules which might be applicable in your instance, so why not raise your questions or bring such rules to our notice. We would dearly want to help you and every other passenger having doubts with the refund policies of Indian railways.