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2020: IRCTC Cancellation Policies, Rules, Charges & More

Indian Railways and IRCTC ensure trouble-free cancellation of train tickets for passengers. Depending on whether you have done the booking online or through counters, you can cancel your tickets through the official website or mobile app of IRCTC or PRS counters at railway stations. Those who have booked their tickets through a third-party app or site can cancel it through the site or app or through IRCTC website. Once the ticket is cancelled, you will get a refund after deducting applicable cancellation fees. The cancellation of train tickets are subject to certain rules and policies, as listed below:

Cancellation Rule & Policy of e-Tickets Booked Through IRCTC

  • Cancellation of e-Tickets booked through the IRCTC platform (official website or mobile app) can only be done through the same. You cannot cancel e-Tickets through PRS counters.
  • Please note that e-Tickets can be cancelled only until the chart for the journey is prepared. Typically, the first and second chart preparations are done at least 4 hours and 30 minutes, respectively, before the departure of the train. For a train scheduled to start at 12:00 noon, the chart is usually prepared on the previous night.
  • If you want to cancel your e-Ticket after chart preparation, you need to fill the online Ticket Deposit Receipt or TDR and track the refund status.
  • Once the cancellation is confirmed, the process for online refund will be initiated by IRCTC.
  • In the case of partial cancellation of e-ticket, a fresh Electronic Reservation Slip or e-reservation slip is issued to the passenger.    

Cancellation of Counter Tickets

Indian Railways allows cancellation of tickets bought at PRS counters through three different ways.

  • Online Method: You can cancel your PRS counter ticket by logging into the IRCTC official website and providing your ticket details, such as train number and PNR number. Please note that according to IRCTC cancellation rules, this is allowed only if you had provided a valid mobile number during the time of booking. You will receive the confirmation of cancellation and the refund details on the registered mobile number. In the case of a confirmed counter ticket, online cancellation is allowed up to 4 hours before the train’s scheduled departure. If you have a RAC/Waitlisted counter ticket, cancellation is allowed up to 30 minutes before your train is scheduled for departure.
  • Offline Method: You can get your PRS counter tickets cancelled at any of the PRS counters of Indian Railways by filling up the details on the Cancellation Requisition Form.
  • SMS Method: You can even cancel your PRS counter ticket by sending an SMS to 139. To cancel your ticket through SMS, type “CANCEL (PNR Number) (Train Number)” and send to 139.

Cancellation of counter tickets is allowed only under normal circumstances and not when a train is running late or cancelled. Also, for all three methods listed above, the refund can be collected at the station where the journey was to commence or from the neighboring satellite PRS locations within the specified time limit by surrendering the original ticket.   

Cancellation Policies & Charges for Confirmed Tickets

For cancelling confirmed tickets, you will have to pay a cancellation fee based on the timing of your cancellation.

  • Prior to 48 hours: In the case of cancellation of confirmed tickets 48 hours prior to the commencement of the journey, flat cancellation charges are applicable, as follows:

Class of Travel

Cancellation Fee per Passenger

AC First Class and Executive Class 

₹ 240 + GST

AC 2 Tier and First Class 

₹ 200 + GST

AC-3tier, AC Chair Car, and AC-3Economy 

₹ 180 + GST

Sleeper Class 

₹ 120 + GST

Second Class 

₹ 60 + GST

  • 48 hours to 12 hours: If you choose to cancel your confirmed ticket less than 48 hours and up to 12 hours prior to the commencement of the journey, you will be charged 25% of the total ticket price. This cancellation policy is also subject to a minimum flat cancellation fee as mentioned in the table given above, based on the class of travel.
  • 12 hours and up to 4 hours: If you choose to cancel your confirmed ticked less than 12 hours and up to 4 hours prior to the commencement of the journey, the fee of cancellation will amount to 50% of the total ticket price. The above listed minimum flat cancellation fees are applicable based on the class of travel.

Cancellation Rules for Tickets Covering Several Legs of the Journey

  • If you have a confirmed ticket for the first leg of the journey, the full ticket will be considered as a confirmed ticket while cancelling. The cancellation rules for confirmed tickets will be applicable in this case.
  • If you have a waitlisted ticket for the first leg of the journey and even if all the other legs are confirmed, the full ticket will be considered as a waitlisted ticket for cancelling purposes. The cancellation rules for waitlisted tickets will be applicable in this case.

Cancellation Rules & Charges for RAC Tickets 

  • Indian Railways allows passengers to cancel RAC tickets up to 30 minutes prior to the commencement of the journey. If cancellation is initiated after that, no refund is applicable.
  • A fee of ₹ 60 + GST per passenger will be charged for RAC ticket cancellation.
  • If you have a RAC ticket at the time of booking but if you were given a confirmed reservation at any time before the final chart preparation, it will be considered as a confirmed ticket. The Indian Railways cancellation rules for confirmed tickets will be applicable in this case.

Cancellation Policies for Partially Confirmed Family Ticket or Party Ticket

  • If you have a Family e-Ticket or Party e-Ticket issued for more than one passenger and some of these passengers have confirmed tickets while others have Waitlisted or RAC tickets, you can choose to cancel the entire ticket and get a full refund for even the confirmed passengers. For this, however, you need to cancel the ticket online or TDR should be filed online for all passengers 30 minutes prior to the train departure.
  • In the case of family ticket or party ticket booked through the counter, this can be done by surrendering the ticket up to 30 minutes prior to the train departure.
  • In the same scenario, if only the RAC or Waitlisted passengers have decided not to travel, no direct cancellation is possible. Instead, you will have to obtain a certificate from the ticket checking staff specifying that those passengers are not traveling and file for online TDR within 72 hours of reaching the destination station. Further, you will need to send the certificate obtained from the ticket checking staff to IRCTC via post.

Cancellation Policies  & Charges for Waitlisted Tickets

  • You can cancel your Waitlisted counter tickets up to 30 minutes prior to the commencement of the journey. No refund is applicable after that.
  • For waitlisted counter tickets, the cancellation can be carried out by the passenger at the PRS counters or via the IRCTC website.
  • A fee of ₹ 60 + GST per passenger will be charged for Waitlisted ticket cancellation.
  • If you have a waitlisted ticket at the time of booking but it is confirmed at any time before the final chart preparation, it will be considered as a confirmed ticket. The Indian Railways cancellation rules for confirmed tickets will be applicable in this case.
  • According to IRCTC cancellation rules, if waitlisted e-Tickets (GNWL, PQWL, and RLWL) remain waitlisted even after the charts are prepared, the names of such passengers will be removed from the reservation chart. The refund will be automatically processed by IRCTC after deducting the clerkage fee.

Cancellation Rules for Tatkal Tickets

  • Indian Railways cancellation policies specify that confirmed Tatkal tickets can’t be cancelled and no refund is granted if you choose to cancel a confirmed Tatkal ticket.
  • Partial cancellation of Tatkal tickets is also allowed.
  • In the case of waitlisted Tatkal tickets, cancellation charges will be according to the existing Waitlist cancellation rules. You can also opt for partial cancellation of Tatkal tickets. Learn more about Tatkal tickets here.
  • In the case of partially confirmed family or party Tatkal tickets, the cancellation rules are the same as general quota tickets.

Cancellation Rules for Premium Tatkal Tickets

According to the IRCTC cancellation rules, the confirmed Premium Tatkal bookings can’t be cancelled and no refund is granted in such cases. Since Premium Tatkal scheme doesn’t allow Waitlisted or RAC bookings, those rules don’t apply. Learn more about Premium Tatkal scheme here.

Cancellation Policy If the Train is Cancelled

  • e-Tickets: If a train gets cancelled due to any cause, such as flood, accident, breaches, etc., the e-Tickets are cancelled automatically. You don’t have to cancel the ticket yourself or file a TDR to get a refund.
  • Counter Tickets: In the event that a train is cancelled, passengers with counter tickets must visit a PRS counter and cancel their tickets to get a refund. This can be done up to 72 days after the scheduled departure time of the train.

Cancellation Policy if the Train is Late by More than 3 Hours

  • In the event that a train is late by more than 3 hours, passengers can cancel their tickets. For passengers with e-Tickets, TDR needs to be filed before the train actually departs to avail full refund. Note that after the filing of TDR, the process of refund may take more than 60 days to complete.
  • For passengers in possession of PRS counter tickets, the tickets must be surrendered at the PRS counter of the station from where the journey was scheduled to commence. Such passengers will be provided a full refund at the counter.

Rules Related to Partial Cancellation of Bookings

  • Indian Railways allows partial cancellation of bookings. For partial cancellation of e-Tickets, a passenger has to log into the IRCTC website, proceed to the booked ticket section, select the person or persons whose tickets need to be cancelled, and click on the cancel button. Once the cancellation is done, a fresh Electronic Reservation Slip or e-reservation slip is provided to the passenger.    
  • For partial cancellation through PRS counter, a passenger needs to fill a cancellation form specifying the details of those persons whose tickets are to be cancelled.

Rules Related to the Cancellation of Tickets after Chart Preparation and Ticket Deposit Receipt (TDR) Filing

Cancellation of confirmed tickets after preparation of chart is not allowed by the Indian Railways. If you have to cancel such tickets, you will have to file TDR or Ticket Deposit Receipt online and track the status of your fund. However, it should be noted that the TDR has to be filed up to 4 hours before the train commences its scheduled journey. For RAC tickets, the TDR needs to be filed at least 30 minutes before the train commences its scheduled journey.

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