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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cancellations and Lost Tickets

Passengers on the Indian Railway System can cancel a reserved ticket and get a refund through the reservation counter. Generally the cancellation charges vary from a little less than $0.25 USD to slightly more than $1.00 USD, depending on the class. If you cancel a reservation at least a day in advance of your journey, excluding the actual day of travel, this range of cancellation fee will apply. If you cancel between one day and 4 hours before train departure, 25% of ticket cost plus the above mentioned cancellation fee is charged as a fee. You can still cancel the reservation, though, actually even after the train has departed. But the refund amount will vary, although typically you will lose about 50% of the total ticket cost. For a wait-listed ticket, there is no cancellation fee if cancelled in advance. A chart of cancellation fees for the India railway system is displayed at all the reservation counters. It shows the refund % based on class, time of cancellation, distance, etc. Tickets reserved at one station can be cancelled at another station. If you have booked over the internet, or using a credit card, the refund will be credited directly to your card.

If you are not in a position to go to the reservation counters you cancel your ticket through the mail also. But I’m not sure if they send money abroad. The best way is to get it refunded directly over the counter. In case you are not in a position to cancel in person, you can deposit the tickets at the nearest major India railway station and obtain a Ticket Deposit Receipt (TDR). This can be done upto 30 days after the travel date. Then, an application for the refund needs to be sent to the Chief Commercial Manager-Refunds of the respective railway zone (southern, south-central, eastern, etc) where you have deposited the ticket. You need to attach the passenger’s foil of TDR as well. This can be done within 90 days of your scheduled journey. The format for this refund request and the address to which it has to be sent can be obtained from the station where you have deposited the ticket. You have the options of a Money Order or Crossed Cheque or Station Pay Order (encashable at railway stations).

You can even claim the refund for the unused part of the tickets. Let’s say you met a nice friend on the train and decided to leave the train with her before your final destination. Before getting carried away with your newfound excitement, make sure you go to the TTE/stationmaster and let him know that you are terminating your journey. He’ll scribble something on the ticket, even God doesn’t know what it is, and add his signature. This is the proof that you have terminated your journey midway. At the exit, don’t hand your ticket to the collector. Let her that you terminated journey midway, and that you need the ticket for a refund claim. She’ll verify the ticket and give it you back.For the rest follow the instructions given above.

You’ll receive a cheque long after you have forgotten about this. But I feel happy when I get a cheque when I’m least expecting one!! I’m not sure about tickets booked with a credit card. But in any case, ticket cancellation refunds are refunded to the card account. Generally this takes a little longer time than the conventional system.

If you are not planing to travel it is always better to cancel the ticket before the journey date and collect cash directly. This will save you a lot of money, time and hassle.

Lost ticket will not be refunded. You can get a duplicate for a lost or torn ticket, if you know the the 10 digit PNR and other details. A charge from 10% to 25% is collected based on the distance for the duplicate ticket. However, if you manage to find the original ticket, you can get a refund for the additional money you paid for the duplicate minus a 5% charge! Produce both the tickets at the reservation counter to process this refund.

For cancellation and reservation of tickets the same form can be used.

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