Online tickets not treated at par vs Hard copies

This has been a major anomaly, to which the Railway authorities have not woken up yet. Many of us do not have the time to stand in the reservation counters to book our railway reservation tickets. But are all of us aware that the online Waitlisted tickets issued by irctc are junk waste of paper if it does not get converted to atleast RAC before the train departure. Whereas the WL tickets issued by Railway Reservation counters have value even if they are not converted to RAC / not confirmed. We can travel with WL (non confirmed) tickets issued by counters, but we CANNOT travel with the WL tickets (non confirmed) issued by irctc. In the latter case, we are forced to buy a general ticket at Station and onboard the train and get pushed around, get insulted, pay plenty of fines, etc. in our journey. When will this anomaly be fixed..? Why are the railway authorities blind to this.. This affects millions of people travelling by irctc tickets. more  

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Agreed, Steve.. We seriously need a change here. Not sure whether the railway authorities are able to see this and can take measures to effect this. Very simple change.. affects millions.. makes life easy.. more  
I was thinking about it from the point of view of those who prefer their tickets auto cancelled, your autocancel option is a great idea. That leaves the problem of partially used tickets, I'll give an example. Poorva Express (12303), 2A ticket from Howrah to New Delhi costs Rs2405, ticket remains waitlisted, you travel the whole distance in unreserved (Rs350), so you will want a refund on the remaining Rs2055, this should be straightforward. What if you travel unreserved till Mughal Sarai (Rs220), then you're offered a Sleeper Class berth till New Delhi (Rs425), total Rs645, this would be a pain for IRCTC staff to work out, and given that Mughal Sarai is approx half way, if the advantage of telescopic fares were added, then you should be paying half the unreserved fare from Howrah to New Delhi for each class, full distance in unreserved would be Rs350 (halved 175) and full distance in Sleeper Class would be Rs630 (315), so Rs490 total instead if Rs645, a Rs155 difference. The longer term solution is for the railways to stop issuing tickets that are unlikely to get confirmed, but that's a greater problem to solve. more  
Steve, I am not sure I understand you fully. Because of the current system, all irctc WL ticket holders know that their WL tickets are useless if they do not get confirmed.. hence they make alternative options.. Many people land up finally queuing at the Reservation counters and take hard copies of WL tickets... All these trxns are through cash.. Look at the economy now. There are so many cash transactions being forced.. We are trying to head towards a cashless society, trying to leverage plastic money.. But in such cases, we are promoting just the opposite.. Why not provide an option during irctc booking whether customer wants to get ticket autocancelled if not confirmed.. Those people willing to retain and use WL tickets to travel should be free to do so.. Not sure whether you know that lacs of people are unable to get a proper confirmed ticket daily despite best attempts.. and they are really helpless.. more  
Sanjeev, I accept your scenario and understand your frustration, I wonder what percentage of online booked ticket holders still travel if their ticket remains waitlisted, it would be interesting to know. On the other hand, can you imagine all the angry posts if the railways were to require WL ticket holder to cancel if they didn't travel, and it would be fun trying to get a refund on a 2A WL ticket that was used to travel unreserved, or worse still, travelled unreserved for part of the journey, then Sleeper Class for another part of the journey. more  
Steven, Lets understand that most of the people who do carry a Waitlist ticket and travel need to do so at any cost. They have something important for which they are prepared to sacrifice their comfort and bear additional pain. So they would not like to cancel it. The cancellation of counter tickets should require an original ticket and that should be manageable. If a person does not have the original ticket, then he cannot get it cancelled. The moot thing is that even many of the people possessing the online Waitlisted tickets would like to travel critically, but they are now forced to buy a general ticket by standing in a queue and then travel on the basis of that.. Why this discrimination ? Railway authorities need to demystify this..!!! more  
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