Online travel agent Cleartrip has launched a new version of its Android application that will allow users to book Indian railway tickets and check PNR status. The app is available for download from the Google Play Store. It’s not clear when the company plans to introduce the service on its iOS app since it opens up Cleartrip’s mobile site on Safari to book train tickets.
To book railway tickets, one still has to connect their IRCTC account details with their Cleartrip account. I tried to sync my IRCTC account with my Cleartrip account and the process seems to a lot tedious. It asked us to enter login credentials of both the accounts, date of birth, address, among others. It then sends a one time password (OTP) on email and mobile. Once you enter both the OTPs it verifies your account. While I verified all the details, somehow it failed to sync with my IRCTC details. Remember that IRCTC had introduced one time registration process and had mandated that anyone who intend to book train tickets through third party websites like Cleartrip, MakeMyTrip, Yatra and others, to have an IRCTC account before booking a train ticket online. Cleartrip does not charge service fee for booking trains tickets.
However, one can still search train from one destination to another without syncing their IRCTC details. It lists out price of the ticket, time, and duration of the journey. To check the PNR number, one just has to enter their 10 digit PNR number and the app lists the status of the ticket.
Note that in 2008, Cleartrip had partnered with IRCTC to offer railway booking on their site. With this update, one can now book train tickets on their handset.
Cleartrip website also allows one to book tatkal quota ticket by selecting the checkbox next to the ‘Tatkal’ label on the search results page. It’s not clear whether the Android app also allows one to book tatkal tickets. Note that one has to pay extra to book tatkal quota tickets.
In May 2013, IRCTC had upgraded its website which can support bookings of more than 4.15 lakh e-tickets daily. Prior to this, IRCTC claims to have handled 3.67 lakhs e-tickets per day. The website can currently handle 2000 tickets per minute and claims that it future it plans to upgrade the website to handle 7200 tickets per minute.
In June 2013, Spice Digital had partnered with IRCTC to offer a B2B travel and tourism solution called Spice Safar for travel agents, as a part of Spice’s retail initiatives. Through this partnership, it offered Safar act as its principal agent to carry out IRCTC’s e-ticket booking services in the country.
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