In the railway budget 2013-14, railway Mallikarjun Kharge proposed that railways will soon start ticket bookings via SMS. The planning has come into force and now we can book our tickets via our mobile phones. Don’t worry. One does not have to have internet facility in his or her mobile. Tickets can be booked in two different ways from our mobile –
- Via SMS. At present IRCTC has taken only three vendors viz Bharat BPO, Frequency Weekly and Pyro Group.
- USSD (Menu-based dialing service). USSD is Unstructured Supplementary Service Data. The main draw back here is that it is not available in CDMA phones. This service is available for GSM mobile users only. The main function of USSD is to provide the users with menu driven interactive information foe e.g. checking the current weather report, news, sports score etc.
Book your tickets via SMS –
The railway has launched this SMS based ticketing with two numbers – 139 & 5676714.
Booking via 139 :
The traveller needs to get his or her mobile number registered with IRCTC and with the bank. The banker will provide the bookie with MMID (Mobile Money Identifier) & OTP (one time password) which will be required for payment. Thebookie will have to send the below SMS to 139 –
BOOK <TrainNo><FromStn.Code><ToStn.Code> <TravelDate (DDMM)><Class><Passenger-Name><Age><M/F>
Soon the bookie will receive one transaction id with other booking details. For successful transaction the bookie will have to make the payment by sending below text to 139 again –
PAY <Transaction ID as received><IMPS><Your MMID as received from the bank><OTP, your one time password received for this transaction><IRCTCUserID>
Booking via 5676714
For using this no the bookie needs to have his mobile number updated with IRCTC and m-wallet (ZipCash.in). Now what is ZipCash? zipCash is a mobile voucher which is loaded on our mobile phone and can be used for shopping online and also offline. It proves to be most safest and reliable mode of transaction.
For first time users the bookie needs to send SMS to 5676714 – START <irctc user Id> which will check the user authentication. Once through with the process the bookie needs to book the ticket by sending the below text to 5676714 –
BOOK<From stn.code>,<to stn.code>, <DDMMYY>, <Trainno>,<Class>, <passenger name>,<age>,<M/F>
After receiving the transaction number the bookie needs to complete with the payment option by sending SMS –
“PAY <transaction no>, MPAY, <m-PIN>” for authorizing payment through MPAY or “PAY <mobileno>,<mmid>,<amount>, <transaction Id>,<OTP>” for authorizing payment through IMPS.
Once the transaction is successful booking confirmation is sent to the bookie’s mobile number. Charges applicable is Rs 3/- for each SMS.
Booking through BSNL
This service is only for BSNL subscribers who have a Java enabled in their mobile phone and also has Andhra Bank prepaid card. This is a big hindrance once will have to face because one needs to have the prepaid card of Andhra Bank also. To know the full procedure please visit this link
Book your tickets via USSD –
USSD is service is available for Airtel Money subscribers only. One needs have his number registered for Airtel Money which can be done by dialling *400# – toll free number. One can also recharge cash in their Airtel money account from any airtel money outlets.
By dialling *400# the bookie needs to select the “book tickets” option and then “rail booking”. Under “rail booking” the bookies will have to opt for “reservation “tab. Under this option the bookies will have provide his or her IRCTC user ID which will be validated for first time user.
The bookie needs to ensure here that his or her Airtel Money mobile number is updated in the IRCTC profile. Negligence of which will lead to failure of booking tickets. Once the ticket details are given and payment done from Airtel Money account confirmation SMS is received from IRCTC.
The SMS based service started by IRCTC for booking tickets from mobile phone no doubt attracts us. The SMS service will definitely save our time from standing in long queues, waiting for IRCTC site to open and fight with the sites speed.
The service also helps in searching the trains availability, PNR enquiry, search for stations, cancellations etc. But personally I think that the process might be lengthy for a layman. One has to be fully mobile friendly before using this service. Again the person needs to have his bank account registration done for payment option.
All cannot take the advantage of Airtel Money and BSNL SMS service. Still a great initiative has been taken by our railway minister by fulfilling what was proposed in budgets. We wish it to be a grand success for IRCTC.