Photo by Phillipe Santini

Photo by Phillipe Santini

The Ministry of Railways has revised ticket refund rules on Tuesday, effective as of 1 July. Accordingly, passengers need to cancel their confirmed tickets 48 hours before the journey to get the maximum refund. Up until now you had to cancel 24 hours before boarding to get the maximum refund. With the revision, if you cancel between 6 and 24 hours before the journey, there is a cancellation charge of 25%.  If you cancel within six hours, the cancellation charge is 50%. No refund shall be granted on the reserved ticket if it is surrendered for cancellation after two hours of the actual departure of the train. This is mainly an attempt to prevent booking agents from selling tickets at higher prices. They buy up a lot of tickets on popular routes and then sell them at really high prices to tourists and people who need to travel on short notice. I’ve noticed that certain routes always seem to be booked up, but there are usually many empty berths available once you actually board the train. That’s because of travel agents, who cancel at the last minute. This may inspire some to cancel sooner, which will help some. In theory, this is also to give waitlisted passengers more time to decide about taking their trip, but I’m not sure how that will be any advantage.

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