Trains serve as the lifeline of India, offering travelers one of the most convenient and enjoyable modes of transportation. Indian Railways strives to provide its passengers with top-quality service, comfort, efficiency, and speed. Booking train tickets through the IRCTC portal is now one of the best options available. However, if seats are unavailable during booking, the portal displays various ticket statuses, including RAC. Have you ever wondered what RAC status is or what RAC means in train travel?
The full form of RAC is Reservation Against Cancellation. Keep reading to learn all about RAC tickets and RAC status in Indian Railways.
What does RAC in a train means?
The Indian railways sell a type of train ticket known as Reservation Against Cancellation or RAC. If a seat displays RAC, it indicates that the passenger has a waiting list ticket. Although RAC guarantees the travel, it does not guarantee a berth. It is interesting to note that Indian railways often divide RAC seats for two passengers, increasing the possibility of sharing the seat and not getting a berth to sleep.
To understand better, let’s consider an example. A sleeper coach has 50 seats, out of which 40 are for confirmed ticket holders, and the remaining 10 are for RAC ticket holders. Suppose a person books the 41st ticket for the sleeper coach and gets a RAC ticket. The RAC ticket guarantees travel, but a complete berth will only be possible if any of the first 40 ticket holders cancel their reservation. In that case, the RAC ticket will get converted to a confirmed ticket, and the person will receive the seat.
However, if none of the first 40 ticket holders cancels their reservation, the traveler will still travel with a RAC seat, but they may have to share it with another RAC ticket holder.
Should You Consider Buying a RAC Ticket?
It is always worthwhile to buy a RAC ticket instead of any wait-listed ticket, such as GNWL or RLWL. Wait-listed tickets are not preferable to RAC tickets, as they do not guarantee a seat, not even a shared one.
Buying a RAC ticket is a smarter option as it provides at least a shared seat. Moreover, if someone with a confirmed seat cancels their ticket, RAC ticket holders receive the first preference for the vacant seat. Wait-listed tickets are considered for a seat only after all the RAC ticket holders have been allotted seats. In conclusion, if a confirmed ticket is not available, it is advisable to go ahead with a RAC ticket.
Confirmation chances of RAC Ticket
The situations in which a RAC status ticket holder can get a confirmed seat are when there is any last-minute cancellation by a confirmed seat passenger. Another case could be when any quota remains unsold or in cases when a confirmed ticket holder gets an upgrade as per the seat availability in the upper class.
In very rare circumstances, it might happen that confirmed ticket holders canceled their tickets but your RAC ticket did not get confirmed. In that case, one must not worry but wait. Why? Because RAC status is updated only after the Indian railways prepare an updated chart of the coach. If confusion still persists and you have already boarded the train you must contact the TT as they can fully guide you through the process to get your confirmed seat.
Is a RAC ticket better than a WL ticket?
In short, yes, a waitlisted ticket is inferior to a RAC ticket. A seat is guaranteed to you with a RAC ticket, even if it’s a shared one. However, if GNWL or RLWL status is assigned to your ticket, it signifies that you are on the waiting list.
The designated coach can be accessed with a waitlisted ticket, but a seat is not guaranteed. In other words, the vehicle can be boarded, but a seat is not assured. No additional advantages are offered by these tickets compared to a Reservation Against Cancellation ticket.
Priority boarding is granted to a passenger with RAC status in case of a cancellation of a confirmed reservation. However, waitlisted tickets are considered only after all RAC holders have been assigned a confirmed ticket. When traveling on the Indian Railway, a RAC ticket is always preferred over a waitlisted one.
RAC Ticket Booking FAQs
Indian Railways generally attempts to fit all tickets on one PNR in the same area. Therefore, you might be able to sit together. However, the status of your tickets depends on cancellations, as RAC tickets are only confirmed in the event of a cancellation.
According to IRCTC rules, a RAC ticket technically means that you have a confirmed seat on the train but a waitlist for a berth. IRCTC states that RAC tickets ensure that you can travel on the train, but they do not guarantee a berth.
A RAC ticket guarantees you the lowest price and a seat on the aircraft. On the other hand, a WL ticket only reserves a spot in the general boarding line, and it doesn’t guarantee you a seat.
Most of the time, you can expect to travel, even if you have to share a seat with someone else. As you know, if the ticket is not confirmed or there are no available seats on the train, two people are given Side Lower Berth Seats under the RAC Quota and they have to share them.
Your RAC tickets will be confirmed only if someone cancels their ticket. So, whether your tickets are confirmed or not depends on cancellations. However, Indian Railways usually attempts to seat all tickets with the same booking reference number (PNR) in the same area.
You can book and cancel IRCTC RAC tickets. Technically, you can cancel RAC tickets up to 30 minutes before the train is scheduled to depart. However, after the specified departure time, refunds are not allowed.
You can cancel an online RAC ticket up to 30 minutes before the train is scheduled to depart, according to IRCTC. However, if the reservation charts have already been generated for your online RAC ticket, you need to submit an online TDR (Ticket Deposit Receipt) to get a refund.
Hope this information on the RAC ticket and RAC in the train has been helpful to you. Remember to use the IRCTC portal for safer online booking.