Passengers booking tickets either on Railway counter or through Online are assigned a specific status of the ticket, such as confirmed (full berth), waiting or wait-listed (WL) and RAC (Reservation Against Cancellation). When all available seats of a particular train are booked, the Indian Railways releases RACs quota for railway reservations. Now, when all of the RAC seats are sold, waiting list tickets are released.
What is RAC Ticket?
RAC means RESERVATION AGAINST CANCELLATION so, this means that- if your Ticket is in RAC it will get confirm status only after the cancellation of ticket by some confirm ticket holders.
Consider your ticket status is RAC 5, so as soon as one person with confirm ticket will cancel his ticket your RAC status will be updated as RAC 4. And if 4 more persons will cancel his ticket, your ticket will be confirmed.
RAC means, you have right to board the train, but you have to share your berth along with a co-passenger. As you know if your ticket is in Waiting List then you can’t board the train. Traveling with a Waiting List Ticket is illegal. And if your waiting list ticket is from Railway’s counter, then you have to cancel your ticket, or if your ticket is an online ticket, then that will be cancelled automatically, and the fare will be refunded in your account.
In RAC you will be provided with side lower seat. Seating arrangement for two persons in side lower seat. Means one berth made for sleeping. Two persons seat on one side lower berth. One more passenger with same seat no. will board the train along with you.
After Train departure if TTE founds some vacant seat. Then that seat will be provided to you or your co-passenger. So the RAC seat was confirmed for you as your co-passenger was provided other berth. But getting a confirm birth depends on the situation that any berth is vacant or not. Any person who misses his train because of any reason. Or decided not to travel at last moment. Those confirmed berths will be provided to the RAC holders on priority.
Whenever you search for ticket on IRCTC website you will see this type of status. RAC 21 / RAC 19. What does this mean? This means the no. of persons booked the ticket, according to that your ticket status will be 21. But two persons from the Queue have already cancelled his ticket so your current status will be RAC 19. If you book the ticket. Means, your ticket will be confirmed after the cancellation of only 19 more thickets not 21. You have no meaning with RAC 21. RAC ticket is given. So that train can run at its full capacity, some extra passengers can get chance to travel and railway also can get some extra revenue.
How this happens, we will see with this example – Consider any train on certain route having 1500 seats. If RAC mechanism won’t be there, then as soon as the final chart prepare. Either the ticket will be in confirm status, or in waiting list. The railway has to refund the fare of waiting list passengers. There won’t be any extra person on train. And in any train if 1500 seats are there, then at least 5, 10 or 20 passengers will miss their train because of any reason. Few can miss train because of traffic on road. And some decided not to travel at last moment because of change in plan. So all that seats would have been given to some passenger in need. But now you imagine no extra passenger has boarded in the train. Here the RAC system becomes very useful. Because of RAC at least 50-60 passengers are extra in train. Those two RAC passengers’ shares one berths will be provided these vacant seats according to RAC number. Railway also would have lost some revenue, as the waiting list passengers would have got the refund and some seats for full journey would have gone vacant. So here some extra revenue for railway, some extra passengers got the chance to travel. So this is a big benefit of RAC.
RAC ticket is a confirm Ticket with sharing Berth. Berth number is also allotted to you, only problem is that, you have to share that berth with one more passenger. RAC ticket is issued in AC 2 tier, AC 3 tier and Sleeper class. In 90-80% cases, TTE provides you or your co-passenger a confirm berth after train departure.
What is cancellation charge of RAC Ticket?
RAC ticket cancellation charge is 60 rupees. In all classes, sleeper, 2AC 3AC all classes you have to pay same cancellation amount. You can cancel your RAC ticket before 30 minutes from the departure of train after the preparation of final chart. In some cases the TTE wont able to provide a confirm seat to any one of RAC holder. So two passengers have to travel on one berth.
What is the main Drawback of RAC Ticket?
The main and most painful drawback of RAC tickets is that you have paid the full fare, but you have to share your berth with one other passenger. During night Journey it’s very uncomfortable to both passengers, as you won’t get a seat to sleep. If the passenger you are sharing berth is not co-operative then also you will have problem. Keeping the luggage of three passengers under one berth is also a problem.
What is main benefit of RAC Ticket?
The main benefit of RAC ticket is, you get to board the train during rush season also. And you can travel, chances are there that you will get a confirm seat. Here is a catch, the big benefit of RAC ticket. This is the benefit- famous trains such as Rajdhani or Shatabdi express in which Dynamic pricing is there. So if you will book your tickets in RAC in these trains, then you have to pay actual price only, no dynamic pricing will be applicable on RAC tickets. And a strong chance is there that your ticket will be confirmed also. So at the last moment when you are going to book a ticket. The price of the ticket because of the dynamic pricing will be very high. Sometimes the price of Rs.3000 ticket becomes even Rs.5000 because of dynamic pricing. But if you will book in RAC, you have to pay the original fare only. But here you have to take care that you can book a ticket in RAC only after the sellout of general quota seats. So before waiting list and after normal ticket you can book a RAC ticket.
One more benefit of RAC ticket is that, if you are not 100% sure about your travel plan. Then you can save a lot with RAC ticket. because if you are going to cancel it also till last moment, then also only 60 rupees will be deducted. And you will get remaining amount refund. Because of RAC the on board corruption also reduces. Because the TTE have to provide any seat available to RAC persons only. As the RAC persons are already there in train, and they are asking for a berth. So this reduces corruption also. The RAC status of the ticket can change up to the preparation of final chart. Means up to 4 hours before the actual train departure. You can get a confirm seat, your RAC status can decrease. Here you have to take care of one more point that- your chart will prepare according to the scheduled departure time of the train. If your train is late because of any reason. Then also your chart will prepare on time only.
What is Quota of RAC Tickets?
The allocated quota of RAC ticket varies as per different trains. Generally, we can categorize different trains as Superfast Express, Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express, Passengers Trains, Local Trains and so on.
Here, let’s take an example of most common train “Express Train”.
In Express Train, we can predict the chances of RAC Ticket getting confirmed as below:
So, in this article we have answered the following questions related to RAC.
What is RAC in Indian Railways Means?
Is RAC Ticket is confirm?
Can one travel with RAC Ticket?
Whether RAC ticket is a confirm Ticket? If not then “Why Indian Railway provides it”?
What is Cancellation Charges of RAC ticket?
What are the benefits are drawbacks of RAC ticket?
What is the Prediction of confirmation of RAC Ticket? What is the Quota of RAC?