The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) was established in 1999 as a subsidiary of Indian Railways to improve the convenience and satisfaction of railway passengers. Today, IRCTC has evolved into a comprehensive platform offering a wide range of services, from online ticket booking to catering and tourism packages, making it a one-stop solution for railway passengers.
IRCTC is one of the largest e-commerce portals in India, providing interested individuals an opportunity to become their travel agent and earn commission on every booking. In this article, we will walk you through the intricate process of becoming an IRCTC Railway agent eligibility criteria while shedding light on IRCTC Authorized Travel Agents- Internet café Scheme (ICS).
Who Are IRCTC Railway Agents?
IRCTC Railway Agents are individuals or entities with the authority to book train tickets on behalf of passengers. They are registered with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). They must also adhere to the rules and regulations set by the IRCTC. Their responsibilities include ensuring transparency, maintaining integrity in their operations, and providing customer service.
IRCTC railway agents have the opportunity to earn a commission through ticket bookings. Since many people travel by train daily, ticket bookings are needed.
Authorized Travel Agents- Internet café Scheme (ICS)
The Internet Cafe Scheme (ICS) is a known program provided by IRCTC that enables Internet cafes and other online businesses to become authorized agents for booking railway tickets.
- International Air Transport Association (IATA): The IATA is a global trade association for the airline industry, representing around 300 airlines and their partners. It establishes standards for air travel encompassing aspects such as safety, security, and ticketing.
- Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI): TAAI is a non-profit organization that acts as a representative body for India’s travel and tourism sector. Its membership exceeds 2,300 professionals, comprising travel agents, tour operators, and hotels.
- Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI): TAFI is a non-profit organization acting as a representative for the interests of India’s travel and tourism industry. TAFI boasts a membership of over 2,000 individuals from domains, including travel agents, tour operators, and airlines.
- Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO): IATO is an association dedicated explicitly to inbound tour operators within India. Its members are recognized by the Ministry of Tourism under the Government of India.
- Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI): ADTOI is an association of domestic tour operators in India. It promotes domestic tourism in India and represents the interests of its members to the government.
Types of IRCTC Railway Agents
IRCTC railway agents play a crucial role in facilitating ticket bookings and providing travel services to passengers. Here, we have highlighted the types of IRCTC Railway agents, their eligibility criteria, and the registration process:
RTSA (Rail Travel Service Agents – TAAI)
RTSAs are authorized agents registered with the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and eligible to provide railway ticketing services. The eligibility criteria for becoming an RTSA include:
- Membership with TAAI: To become an RTSA, one must join the Travel Agents Association of India.
- Office Infrastructure: Agents must have a registered office with basic facilities like a computer system, internet connectivity, and trained staff.
- Financial Stability: Agents need to demonstrate financial stability to ensure smooth operations.
The registration process for RTSAs involves the following steps:
- Application Submission: Prospective agents must submit the application form with the necessary documents to the IRCTC agent authority.
- Verification: After submission, the concerned authority will verify your documents for authenticity.
- Training: Agents may need to undergo training programs conducted by IRCTC or TAAI to enhance their knowledge and skills.
- Licensing: Once the verification and training process is completed successfully, the agent is granted a license to operate as an RTSA.
RSP (Retail Service Providers – TAAI)
RSPs are retail agents authorized by IRCTC to provide railway ticketing services. The eligibility criteria for becoming an RSP include:
- Business Establishment: Agents must have a registered business establishment with the necessary infrastructure.
- PAN Card: A valid PAN card is required for registration.
- Financial Stability: Agents need to demonstrate financial stability.
The registration process for RSPs involves the following steps:
- Online Application: During IRCTC agency apply, you must complete the online application form on the IRCTC website.
- Document Submission: Agents must submit the required documents, including PAN card, address proof, and photographs.
- Verification: The submitted documents are verified by the IRCTC for authenticity.
- Agreement: Once the verification process is completed, agents must sign a deal with IRCTC.
- Activation: After the agreement is signed, the agent’s account is activated, and they can start providing ticketing services.
Roles and Responsibilities
The roles and responsibilities of IRCTC railway agents include:
Online Ticket Booking: IRCTC agents can book unlimited train tickets online for passengers.
Assisting Passengers: Agents act as a bridge between passengers and the IRCTC’s online ticketing system, assisting in booking tickets, checking availability, and resolving booking-related issues.
Providing Information: Agents are responsible for providing accurate and up-to-date information to passengers about train schedules, fares, seat availability, and other relevant details.
Handling Payments: Agents collect payments from passengers for ticket bookings and ensure the proper payment process is followed.
Ticket Delivery: Agents may deliver tickets to passengers or facilitate ticket collection at designated locations.
Cancellation and Refunds: Agents assist passengers in canceling tickets and processing refunds as per IRCTC guidelines.
Complying with IRCTC Policies: Agents must adhere to the guidelines and rules set by IRCTC regarding ticket booking, cancellation, refunds, and customer service.
Ensuring Customer Satisfaction: Agents are expected to provide excellent customer service, address passenger queries and concerns, and ensure a smooth booking experience.
IRCTC, one of India’s largest e-commerce portals, offers various services, from online tickets to daily catering to millions of travelers. IRCTC also provides accredited agents/members of IATA / TAAI / TAFI / IATO / ADTOI an opportunity to expand their business in tour and travel across India and earn commission as compensation for their service to make travel accessible and convenient for countless passengers.
To become an IRCTC Railway Agent, contact an IRCTC-authorized principal service provider (PSP). SiOnline is a renowned IRCTC Internet Cafe Scheme (ICS) Principal Service Provider that can provide expert guidance in the registration process for IRCTC agent applications.