Thursday, July 24, 2008

Easter Egg - 90 days advance booking IRCTC

Today (July 24th) I was deep asleep after watching few episodes of prison break and around 9am (apparently close to midnight) I got a call from my friend.

Friend: Vijesh, Did you book the tickets?
Me: What.... What ticket?
Friend: Ticket for Diwali (in train) opened today.
( me a mild shock and sit up)
Me: No, I guess its not today. I'm keeping track, few more days to go.
Friend: No, it opened today and sleeper is already in waiting list (WL) so we booked in AC. Hope its fine with you.
Me: Yeah ok.

Dragging myself to a system near by to check my Google calender reminder and IRCTC online reservation for Oct 24th. Well something was wrong. It was not really 90 days for tickets to open for booking. Since I lost my love towards Coimbatore Express after the night stay at the train station. I always ignored that train and tried with Kanyakumari express (6526). Still it says given date is out of range for booking. Then gave it a try in Coimbatore Express(1013). This query seems to work fine and says tickets are in WL, Ah! that's strange. With some trails I inferred that Coimbatore Express starts 2 days earlier from Lokmanya Thilak. So apparently the booking software allowed to book for all stations that the train traveled on that date itself. So Bangalore that comes on the third day opens two days before they actually do.

How many would know this? Still, have mailed Customer Care! Let me see how they respond. Ideally only those stations that are exactly 90 days before the train reaches should show up for booking. Guess the engineer was lazy to have this boundary condition in place. I would call it an pseudo Easter Egg.

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