A ticket issued by the Indian Railways can be in any of the following three stages:
- Confirmed (CNF)
- Reservation Against Cancellation (RAC)
- Waiting List (WL)
A RAC ticket is a Reservation Against Cancellation type of ticket issued by the Indian Railways that ensures the passengers the certainty of travel but does not guarantee them a berth. A berth will be allocated to a RAC ticket holder only if passengers who have a confirmed reservation either cancel their tickets or do not board the train before it departs. Otherwise, two RAC ticket-holding passengers are to share the same berth or split one lower berth into two seats.
RAC Ticket Confirmation Chances
A RAC (Reservation Against Cancellation) status thus means the PNR status of a RAC ticket, which can be confirmed only under any of the following circumstances:
- If a passenger with a confirmed ticket does not board the train before its departure.
- In case there are any cancellations at the last minute.
- If any of the reserved quotas of the Indian railways remains unsold.
- In case a passenger having a confirmed ticket gets a free upgrade according to the upper-class seat availability.
If any of this happens not one but two of the RAC ticket-holding passengers get empty berths. While the one with the smallest RAC number gets the seat as a reservation against cancellation, the other is allowed to convert the two seats back to a berth.
In most cases, there are high chances of a RAC ticket getting confirmed by the time the final reservation chart of a train is prepared, and if not, at least you have every right to travel on the train. Hence, it is much better to have a Reservation Against Cancellation (RAC) ticket than a Waiting List (WL) ticket. And if you have a RAC ticket all you need to do is keep checking the RAC status or PNR status of your ticket every now and then until the final reservation chart comes out.
Cancel RAC Ticket
If you are not comfortable with your RAC ticket and the seating arrangement that comes with it, you can cancel your ticket anytime up to half an hour before the particular train departs from its original station with minimum cancellation charges.
If you have booked the ticket from the railways counter, to cancel it and get a refund you need to visit the counter again. But if you have an online booked e-ticket, the cancellation can be easily done over the internet, which will be followed by a refund credited to the account you used to pay for the ticket.
However, if a Reservation Against Cancellation (RAC) ticket is canceled after the departure of the train from its original station or the time specified for cancellation, i.e. half an hour before the particular train departs from its original station, the passenger will not get any refund.
If the train you booked a ticket for is late more than 3 hours from the departure time scheduled for it and you have a RAC ticket, you will get a refund of the full fare paid for the ticket as it will be considered that the ticket was canceled before the train departed.
If in case a train gets canceled, the full fare paid for the ticket is refunded to all the passengers, irrespective of their reservation status.