Imagine you plan a tour with family members by train, and while booking your ticket you want that all the members get seats side by side (together) in same coach. How will you insure it?

This is one of the most sort after information by railway users, especially when it comes to online railway booking. And this is what we are going to discuss here and provide solution. The solution is easy. Just read on.

While doing reservation at railway counter you can request the booking clerk to allot seats together. And if seats are available, more often than not the railway booking clerk at reservation counter is happy to book all the passengers mentioned on reservation form together. But while doing online railway booking, it is not that simple. There is no request mechanism out there on next generation railway booking system using which you can demand that all the seats are booked for your family near to each other.

So, what to do? How can you make sure that railway assigns all the members seats side by side, and not in different coach when you do reservation on Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) e-ticketing system. Is it possible or not?

You'll be glad to know that it is indeed possible. You can point out through railway reservation system that you want all the seats allotted together otherwise not.

During online booking when you reach the stage (see all stages/steps of online railway booking at irctc login instructions page) where you enter journey details and passenger details , just there you shall see various options. These options allow you to mention berth preference. For example, you can opt that the system books your ticket only if at least 1 lower berth is allotted. Have a look at this snapshot taken from live railway booking session.

irctc berth preference options
snapshot showing which option you need to select to ensure all passengers are allotted seats next to each other

As you can see, one of the options present is "Book only if all berths are allotted in same coach." This is the option you need to select if you want all the seats together.

One thing you should note that by selecting the option you are only telling your preference. There is no guarantee that this will be done. It all depends upon the railway seat availability status and how many seats are vacant, which ones, whether or not lower berth is reserved for ladies or senior citizens in the coach, and many other factors (too complex to be discussed here). Also maximum of 6 adult passengers and 2 children can be booked using this system.

Thus, you can see how easy it is for you and your family members to get seats next to each other in a train so that you can enjoy your journey together.

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