Why would webapp like irctc.co.in not allow to check train seat availability without login. As per my thinking it should atleast let people check seat availability without login and ask for credentials when he is proceeding for booking.

Now many of you may say: because of security reasons, then why flight booking webapps are other way?

Edit: I know question looks little off to community, consider this as a designer if you are re-designing it, you should have this info. Hoping that some other uxer might have given it a thought. Let me know if needs to be removed.

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    I'd argue this question goes a bit too deep into hypotheticals. We can only guess why some sites implement this the way they do, whether it's legacy or a technical reason. Voting to close because it's a bit off-topic and doesn't have a clear answer. – Wanda Apr 16 at 10:13
  • I would vote to close this question as answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions and business use case. – mehul shah Apr 17 at 5:47

I think it's more of a "legacy system" problem rather than a conscious design decision. The system was designed to authenticate for every kind of use case and they're just carrying on with it.

That said, API's are now available to check availability without logging-in and many services provide this feature. (Example - Rail yatri) You can read more about legacy systems in Design of Everyday Things.

  • Even I believe load/high traffic should not be the main reason for this otherwise they would never provide APIs. Looks like you are correct on legacy system point, let me study more about this, by the way I've started with Design of everyday things a week back, I'll have a look on this point – Aman Sep 6 '16 at 9:12
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    This looks most reasonable answer to my question, for now I am marking it. Will change it if anything better comes. – Aman Oct 10 '16 at 8:49

I found only one reason behind this

  • IRCTC ticket booking portal is very high traffic portal and they don't want unnecessary hit on their database due to which there site get down and other will not able to open it. "Unnecessary hits" is in the context with Railway Brokers. this is also the reason due to which IRCTC is session base.

Thank you!


The most reasonable answer to this according to me what as Sudarshan T has mentioned.

But then I realised that there again is a problem with this logic. If we open "MakeMyTrip" and search for trains, we can actually check for the seat availability of the train. That is even without logging in.

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So that might not be the actual reason.

  • I agree with the Harsh statement, that makemytrip even the cleartrip shows the result without login but asks when you proceed for booking but IRCTC is majorly used even in the deep rural areas & having much more traffic in comparison. By making login mandatory govt filter the unwanted hits on the server, which intentionally done by the black marketeer so that site can go slowdown and end user cannot get reservation and they get time to do so. In the last 3 yrs IRCTC site's speed improved very much. as they shortened the length of user session & limited the query of train per session. – Sudarshan T Sep 6 '16 at 5:51

IRCTC will not allow to see ticket availability without login because it wants you to be a member. If you login in to IRCTC you will get updates about your booking URL: http://irctcregistration.net/irctc-login/

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