i ticket and e ticket are the terms you come across while booking your train tickets online using IRCTC services. Here’s the difference between the two types of tickets:
i ticket refers to Internet ticket that can be booked online using IRCTC website. Once you book your ticket, it will be delivered to the address mentioned during the booking process. Note that i tickets can only be delivered to certain cities/places in India. While booking your ticket you can check if your place is covered in the list (mostly, all big cities and towns are covered).
In order to the delivery to arrive to your address, you need to book your i ticket at least 2-3 days prior to the travel day.
I ticket can be booked when the ticket availability status is in available/RAC/Waitlist.
During the delivery of i ticket, you’ll need to produce any Government issued ID card. In case, if you are not available at the address mentioned during booking, any person who is authorized by you can receive the ticket. You need to sign a authorization form indicating the transaction ID.
i tickets cannot be cancelled online. You need to visit any Passenger reservation counter (PRS) to cancel your e ticket and get the refund.
An e ticket is an electronic ticket that can be booked online using IRCTC website. After the booking process, you need to take a print out of the confirmation page which it self acts as a ticket (Update: Now you don’t even have to take print out’s, the SMS confirmation is enough).
Unlike i ticket, e ticket can bee booked any time before the reservation chart is prepared. e ticket can be booked on reservation statuses of Available/RAC/Waitlist.
While booking the ticket, you’ll need to give a proof of identification (only applicable for tatkal bookings) which you’ll need to produce, in original, during the travel.
If you are not the person travelling, you’ll have to give the details of one person who will travel on that day and ask him/her to carry the same ID proof on that day.
e tickets can only be cancelled online using the same IRCTC website. That cancellation must be done before the reservation chart is prepared. The refund will be credited back to your IRCTC account.