While having a good time with your pals you suddenly plan to watch a movie. Will you prefer to turn on your laptop or book a ticket through your phone?
Here are some of the apps you could consider using to book rail, air and movie tickets on the go:
This application will become your one stop source for booking all sorts of tickets — be it rail, bus, or for a movie. The only thing lacking is the option of booking air tickets.
The process of downloading is simple. Open your phone’s browser, type ngpay.com. You will get a link to download. Fill up the form and you are ready to go.
For movies you have the option to book tickets at Big Cinema, Fame Cinema, Inox Movies, and PVR, among other theatres. You can also book tickets for other events.
Rail ticket booking is done through a tie-up with IRCTC, and a rail tourism option helps users book package tours.
You can also shop for various products and pay through your credit, debit or cash card.
The company claims to be the ‘biggest shopping mall on mobile’, and it seems justified given the number of products you can buy using this service.
Oxicash is a mobile wallet from Oxigen which provides recharge and bill payment services.
You can download this app from Oxigen’s website. After that you can create an account with Oxigen; deposit cash in the account through more than 75,000 Oxigen outlets; or top up the account via online fund transfer. You can use your Oxicash account to book tickets, pay utility bills, and to recharge prepaid accounts (such as mobile and DTH) as well.
You can book a variety of tickets using this service such as air, rail, bus and movies (through bookmyshow), car rental, hotels and holiday packages.
You can also avail a cash card facility, which you can use to make online payments through other gateways. Delhi residents can use Oxicash to recharge their Delhi Gurgaon toll plaza E-Tag.
mChek is a mobile wallet service operated in partnership with Airtel and Tata Indicom. A similar option is available at HDFC.
Like Oxicash, it allows you to book rail, air, bus and movie tickets. You will have to link one or more of your credit cards to your mChek account to process all your transactions. It is safe to do so.
To download the application you can SMS “MCHEK” to 5676709 from any phone; or make a toll free call to 543219 from an Airtel phone or to 59909 from a Tata Indicom number.
The mChek account will help you make payments at partner websites and pay utility bills.
Since this service is operated in partnership with banks and telecom service providers you could also reap the benefits of any tie-up that your bank and service provider have.
However, you cannot recharge your mChek account with cash; something you can do with Oxicash, and which is an advantage for people in rural pockets who don’t have a bank account.
Bookmyshow is a popular ticketing website for movies and events. It recently launched a mobile website of its own.
This site works in the same way as its online version in which the user can see seat availability and time slots of different movies running in their city, and can use their credit cards to make payments. It is a good alternative for people who do not want to use mobile wallets or don’t want to download the application, which many phones at any rate don’t support.
PVR has the largest chain of cinema halls across India. The company has introduced a mobile platform for booking tickets that works through GPRS enabled handsets.
Download the application by sending ‘PVR’ in an SMS to 53030 from your mobile. You will receive a download link. Click on the link to download the application. You will have to use your credit or debit card to make payments.
Big Cinema, a Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group venture, has also launched its own mobile ticketing platform. You have to type http://m.bigcinemas.com on your mobile browser and install the correct version of the application on your mobile handset. The payment process is similar to that of the PVR application.
For bus ticket bookings Redbus.in has emerged a popular option. The website also has a mobile optimised site, and for payments it has tied up with mChek. To access the site you simply need to type redbus.in in your mobile browser.
One of the most popular ticket booking websites has an application for BlackBerry, using which people can book and cancel flight tickets, get e-tickets and track refunds.
It integrates your flight bookings with your BlackBerry calendar by marking the date of travel as an event entry. You can also check flight status, share on Facebook and Twitter, and find out the latest deals.
The free application also uses your phone’s GPS or your flight destination to find restaurants in your vicinity.
Cleartrip has a mobile optimised site for airline and train tickets, and for booking hotels. The process is simple. Type cleartrip.com on your mobile browser, select details and make payments using your credit card.
Most other online ticketing sites have either launched a mobile site or are in the process of doing so. In case your phone can’t access GPRS, you can call an airline booking agent, or call 139 for railway bookings. You can also use SMS services. This last is not a popular option as you need to remember short codes.
Whatever option you do choose, your mobile phone is definitely going to be the medium of choice for ticket bookings in the coming days because of its ease of use, and also because these services are increasingly becoming secure.