I was recently approached by a friend who requested me to assist him to book a VTL (Vaccinated Travel Lane) bus ticket from Johor Bahru to Singapore for his significant other. As bus seats are extremely difficult to get due to the sheer number of travelers who want to get across the borders via VTL, the booking website usually crashes. These sites also implement queueing systems in order to manage their traffic flow.
Such implementations have led to many disappointed customers – even though there were literally no tickets left, they were still stuck in the queue waiting to check out the status of “available” tickets.
Firstly, I would like to be extra careful to mention that such a bypass is not of the intended mode of usage of the web developers. It is rather to prevent you from waiting so long in hopes of getting your tickets, only realizing at a later time that there were no tickets left all along. Such a workaround is simply “for your information” only.
General Method Description
Block requests from the Queue-It server, so that the scripts will not run and the page will not be redirected.
This workaround only works if the web developer has imported the queue-it system dependencies (.js file) to their website via a remote request from the queue-it servers. This works for our example below.
The Queue-It System
For the VTL bus ticket booking site, it employs the Queue-It system to manage traffic flow to the website. The main booking website is first loaded, and when the server detects that there is a current queue created, it will then redirect users to the queue-it website for queueing. The flaw of such a design is that despite having a queue system, the main booking website is already loaded, or is in the midst of loading. The queue-it script simply redirects the user to their queue page, instead of essentially denying users from booking/accessing the site.
Therefore, the idea was to simply not let the Queue-It scripts run, so that you can access the booking site as per normal.
Use the Web Inspector to bypass the queue system
To prevent the Queue-It script from loading, you will have to follow these steps:
- On your Google Chrome browser, press F12 to open up Developer Tools (or you can press Settings button –> More Tools –> Developer Tools)
- Select the Network Tab
- Check “Preserve Log”
- Visit the booking page where you will be kicked out to the Queue-It system (Just visit the page as per how you will browse a website on Google Chrome)
- Now, your Web Inspector will have a list of network requests as shown. Look for “queueclient.min.js”, or any other entries queue related. As long as the “Request URL” on the Headers tab shows xxx.queue-it.net, you will know that it’s the correct entry
- Right click on the selected entry, then select “Block request URL”
- Visit the booking site again
- See if it works!
Unfortunately, all tickets were all already taken up after I found the workaround. So… better luck next time!