China's Railway authorities have recently released new policy and methods in buying train tickets during the travel peak in the Spring Festival in 2014.
Special policy in buying tickets will be applied in the peak days started from January 16 and ending on February 24 of 2014. Passengers can buy tickets via railway station counters, ticket agents, ticket machines, telephone hotline, official website and the newly-released mobile phone app "铁路12306".
The tickets are available in the stations, agents and ticket machines 18 days before departure. It is to say the tickets of January 16, 2014 are ready on December 30, 2013.
The tickets are sold earlier over internet, telephone and mobile phone app - 20 days before departure. That means passengers can buy tickets of January 16, 2014 on December 28, 2013.
Temporary trains will be scheduled in case of large passenger flow. They are identified by the initial L and the tickets are open for sale five days earlier than those of the ordinary trains.
During the peak days, the processing fee rate of changing or refunding tickets are unified at 20 percent, in order to avoid abuse of changing or refunding. Processing fee of the tickets orginally bought in the peak days and changed to the dates after it is charged according to the rate in the ordinary days. That is 5 percent in refunding tickets 48 hours before departure, 10 percent in 24 - 48 hours before departure and 20 percent within 24 hours before departure.
(By Lynua Tan, Rik Glauert)