High-speed rail pas­sen­gers can choose their own seats

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By LUO WANGSHU lu­owang­shu@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Flex­i­bil­ity in­cludes of­fers of al­ter­nate 1-stop routes when non­stops sell out

Pas­sen­gers can now select their seats when buy­ing tick­ets on­line for bul­let trains — part of an ef­fort to im­prove cus­tomer ser­vice, China Rail­way Corp said on Thurs­day.

When en­ter­ing the ticket pur­chase page at 12306.cn or when us­ing a smart­phone app, pas­sen­gers can choose a seat be­fore sub­mit­ting pay­ment. If the pre­ferred seat is not avail­able, the sys­tem will au­to­mat­i­cally choose an­other.

The rail­way launched a pi­lot ser­vice in De­cem­ber al­low­ing pas­sen­gers to choose their own seats for the high-speed rail line that cir­cles the is­land prov­ince of Hainan.

It also launched an­other on­line ser­vice that al­lows pas­sen­gers to select al­ter­nate routes hav­ing one stop when tick­ets for a non­stop trip are un­avail­able.

Fur­ther im­prove­ments will be made based on op­er­a­tions and pas­sen­ger feed­back.

Pas­sen­gers can log on to 12306.cn, the of­fi­cial na­tional rail­way web­site, to find out how to use both ser­vices. For­eign pas­sen­gers will be able to use the ser­vice if they have an ac­count on the web­site or app.

Liu Jiangbo, a Shaanxi na­tive work­ing in Bei­jing, is happy for the new ser­vice.

“I tested it on my smart­phone as soon as I read the news,” the 30-year-old said. “I al­ways travel with my wife, and some­times the sys­tem gives us seats that are not to­gether. We have to ask peo­ple on the train to change seats with us. But some­times it’s too much trou­ble and we just sit apart, as though we are trav­el­ing alone.”

“Some­times I can­cel the or­der on­line, hop­ing to get tick­ets next to each other with the next or­der,” Liu said. “But the next or­der some­times turns out to be sep­a­rate seats also. In the fu­ture I can choose where I want to sit on a bul­let train, just like on an air­plane.”

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