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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Anger over online railway ticket sales

By Zha Minjie (Shanghai Daily)

08:31, January 06, 2012

Migrant workers line up to board a train in Hangzhou yesterday. Millions of workers will be traveling to their hometowns to celebrate Chinese New Year on January 23.

Online rail ticket booking, widely promoted this year, has been criticized after a migrant worker wrote about his unsuccessful attempts to buy a ticket home for the Spring Festival.

Huang Qinghong's letter to the Ministry of Railways was published in a Zhejiang Province newspaper and detailed his efforts to secure a ticket in Wenzhou, where the 37-year-old works in a factory.

Huang, a Sichuan Province native, queued up at ticket booths four times but failed to get a ticket.

"In the past years, we still had the opportunity to buy the tickets as long as we lined up, even it means the whole night and day," Huang said in the letter.

"The online booking system is too complex for us to use, too unrealistic," he wrote.

The Ministry of Railways began allowing customers to book tickets online or by phone in the hope of putting an end to complaints of how arduous it is to buy tickets in the run-up to major holidays.

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