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Stricter measures introduced for Spring Festival travel rush

Pub Date:2021-01-29 14:43 Source:China Daily

Likewise, similar measures are carried out on flights, ferries and long-distance buses, as well as at airports, bus stations and piers.

Also, passengers are required to follow epidemic control protocols during the journey, including presenting their health code, going through temperature checks and wearing masks.

To help reduce nonessential travel and lower the risk of the virus spreading, ticket return policies for rail and air travel have been changed to better serve customers.

According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China, flight tickets during the travel season can be returned or changed once without extra charge.

Since Jan 14, train tickets could be returned without charge up to eight days before the trip. The limit was previously 15 days in advance. Extra charges are still levied when tickets are returned within seven days. In addition, train tickets can be purchased 15 days before the trip instead of 30 days.

Meeting demand

Meanwhile, China Eastern Airlines has scheduled about 8,000 flights to meet the demands of travelers during the Spring Festival travel rush.

According to the carrier, the most popular destinations include Shanghai, Xi'an, Qingdao, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Hangzhou, with each of their airports expecting to receive more than 100 extra flights during the peak period.

Compared with last year, air travel demand has been on the decline. Many trips have been canceled due to safety concerns arising from the emergence of new COVID-19 cases in China.

"The amount of air travelers has remained flat in the past few days, and on the first day of the travel rush, there has been no significant rise in passenger flow, probably because they are shelving their travel plans and have been dissuaded by the need for additional documents," said Yu Ping, a manager with China Eastern Airlines.

On the first day of the Spring Festival travel rush, 7,638 flights were canceled as of noon, accounting for 51.93 percent of the total planned flights of the day, according to data from Chinese aviation data and solution service provider AirSavvi.

Meanwhile, China Eastern Airlines and Shanghai-based budget carrier Spring Airlines both announced that customers who have bought tickets for flights during the 40-day period can apply for refunds or reschedule their trips for free.

All those traveling through the terminals at Shanghai's two airports are required to wear masks and have their temperature measured with infrared thermometers, according to the Shanghai Airport Authority.

The authority has also prepared masks, protective gear and disinfection products at departure halls to meet the needs of travelers, official sources said.


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