This year is the first year of China's recovery to normalcy after the COVID-19 pandemic, and tourism has also largely resumed. As a result, it has brought about a tourism boom. Especially in this summer, millions of college students who have not been able to experience the beauty of the motherland because of the epidemic, and high school graduates who have just passed the college entrance examination are began their journey. According to statistics, in this year’s summer holiday, the average number of passenger trains operated daily by the national railways is 10169, representing a growth of 14.2% compared to the same period in 2019.

In the summer holiday, there are many passengers complain about the short distance ticket didn’t suffice or didn’t issue on the release day, and some other question. In this article we will answer these questions.

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Why are My Tickets Unavailable on The Release Day?

During the holiday and weekends, the demand of travel are increase sharply. In this kind of situation, the China Railway will prioritize fulfilling the ticket quotas of long-distance trains for passengers traveling from the departure station to the destination station in order to maximize the utilization of transportation resources. For example, if the train departure station is Beijing and the destination is Shanghai, it will also make a stop in the middle at Jinan. China Railway will initially release the ticket from Beijing to Shanghai, and few days later, they will release the ticket from Beijing to Jinan. And that is why sometime the ticket will issue few days after departure day or we tell you the ticket are unavailable yet.

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Because if short-distance tickets are sold firstly, they will directly occupy the ticket quota of long-distance passengers. Long-distance passengers with rigid demands and a limited range of options will have fewer opportunities to purchase tickets. At the same time, randomly selling long-distance tickets in segments will inevitably result in some seats being idle, thus the capacity cannot be fully utilized.

But China Railway will also consider the needs of short-distance passengers. When there is sufficient quota for long-distance tickets, they will dynamically adjust the ticket quota according to demand changes. They will automatically transfer a portion of the ticket quota to various stations along the way, meeting the needs of short-distance passengers. So if passenger are urgent to confirm the ticket, it is better to select the option “Acceptable Train/Seat” to make your back-up plan.

How are Tickets for Intermediate Stations Allocated Along the Rote?

The basic principle of ticket allocation for railway transportation is to facilitate the purchase and travel of passengers along the line, making the best use of railway capacity resources. The allocation of tickets for intermediate stations is based on the historical passenger flow and pre-sale situation of the originating station and each station along the way. When selling tickets, China Railway also adjusts based on this information. If long-distance ticket pre-sales are not as expected, ticket quotas will be allocate to the stations with higher demand along the route. The basic principle of ticket allocation for railway transportation is to facilitate the purchase and travel of passengers along the line, making the best use of railway capacity resources.

What to Do When Direct Train Ticket Sold out?

Sometimes, if the route are very popular and is in the holiday, the ticket will sold out very quickly. In this situation, we suggest you transfer to another train to get to the destination. Passenger can ask our customer service to help you customize the route or you can customize by yourself. And hese is a tip for you if you can’t find a direct route to your destination. It is common to search the capital of the province as a transferring city. For example, if you want to go to Zhangjiajie, Hunan, you can transfer in Hunan’s capital, Changsha. And then, take a train from Changsha to Zhangjiajie.

Why Didn't I Get the Seat I Selected?

In the app, there is an option for passengers to choose the seat they want, such as a window seat or an aisle seat. However, sometimes the China Railway system doesn't assign the seat you selected. Here are the reasons why:

1.Not enough tickets available: When the remaining number of tickets is below 15, you might not be able to get the desired seat, and the China Railway will randomly assign a seat. This is also the reason why two or more passengers sometimes cannot sit together.

2.All the desired seats have been taken: For popular seats, like window seats, they are usually quickly occupied. Sometime even if there are more than 30 tickets available, passengers who choose a window seat may not get the seat they desire.

If you really cannot accept the seat assigned by the system, the solution is to book your ticket in advance. Tickets are usually released 15 days before the departure date. If passengers want to secure their desired seat, it is better to purchase the ticket at least 7 days before the departure and choose a ticket with more than 15 available seats.

Why the Tickets are Still Available But I Didn’t Get It?

Sometimes, even though it may appear that there are 1 or 2 tickets, they can be sold out by the time you try to purchase them. This can happen because many people are purchasing tickets at the same time. When you successfully make a payment for a ticket, it only puts you on a waiting list. Other people who are faster in completing their payment may secure the ticket before you. To increase your chances of securing a ticket, it is advisable to book when there are at least 5 or more tickets remaining.

Booking Your Train Tickets

You are welcome to book your China train ticket(s) with our China Train Booking app to get your ticket(s) within 5 minutes!

Further reading:
Top Things You Should Know before Taking the Train in China Currently