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Flight Tickets Hard to Get for Spring Festival


Although there are still two weeks to go before the Spring Festival, flight tickets for the three days before the festival are becoming increasingly scarce. Shenzhen Airlines has sold nearly all tickets for flights departing Shenzhen from Jan. 26 to 28, Zhu Yixin, a company official, said yesterday. Jan. 28 is the lunar New Year's Eve, the most important day for the Chinese, who usually spend it with their families. The tickets of other airline companies are also running out. Air ticket agent Huang Chengfeng said that for popular destinations like Central China's Changsha and Wuhan cities, there were only a limited number of tickets left. Airline authorities have reminded people to buy tickets as early as possible if they planned to leave the city before the Spring Festival. Some 510 planes will take off or land at the Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport each day during the festival peak period, the maximum number of flights the airport can support. Train tickets are even scarcer than flight tickets. The railway company allows people to book tickets 10 days prior to the date of the journey, through its hotline 9510-5160. However, almost all tickets are being ordered on the first day of booking itself. The railway authorities yesterday suggested that people who didn't get tickets keep trying, as some who ordered tickets earlier did not pick up their tickets. As it becomes increasingly difficult to obtain a pre-festival train ticket, scalpers are becoming active. Eleven scalpers were sentenced to 15 days in prison Tuesday for selling tickets at prices up to 150 yuan (US$18) higher than normal fares. The city government is busily preparing for the festival rush. Liu Zhijiao, head of the municipal communications bureau, told a meeting attended by civil servants and transportation companies that the government would launch a citywide safety check today.

(Source:Shenzhen Daily, 2006-01-15)