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Train tickets can be changed or cancelled before departure if you have changed your plan or made a mistake. You can change the departure date, departure time, arrival station, train number and seat / sleeper class. The departure station cannot be changed. A new ticket needs to be bought if you need to change the departure station.
Tickets can only be changed if there are still tickets available. There are two ways of changing train tickets in China:
Tickets can be changed online if the following conditions apply:
If you booked the ticket with a travel agency like China Highlights, then they will handle the change for you. A service fee for changing the ticket will be charged by China Rail.
Train tickets need to be changed at a train station if the paper tickets have been issued. So if you choose to have the paper tickets delivered, or if you have collected the paper tickets at a train station, then you need to make the change at a train station yourself, with the original tickets and passengers’ passports.
Each station has a special window for changing tickets. You will find the Chinese sign “改签窗口” above the window.
1. If the original seat class is fully booked, and you need to change to a higher class, you need to pay the price difference in cash (RMB only) at the counter. If you need to change to a lower seat class, the price difference will be refunded to you.
2. The ticket can be changed only once. If you need to change the ticket after changing once, you need to cancel the ticket and purchase a new one.
There are also two ways of cancelling train tickets in China – cancel the ticket online or at a train station by yourself.
Tickets can be cancelled online until at least 30 minutes before departure.
As with changing tickets, the cancellation can be made online, only if the following conditions apply:
If you have got the paper tickets in hand, then you need to cancel the tickets at the train station yourself. There is a designated window for cancelling tickets, in Chinese: 退票窗口. The paper tickets and passengers’ original passports need to be presented in order to proceed the cancelling. An amount of cancellation fee will be charged by China Rail. The rest of the money will be refunded to you in cash, or returned to your credit card.
However, tickets cannot be cancelled after the departure time.
|Time of cancelling ticket||Cancellation fee|
|More than 48 hours before departure||5% of the ticket price|
|24 - 48 hours before departure||10% of the ticket price|
|Less than 24 hours before departure||20% of the ticket price|
Due to the difference between China Railway and Hong Kong's railway system, high-speed trains to and from Hong Kong apply to different policy for change or cancellation.