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CCA: Compensation Should be Made for Train Delays

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The railway department should compensate passengers in the event of train delays, according to an official with the Chinese Consumers' Association (CCA), Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday.

Qiu Jianguo, head of CCA's complaint department, said that the passengers and rail department have a civil relationship, and any change to the rules on railway transportation means an adjustment of that relationship.

The remarks came after a recent announcement on changes to the passenger transportation regulations by China's railway authority.

It is "unreasonable" that the new regulations failed to guarantee customers' rights in this aspect, according to Qiu.

Currently, there are no consumer protections in place for ticket holders in the event of service delays. Instead, the new regulations create more benefits for the train companies.

According to the new regulations, the railway tickets (high-speed train ticket not included) will be invalid if the holder misses the scheduled train.

Only in special circumstances, such as the passenger being ill, can he or she exchange the ticket with the permission of the station master and only within two hours after the train leaves the station.

However, the special situations require justification, such as a hospital certificate.

But in the past, train ticket holders were allowed to transfer to another train without any issues within two hours after the original train leaves the station.

The new regulation has damaged the interests of the passengers as it has unilaterally restricted their rights and has been made without a hearing, according to CCA.

( December 6, 2010)

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