Beginning tomorrow (10 June 2015), you will be able to change not just the train you were originally booked onto, but also the time, class of travel, and — as a complete novelty here — your destination. To help clarify any questions, the railways have come out with five points for attention that you should familiarise yourself with first, before taking advantage of this new offer.
- The deadline is 48 hours before departure. You can rebook online at 12306.cn if your original ticket was booked in the same way (online booking). If you hold a paper ticket, you must go to a railway station and rebook there.
- There is no charge for this service alone. This means that the new “Rebook Destination” service cannot charge you an extra fee. (However, you will need to pay for price differences if your new ticket is more expensive, or partially for a refund fee if otherwise.)
- You may only use the “Rebook Destination” service once, and your original ticket must not have been rebooked already — in any way. This service is also not available to group tickets or for (what is now a very rare sight!) transfer tickets at this moment.
- Here is where fees might apply: You will need to pay for the price difference if your new, rebooked ticket is more expensive; and if your new ticket is cheaper, you will still need to pay the refund fee on the price difference itself.
- A similar refund fee applies for rebooked tickets not involving a destination change if the new ticket is cheaper. This will also be levied on the price difference.
Finally, don’t forget your ID document that you used for the original ticket, and if you paid by card, the bank card itself — just in case they are needed.