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Ticket booking app unfair to many

Updated: 2013-01-24 07:22
( China Daily)

The "battle" for train tickets to travel during Spring Festival has intensified in recent days. Relevant departments have implemented stricter supervision measures for online and telephone booking, as well as for sales from counters. The measures to make online ticket booking easier have definitely helped some people, but they have also infringed the rights of others to buy tickets, says an article on xinhuanet.com. Excerpts:

Tech-savvy people are using a browser that allows users to "jump" ahead of others when booking train tickets online. The browsers also have add-ons designed to help people buy seats at 12306.cn, the official ticketing website of the Ministry of Railways. The software has become extremely popular with Internet- and apps-friendly people before the Spring Festival travel rush.

The browsers also have a function that alerts users to refund and issue of tickets immediately, which has made it convenient for some people to seize the opportunity and book a ticket.

But people who don't know how to use the "smart" software are finding it increasingly difficult to book a ticket and their desperation is growing by the second. The "smart" browser has further magnified the unfairness that technological development can bring about.

There is no doubt that the browsers have plugged many a loophole in the online ticketing system, but they have become gimmicks in the hands of people who are out to break social rules.

People's anxiousness to get a train ticket mirrors their desperation to return home to enjoy Spring Festival with their families. But desperation should not be an excuse for some people to twist the rules of fairness to their advantage and undermine social equality.

Many people speaking about "fairness" do not even bat an eyelid before using unfair means and violating social rules to fulfill their interests. A fair social order can be built only if all citizens respect and obey the rules. And the enterprises selling the "smart" browsers should realize that their software is making life difficult for those not familiar with the Internet and apps.

The majority of migrant workers, who comprise a large number of train passengers during Spring Festival, are not familiar with the Internet and might not even know how to use such software. Trains are part of the public transportation system and should provide equal opportunity to everyone to travel, irrespective of whether or not they know how to use the Internet.

The railway authorities should take steps to improve the ticket booking system in way that helps everyone, especially migrant workers. They should also try to increase the number of trains during Spring Festival to help more people to travel home to enjoy the holidays with their families and friends.

(China Daily 01/24/2013 page9)