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Holiday travel frenzy crashes booking system

Update: December, 12/2012 - 10:20


People read a list of fares before buying railway tickets for the Tet (lunar new year) at the Sai Gon Railway Station. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai
HCM CITY (VNS)— Scores of customers failed to book railway tickets online for the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday yesterday – the very first day the service was opened. The failure was put down to "persistent overload."

Sai Gon Railway Passenger Transport Company opened online bookings ( at 8am on Monday for travel during the holidays that run from February 11.

However, Nguyen Tan Phong, living in District Go Vap's Ward 12, lamented that he could not even access the website.

Phong wanted to book four tickets to the northern province of Nam Dinh and registered his account several days ago. He was sitting at his computer at 6am yesterday, but tried in vain to call the site up.

Some of Phong's friends also tried to access the website, but at 10.30am they were still trying.

Sharing Phong's fate, Tran Thanh Truc, a student at HCM City University of Social Sciences and Humanities who wanted a ticket to the central city of Da Nang, said she spent the whole morning trying to get onto the website, but the system replied that it did not exist.

Others went to Sai Gon Railway Station to buy tickets directly, but station employees said they only received bookings on the internet!

Dinh Van Sang, deputy director of the Sai Gon Railway Passenger Transport Company said that from 8am to 11am yesterday a flood of people tried to access the website at the same time.

Sang said that the system became overloaded as about 168,000 customers tried to access the system at the same time while its capacity was only 1,000,

He said a total of 68,000 seats would be sold on the internet from Monday to Friday. After then, customers who cannot access the internet can buy tickets at Sai Gon Railway Station.

He claimed that the first website ticket was sold successfully at 8.15am yesterday and that by nearly 8pm, about 10,000 seats had been booked.

During the Tet holiday this year, about 68,000 tickets will be issued online, 20,000 of them round-trip tickets. — VNS

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