Thousands Stranded in Hainan After CNY Travel Rush

By Billy Jiang, February 18, 2024

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As the Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday draws to a close, many are back home or at work. But for some unlucky souls, the journey home has turned into a real ordeal.

China's CNY travel rush, known as the largest human migration on the planet, puts the country's transportation system to the test every year.

And this year, the spotlight is on Hainan, China's tropical island paradise.

What Happened?

According to Hainan Daily, 2024 saw a surge in travelers to Hainan over CNY, with a whopping 30% increase compared to previous years. 

The three major airports on the island and three seaports in Haikou are operating beyond capacity.

In terms of air travel, flight prices from Hainan soared to a staggering RMB20,000; For sea transport, as of 11am on February 18, there were approximately 17,200 cars waiting to leave the island, with estimated wait times exceeding 7 hours!

What Now?

To ease the strain on CNY return flights, China's Civil Aviation Administration has approved additional flights to and from Hainan. 

According to an announcement by Hainan Airport Group, from February 18 to 24, a total of 194 additional flights have been scheduled, providing an extra 32,965 seats to meet the demand. 

Airlines are advising passengers with checked baggage to arrive at the airport three hours in advance to avoid delays.

But Here's the Catch...

Unable to secure return tickets, many people are finding themselves unable to return to work on time. Would they be considered absent from work without leave? 

On Chinese social media, some are reporting being stranded on the island for three days, effectively extending their holiday... fortunate or unfortunate?

Where did you spend your CNY holiday? Share your experiences with us! For more travel-related news within China, follow our WeChat account, ThatsGBA.

[Cover image via China News Service]

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