Chinese travel agencies offer refunds

Chinese travel companies are responding to an earthquake that rocked Japan's Osaka yesterday morning, with route adjustments and refunds.

Chinese travel companies are responding to an earthquake that rocked Japan’s Osaka yesterday morning, with route adjustments and refunds.

Juneyao Airlines has offered free rescheduling and refunds on already booked air tickets to Osaka. Online travel service operator Ctrip, which has several thousand customers now in the Japanese city, is offering refunds on already booked tickets to certain scenic spots and entertainment venues in Osaka.

Because of the suspension of the area’s Shinkansen bullet trains, Ctrip is also making adjustments to the itineraries of tourists in Osaka, it said.

The online travel agency has sent safety reminder messages to travelers who booked hotels and hired vehicles in Osaka via its platform. It has also initiated its global travel SOS system for independent travelers who might need emergency assistance.

Shanghai traveler Jasmine Zhao is currently in Osaka with her husband. They are scheduled to leave tomorrow. “We heard a very loud sound when the earthquake hit, it sounded like something very heavy falling down,” she told Shanghai Daily.

The couple originally planned to visit Nara yesterday, but were forced to give up the plan after the quake.

“The Shinkansen trains were suspended, and we found many people stranded at stations when we walked there,” she said. “Buses were delayed because they were packed with people.”

Zhao said she planned to visit Universal Studios Japan today, but the tour was canceled.

Shanghai Spring Tour said its 501 tourists in Osaka were all safe and it is closely following the situation there.

Online travel operator Tongcheng said it was adjusting its itineraries involving Shinkansen trains and Universal Studios Japan for group tourists.

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