Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak reservations system’

Amtrak Website Tweaked to Help With Booking Long-Distance Train Travel

October 30, 2020

Amtrak has tweaked its website to better help passengers plan travel on long-distance trains now that all of them except the Auto Train are operating tri-weekly or quad-weekly.

The “next travel day” feature will advise passengers seeking to make a reservation on the Amtrak website or via the Amtrak app that the train they wish to ride does not operate on the they have selected.

A popup screen will direct them to the next available day of operation.

However, passengers will still receive the message that “at least one portion of your trip is unavailable. Please try a different date and time.”

Updated timetables for long-distance trains that show days of operation also are available on the Amtrak website although finding them is a somewhat cumbersome task.

They will not come up when clicking on the “schedules” tab as was the case until last spring.

Instead, site users must click the “Destinations” tab. That brings up a U.S. map and clicking on the region of the country in you wish to travel will bring a list of rains operating in that region.

Clicking on a specific train brings up a box offering route “map” and “schedule” buttons.

Schedules that show long-distance and corridor trains are still unavailable.

Some corridor schedules are available on route specific websites although some of those still show timetables that are out of date.

Amtrak Showing Real Time Capacity

September 26, 2020

Amtrak this week updated its website and mobile applications to allow passengers to view how full at train is at the time they are making a reservation for travel.

Passengers will see a passenger volume percentage next to each route that represents the proportion of seats sold based on the total number of seats available on a train.

This feature provides the option to book a route that is less crowded.

In a news release announcing the new feature Amtrak noted that it is limiting capacity of its trains in order to promote social distancing practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even Amtrak Julie Went on Hiatus During the Amtrak Computer Crash on Sunday

October 7, 2014

Amtrak Julie got an expected day off on Sunday when the Amtrak computer system suffered a system failure that also knocked out the reservations function on the company’s website.

The outage disrupted reservation, ticket scanning, and train status systems between 3 a.m. Sunday until early Monday morning.

At first, customers attempting to purchase tickets were advised to “try again later,” but “passengers traveling today” were subsequently told to, “purchase tickets at the station from the agent on duty. If passengers have already purchased their tickets, they can still board the train even if they cannot access their eTicket.”

Those who called the Amtrak 800 number also didn’t get Julie but a message saying that Amtrak was experiencing an unexpectedly high number of calls and the wait to speak to an agent might exceed a half-hour.

Although Amtrak agents could make reservations on their computers, they could not print tickets for most of Sunday. Likewise, passengers were unable to print eTickets.

Also disabled were the Quik Trak ticketing kiosks. Long lines were reported at ticket windows in major cities.

Onboard the trains, passengers were asked to present printed tickets and photo identification.

One online report said Amtrak resorted to a “force lift” system whereby it assumed that all ticketed passengers had boarded the train and had their tickets “lifted” by a conductor.

Amtrak, like most transportation and hospitality companies, takes its reservation network offline on weekends to make software upgrades. Most have redundant backup systems that can protect revenue and manage inventory if necessary.

The company posted this notice on its website: We’re sorry! You may have experienced difficulty accessing the Amtrak reservation system recently due to a system-wide network outage. We regret we were unable to live up to our usual level of customer service. We value your business and apologize for the inconvenience we may have caused. Welcome back and thank you for letting us help you plan your trip.”