Posts Tagged ‘discounted Amtrak fares’

Amtrak Revives USA Rail Pass

June 10, 2021

Back in the 1970s Amtrak offered unlimited coach travel on the USA Rail Pass good for up to 30 days.

Various forms of the rail pass have been around over the years, but this week Amtrak announced a re-launch of the program.

The new USA Rail Pass will offer a 10-ride pass for $299 through June 22, a savings of $200 over the regular price of $499.

Amtrak said in a news release that passengers using the pass under the introductory offer will pay less than $30 per segment.

Unlike the paper passes of past years, the new rail pass is an electronic pass that allows up to 10 segments of coach travel in a 30-day period.

Trips involving a connection will count for two segments. Upgrades to business class or sleeping-car accommodations are not available.

Once the pass is purchased, passengers will have up to 120 days to use it. Once the first segment is traveled, passengers then have 30 days to travel nine more segments.

The news release said passengers will be able to book and modify their trip itinerary and will receive an electronic ticket for each segment to present to the conductor when boarding.

Biden to Help Amtrak Celebrate 50 Years

April 29, 2021

President Joseph Biden will participate in a ceremony on Saturday to mark Amtrak’s 50th anniversary.

The White House said the event will be held at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station where Biden also is expected to promote his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan.

Biden became known as “Amtrak Joe” during his time as a senator when he commuted on Amtrak between Wilmington, Delaware, and Washington on a near-daily basis.

As vice president under Barack Obama Biden continued to sometimes ride Amtrak

Amtrak is expected to showcase some of its special livery locomotives during the Philadelphia event, including the Salute to Veterans ACS-46 and two P42DC locomotives that have received 50th-anniversary inspired liveries.

The latter includes the Midnight Blue No. 100 and No. 46, which has the current livery with a large 50th anniversary herald.

Other locomotives are slated to receive heritage and/or specially designed schemes, but those units have yet to be released for revenue service.

The Midnight Blue unit was released from the Beech Grove Shops near Indianapolis last weekend and was the trailing unit on Monday night’s Capitol Limited that departed Chicago en route to Washington.

In a related development, Amtrak said Thursday it is selling 50 percent off tickets to mark its anniversary.

The fares are available on select routes and come with a maximum fare of $50 per segment.

Reservations must be booked between April 28 and May 5 for travel between June 2 and Nov. 14.

More details and bookings can be done at Amtrak.com. Terms and conditions apply.

Amtrak To Change Fare Rules on March 1

February 24, 2020

Amtrak plans to make some of its most popular discounted tickets non-changeable and non-refundable on March 1.

The changes to the terms of the “saver” tickets mirror the rules applied to discounted airline fares.

Amtrak also plans to tighten the rules on standard fare tickets at the same time.

Currently, passengers buying “saver” tickets have some flexibility to change their travel plans and to get a refund if they cancel their trip.

Amtrak Executive Vice President Roger Harris, who is the carrier’s chief marketing and revenue officer, said tightening the rules for discounted tickets is a trade-off that will allow the railroad to make “the very lowest fares even lower.”

But no longer will passengers be able to get refunds for discounted tickets. “In other words, once you buy it, you use it or you lose it,” Harris said.

The changes in the fare rules had been expected after Business Insider last December published a leaked internal Amtrak memo describing plans for fare restrictions.

This isn’t the first time that Amtrak has cracked down on refunds and cancellations.

The carrier two years began imposing a 25 percent cancellation penalty.

Ticket change penalties are standard in the airline industry and in 2018 the airlines raked in $2.7 billion in reservation-change and cancellation.

Amtrak expected to gain $10 million dollars a year from the rule changes.

The new fare rules that become effective next month will affect “saver” and “value” tickets by establishing a 24-hour window for passengers to change their travel plans once ticketed.

After 24 hours, the ticket will become nonrefundable, and no changes or upgrades will be allowed.

Currently rules allow discounted tickets to be changed at any time before departure subject to a 25 percent cancellation fee.

Standard and value fares will come with a 25 percent penalty for cancellations or a 15 percent penalty for changes made within two weeks of departure, unless the passenger is changing or upgrading the reservation on the same train or day as the original reservation.

Standard fares currently are fully refundable if canceled eight days or more before departure. If canceled less than eight days before departure, the 25 percent cancellation fee applies.

Flexible, business and Acela First-Class Premium tickets are still refundable up to the moment of departures and changes can be made at any time.

Amtrak said that in the wake of its fare rule changes it will promote even more discounted fares for travel aboard its Acela and long-distance trains.

One area in which Amtrak continues to distinguish itself from the airlines is with add-on fees.

The carrier said it has no plans to charge passenger fees for baggage.

But Harris said that doesn’t mean it will never impose such fees.

“Frankly, we should review it,” he said. “But I don’t think we’re going to be like an airline that suddenly says give me $30 for your bag. I don’t think that’s the value proposition that we offer.”

Amtrak allows passengers two personal items and two carry-ons, plus two checked bags free.

Bring a Companion For Free Fare Sale Launched

January 8, 2020

Amtrak on Tuesday announced a bring a companion for free fare sale for travel between Feb. 1 and June 12.

Tickets must be purchased by Jan. 12. The fare applies to select routes for coach and sleeping car tickets.

There are blackout dates on April 10, April 13 and May 22 through May 25.

The trains offering the companion fare include the California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Lake Shore Limited, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited and the Texas Eagle.

Amtrak said the sale is valid for one free companion rail fare traveling on the same reservation as one full adult fare.

For reservations with sleeping accommodations, the free companion and full fare customer must travel together in the same room.

All prices will be automatically discounted from the standard fare when accessing this promotion  on a special website page by using the discount code (V605) when booking a trip.

The fare cannot be combined with other discounts. Space is limited and the offer is not available on every departure. Other terms and conditions apply.

Veterans Want Amtrak Discount Reinstated

April 17, 2018

Veterans groups are pushing back against Amtrak’s termination of ticket discounts for military veterans.

They’ve launched a petition at http://www.change.org seeking to pressure Amtrak into restoring the discounts, which were ended in late March.

At issue is a program formerly known as Veterans Advantage, which offered discounts of 15 percent to members and their families.

Amtrak continues to offer fare discounts to active duty military members.

The Veterans Advantage program, which began in February 2001, ended along with standing discounts for members of AAA and the National Association of Railroad Passengers, now known as the Rail Passengers Association.

Amtrak has said that it ended the discounts in favor of discounted Saver fares that require purchase at least 14 days in advance of travel as well as periodic fare sales.

Amtrak Holding Winter ‘Flash Sale’

January 30, 2018

Amtrak announced today a three-day “flash sale” on tickets for several long-distance routes, offering 25 percent if purchased through Thursday, Feb. 1.

Fares will be automatically discounted from the standard coach fare and cannot be combined with other discount codes.

The sale doesn’t apply to one-way travel and upgrades to business class are not allowed. Sale prices are not available on all trains at all times and tickets are non-refundable.

Tickets must be bought at Amtrak’s website for travel between Feb. 13 and March 22, and includes nine long-distance routes:

  • Auto Train (Lorton, Virginia, and Sanford, Florida)
  • The Capitol Limited (Chicago and Washington)
  • The Cardinal (Chicago and New York)
  • The City of New Orleans (Chicago and New Orleans)
  • The Crescent (New York and New Orleans)
  • The Lake Shore Limited (Chicago and New York/Boston)
  • Silver Service/Palmetto (New York-Savannah, Georgia-Miami)
  • The Sunset Limited (New Orleans and Los Angeles)
  • The Southwest Chief (Chicago and Los Angeles)