Amtrak Fare and Availability Discussion Thread

Discussion related to Amtrak also known as the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

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Suburban Station
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Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by Suburban Station » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:29 pm

nyswfan wrote:
LOL, It seems you have trouble with sarcasam. According to the 1938 timetable, the Broadway limited ran from Pitt to Philly (north Philly) in 6 hrs 30 min, one full hour quicker that the Pennsylvanian traverses the same route today, 75 years later. 12% increase on a dollar is .12 so the "12% increase" is a "small increase. Especially given the fact that the price of fuel fluctuates 10-30% every year. My property taxes have increase 60% over the last 36 months, Insurance premiums are up 20%, groceries, electric, heat, are all up double digit percentages over the last 4 years. Its everything, not just your Keystone ticket.
sarcasm is a poor fit for a message board. last I checked keystone fares weren't a $1. you're argument is further undermined by the gas prices which, as you said, fluctuate which is totally different from increasing year over year. power prices are down, gas prices are down, the keystone doesn't use groceries, the equipment is paid for, etc.
the broadway made fewer stops.
"AAA expects that the national average is likely to be between $3.40-3.50 when American's head to the polls in just over two weeks and to be between $3.25-3.40 by Thanksgiving," according to the motorists group's Fuel Gauge Report.

As of Monday, the national price of a gallon of regular was $3.67, a dozen cents below the week before - the biggest weekly drop since 2008's economic woes dragged prices down from an all-time high of $4.11 in July to under $2 by year's end, according to the report.
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/break ... year_.html

maybe you should be less callous about skyrocketing prices and more concerned.

nyswfan
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Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by nyswfan » Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:03 pm

Suburban Station wrote: maybe you should be less callous about skyrocketing prices and more concerned.
Callous is the only way to go. Concerned is a waste of time & energy. Prices are skyrocketing. What are you going to do about it? You can either earn more, or spend less. It's up to you. Nobody is going to magically "make things cheaper" unless people, as a whole, alter their demands.

nyswfan
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Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by nyswfan » Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:17 pm

Suburban Station wrote:
nyswfan wrote: sarcasm is a poor fit for a message board. last I checked keystone fares weren't a $1. you're argument is further undermined by the gas prices which, as you said, fluctuate which is totally different from increasing year over year. power prices are down, gas prices are down, the keystone doesn't use groceries, the equipment is paid for, etc.
the broadway made fewer stops.

Ok so keystone/Pennsy fares arent a dollar, you got me there. What are they $50? so after a 12% increase they are now $56? Thats my point. When the $ amount is small people start throughing around % numbers to make it sound worse. Power Prices down? Gas Prices down? Gas prices down from last week maybe, as your article states. I can guarantee you they wont come under 3, and next summer they will be north of 4.50 - 5 per gallon, thats a perpetual increase every year buddy....

"The Keystone doesnt use groceries...." LOL! ?!?!?!


"Equipment is paid for" LOL! No it isnt! do you own a car? New cars: High aquisition cost/low maintenece. Old cars: Low aquisition cost/High maintenence. I laugh at the clowns that drive old beater cars that think because they are "paid off" thay are "saving $" meanwhile they spend more on maintence to keep that hoopty on the road than the guy next door who pays monthly lease payments on a brand new car. The equipement is never "paid for".... thats about as simple as i can break that down for you.

Greg Moore
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Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by Greg Moore » Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:07 pm

nyswfan wrote: "Equipment is paid for" LOL! No it isnt! do you own a car? New cars: High aquisition cost/low maintenece. Old cars: Low aquisition cost/High maintenence. I laugh at the clowns that drive old beater cars that think because they are "paid off" thay are "saving $" meanwhile they spend more on maintence to keep that hoopty on the road than the guy next door who pays monthly lease payments on a brand new car. The equipement is never "paid for".... thats about as simple as i can break that down for you.
If they are doing that, they're either idiots, or can't afford the upfront costs of new equipment. Sorta like Amtrak working with decades old diners.

(That said, last time I did the math, lifetime, my car costs, including purchase costs and maintenance I've averaged about $100/month in car casts. I'll stick with my 1998 Subaru thank you very much. :-)
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Suburban Station
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Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by Suburban Station » Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:00 pm

nyswfan wrote: Ok so keystone/Pennsy fares arent a dollar, you got me there. What are they $50? so after a 12% increase they are now $56? Thats my point. When the $ amount is small people start throughing around % numbers to make it sound worse. Power Prices down? Gas Prices down? Gas prices down from last week maybe, as your article states. I can guarantee you they wont come under 3, and next summer they will be north of 4.50 - 5 per gallon, thats a perpetual increase every year buddy....
yes, power prices are DOWN. Amtrak's south end power last year was about 8% less than the year before. my electric rates have also declined over the last few years thanks to abundant natural gas. That may not be the case in ny or new england but it's certainly true in PA ...buddy. gas prices are down since the last fare hike three months ago. and the percentages work the other way, they use them to minimize the effect. 3% raise is really 8-10% on some people and nothing on others. on top of that, Philadelphians pay the highest fares in the country to travel on the nec...and where does that money go? so people afraid to fly can have a nice dinner in a dining car.
nyswfan wrote: "The Keystone doesnt use groceries...." LOL! ?!?!?!
"Equipment is paid for" LOL! No it isnt! do you own a car? New cars: High aquisition cost/low maintenece. Old cars: Low aquisition cost/High maintenence. I laugh at the clowns that drive old beater cars that think because they are "paid off" thay are "saving $" meanwhile they spend more on maintence to keep that hoopty on the road than the guy next door who pays monthly lease payments on a brand new car. The equipement is never "paid for".... thats about as simple as i can break that down for you.
you might laugh but that's because you assume everyone has the same needs as you. if you have an older car that is well maintained you certainly can save money. you need the right car for your lifestyle buying brand new cars every five years might be great if you drive a lot. my friend bought an SUV because it was cheaper to pay the extra gas than pay more for a more economical car because no one was buying suv's.

the fact is you two are simply sloughing off 4 fare increases in 18 months because o inflation. someone else posted their line hadn't seen an increase in five years. the keystone has seen more fare increases...and despite your inflation claims, revenue had been growing quite well over the last five years without rapid fare increases.

boblothrope
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Refund policy for discounted fare

Post by boblothrope » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:48 pm

I'm trying to figure out the refund policy for a promotional discounted fare on Amtrak.

It's the intra-NYS 15% off deal, which requires a 3-day advance purchase. I don't know if there's a discount code involved -- it applied automatically because I started at http://tinyurl.com/acwrqck (the promotion web page).

That page says:
"Subject to any restrictions, blackouts and refund rules that apply to the type of fare purchased and upon which the discount is based."

The terms and conditions for the ticket say:
"Refund and exchange restrictions may apply. ... See Refund Policy updated August 12, 2012."

That links to the refund policy, which says:
"eTickets and tickets purchased through other prepaid programs are considered "paid for" and subject to the refund policies of any component rail fare, passenger type discount, and/or promotional discount, "
and
"Advance Booking/Purchase Fare: Refundability is based on the rules applying to the particular fare. Some advance booking/purchase fares are not refundable."

In other words, none of the documents says explicitly if it's refundable or not -- they each just say, "maybe -- be sure to read the other documents."

Anyone know for sure?

boblothrope
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Re: Refund policy for discounted fare

Post by boblothrope » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:55 am

boblothrope wrote:I'm trying to figure out the refund policy for a promotional discounted fare on Amtrak.

It's the intra-NYS 15% off deal, which requires a 3-day advance purchase. I don't know if there's a discount code involved -- it applied automatically because I started at http://tinyurl.com/acwrqck (the promotion web page).
...
In other words, none of the documents says explicitly if it's refundable or not -- they each just say, "maybe -- be sure to read the other documents."

Anyone know for sure?
Well, I called Amtrak and asked. The phone agent said she couldn't answer any questions about the fare rules unless I told her the discount code, but there was no code on any of the web pages I saw.

She put me on hold and asked the fares support desk. They said it was an Internet-only special, and some of those fares might be nonrefundable, while others aren't. But she still couldn't tell me what the rules are for this particular fare.

This is rather ridiculous. How am I supposed to make an informed purchase, and agree to Amtrak's fare rules, if Amtrak can't tell me if a ticket is refundable or not?

ThirdRail7
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Re: Refund policy for discounted fare

Post by ThirdRail7 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:47 am

boblothrope wrote:
boblothrope wrote:I'm trying to figure out the refund policy for a promotional discounted fare on Amtrak.

It's the intra-NYS 15% off deal, which requires a 3-day advance purchase. I don't know if there's a discount code involved -- it applied automatically because I started at http://tinyurl.com/acwrqck (the promotion web page).
...
In other words, none of the documents says explicitly if it's refundable or not -- they each just say, "maybe -- be sure to read the other documents."

Anyone know for sure?
Well, I called Amtrak and asked. The phone agent said she couldn't answer any questions about the fare rules unless I told her the discount code, but there was no code on any of the web pages I saw.

She put me on hold and asked the fares support desk. They said it was an Internet-only special, and some of those fares might be nonrefundable, while others aren't. But she still couldn't tell me what the rules are for this particular fare.

This is rather ridiculous. How am I supposed to make an informed purchase, and agree to Amtrak's fare rules, if Amtrak can't tell me if a ticket is refundable or not?
Absent the fare code which doesn't seem to appear on the website, I would default to the general policy for advance purchase rail fare: Once it is paid for, it is not refundable. If you don't travel, you will receive an E-voucher for the amount that you can use for one year.

Having the fare code would help the cause. I'd ask for a supervisor but I'm pretty sure when all is said and done, the fare will not be refundable.
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boblothrope
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Re: Refund policy for discounted fare

Post by boblothrope » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:08 pm

ThirdRail7 wrote:Absent the fare code which doesn't seem to appear on the website, I would default to the general policy for advance purchase rail fare: Once it is paid for, it is not refundable. If you don't travel, you will receive an E-voucher for the amount that you can use for one year.

Having the fare code would help the cause. I'd ask for a supervisor but I'm pretty sure when all is said and done, the fare will not be refundable.
Are AAA and NARP discounted fares refundable? Those also have the 3-day advance purchase requirement.

I don't think there is a fare code for an Internet-only special like this. (If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know how to find the code.)

The terms and conditions are identical for this NYS discount, the AAA discount, and a full-price undiscounted fare. In all 3 cases, the terms URL is:
http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/Satellite ... PCode=DOF1

However, if I start to book under the NEC 14-day advance-purchase discount, 6 more clauses appear in the terms, including:
"Non-refundable after ticket has been purchased. Exchanges permitted for other rail fare purchases."
http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/Satellite ... PCode=EO8N

So I'm starting to think that this 15% NYS discount fare *is* refundable until 24 hours before departure, since the terms are the same as a full-fare ticket, while nonrefundability does show up in the terms for other types of discounts.

AgentSkelly
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Re: Refund policy for discounted fare

Post by AgentSkelly » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:19 pm

If I remember right, since this discount is thru the "I LOVE NY" tourisim program, there is no special rules about refunds per policy, so pretty much like was pretty much said was you can get a refund as long as you can cancel before 24 hours.
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ryanov
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Re: Refund policy for discounted fare

Post by ryanov » Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:32 am

NARP fares are refundable in my experience. Generally, I've seen anything be refundable before the ticket is printed. However, eTicketing may have changed things a bit. Personally, I don't care much whether I receive a refund or an e-Voucher, beyond how obnoxious it is to try to use a paper e-Voucher (you have to go to the window, according to Amtrak) -- I travel Amtrak all the time, so it's going to get used.
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Suburban Station
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Re: Surprise Fare Increase on the Keystone Corridor

Post by Suburban Station » Fri May 24, 2013 1:44 pm

does anyone know if penndot is planning on another june fare hike?

ThirdRail7
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Re: fare matrix

Post by ThirdRail7 » Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:04 am

I'm thinking you're referring to http://www.amsnag.net" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. If not, I'm out of bullets.
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hi55us
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New Amtrak Fare Structure

Post by hi55us » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:53 pm

Amtrak has rolled out a new fare system offering 4 options:

Fares are classified into different fare categories (Saver, Value and Flexible) based on common refund rules and restrictions for each category. All fares within a category have the same rules and terms.

Saver Fares
Saver Fares are the lowest available fares and include deeply discounted offers (14-day advance purchase, flash fares, web only). Saver Fares are non-refundable but can be canceled with the ticket value saved as credit in an eVoucher that can be used for future Amtrak travel. The Saver Fare is not available on all trains and buses.

Value Fares
Value Fares offer several refund options. Value Fare tickets are fully refundable if canceled more than 24 hours prior to the scheduled departure from the origin but will incur a 10% refund fee if canceled less than 24 hours prior to departure. Value Fare tickets can be canceled with the ticket value saved as a credit in an eVoucher that can be used for future Amtrak travel. The Value Fare is available on all trains and buses.

Flexible Fares
Flexible Fares are 100% refundable without any refund fee. Flexible Fare tickets can be canceled for a full refund of the ticket value or with the ticket value saved as a credit in an eVoucher that can be used for future Amtrak travel. The Flexible Fare is available on most trains and buses.

Premium Service
Premium Service includes all upgraded services such as Acela Express First class, non-Acela Express Business class and all sleeping accommodations (rooms). Refund rules for Premium Service are based on the service. Premium Service varies by train.

Refunds and Exchanges
Refund and exchange rules vary for each fare category, from fully refundable to refundable with a fee.

Refundable Rooms - Premium Service
If canceled 15 or more days before the scheduled departure from the origin, sleeping accommodation charges are refundable less a 10% refund fee. If canceled 14 days or fewer before the scheduled departure from the origin, but before the actual departure, sleeping accommodation charges are not refundable but the ticket value can be saved as a credit in an eVoucher that can be used for future Amtrak travel.

Refundable Seats - Premium Service
Acela Express First class and non-Acela Express Business class tickets are fully refundable if canceled prior to the scheduled departure from the origin. A 10% refund fee applies to cancellations made after the scheduled departure.

See the Refund and Exchange Policy.
Passenger Discount Programs
Membership Programs
Passengers who belong to a membership discount program, such as AAA, NARP, Veterans Advantage, Student Advantage and ICIS, are eligible to receive discounted fares on most trains everyday.

Everyday Discounts
Children, seniors and active duty US military personnel and their family are eligible to receive discounted fares on most trains everyday.

(Source)

I've attached the look of the new website. It seems like non-refundable "saver" fares could help out Amtrak predicting space on the train and help out passengers looking to save a little cash. Does amtrak currently offer non-refundable fares on any of their trains? They don't to the best of my knowledge...
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R36 Combine Coach
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Re: New Amtrak Fare Structure

Post by R36 Combine Coach » Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:08 pm

This is more in line with European fares, major airlines and even Greyhound.
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