I think this is my most comprehensive post about the bucket system I've ever done. I should save it for future reference...after rewriting it for readability, of course! Anyone have any corrections or suggestions?
Excellent and informative! Thanks, Jackal!
Also, the railfare is the component that qualifies for the AAA, NARP, SA, VA, etc. discount. The accommodation charge is not discounted by these programs.[/i]
Here's one thing that was slightly ambiguous (to me). I know that when purchasing a coach ticket, AAA knocks off 10%, and when purchasing a sleeper, AAA does not apply to that. And when purchasing a sleeper, the "railfare" component is already "sort of discounted" in that you get the lowest bucket. But is that lowest-bucket railfare component of your railfare+sleeper cost then further discounted by AAA?
In your "coach is $300 high-bucket, roomettes are $300 low-bucket, and low-bucket coach fare happens to be $150" example scenario, booking for two passengers without discount in coach costs $600 (2x$300) and in roomette costs $600 (2x$150+$300). If they book with AAA, booking coach costs $540 (2x$270). Does booking the roomette cost them $570 (2x$135+$300) or $600 (you get dropped to low-bucket coach, but that's it)?
Oh, and a second question: what happens in an on-board upgrade when one has already paid a high-bucket coach fare?
Say I paid the $300 coach fare at the last minute, and roomettes were high-bucket too so I didn't take one. Now I'm on-board, holding a $300 coach ticket (already paid for) and I find there's an available roomette which would cost only $300 (low-bucket on-board). Does that mean "$300 for the roomette" or "you'd get $150 back for your railfare to knock you to low-bucket, and then $300 for the roomette, so only a $150 upgrade charge"? I'm assuming it's the full low-bucket cost of the roomette ($300) regardless of your railfare bucket (what you already paid for railfare is now a "sunk cost" and completely irrelevant), just because I've never had a conductor ask to look at my ticket stub (which would indicate in a code which bucket I paid) before quoting an upgrade price. Worth noting that somewhere in the definitive response, if it's true.
Edited by wayman, 18 June 2008 - 10:27 AM.