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Disappointed in Viarail Canadian pricing


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#1 RRrich

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 11:16 AM

I read Penny's trip report and decided that Wifey and I should also go. After all the express deal on a cabin for two is only just over a kilobuck.

Whoa there slick!,! Appears that its a kilobuck PER PERSON -not like Amtrak pricing.

This may cause major difficulties :angry2:

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#2 manderson

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 11:47 AM

I read Penny's trip report and decided that Wifey and I should also go. After all the express deal on a cabin for two is only just over a kilobuck.

Whoa there slick!,! Appears that its a kilobuck PER PERSON -not like Amtrak pricing.

This may cause major difficulties :angry2:

The currently posted Express Deal bedroom prices prices are double of what they've been for the past year. Quite a shock when they popped up about a week ago.

#3 Blackwolf

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 01:02 PM

The remaining 'affordable' means of traveling on The Canadian is doing the trip by section berth. Even a few years ago I found the cost of getting the private bedroom accommodations too much, but the berth was good enough for me. Privacy was not bad, but there are plenty of drawbacks when compared.

VIA has always been a bit slick in their pricing; they charge twice for accommodations and make a few Twoonies doing so, but I've had some luck in calling an agent directly and negotiating. I've saved a lot of money that way!

Amtrak
Capitol Corridor (too many times to count!); Coast Starlight (x20); California Zephyr (x5); Empire Builder (x2); Lake Shore Limited (x3); Maple Leaf (x1); Adirondack (x2); Cascades (x1); Pacific Surfliner (x5); San Joaquin (x7); Capitol Limited (x1); Cardinal (x1)

VIA Rail
Ocean (x3); Windsor Corridor (x2); The Canadian (x1)


#4 Guest_guest_*

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 01:21 PM

The remaining 'affordable' means of traveling on The Canadian is doing the trip by section berth. Even a few years ago I found the cost of getting the private bedroom accommodations too much, but the berth was good enough for me. Privacy was not bad, but there are plenty of drawbacks when compared.

VIA has always been a bit slick in their pricing; they charge twice for accommodations and make a few Twoonies doing so, but I've had some luck in calling an agent directly and negotiating. I've saved a lot of money that way!

Having done the Canadian twice using express fare double bedroom prices (about $790 for one person), YES, the fares have really skyrocketed, almost $1,000 extra per one-way trip whether you are one or two people traveling. Maybe VIA has discovered that they can sell at this higher price. And these prices are not for the deluxe rooms with shower and TV that are coming later this year, but for the nice (but not luxurious) cabins in use for many years.

As for berths, I could see buying a lower berth for one or two nights but not for a four-night trip. There is plenty of privacy at night as the curtains are incredibly thick and cover the berth top to bottom, and the bed itself is the widest of any bed on the train. But during the day, it's a regular two-seat padded bench facing forward (if you have the lower berth) and facing backward (if you buy an upper berth.) As I say, for one or two nights, it's OK, especially if you are lucky enough not to have an upper berth person sitting across from you the entire day.

#5 amamba

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 02:37 PM

Are the much higher prices for the new swanky bedrooms that they are selling with tvs and high quality linens,etc? If so, that might be the reasons for the big price bump.

#6 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 03:25 PM

VIA has always been a bit slick in their pricing; they charge twice for accommodations and make a few Twoonies doing so.......


VIA prices their accommodations on a “per-person” basis. Nothing “slick” or misleading about it....... you are not being charged twice.



For example: Toronto to Winnipeg (non discounted fares)

A Cabin for 1 which has a single bed is $857.

A Cabin for 2 which has two beds is $857 x 2 ($1714.) but one person can occupy it for $1286.

A Cabin for 3 , with three beds is $836 x 3 ($2508.) but one person can have it for $1672.




#7 Guest_guest_*

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 07:25 PM

Are the much higher prices for the new swanky bedrooms that they are selling with tvs and high quality linens,etc? If so, that might be the reasons for the big price bump.

nope. those cars are not going to be in service until mid-2012 at the earliest

#8 Guest_guest_*

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 07:43 PM

Maybe Via Rail decided to go ahead with the pricing ahead of the new summer-only deluxe cars! :rolleyes:

Dec 10/2011 - Here is the text of an email I received from Via yesterday in response to my query re the "New Deluxe Sleeper Class"
Good morning,

The new " deluxe class " has been delayed and will not be available for 2012 as anticipated.


If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sarah
Customer Support Desk

...A Briscoe

ORIGINAL PLANS FROM EARLY SEPTEMBER 2011 VIA RAIL:

By the summer of 2012, travelers on VIA Rail Canada's legendary Canadian that links Toronto and Vancouver will experience a multi-million dollar makeover. More than $22 million (CAD) is being invested in upgrading the experience for travelers on the long-haul rail journey with added comfort, more space and expansive views. The extreme makeover includes new carpets, the addition of warm woods and a new color palette.

Starting in mid-October of this year, tickets will go on sale for VIA's new Deluxe Sleeper Class for those wanting more comfort and space. The all-new cabins will be larger, offering a boutique-style hotel ambience and many of the amenities found aboard the world's most luxurious trains. The newly-reconfigured Deluxe Sleeper Class cabins, available exclusively in the summer season, will be 50% larger. They will also feature private glassed-in showers, flat screen TVs, a dedicated service attendant, turn-down service, all-day room service (breakfast, morning + afternoon tea), priority luggage service and priority boarding.

Also being upgraded are the dining cars, which will feature elegant linens, china and flatware for meals prepared on board by a seasoned VIA Rail chef. Produce is brought on board along the route, meaning diners can enjoy regional specialties as they make their way 'cross country. This fall, travelers will be able to enjoy more of the view with VIA Rail's renovated Skyline and Park cars. The renovated Park cars will also offer an entirely wheelchair-accessible cabin with private washroom.

#9 pennyk

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 04:01 PM

I paid $871 for one person in a cabin for 2 for my Dec 3rd trip. I jumped on that fare the day it was posted (at the end of October I think). The price per person for a cabin for 2 was $517 (I believe) - which is about half of what the offered express deals are now.

Amtrak miles: 112,559; Routes: Silver Meteor, Champion (1973), Silver Star, Auto Train, Capitol Limited, Empire Builder, Lakeshore Limited, Adirondack, Vermonter, Cardinal, California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Texas Eagle (CHI-STL), Missouri River Runner, Acela Express (FC), Southwest Chief, Cascades, Crescent, City of New Orleans, Hiawatha Service, Maple Leaf, Keystone Service, Northeast Regional, Downeaster, Piedmont, Carolinian, Lincoln Service, Autumn Express 2013, Empire Service.   VIA miles: 4,584; Routes: The Canadian (westbound), Ocean (eastbound/westbound).


#10 caravanman

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 10:45 AM

Hi,

I took the Canadian earlier this year, my express deal price was $580 from Toronto to Vancouver in a 1 person cabin... I am keen to repeat this trip again, and hope that the sleeper prices might drop back down again soon. I notice that the reduced express fares for coach seats have remained unchanged. One can only surmise, I was thinking that it might be a seasonal Xmas price hike, but maybe they are taking lots of sleepers out of service to upgrade them, so those few remaining comand the higher prices?

Anyone done this trip in coach seats?

Ed :cool:

#11 pennyk

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 04:08 PM

New "express deals" were posted today for travel through early February at the same higher price for sleepers. :(

Amtrak miles: 112,559; Routes: Silver Meteor, Champion (1973), Silver Star, Auto Train, Capitol Limited, Empire Builder, Lakeshore Limited, Adirondack, Vermonter, Cardinal, California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Texas Eagle (CHI-STL), Missouri River Runner, Acela Express (FC), Southwest Chief, Cascades, Crescent, City of New Orleans, Hiawatha Service, Maple Leaf, Keystone Service, Northeast Regional, Downeaster, Piedmont, Carolinian, Lincoln Service, Autumn Express 2013, Empire Service.   VIA miles: 4,584; Routes: The Canadian (westbound), Ocean (eastbound/westbound).


#12 Blackwolf

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 09:01 PM

If the new Express Deals are retaining the higher prices, in the midst of the slowest part of the year, it tells me people are paying. Seems this is indeed the new 'norm' indeed. :angry2:

Amtrak
Capitol Corridor (too many times to count!); Coast Starlight (x20); California Zephyr (x5); Empire Builder (x2); Lake Shore Limited (x3); Maple Leaf (x1); Adirondack (x2); Cascades (x1); Pacific Surfliner (x5); San Joaquin (x7); Capitol Limited (x1); Cardinal (x1)

VIA Rail
Ocean (x3); Windsor Corridor (x2); The Canadian (x1)


#13 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 11:15 AM

If the new Express Deals are retaining the higher prices, in the midst of the slowest part of the year, it tells me people are paying. Seems this is indeed the new 'norm' indeed. :angry2:

I could always get a sleeper on the Ocean at the last minute. But lately, even paying full fare it may be sold out and thats with 4 or 5 sleepers running.

#14 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 12:19 PM


If the new Express Deals are retaining the higher prices, in the midst of the slowest part of the year, it tells me people are paying. Seems this is indeed the new 'norm' indeed. :angry2:

I could always get a sleeper on the Ocean at the last minute. But lately, even paying full fare it may be sold out and thats with 4 or 5 sleepers running.

I thought we were talking about the Canadian? My personal guess is that VIA is simply removing enough cars to keep volume down and revenue up. This may or may not be related to work on implementing VIA's new 'hotel on wheels' program slated for 2013. When I rode on my 50% off fare many folks riding with me had snagged the same or better fares and yet half the sleeper compartments were completely empty.

Any views expressed are my own and do not represent the views of my employer, parent companies, partners, or subsidiaries.

Over 50,000 people just like you recently signed a petition to expand high speed passenger rail in the United States of America.

Long live The Coast Starlight, The California Zephyr, The Empire Builder, The Southwest Chief, and The Canadian.


#15 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 01:43 PM

I thought we were talking about the Canadian? My personal guess is that VIA is simply removing enough cars to keep volume down and revenue up. This may or may not be related to work on implementing VIA's new 'hotel on wheels' program slated for 2013. When I rode on my 50% off fare many folks riding with me had snagged the same or better fares and yet half the sleeper compartments were completely empty.

I made note of my recent experience on the Ocean in reference to Blackwolf’s comment above slowest part of the year, it tells me people are paying”

Besides…….Express Deals cover all VIA Trains and are updated daily……so keep checking back!

The winter consist for the off-season Canadian is similar to what it’s been the last couple of years. The cars slated for “hotel on wheels” are a couple of Park Cars and several Chateau Sleepers being rebuilt into all-room cars. The Canadian normally runs with Manor Sleepers in the winter except for one Chateau that been hauled as a “protect” car in case problems develop in the regularly assigned equipment.




#16 Blackwolf

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 02:29 PM

I could always get a sleeper on the Ocean at the last minute. But lately, even paying full fare it may be sold out and thats with 4 or 5 sleepers running.


My limited experience with the Ocean has been that, from a practical standpoint of point-to-point travel, it is VIA's only non-corridor train that does not exist for catering to a vacation clientele. Lots and lots of passengers on business or personal travel using the train to get from point A to point B because it was cheaper than flying! :cool: The train was completely sold out when I've traveled on it (admittedly, this was only twice) and it has been from completely to nearly sold out when my wife has traveled on it (more than a dozen times.) Only once has an upgrade from coach to sleeper been granted for my wife, all other times we were refused on walking up with cash in hand. Our reasons for travel in these instances were such that making reservations far enough out to purchase sleepers normally was not possible.

Next month will be my first sleeper experience on the Ocean, the circumstances at last allowing purchase out far enough for availability to still be there. :lol:

As for the Express Deals on the Canadian? I was referencing the new sale prices when I mentioned "people are paying them." If they have a market for the higher sale price slots, then why drop the cost down again? Seeing $1028 Toronto-to-Vancouver as the sale price per-person for a Cabin for Two is undoubtedly the lowest you're ever going to see from this point forward. There are open section berth choices available for less, specifically $628 pp (upper berth) $803 pp (lower berth) and $743 pp (double-occupancy in upper and lower berths, same section.) Much more affordable, and along the old cabin sale prices but without the cabin privacy.

Amtrak
Capitol Corridor (too many times to count!); Coast Starlight (x20); California Zephyr (x5); Empire Builder (x2); Lake Shore Limited (x3); Maple Leaf (x1); Adirondack (x2); Cascades (x1); Pacific Surfliner (x5); San Joaquin (x7); Capitol Limited (x1); Cardinal (x1)

VIA Rail
Ocean (x3); Windsor Corridor (x2); The Canadian (x1)


#17 manderson

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 11:24 PM

Anybody know if the 50% off sales come at particular times of the year, and when the next one might be?

#18 caravanman

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 10:29 AM

Hi,
I think that they are fairly random.. the "express deals" are better value than the 50% off sales (or used to be!) if you can get one to suit you. Via rail seem to be altering the way they price the bedroom express deals, so maybe the other sales will alter too?
(I noticed that the express deals vanish when the sales are also up and running)

Ed :cool:

Edited by caravanman, 11 January 2012 - 10:30 AM.


#19 pennyk

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 10:29 AM

Anybody know if the 50% off sales come at particular times of the year, and when the next one might be?



I only started watching last October, but I noticed that shortly after I made my express deal reservations, the 50% sale was offered, which I think was mid-November 2011 - but I do not remember for sure. Most of the pax on my 12/3 train had express deal tickets, but a few had 50% off tickets.

I am guessing that there will be a 50% sale prior to fall (at least I hope there will be).

Amtrak miles: 112,559; Routes: Silver Meteor, Champion (1973), Silver Star, Auto Train, Capitol Limited, Empire Builder, Lakeshore Limited, Adirondack, Vermonter, Cardinal, California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Texas Eagle (CHI-STL), Missouri River Runner, Acela Express (FC), Southwest Chief, Cascades, Crescent, City of New Orleans, Hiawatha Service, Maple Leaf, Keystone Service, Northeast Regional, Downeaster, Piedmont, Carolinian, Lincoln Service, Autumn Express 2013, Empire Service.   VIA miles: 4,584; Routes: The Canadian (westbound), Ocean (eastbound/westbound).


#20 pennyk

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 08:14 AM

I have not checked the VIA website, but this morning I received an email from VIA announcing a 50% off sale. :)

Amtrak miles: 112,559; Routes: Silver Meteor, Champion (1973), Silver Star, Auto Train, Capitol Limited, Empire Builder, Lakeshore Limited, Adirondack, Vermonter, Cardinal, California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Texas Eagle (CHI-STL), Missouri River Runner, Acela Express (FC), Southwest Chief, Cascades, Crescent, City of New Orleans, Hiawatha Service, Maple Leaf, Keystone Service, Northeast Regional, Downeaster, Piedmont, Carolinian, Lincoln Service, Autumn Express 2013, Empire Service.   VIA miles: 4,584; Routes: The Canadian (westbound), Ocean (eastbound/westbound).




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