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Canceling a Rewards ticket


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#1 Texan Eagle

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 09:14 PM

I purchased a ticket for Coast Starlight (coach) by redeeming AGR points earlier today, and now I have realized the trip overlaps with some other commitments I have, so I need to cancel the ticket. When I went to cancel it online, it told me that 10% of my points will be taken away as "refund fee". I have a "Value" ticket under the new categories. So, what are my options?

 

Can I cancel the ticket and get 100% of the points back somehow? Airlines let you cancel any non-refundable tickets within 24 hours of booking for 0 penalty. Does Amtrak offer any such "oops I made a mistake" window?



#2 PRR 60

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 09:50 PM

I purchased a ticket for Coast Starlight (coach) by redeeming AGR points earlier today, and now I have realized the trip overlaps with some other commitments I have, so I need to cancel the ticket. When I went to cancel it online, it told me that 10% of my points will be taken away as "refund fee". I have a "Value" ticket under the new categories. So, what are my options?

 

Can I cancel the ticket and get 100% of the points back somehow? Airlines let you cancel any non-refundable tickets within 24 hours of booking for 0 penalty. Does Amtrak offer any such "oops I made a mistake" window?

 

Officially, the 10% cancellation penalty applies from the moment you click "purchase."  There is no 24-hour grace period.  A call to AGR explaining the situation may get a favorable outcome, but I would not count on it.



#3 the_traveler

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 10:14 PM

Isn't the penalty now 20%?:huh:

When you call Amtrak, there is a blurb saying "... effective _____ 15, the refund penalty will be 20% ..." I may be wrong, but I thought I heard October 15.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!

#4 pennyk

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 10:32 PM

Isn't the penalty now 20%? :huh:

When you call Amtrak, there is a blurb saying "... effective _____ 15, the refund penalty will be 20% ..." I may be wrong, but I thought I heard October 15.

sometimes the penalty is 20%

 

 

For modifications on one-way, round-trip or multi-segment reward travel, the following will apply:
  • Points difference (to new prevailing fare) will apply in all cases with a 10% points penalty withheld on any fare difference returned to member
  • If modifying a non-sleeper ticket within 24 hours prior to departure, or a sleeper ticket within 14 days prior to departure, an additional "close-in" penalty of 10% of the points redeemed will be collected (waived for Select Executive).

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#5 Texan Eagle

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 12:22 PM

Update: I called AGR, explained them my situation and the agent was able to cancel the ticket, give a one-time exception and refund the full amount of points back into my account immediately. 

 

So yeah, if you find yourself in a soup like me- the policy is 10% points taken away as "refund fee" if you try to cancel online, but give them a call and you might get everything back. Phew.



#6 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 06:27 PM

Airlines let you cancel any non-refundable tickets within 24 hours of booking for 0 penalty. Does Amtrak offer any such "oops I made a mistake" window?

 

The airlines aren't letting you cancel your non-refundable ticket without penalty.  The US Department of Transportation is compelling them to cancel your non-refundable ticket without penalty.  So far as I am aware none of these rules apply to Amtrak or AGR.

 

Update: I called AGR, explained them my situation and the agent was able to cancel the ticket, give a one-time exception and refund the full amount of points back into my account immediately.  So yeah, if you find yourself in a soup like me- the policy is 10% points taken away as "refund fee" if you try to cancel online, but give them a call and you might get everything back. Phew.

So what did you tell them?  Did it take a lot of self deprecation and contrition or did they accept a simple admission of an oversight/mistake and let it go?


I used to be with ‘it,’ but then they changed what ‘it’ was. Now what I’m with isn’t ‘it,’ and what’s ‘it’ seems weird and scary.


#7 Texan Eagle

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Posted 19 October 2016 - 06:31 PM

The airlines aren't letting you cancel your non-refundable ticket without penalty.  The US Department of Transportation is compelling them to cancel your non-refundable ticket without penalty.  So far as I am aware none of these rules apply to Amtrak or AGR.

 
I don't care if the airlines are doing it out of generosity of the DoT forces them to do it, what matters is that as a passenger I get 24 hours to correct a mistake purchase. There have been many times I have purchased a flight on a whim, slept over it and realized I won't be able to make the trip, and cancel it. 
 
Looks like DoT needs to intervene and force Amtrak too, since it looks like they won't offer that flexibility unless forced to do by the government.
 
 

So what did you tell them?  Did it take a lot of self deprecation and contrition or did they accept a simple admission of an oversight/mistake and let it go?


No self deprecation needed. I told the agent what I posted here- that I booked this ticket and realized I have made a mistake. Can you offer a one time exception and waive the 10% refund fee. And she did it in 30 seconds, no further questions asked.



#8 me_little_me

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Posted 20 October 2016 - 02:20 PM

I booked a cruise past the cancellation date then found out that Amtrak had cancelled the weekday Crescent between Atlanta and NOL. The cruise line graciously let me cancel the trip w/o penalty.



#9 Manny T

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 11:06 AM

Question O knowledgeable people: If I cancel my Rewards ticket there is a 10% penalty; if I modify my reservation (e.g. same itinerary, different dates, same price), there is no penalty.

 

What if I change the itinerary--say I have a Rewards ticket for Chi-Nol, and I want to change to Chi-Was. Assume points cost is exactly the same. Can I make the change without penalty? Thanx!



#10 the_traveler

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 01:40 PM

AFAIK once you make an award reservation and either modify or cancel it, a penalty is involved. And in your example, you must cancel your CHI-NOL trip altogether and book a CHI-WAS trip. Thus you would be canceling the CHI-NOL trip which would cause the penalty.

That is one of the bad things about AGR 2.0 - once you hit that button, you will get a penalty!
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

The view is much better at 3 feet than it is at 30,000 feet!




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