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United ticket office at NYP


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#1 BCL

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 09:55 AM

Anyone know the story behind it? Seems kind of odd to have an airline ticket office at a train station. I think it's Amtrak related because it's right there at the Amtrak waiting area. I suspect that the location is because of some deal with Amtrak - maybe part of the United Club/Club Acela reciprocal program.

https://hub.united.c...1671445368.html

23887257566_2954c58abc_b.jpg

I haven't been there in a while, judging by the lantern with SUSHI on it, this is right next to Penn Sushi, and probably where there used to be pay phones?

#2 railiner

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 10:43 AM

Airlines, and railroads (even Amtrak) used to have quite a few so-called "City Ticket Offices" or "Joint Airline Ticket Offices" in popular locations away from airports (or train stations) to increase their marketing abilities.

Most of these have disappeared thru the years, mainly because of online self-ticketing, as well as the expense of paying carrier wages and benefits to the employees staffing those offices...


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#3 jis

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 10:57 AM

United has a bunch of code share through ticketing with Amtrak on the NEC through EWR. That is what also drives the Club Acela/United Club reciprocal arrangement.

#4 BCL

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 12:46 PM

Airlines, and railroads (even Amtrak) used to have quite a few so-called "City Ticket Offices" or "Joint Airline Ticket Offices" in popular locations away from airports (or train stations) to increase their marketing abilities.
Most of these have disappeared thru the years, mainly because of online self-ticketing, as well as the expense of paying carrier wages and benefits to the employees staffing those offices...


Yeah, I'm quite familiar with that. In San Francisco it was around the Union Square area, where many occupied some of the prime ground floor spots that are now occupied by stores. I also knew a travel agent who did a lot of business with many of airlines (mostly foreign airlines) that might have a sales office in an office building in San Francisco, even if their airline didn't fly out of San Francisco. What I especially remember was that China Airlines (the flag carrier of Taiwan) had a prime corner location that's now occupied by Starbucks.

United barely has any of these now. I do remember being on vacation in China when we had to make a flight change, and it was far easier to go to their ticket office in Shanghai there to sort things out, although we could have done it at the airport. It was a United flight but booked through a travel agent.

#5 railiner

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 02:18 PM

 

Airlines, and railroads (even Amtrak) used to have quite a few so-called "City Ticket Offices" or "Joint Airline Ticket Offices" in popular locations away from airports (or train stations) to increase their marketing abilities.
Most of these have disappeared thru the years, mainly because of online self-ticketing, as well as the expense of paying carrier wages and benefits to the employees staffing those offices...


Yeah, I'm quite familiar with that. In San Francisco it was around the Union Square area, where many occupied some of the prime ground floor spots that are now occupied by stores. I also knew a travel agent who did a lot of business with many of airlines (mostly foreign airlines) that might have a sales office in an office building in San Francisco, even if their airline didn't fly out of San Francisco. What I especially remember was that China Airlines (the flag carrier of Taiwan) had a prime corner location that's now occupied by Starbucks.

United barely has any of these now. I do remember being on vacation in China when we had to make a flight change, and it was far easier to go to their ticket office in Shanghai there to sort things out, although we could have done it at the airport. It was a United flight but booked through a travel agent.

 

IIRC, Amtrak had several in the New York City area....besides the ones at Penn Station, and Grand Central Terminal, they had city ticket offices at the World Trade Center, Rockefeller Center, another on E. 59th Street, one at their former Eastern Reservation Sales Office (call center), in Carle Place, Long Island, and I think in Downtown Brooklyn....

there were some others in other major cities around the country...I remember they had one even at the Pentagon...


Edited by railiner, 06 May 2017 - 02:21 PM.

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#6 Palmetto

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 04:55 PM

This all started with Continental Airlines, prior to the merger.



#7 BCL

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 07:57 PM

This all started with Continental Airlines, prior to the merger.

 

How long did that take?  I'm seeing it opened in July 2015, but the merger was in 2011.



#8 jis

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 11:16 PM

The relationship Between Amtrak and United in this round was inherited by United from Continental. As for when a specific ticket office opened as part of the deal, I don't know. There was a Continental and then United checkin counter at NY Penn Station for a while until it was replaced by an expanded NJT ticket office for a while.

Way back in the past Amtrak and United had a take the train one way and fly back ticketing deal, but that was discontinued.

#9 chakk

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 01:15 AM

That joint United-Amtrak ticketing deal was great! I used it several times for business trips in the Midwest.

#10 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 01:31 AM

Doesn't look very busy.  Then again it's hard to imagine these people don't already know about United and most of what UA can do for you is easier to manage online rather than talking to their shoulder shrugging staff.  I've never seen any Amtrak offices or ticket counters at any of the thirty odd US airports I've visited.  I wonder if that's an opportunity worth reconsidering.  I'd bet most air travelers never even think of Amtrak or have any clue what it's like to ride Amtrak.  Having an office in a major airport might allow Amtrak to get the word out on a daily basis and maybe even sell out some trains during bad weather or airline technical glitches.  Maybe have a contract with a shuttle company or with Uber/Lyft for when things at the airport go wrong and people are scrambling for any option they can find?


Edited by Devil's Advocate, 07 May 2017 - 01:34 AM.

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#11 railiner

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 08:35 AM

Doesn't look very busy.  Then again it's hard to imagine these people don't already know about United and most of what UA can do for you is easier to manage online rather than talking to their shoulder shrugging staff.  I've never seen any Amtrak offices or ticket counters at any of the thirty odd US airports I've visited.  I wonder if that's an opportunity worth reconsidering.  I'd bet most air travelers never even think of Amtrak or have any clue what it's like to ride Amtrak.  Having an office in a major airport might allow Amtrak to get the word out on a daily basis and maybe even sell out some trains during bad weather or airline technical glitches.  Maybe have a contract with a shuttle company or with Uber/Lyft for when things at the airport go wrong and people are scrambling for any option they can find?

That's a pretty good suggestion.
Perhaps the first place to try it would be at the BWI Airport, where several NEC trains already stop, and there is regular shuttle service. If successful, expand it to the other Amtrak stations around the system located in airport proximity, and finally to all major hub airports that have multiple Amtrak schedules nearby...
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#12 jis

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 10:00 AM

The logical place to start such would actually be EWR where the EWR rail station already has an Amtrak presence to handle transfers from United. Actually, more often than not the EWR station staff handles it than Amtrak personnel, in these days of austerity. The reason it is at EWR station is that it is able to handle transfers from all terminals, instead of manning three separate facilities in three terminals. United flights can arrive in any of the three terminals.

#13 railiner

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 12:38 PM

I didn't know Amtrak had any involvement at the EWR rail station...I had thought that was strictly an NJT operation?


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#14 BCL

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 02:27 PM

The relationship Between Amtrak and United in this round was inherited by United from Continental. As for when a specific ticket office opened as part of the deal, I don't know. There was a Continental and then United checkin counter at NY Penn Station for a while until it was replaced by an expanded NJT ticket office for a while.

Way back in the past Amtrak and United had a take the train one way and fly back ticketing deal, but that was discontinued.

 

My last time at NYP was 2012, but I probably wasn't paying enough attention.  I saw on a few NJT maps that the Continental ticket window was next to Amtrak's.  But from the photo of it, it looks like it's next to Penn Sushi in a corner that used to have pay phones.

 

I was curious about the options for some sort of transfers, but I can't get United to show anything that allows a single ticketed transfer to Amtrak at EWR.  I see ZYP as the IATA code for NY Penn Station, but I can't seem to find any way to book a flight-train combination.



#15 jis

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Posted 07 May 2017 - 04:30 PM

You cannot buy any Amtrak ticket to transfer. United offers code shares from stations like Stamford. I am not aware of any code shares from NYP. The ticketing has to be done through United. Like with all other code shares they provide you with the PNR of the actual carrier for each segment. I am not sure how an Amtrak scannable instrument is provided. Perhaps it involves just providing the Amtrak PNR verbally to an Amtrak agent.

#16 saxman

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 12:44 AM

I didn't know Amtrak had any involvement at the EWR rail station...I had thought that was strictly an NJT operation?

 

Amtrak has stopped at the EWR rail station for many years. Not every train stops, but many of the NE Regionals do. It's the whole premise of the United/Amtrak codeshare agreement. The idea is to make your connection at EWR, hop on the Airtrain to the EWR rail station and hop on Amtrak to your final destination.


Amtrak Miles: 203,395 (as of 9/21/16)

#17 Palmetto

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 06:30 AM

 

This all started with Continental Airlines, prior to the merger.

 

How long did that take?  I'm seeing it opened in July 2015, but the merger was in 2011.

 

I meant the thru ticketing arrangement between Amtrak and Continental.  Sorry.

 



#18 BCL

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 09:12 AM

I looked it up and only 4 Amtrak stations can be booked via United. It doesn't include NYP (ZYP) which I would have thought made the most sense.

#19 railiner

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 09:37 AM


I didn't know Amtrak had any involvement at the EWR rail station...I had thought that was strictly an NJT operation?

 
Amtrak has stopped at the EWR rail station for many years. Not every train stops, but many of the NE Regionals do. It's the whole premise of the United/Amtrak codeshare agreement. The idea is to make your connection at EWR, hop on the Airtrain to the EWR rail station and hop on Amtrak to your final destination.

Thanks, I never noticed that...I'll bet that Amtrak's fares from EWR station are a lot higher than NJT charges... :)
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#20 BCL

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 02:03 PM

 

 

I didn't know Amtrak had any involvement at the EWR rail station...I had thought that was strictly an NJT operation?

 
Amtrak has stopped at the EWR rail station for many years. Not every train stops, but many of the NE Regionals do. It's the whole premise of the United/Amtrak codeshare agreement. The idea is to make your connection at EWR, hop on the Airtrain to the EWR rail station and hop on Amtrak to your final destination.

Thanks, I never noticed that...I'll bet that Amtrak's fares from EWR station are a lot higher than NJT charges... :)

 

$13 on NJT (including AirTrain) but typically $36 for Amtrak.  Newark to NYP is $5.25 adult.

 

Still - as I remember seeing an Amtrak train pass by our NJT train, someone in the next row was saying "That's the rich people train."






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