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AGR Question re: Victoria-Vancouver (BC)


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#1 John Webb

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 06:24 PM

We are contemplating a trip up the West Cost to Vancouver (BC) and thence by bus/ferry to Victoria. This service is shown in Amtrak's timetable as an affiliated Thruway Bus Service. Yet when I try to make AGR reservations/purchase tickets it gives me an error notice that there is no service to that destination.

 

Obviously something is wrong. At first I thought it was because there is something in the fine print that says AGR points cannot be used on Thruway services in Canada. I searched on the AGR website and could not find any such language. Maybe I just didn't look in the right place. So, I attempted to do the same purchase as if I was going to pay cash for my tickets. Again, same thing.

 

Can some out there who is wiser than me on these things provide some useful informed information? Not interested in rants. Just want to know the facts.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

 


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#2 Triley

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 06:31 PM

Only certain thruway services are available for reward reservations. If it's an Amtrak chartered bus it's good, if it's a partner line bus such as Greyhound, it's a no go, if I understand the rules correctly.

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#3 Eric S

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 08:34 PM

What endpoints are you searching? A quick search suggests that one can only connect from Seattle (SEA) and points north through Vancouver (VAC) to Victoria (VBC), and only from Eugene (EUG) and points north through SEA to Victoria (VIF). Anything south of Eugene requires an overnight stay somewhere.

 

EDIT: I did not search using points, just cash, so I'm not sure if there are restrictions on using points for either Victoria option.


Edited by Eric S, 23 June 2017 - 08:35 PM.


#4 R30A

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 04:52 PM

Yes, Victoria clipper runs only out of Seattle, not Vancouver.

#5 Tennessee Traveler

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 07:45 PM

Best advice -- Call AGR phone customer agent.  Not everything possible can be done on line.  If this is a rant, I apologize but it is "excellent" advice.  



#6 BCL

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 09:12 PM

This can't be done.  I tried PDX-SEA-VIF (500 and 7406), and got $167 for a day next week.  Just PDX-SEA on train 500 was $63.

 

If I switch to points it says "Not Available For Redemption", and the popup indicates that 7000-7999 series aren't eligible for redemption.  You basically have to pay cash for this.  You could just redeem the train portion and pay cash for the ferry ride.

 

http://www.clipperva...victoria-ferry/

 

It's also about 3 miles from King Street Station to the ferry terminal, and Amtrak calls it a self transfer.  I guess you could take the bus, a taxi, or a ride service.



#7 BCL

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 11:32 PM

Here's the page:

 

https://www.amtrak.c...tionUnavailable

 

What Does "Not Available for Redemption" Mean?

Your itinerary contains one or more services that is not eligible for redemption purchase (e.g., 7000-7999 series bus). These services are not operated by Amtrak and are not eligible for Amtrak Guest Rewards redemption travel. Switch back to the “Dollars” view to complete this booking.



#8 ehbowen

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 12:11 AM

Well, both the Victoria Clipper and the all-Canadian Crosswater bus/ferry service are most definitely not operated by Amtrak. Amtrak does act as an agent and makes through tickets available for convenience, but these services stand on their own and are not contracted specifically as Thruway services. Looks like you'll have to pay cash for this leg.


Edited by ehbowen, 25 June 2017 - 12:11 AM.

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#9 BCL

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 01:32 AM

Well, both the Victoria Clipper and the all-Canadian Crosswater bus/ferry service are most definitely not operated by Amtrak. Amtrak does act as an agent and makes through tickets available for convenience, but these services stand on their own and are not contracted specifically as Thruway services. Looks like you'll have to pay cash for this leg.

 

There are some services that stand on their own, but Amtrak still treats them as thruway services that can be booked with AGR points.  The ones I'm thinking of include YARTS to Yosemite from Merced or Monterey-Salinas Transit.  However, under AGR 2.0, the pricing is way different.  It looks like each segment costs a minimum of 800 points, when they used to have a flat 1500 "special route" redemption, even if it included 3 segments.

 

The restriction seems to only be for 7XXX series connections.  It sounds like Amtrak basically acts as a travel agent for those, rather than as a contracted service.






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