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Trying to modify a trip. Glad I had forum knowledge.


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#1 texline

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 11:55 AM

I booked our Thanksgiving trip to Irvine early this year. Pleased with myself for getting the best fares. And then yesterday I got word event has been moved to Phoenix.
I wasn't sure how it would go but I called the member select number. I asked if it could be done and the rep said sure, not a problem. It took her a bit and we explained our new plans in detail. She kept putting me on hold. Finally she comes back and said she would fix it and I needed an additional $1500.00. What? Really? Can I use points? Ok she says, give me your PIN. She is gone awhile and comes back on. You can use points on one segment. I said great, let's do that. She said ok but we have to use your points and your wife's points. I said ok. She said she needed help doing it but she would fix it. Ok. No email confirmation.
I called again. I give my reservation number and explain where we left off. She pulls it up and says the transaction wasn't completed. I ask if we can fix it. On hold then back on. She asks if I am trying to use points and I say yes. She says we can't use points, holiday blackout. Ok. We explain again we want to go to Maricopa and catch the Phoenix bus. She sets it up and it is still very expensive and not in line with Amsnag. Ok I guess we have no choice.
The email confirmation now shows our last segment as Texas Eagle as our train. I call again. This person gets my information and pulls it up. Yes that is your train. No we want the Sunset Limited. Yes she says, same train. I ask her to humor me and put in Sunset Limited. She couldn't find it at first and then she did put in SL. Wow she says, that's a huge savings! I never knew that train was really two trains. Ok I said, let's fix it. Ok BUT the bus won't work. She asks for the bus number. Yes there is a bus but it is not a guarantee connection. I had mentioned the schedule and the announcement on it. She says the bus works for west bound, not eastbound. The bus leaves an hour earlier than the train. I noticed the time change in November and it leaves after the train. No she says, just too close so no guarantee. Ok drop the bus. Ok. Then the email confirmation - wrong dates.
If we are doing the whole trip now as a round trip, how could random dates on connections make sense. Another call. Ok we can line up the dates. Great. Ok we changed the dates, we need $300 more. Really? Yes the inventory is now gone on your return so you get Texas Eagle rate. Ok please lock it in. She did, said sorry for all the confusion.
I did check on-line and she was correct, it appears my SL bedroom sold out during the day.
Amtrak agents have always been great and I just got caught on one of those days. I didn't want to push it but I wonder if the new Phoenix bus is available both ways. It is a reminder to me in the future to use train numbers as well as names. That Texas Eagle price would have been ours but we had forum knowledge and that really helped so thanks once again to members.

#2 wdscott

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 06:30 PM

The bus off by one hour raises an eyebrow. Just wondering...

As most of the country transitions from daylight time to standard time, AZ does not as it remains on standard time all year.

Amidst all the confusion as you attempted the change, might there be an hour off in an agent timetable? Perhaps the bus would be there for you after all.

#3 the_traveler

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 09:41 PM

The train between LAX and NOL is train #1 & #2 (the Sunset Limited). The train between LAX & CHI is train # 421 and #422 (the Texas Eagle). Between LAX & SAS, they run combined. "Train" #421 & #422 on this stretch are 1 coach running LAX-CHI and 1 sleeper running LAX-CHI. Thus both #1 and #421 arrive and depart at the same time, likewise #2 and #422 do the same.
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 texline

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 10:17 AM

The difference for a sleeper in 422 vs 2 can be substantial. $400 savings on my planned trip. Glad I knew that trick.

#5 the_traveler

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 10:27 AM

Normally, the 422 sleeper is more, because it continues to CHI thru most of TX, but check the fare on both if going anywhere between just LAX and SAS.
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!

#6 Bob Dylan

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 01:20 PM

As Dave said, usually the #421/#422 Sleepers are more expensive because the Coach and Sleeper are run through cars from SAS-LAX.

The bad thing about switching from #21 or #2 to #1 or #22 in San Antonio is you have to get OFF the Train in the dark during the Switching and the Amshack in SAS sucks.

However, between San Antonio and Chicago you often can find Lower Bucket Fares.

You have to decide if the Savings are worth it to you. Personally $400 is Lots of $$$ to me!

Edited by Bob Dylan, 10 August 2017 - 01:21 PM.

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