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Anyone else having trouble with Amsnag today?


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#1 fixj

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 03:05 PM

I keep getting "unknown error" message.



#2 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 03:14 PM

I keep getting "unknown error" message.

Probably has to do with Amtrak’s new website.


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#3 Ryan

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 05:22 PM

Which is being discussed here: http://discuss.amtra...-look/?p=726715
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#4 PaulM

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 01:15 PM

I'm sure

 

 

I keep getting "unknown error" message.

Probably has to do with Amtrak’s new website.
 

 

I'm sure you are right.  I'm not going to bother looking at it until things settle down.

 

By the way, has anyone spotted any improvements in the website, like being able to view all reservations, regardless of the source?  I don't  consider changes in fonts and moving buttons around to be an improvement. 

 

Whenever someone wonders why you can't do something obvious with the website, it always comes back to the age of the system and the lack of funds to make the necessary improvements.  So why waste money rearranging  the deck chairs?



#5 jebr

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 01:24 PM

I mean, to some extent Amtrak wants to keep a fresh image to try and look modern to those who may be considering the train but haven't yet. There's certainly a lot of limitations on the back-end, but if Amtrak can hide them to some extent with a flashy website, people may find them to be modern even if the back-end isn't.

 

I will say, personally, that I've had decent luck booking things online as long as I don't need to apply any AGR coupons and I don't care about what sleeping compartment I'm in. Even modifying to some extent seems to work fine for me, even with a standard AGR redemption booked online. Could it be better? Definitely, but I'd imagine that the booking engine, limited as it may be, is "good enough" for most people's needs - especially if you account for the fact that you can't guarantee a side of the train anyways even when choosing a room over the phone.



#6 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 01:46 PM

Has anyone spotted any improvements in the website, like being able to view all reservations, regardless of the source?  I don't  consider changes in fonts and moving buttons around to be an improvement.  Whenever someone wonders why you can't do something obvious with the website, it always comes back to the age of the system and the lack of funds to make the necessary improvements.  So why waste money rearranging  the deck chairs?


Excellent post.
 

 

I mean, to some extent Amtrak wants to keep a fresh image to try and look modern to those who may be considering the train but haven't yet.


It's the trains themselves that look like they were last updated in the 1990's, not the website.

 

There's certainly a lot of limitations on the back-end, but if Amtrak can hide them to some extent with a flashy website, people may find them to be modern even if the back-end isn't.


Amtrak's website may compete favorably with Greyhound but it's a poor knock off compared to contemporary airline websites. Not in the way it looks but in the manner of its core abilities and functional limitations. Legacy airlines suffer outdated infrastructure from the same era as ARROW so I'm not sure why they can manage to add new functionality while Amtrak simply moves the same features around over and over again.

 

I will say, personally, that I've had decent luck booking things online as long as I don't need to apply any AGR coupons and I don't care about what sleeping compartment I'm in.

 

Where I live sleeper compartments typically run $500+ overnight, which is Park Hyatt/Four Seasons/Ritz-Carlton money being spent on a tiny fiberglass compartment with stained carpets. The least they can do is make choosing and changing the the location of that room as simple and easy as possible.  Calling works until there's a misunderstanding or major delay or accident or weather event somewhere on the network.  At which point the phone lines are basically useless.  It's silly that basic selections from a knowable list of options saved in a computer system still requires humans on both ends.


Edited by Devil's Advocate, 09 October 2017 - 01:50 PM.

We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier. 


#7 willem

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 09:22 AM

I don't  consider changes in fonts and moving buttons around to be an improvement.

 
Hear, hear!

 



#8 jebr

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 11:01 AM

 

I will say, personally, that I've had decent luck booking things online as long as I don't need to apply any AGR coupons and I don't care about what sleeping compartment I'm in.

 
Where I live sleeper compartments typically run $500+ overnight, which is Park Hyatt/Four Seasons/Ritz-Carlton money being spent on a tiny fiberglass compartment with stained carpets. The least they can do is make choosing and changing the the location of that room as simple and easy as possible.  Calling works until there's a misunderstanding or major delay or accident or weather event somewhere on the network.  At which point the phone lines are basically useless.  It's silly that basic selections from a knowable list of options saved in a computer system still requires humans on both ends.

 


My point is more "how many people actually care what room they're in, since Amtrak can't guarantee a side of the train anyways?" It's popular on this forum, but I'm not convinced most Amtrak passengers care (beyond maybe upper/lower level, which frankly should be available online but isn't.) If Amtrak could actually guarantee a side, then the demand would be higher to select the roomette. However, until then I think most people simply don't care enough about what room they're in to worry about it - I honestly usually don't because it's not a big deal to me.



#9 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 11:44 AM

 

 

I will say, personally, that I've had decent luck booking things online as long as I don't need to apply any AGR coupons and I don't care about what sleeping compartment I'm in.

 
Where I live sleeper compartments typically run $500+ overnight, which is Park Hyatt/Four Seasons/Ritz-Carlton money being spent on a tiny fiberglass compartment with stained carpets. The least they can do is make choosing and changing the the location of that room as simple and easy as possible.  Calling works until there's a misunderstanding or major delay or accident or weather event somewhere on the network.  At which point the phone lines are basically useless.  It's silly that basic selections from a knowable list of options saved in a computer system still requires humans on both ends.

 


My point is more "how many people actually care what room they're in, since Amtrak can't guarantee a side of the train anyways?" It's popular on this forum, but I'm not convinced most Amtrak passengers care (beyond maybe upper/lower level, which frankly should be available online but isn't.) If Amtrak could actually guarantee a side, then the demand would be higher to select the roomette. However, until then I think most people simply don't care enough about what room they're in to worry about it - I honestly usually don't because it's not a big deal to me.

 

One of the most popular questions on AU is which room/level/side is best for a given train.  Just because Amtrak isn't listening doesn't mean people don't care.  Meanwhile I can't think of even one single person who was suggesting Amtrak.com should be remade into a Pinterest knockoff.  Like I said above, US airlines have been enhancing their core website functionality to the point that it's really rare that I need to talk to anyone anymore.  That's a benefit to me and to them since I no longer have a reason to tie up their call center resources with simple tasks a computer can handle.  Instead I leave those phone lines open for people who struggle to make these changes online and need someone to hold their hand through the process.  Everybody wins.


We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier. 


#10 PaulM

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 11:36 AM

My point is more "how many people actually care what room they're in, since Amtrak can't guarantee a side of the train anyways?"

 

 

 

I don't care what side I'm on or even which level.  It's how close I'm to the engine noise that matters. 



#11 PaulM

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 11:54 AM

As far as Amsnag (v2) is concerned, I'm making progress.



#12 PaulM

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 03:56 PM

I've uploaded a revised version 2.  There still seems to be a glitch with multi-segment itineraries involving a thruway bus.  But I'm doing like Amtrak, throwing it out there and see what happens.

As always, I welcome free quality assurance efforts.



#13 George K

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 04:14 PM

Again, thank you for your hard work.

 

Now, off to check it out....


4/1/1955 - NYC "Pacemaker" - NYP to CHI 

9/14 - EB - CHI to PDX , CS - PDX to EMY, CZ - EMY to CHI

3/15 CONO - Round trip 

9/15 CL CHI to WAS, Acela WAS to BOS, LSL BOS to CHI

11/15 CONO - Round trip

5/16 EB - Round trip

12/16 CONO -  Round Trip

5/17 EB - Round trip

10/17 CONO - Round trip


#14 PaulM

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 09:39 AM

Amsnag is down again.  Perhaps this is the cause

 

We are currently experiencing an issue which is preventing us from providing all the features of Amtrak.com. It is only possible to make one-way and round-trip reservations or check Train Status. For more assistance, please download the Amtrak app or call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

 

It's not that all the other features are not available; but that the reservation output has an entirely different format.

 

I think I'll take a smoke break and come back when Amtrak has its act together.


Edited by PaulM, 14 October 2017 - 09:41 AM.


#15 RSG

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 09:53 AM

Amsnag is down again.  Perhaps this is the cause

 

We are currently experiencing an issue which is preventing us from providing all the features of Amtrak.com. It is only possible to make one-way and round-trip reservations or check Train Status. For more assistance, please download the Amtrak app or call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

 

It's not that all the other features are not available; but that the reservation output has an entirely different format.

 

I think I'll take a smoke break and come back when Amtrak has its act together.

 

I'd make it a very long smoke break; like say, after a carton or so has been consumed. :mellow:



#16 PaulM

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 06:03 PM

It's back up again for what it's worth.



#17 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 07:21 PM

It's back up again for what it's worth.

 

It may be a thankless job, but Amsnag is worth a lot IMO.


We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier. 


#18 keith9016

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 02:30 AM




It's back up again for what it's worth.

 
It may be a thankless job, but Amsnag is worth a lot IMO.
+1👍

#19 fixj

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 10:30 AM

Yes, Amsnag is a wonderful gift. 



#20 niemi24s

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 11:48 AM

Any prognosis for the original version?






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