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Amtrak ending certain discounts in 2018?

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#81 seat38a



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Posted 13 December 2017 - 08:05 PM



Now that Amtrak has a former airline exec in charge, when can we expect the railroad to start charging for luggage and reducing legroom in coach?

There will be no reduction of leg room as stated clearly by Anderson several times.


I doubt that there will be any further change in luggage charges either, but we'll see.


It's fundamentally cheap for Amtrak to offer free luggage transport, as long as people don't walk in with the two tandem strollers and 12 suitcases that I saw on the platform in Denver once.  It's expensive for airlines because it's weight they have to hoist in the air.  Until Amtrak fills the baggage car, it's cheap for Amtrak.  This is why there will probably be no change in luggage charges.


Seat pitch has a similar character though less so: they only gain by narrowing it when the train is actually full and they need to add a car.  Before narrowing seat pitch, they can tell the coach attendants to stop hogging eight seats for themselves.


The NARP discount encourages passengers to join NARP, which benefits Amtrak in the long run...


On the other hand, the disability discount is probably not getting them many new passengers to speak of, sorry to say.  People who are disabled will often travel Amtrak preferentially because it is better for their disabilities; if they can afford it, they'll pay for it.  Those who aren't doing so are probably not swayed by a 15% discount.  It is more of a *charitable* discount.  (The same is true, only more so, of the "senior discounts" which the over-65 members of Congress love to mandate.)  So although I don't like that it's being reduced -- being disabled is already very expensive and this makes it more expensive -- from Amtrak's financial point of view, it will probably actually get them more money.


I think luggage transport is fine, but the problem is with checked luggage. I'm assuming your talking about checked luggage since you mentioned baggage car, is the staff and equipment they need to pay for and keep at stations. Correct me if I'm wrong but only staffed stations have checked luggage and the trend has been to turn more and more stations to unstaffed.

#82 neroden



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Posted 13 December 2017 - 08:16 PM

They have been figuring out how to do checked luggage at unstaffed stations in parts of the Midwest ("at baggage car"). It's not that different from the bicycle loading and unloading. They can figure out how to expand this program.

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#83 TiBike


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Posted 13 December 2017 - 10:34 PM

They have been figuring out how to do checked luggage at unstaffed stations in parts of the Midwest ("at baggage car"). It's not that different from the bicycle loading and unloading. They can figure out how to expand this program.


Except they haven't figured out how to load/unload bikes at unstaffed stations, with a couple of exceptions.

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#84 IceMan


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Posted 26 January 2018 - 10:34 PM

Hi Folks,


here's a new member that just registered.


I was very interested in this topic. Having read all 5 pages now I am curious that nobody has asked one particular question yet.

This thread was started on Dec 7th.

LOSSAN was notified on Nov 8th.



On November 8, 2017, the LOSSAN Agency was notified by Amtrak of upcoming changes to Amtrak’s national tariff policy.


Is it self-understood that tickets ordered earlier will be honored according to the rules of the game at that time ?

I guess that will be the case; yet I am surprised that nobody has asked that question here.

Probably, because you are all more seasoned Amtrak customers than us.


From the comments here it seems to me that only very few members are affected directly.

We are. We knew as early as last spring that we would take the Coast Starlight south sometime end of March 2018. We just could not decide on a precise date at that time. My partner would have qualified as a senior then.

We put this booking on hold until now. And were taken by surprise last week, not having heard about the changes before.


Oh, well ... !


(Be warned - there wil be a few questions from us in the near future!)

#85 Thirdrail7



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Posted 26 January 2018 - 11:24 PM

Welcome to the board. Unless something has changed, I believe reservations prior to the change will fall under the old policy...unless you make a change. Once that happens, you fall under the new guidelines.

They say laughter is the best medicine. Obviously they never posted on AU.

#86 EchoSierra


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Posted 28 January 2018 - 12:13 AM

Reservations prior to the change does indeed fall under the old policy, but expect the website to try to enforce the new one.  Applying the old policy involves agent intervention.

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