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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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